An incomplete smile characterized by one or more missing teeth can have a myriad of effects on your oral health and your confidence. First, gaps in your mouth may make it difficult to chew properly. This may also lead to your remaining teeth shifting out of alignment, causing bite problems. Without teeth, the jawbone begins to deteriorate, which in turn can cause the facial structures to collapse. A smile marked by one or more gaps can also affect your willingness to smile or interact with the people around you.
The good news is, dental implants and implant-retained teeth can restore a fully functioning and attractive smile while preventing serious oral health issues. Dental implants replace teeth in their entirety, from root to crown. When planned and placed by an experienced dentist, dental implants can last for many years, or even a lifetime.
Sudbury patients who are in search of a reliable solution to missing teeth — and a dentist they can trust — turn to Dr. Mia Fitzgerald. Having completed advanced training at the Kois Center, one of the nation’s most prestigious training programs for implant dentistry, Dr. Fitzgerald is knowledgeable of the most cutting-edge technologies and methods in the industry. She is a highly regarded expert, having recently earned mentorship status with the Kois Center. Utilizing high-quality dental materials, Dr. Fitzgerald will help you restore the health, function and beauty of a full and gap-free smile.
The Benefits of Replacing Missing Teeth with Dental Implants
There are many benefits to replacing missing teeth with dental implants. With dental implants, you can:
- Chew normally and enjoy all of your favorite foods
- Preserve your oral health by closing gaps that can play host to harmful bacteria
- Keep your jawbone stimulated to prevent bone loss and the collapse of the facial structures
- Speak, laugh and smile without worrying that your replacement teeth will slip out of your mouth
- Restore the appearance of a full set of teeth
- Avoid bite problems or misalignment issues caused by teeth shifting in the mouth
- Enjoy the confidence that comes from having a complete and attractive smile
Your Dental Implant Options
A dental implant is a post or screw typically made of titanium or zirconia that replaces a tooth root. It is surgically inserted into the jaw and serves as an anchor for an artificial tooth.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch of teeth in the lower arch, upper arch or both. A single tooth can be replaced with a dental crown anchored by a single post. Several missing teeth can be replaced with an implant-supported dental bridge. A dental bridge consists of two or more dental crowns anchored by one or more implant posts. Implant-supported dentures replace an entire arch of teeth. The dentures are attached to a number of implant posts (typically between four and eight) that are placed into various points of the jawbone.
Dr. Fitzgerald can discuss your options in detail and work with you to find the best solution for your dental needs.
The first step of the implant placement process is to schedule a dental examination with Dr. Fitzgerald. She will visually examine your mouth, teeth and gums, as well as take X-rays in order to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. She will also determine the number and location of the dental implants you will need. Dental impressions will be made of your mouth, which will be sent to the dental laboratory that will create your replacement teeth.
Next, the implant post(s) will be placed in the jawbone during an oral surgery procedure performed by a periodontist or oral surgeon. The specialist will apply a topical anesthetic to numb the gum tissue. Next, they will create a small incision in the gums and insert the post into the jawbone. In order to provide a stable foundation for the replacement tooth, the jawbone will need to be given ample time to heal and fuse with the implant post. This process, called osseointegration, takes between three and six months to complete.
Once the implant post has fully integrated with the jawbone, you will return to our office so Dr. Fitzgerald can place your replacement tooth. Before bonding the restoration into place, she will check your bite and make any last adjustments that may be necessary to ensure a precise and snug fit. Once in place, your replacement tooth will blend in with the surrounding teeth and look completely natural. You will be able to chew, speak and smile normally immediately after treatment.
Does treatment hurt?
Anesthesia or a topical anesthetic is used during dental implant surgery, so you will not feel any pain during treatment. If you are nervous or anxious about your treatment, Dr. Fitzgerald can discuss your sedation dentistry options to help you relax and stay comfortable throughout the process.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are strong and durable. With good oral hygiene (i.e., regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups) and lifestyle habits (e.g., not smoking and avoiding grinding or clenching your teeth), your dental implants can last for many years.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants varies patient to patient depending on several factors, including the number of posts placed and the type of dental restoration selected as the replacement teeth. Dr. Fitzgerald can provide you with a more specific cost estimate after meeting with you.
Will my dental insurance cover dental implants?
Whether your dental insurance covers a portion or all of the cost of your dental implants will depend on the details of your coverage plan. If you need help paying for your treatment, speak to our team to learn about the affordable financing options we offer.
With Dr. Fitzgerald, you can expect safe, high-quality results. To learn more about dental implants, or the other restorative dentistry options offered at the practice of Dr. Mia Fitzgerald, please schedule a personal appointment with us today.