Gaps left by missing teeth do more than cause embarrassment — they also have significant negative effects on oral health. Lost teeth may make it difficult for you to chew. They can also cause the other teeth to drift out of place. Eventually, further tooth loss may occur. Clearly, replacing missing teeth is important. At All Dental Center, we offer several tooth replacement options, the most advantageous of which is dental implants from our Watertown, MA dentist. This state-of-the-art treatment rebuilds teeth from the roots up. Read on or give us a call today to find out why dental implants in Watertown are the best way to replace lost teeth.
Simply put, a dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root. It is a small metal post that is somewhat screw shaped. In most cases, they are constructed out of surgical-grade titanium — the same material used for artificial joints. Implants are inserted into the jawbone during a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Then, over the course of a few months, they bond with the tissue around them in a process known as osseointegration. This replaces the missing tooth roots and creates a strong, natural foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth. After that, they get “restored” when a crown, bridge, or denture is placed on top of them.
Many dental offices are able to perform only part of the dental implant process. They may just restore the implants after an outside specialist surgically places them in the jawbone. At All Dental Center in Watertown, however, we have the skills, experience, and equipment necessary to provide comprehensive implant services. Our experienced team can be with you from the initial consultation all the way until the moment your new teeth are in place. Read on below to learn more about how dental implants work in Watertown.
When you come in for your first consultation with your implant dentist in Watertown, our team will take some X-Rays, learn about your medical history and relevant lifestyle factors, and perform a thorough visual examination of your mouth. Based on the information we gather, we will be able to determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants right away, or if you need preliminary treatment before you can move forward with tooth replacement. We will help you understand the road ahead and take time to answer any questions that you may have.
We are able to perform this complex surgery right here in our office, so you will not have to worry about getting acquainted with an outside specialist. Many patients enjoy the peace of mind provided by our streamlined dental implant services.
During the procedure, we will numb your mouth. You may also be sedated. Once you are comfortable, we will create incisions in your gums in order to access your jawbone. Next, we will insert the implants are precise, pre-planned positions. We will then close the incisions so you can begin the healing process.
After your surgery, osseointegration will begin. This is the biological process through which dental implants bond with the surrounding bone tissue. It enables them to serve as strong, sturdy prosthetic tooth roots. Typically, successful osseointegration takes at least a few months.
Following osseointegration, you will undergo a minor surgery. We will expose the tops of your implants and place healing caps on them. Later, you will receive abutments, which are small attachments that will keep your dental implants in place. (The dental implant process varies between individuals. Some patients receive abutments at the same time as their initial implant surgery.)
After your abutments are in place, it will be time for us to design your restorations, the artificial teeth that will go on top of your implants. To do so, we will take impressions of your mouth, carefully select the color for your new teeth, and communicate closely with the lab that will create them. Once the lab finishes fabricating your restorations, we will verify that they meet our expectations before we secure them onto your dental implants in Watertown. You will then be able to begin enjoying all the magnificent benefits of your rebuilt smile.
Dental implants offer a broad range of advantages and are superior to other tooth replacement options in a number of ways. Implants are:
Dental implants in Watertown can address virtually any level of tooth loss. Whether you are missing one tooth, a few teeth, or all of your teeth, you may be a candidate for them. When you come in for your consultation, we will carefully examine your mouth, learn about your goals, and start designing your custom treatment plan. Some patients need some preliminary procedures before they can move forward with implants, but most adults with missing teeth do qualify for this treatment!
Some common traits of candidates for dental implants include:
If you are not a candidate for implants right away, you may become one after a bone graft or other preparatory procedures by your dental implant dentist in Watertown.
To replace a single tooth, we insert one dental implant in the jawbone. After a healing period of a few months, it integrates with the surrounding tissue. Thereafter, we can restore it with a single, custom-made dental crown. Although an implant can cost more than a traditional three-unit bridge, it is the better option. A regular bridge is neither as strong nor as long-lasting as an implant. Moreover, while a traditional bridge requires that the supporting teeth be significantly modified, a dental implant allows the nearby teeth to remain intact.
If your missing teeth are all adjacent to one another, we may use an implant-supported bridge to replace them. This type of restoration usually consists of two crowns, which are supported by dental implants, one at each end of the gap. Between the crowns are one or more pontics (artificial teeth) that finish filling in the empty space.
If your missing teeth are not consecutive, we will consider other treatment options. You may benefit from an implant-supported partial denture or a few single-implant crowns. The solution that is best for you will depend on your unique circumstances.
For edentulous (missing all teeth) patients, we can strategically place a number of implants throughout the jawbone. They will support a denture. An implant denture may be permanently fixed in place, or it may be removable and simply “snap” onto and off of the implants with the help of small attachments.
Alternatively, you may be a candidate for All-on-4 treatment. With this procedure, we place four dental implants into the jaw at places where the bone is naturally thickest and strongest. On the same day as the placement surgery, we attach a temporary denture to the implants. After osseointegration, we provide a permanent denture.
With the All-on-4 procedure, we place four dental implants into the jaw at places where the bone is naturally thickest and strongest. On the same day as the placement surgery, we attach a temporary denture to the implants. After osseointegration, we provide a permanent denture.
A mini dental implant is the same length as a traditional implant. However, its circumference is smaller. We might suggest that you receive mini implants if you do not have enough bone structure to support traditional ones, or if we are replacing a tooth at the front of the mouth.
Admittedly, the initial cost of dental implants in Watertown is quite a bit higher than that of traditional tooth replacement options. But implants are more than worth it! They offer benefits that you cannot get from other types of restorations. You can expect us to be forthright with you about the cost of your treatment, and we will do all we can to help you afford your new smile. We want everyone to be able to enjoy this potentially life-changing treatment.
Some patients require preliminary treatments before they get dental implants in Watertown. For example, you might need to undergo tooth extractions, gum disease therapy, or a bone graft. Each of these services comes with its own fee.
The dental implant surgery has a separate cost, which depends on how many dental implants you are receiving, the amount and type of sedation used, and other factors. Since we can perform this complex procedure in-house, you will not have to worry about dealing with the pricing structure of an outside specialist.
Not all dental implants are the same, just like no two patients are the same. The cost of your procedure will depend on things like:
Dental implants cost more upfront than other forms of tooth replacement. However, they are an excellent long-term value. They can help you save money in a few ways:
Dental insurance policies vary greatly in how they approach dental implants. You will have to check your specific plan to see how it applies. If it does not help you pay for the implants themselves, it is likely to cover at least a portion of the cost of preliminary treatments or your final restoration. Our team members are pros at dealing with dental insurance. You can rely on us to help you get the most out of your benefits.
As your implant dentist in Watertown, we want to help you afford your treatment. Here are a few provisions that we offer:
Your dental implants have the potential to provide you with a lifetime of healthy, strong, and confident smiles. However, they can only reach that potential if you follow some basic guidelines for proper dental implant care in Watertown. Below, you will find information on how you can help your new teeth stand the test of time.
Even though your dental implants in Watertown cannot get cavities, oral hygiene remains as important as ever. It can prevent dangerous infections, such as peri-implantitis, that could lead to implant failure. You should:
Dental implants can stand up to virtually any food, so you should feel free to indulge in all of your favorite treats. However, similar to natural teeth, some foods are better for implants than others. Sticky, sugary, and hard foods should be enjoyed only in moderation. Highly acidic foods should also be limited. Instead, try to center your diet around items that are rich in tooth-friendly nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin C, phosphorous, and vitamin D.
Some habits that could damage your implants or their restorations include:
Your dental implants are strong, but they are not impervious to damage. If you play sports, you should always wear a mouthguard during practices and games. Similarly, if you grind your teeth at night, you might need a nightguard to place a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. Although over-the-counter mouthguards offer a degree of protection, custom ones from a dentist are more comfortable and more effective.
Even if you no longer have any natural teeth, regular visits to your implant dentist in Watertown remain as important as ever. During these visits, we may remove your restorations, clean your implant abutments, and inspect your mouth for any early signs of infection. We aim to catch problems well before they are serious enough that they could cause your implants to fail. Feel free to ask questions during your appointments — we want all of our patients to feel well-informed about their oral health!
Dental implants in Watertown are one of the most advanced treatments we offer. They also represent a big commitment of time for patients, so it is understandable if you want to gather as much information as possible before you commit to a consultation. To help you out, we have compiled a brief list of answers to some of the most common questions we get about dental implants. If you do not see answers to your specific questions, give us a call — we will be happy to speak with you.
With proper care, dental implants have the potential to last an entire lifetime. They form a bond with the jawbone that, ideally, is permanent. Of course, whether your dental implants stand the test of time will depend on several factors. For example, diligent oral hygiene and regular dental visits can reduce the risk that an infection will attack the tissue around your implants and lead to their failure. If you apply our advice for caring for your implants, it is likely that they will last several times longer than any other form of tooth replacement that you might receive.
Dental implants bond with the jawbone, so it is virtually impossible for you to remove them without surgical intervention by a highly trained dental professional. Typically, we remove implants only if a patient’s health makes it absolutely necessary.
With that being said, some types of implant restorations (artificial teeth) are easy for patients to remove on their own. For example, you might get a denture that snaps onto and off of small attachments on top of your implants.
The placement surgery itself is fairly comfortable. Thanks to local anesthesia — and in many cases, sedation — patients feel little to nothing while our team is inserting the implants into the jawbone. After the surgery, you can expect some soreness and tenderness. We will give you instructions to keep your discomfort to a minimum. For example, we might prescribe pain medication, advise you to manage swelling with a cold compress, and encourage you to get plenty of rest. Most patients are feeling well enough to return to work within a day or two of the surgery, but some soreness may linger for significantly longer than that. If you experience any severe pain during your recovery, call your implant dentist in Watertown right away.
Dental implant failure is relatively rare, but when it does occur, it is usually due to an infection known as peri-implantitis. It occurs when bacteria attack the tissue around an implant, compromising its base of support. Peri-implantitis often stems from poor oral hygiene. Another possible reason for implant failure is unsuccessful osseointegration (a failure of the jawbone to bond with the implants). This may occur due to underlying health conditions or other issues. If we find that you have any significant risk factors for dental implant failure, our team will be sure to discuss them with you.