The Complete Guide to Selecting an Implant Dentist: Everything to Know

Do you have one or more missing teeth? This can interfere with chewing, speaking, and even social interaction. Dental implants offer a permanent solution to restore teeth and normal function.

Did you know that over three million Americans get dental implants each year? Do you think this might be a good choice for you? Are you wondering about the best approach for selecting an implant dentist?

Keep reading to learn about implants and selecting the right dentist.

What’s Involved in the Dental Implant Procedure?

Dental implants serve to replace one or more missing teeth. This often involves several steps depending on your unique needs.

The two most common implant types are endosteal and periosteal. If you don’t have enough jawbone tissue, the dentist may offer a bone graft to correct this problem.

For people with enough jawbone tissue, the endosteal method is most often used. The dentist makes a small incision in the gum. Then they place the implant, a titanium screw, in the jawbone.

During recovery, the bone tissue will grow around and secure the implant. A crown that’s crafted to match your natural teeth. This is then cemented to the post (abutment) on top of the implant.

If your jawbone tissue is too small and you don’t want a graft, you can get a periosteal implant. This involves the placement of a metal plate under the gum on top of the bone. The crown is then secured to the metal plate.

Options for Replacing Several Missing Teeth

If you’re missing several teeth in a row, your dentist may place an implant at each end of the gap. A bridge is attached to the implants to provide natural-looking and functioning teeth.

These artificial teeth may be removable or fixed.

Removable

Snap-on dentures offer an artificial bridge that you may take out for easy cleaning. The dentist uses impressions, X-rays, or other images to create your treatment plan. This includes where to place your implants and the number of “snaps and implants” needed.

The snap-on dentures offer many advantages. They’re stable and restore your normal ability to speak and chew. Implants also stimulate jawbone tissue growth to prevent bone loss.

If this sounds like an option you wish to explore, click here to find snap on dentures near me.

Fixed

As with the removable option, the dentist places implants at each end of the gap. The difference is that several crowns are permanently connected to form the bridge.

What Is the Dental Implant Experience Like?

The dental implant procedures are most often performed at the dentist’s office. You’ll receive anesthesia, so you’ll sleep through the bone graft and/or implant insertion. When it’s time for the abutment and/or crown placement, the dentist will numb the area as needed.

For several days after the procedure, you may notice bruising and/or swelling in your face and gums. A small amount of bleeding may also occur. The stitches used to close the incision will dissolve on their own.

Discomfort at the implant site is common. You may take over-the-counter medicine for relief. Apply cold packs covered with a cloth for twenty minutes at a time to reduce these symptoms.

Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. If the swelling, bleeding, or pain increases or causes concern, contact your dentist’s office.

It’s best to each soft food to avoid irritating the site. Be sure to practice good, gentle oral hygiene to reduce the bacteria in your mouth.

Once the crown(s) is placed, continue with normal tooth brushing and flossing. Be sure to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning and check-up once or twice a year.

Don’t chew on hard objects and get help if you grind your teeth to prevent implant or tooth damage. Avoid smoking and caffeine products since they cause tooth staining.

Selecting an Implant Dentist

Today you have several options for implant dentists. All levels of dental professionals work to preserve and save your natural teeth. Yet, if you’ve lost some, they can replace them to prevent jawbone loss and tooth movement.

General Dentist

Most general dentists receive training that qualifies them to place dental implants. Thus, this is the most common surgery they perform.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons complete training to gain expertise in corrective surgical techniques. They treat mouth, facial structure, jaw, and neck problems. This includes placing dental implants.

Periodontists

A periodontist is a specialized doctor in dentistry. They focus on diagnosing and treating diseases in the gums. After completing a degree to become a dentist, the individual studies for two to three more years.

They’re taught how to perform dental implants, periodontal treatment, and other surgeries. Upon finishing this extra training, they take an exam to become a periodontist.

Endodontists

Dentists may also choose to complete an endodontic residency which takes two years. This additional training includes the placement of dental implants. After finishing the residency and passing the exam they’re board-certified endodontists.

Online Patient Reviews

When searching for the right dentist, consider reading online customer reviews. It’s important, to remember that most satisfied people don’t take the time to write a review. More often, you find comments from people who are extremely happy or very upset.

Thus, read many reviews and look for common themes. Also, ask for recommendations from people you know and trust. They can tell you about their experience with various dentists.

Comparing Dental Implant Costs

When exploring the cost of implants, it’s key to understand that your situation is unique. Costs depend on how much treatment you need. If you require tooth extraction, tissue grafts, bone grafts, or sinus lifts, it will cost more.

The following costs are only estimates and can vary based on where you live.

  • Single implant: $2,400 to $3,000
  • Single implant with extra procedures: $4,000 to $10,000
  • Two to six implants and full- or partial-mouth bridges: $3,500 to $30,000
  • Full upper and lower implants and dentures: $7,000 to $90,000

Most dental insurance doesn’t cover implants since they’re considered cosmetic procedures. Some of the expenses may fall under your health insurance coverage. Talk with the dentist’s office about payment plans and financing.

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