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Dental Implants – Barton City, MI

Keeping Your New Teeth
Stable and Strong

Dentists have been helping patients overcome the difficulties of missing teeth for many, many years. Today, the gold standard for replacing teeth is definitely dental implants. Both patients and dentists love them because they feel like having your natural teeth again and help prevent the bone loss that can lead to numerous oral health issues later down the road. Some dental offices will need to refer you to an outside implant specialist, but if you call Healthy Smiles Dental Care of Barton City, you can have your smile restored with dental implants right here in Barton City, MI!

Why Choose Healthy Smiles Dental Care of Barton City for Dental Implants?

Animated dental implant supported fixed bridge placement

What is a Dental Implant?

Model tooth and dental implant supported replacement tooth

A dental implant is normally made of titanium and takes the form of a screwlike post. It is inserted into the jawbone via surgery, and it will be completely hidden under both the gums and the dental restoration that it will eventually support. Over the course of several weeks or months, a dental implant will fuse with the jawbone, allowing it to hold your new teeth firmly in place while also stimulating the jaw.

4 Step Dental Implant Process

Female patient checking mirror after getting dental implants in Barton City, MI

It’s extremely convenient to have dental implants placed and restored in a single location instead of having to visit an outside specialist. Since we handle the entire implant process, we’re more than happy to walk you through all of the steps so that you fully understand what to expect. Getting dental implants can take several months or even over a year, but your new smile will be more than worth the wait. Read on to learn more about how dental implants work in Barton City, MI.

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Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dentist showing patient model of dental implants in Barton City, MI

Before dental implants are placed, we’ll closely examine your mouth and relevant facial structures with our cutting-edge dental technology. We’ll determine your candidacy for dental implants based on our findings. You might need bone grafting, gum disease therapy, or some other form of treatment before implant surgery; identifying potential complications and minimizing them ahead of time is a large part of the reason why dental implants have such a high success rate.

Dental Implant Surgery

Dentist performing surgery for dental implants in Barton City, MI

Implants need to be inserted into the jawbone, so naturally placing them requires surgery. The procedure is very simple, although it does need to be planned out carefully ahead of time. The site for the implant will be very carefully chosen based on the information we’ve gathered about your mouth, and the implant post will be inserted at a very precise angle so that it joins with the jawbone properly without disturbing any underlying dental structures. A protective cap is placed over them to shield them while your mouth is healing.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

Model of dental implant in Barton City, MI with protective cap

Dental implants merge with the jawbone via osseointegration, which usually takes month. You can only get the full benefits of implants after successful osseointegration, so follow our directions carefully to make sure that nothing disturbs the implant site during the process. After osseointegration is complete, it will be time for a second, smaller surgery. We’ll attach a small metal connector piece called an abutment to the top of your dental implant. What makes the abutment important is that it’s the connector piece between the implant post in your jaw and your personalized restoration. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to anchor your new teeth into place.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

Dental implant in Barton City, MI with crown inserted into jaw

We can only take impressions for your final dental implant restoration after abutment placement; after all, your new teeth need to be designed based on the current state of your mouth. The final restoration will be made to fit comfortably in your mouth among any remaining teeth, and it will be created from materials that look virtually the same as natural tooth enamel. The goal is for your implant restorations to be virtually indistinguishable from your real teeth once they’re in place. You may get a crown, bridge, or denture based on the number of teeth missing.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Man and woman smiling after dental implant tooth replacement

Because dental implants replicate the new roots of your teeth, they are able to fulfill all of the functions of your original teeth. This allows them to accomplish things that are simply not possible with traditional options like dentures and dental bridges. If you’re looking for a lifelike, reliable solution, we encourage you to consider dental implants in Barton City. Read on as we cover some of the most popular benefits out patients enjoy from this state-of-the-art tooth replacement option.

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Day-to-Day Benefits

  • Feel and function like natural teeth– Once your implants have attached to your jawbone, they will feel exactly like the teeth you were born with. In fact, you may not even be able to tell which teeth are real and which teeth are implants! They also replenish your chewing power to its former strength, letting you eat all of your favorite foods easily.
  • Easy maintenance– Keeping dentures clean requires you to buy special products and change up your oral hygiene routine. Dental bridges require you to invest in additional cleaning products like water flossers. In contrast, dental implants can be maintained virtually the same as natural teeth – just brush, floss, and visit your implant dentist in Barton City regularly.
  • Reliable teeth you can count on– Every few years, dentures lose their original snug fit, causing them to slip around or even fall out of your mouth. In contrast, dental implants are anchored in the jawbone, so you can trust that they’ll remain stable when you’re eating, talking, or smiling. They don’t even require messy adhesive to stay in place!
  • Clear speech– Poorly fitting dentures can create clicking or whistling sounds when you’re trying to talk. Dental implants allow you to speak as clearly as you could before tooth loss.

Health Benefits

  • Prevent bone loss – After a tooth goes missing, the jawbone deteriorates in that area because the tooth’s roots no longer stimulate it through biting and chewing. Not only can this result in a sunken, wrinkled facial appearance over time, but the jawbone may become too weak to support other teeth, causing additional tooth loss. Dental implants in Barton City function exactly like real tooth roots, keeping your jawbone strong.
  • Keep your remaining teeth stable – Teeth like to touch each other. If a gap is left behind by tooth loss, the remaining teeth tend to drift toward each other to fill the space, contributing to bite problems and chewing trouble. It may even make tooth replacement more difficult later on. Dental implants fill the gap and keep your remaining teeth in place.
  • Reduce the risk of gum disease – Bits of food can get caught in an empty space between teeth. If it stays there long enough, it can attract bacteria that cause gum disease. Dental implants fill this space and minimize the risk of infection.
  • Preserve your remaining teeth– To support a dental bridge, the teeth on either end of the gap have to be shaved down. The less enamel those teeth have, the more susceptible they are over time to decay and sensitivity. Dental implants let you retain more of your natural tooth structure.

Long-Term Benefits

  • Last a lifetime – By fusing to the jawbone, dental implants create a powerful bond that allows them to stay in place for several times longer than traditional alternatives. If you take proper care of them, they could even last for the rest of your life!
  • Save you money – Although dental implants cost more up-front, they can last a lifetime, while other options often break down every decade or so. So, dental implants can save you money (and time) on adjustments, repairs, and replacements.

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Man considering dental implant tooth replacement

You should schedule a dental implant consultation if you or a loved one has lost at least one tooth. It’s also a good idea to ask about them prior to having a tooth extracted. To receive implants, you’ll need healthy gums and a strong, fully developed jawbone that’s dense enough to support the posts once they’ve fully fused with the bone. We may need to schedule preparatory procedures to make sure the implant process is successful. The treatment will be different depending on your needs. Fortunately, the majority of patients qualify as good candidates for dental implants, or can easily become one with preliminary treatment.

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Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Dental implants can help practically any healthy adult replace any number of missing teeth. However, to ensure that they’re a good choice for you, we’ll first meet with you for an initial consultation. During this appointment, we’ll review your oral health, jawbone density, and medical history. Certain health conditions like diabetes and specific lifestyle habits like smoking need special consideration and preparation before moving forward with dental implant treatment. You’ll also need to be free of decayed teeth and gum disease, which can increase your risk of dental implant failure. Finally, your jawbone needs to be dense enough to support a dental implant.

If you initially do not meet the prerequisites for getting dental implants, don’t worry! Our talented team is here to help! We can help you schedule preliminary treatments like a bone graft or periodontal therapy and work with you to get your health on track so you can become a great candidate for dental implants. From there, we’ll plan your dental implant treatment based on how many teeth you’re missing:

Missing 1 Tooth

A single tooth only needs a dental implant and a crown to replace it. You’ll receive the crown once the area around the implant has fully healed. One advantage of choosing a single implant over a traditional dental bridge is that we won’t have to make permanent changes to your natural teeth to place the restoration; we simply fill the gap while leaving the rest of your smile alone.

Missing Multiple Teeth

It’s possible to anchor a dental bridge to a pair of implants instead of your real teeth. You can consider this type of restoration if you’ve lost at least three teeth in a row. The crowns at either end of the bridge will rest on the implant posts and hold the other prosthetic teeth in place.

Missing All Teeth

To replace all your teeth at once, we can use a strategic number of dental implants to place full dentures in your mouth. When dentures rest on implants, they will usually be permanently anchored in your mouth, simplifying the process of taking care of them since you can just brush them as if they were real teeth. Removable implant dentures are also available.

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Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Man shaking hands with dentist during dental implant consultation

Each dental implant treatment is customized to fit our patients’ unique needs. Whether you’re missing one tooth or an entire arch, there are several different steps of the procedure that will play a role in determining the final price tag of your treatment. The best way to learn how much your specific procedure will cost is to schedule a consultation with our team at Healthy Smiles Dental so we can examine your mouth and create a customized plan with you.

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Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Some patients who have been living with gaps in their smile for years may experience several adverse effects on their oral structure, such as jawbone deterioration, that could push back their dental implant surgery. Without a strong and stable foundation, dental implants won’t be able to fuse with the structure, which is what makes them incredibly beneficial. If you’ve experienced this, then you’ll likely require a preliminary treatment like a bone graft. Some patients also require sinus lifts to make sure that their implants don’t puncture their sinuses. These procedures will prepare you for a successful dental implant surgery.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Once you’ve healed from your dental implant surgery and have undergone the osseointegration process, which is where your dental implants fuse with your jawbone, you’ll then need to have your abutment place. This is a small, metal connector piece that will anchor your restoration in place. The abutment placement does incur a separate fee.

Final Dental Implant Restoration

Finally, the restoration that will complete your smile, whether it’s a dental crown, bridge, or denture, will also incur a separate fee. It will be custom-crafted to finish the treatment and provide you with a fully functional and whole smile that looks lifelike. A good rule-of-thumb is, the more teeth you need to have replaced, and the larger the restoration, the more costly it will be.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Unfortunately, it’s rarely, if ever, the case that dental insurance companies cover the complete cost of dental implant treatment. However, they may partially contribute to certain aspects of your treatment, including sedation or any preliminary treatments you require, like a tooth extraction. Our team at Healthy Smiles Dental Care is more than happy to file any claims on your behalf to make sure that you maximize your benefits and don’t have to pay any more than absolutely necessary out of your own pocket.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

In addition to accepting dental insurance, our team is happy to make dental implants more affordable by offering an in-house dental savings plan as well as flexible financing to help fit any budget. That way, you can customize a payment plan that doesn’t break the bank while improving your oral health and daily quality of life with dental implants in Barton City.

Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Man in need of dental implant salvage in Barton City

Dental implants are a long-term tooth loss solution you can count on. With an impressive success rate of over 95% even 10 years after placement, dental implant failure is very rare. However, it’s important to be aware of what causes dental implant failure and the most common warning signs to look out for. If you suspect your implant is failing, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. We may be able to save your newly rebuilt smile with dental implant salvage treatments.

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Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions

Closeup of patient with dental implants in Barton City

At Healthy Smiles Dental Care, we’re proud to offer convenient start-to-finish dental implant treatment here in our Barton City practice. While many other dentists need to refer their patients to an outside specialist for the placement of dental implants, our experienced doctors have the training to complete every step of your treatment personally. If you’ve never had oral surgery before, it’s natural to wonder what the process will be like. While we’ll give you personalized instructions when you visit us, here are some important things to keep in mind while you recover from dental implant surgery.

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What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

man sleeping

It’s completely normal to feel tired and groggy after your dental implant surgery, especially depending on the type of dental sedation used. You should plan on taking the rest of the day off at minimum. Resting is essential for a fast and smooth healing process, so avoid strenuous activity. Avoid touching the implant site and drinking through a straw. Make sure to take the pain medication we’ve prescribed you when instructed, typically before the local anesthetics have fully worn off.

Common Side-Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

Patient holding pain medication for after dental implant surgery in Barton City

Once the numbing medication has worn off and you regain complete feeling in your mouth, it’s likely you’ll experience some discomfort. This soreness in your mouth should be easy to manage with our prescribed pain reliever, over-the-counter pain relievers, and ice packs, and it should fade over the coming days. It’s also common to experience slight intermittent bleeding and swelling in the mouth and face. Fortunately, all these side effects should go away on their own within a matter of days. If they persist over a week after your dental implant surgery, give us a call so we can make sure everything is going as planned.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

Healthy smoothies to drink after dental implant surgery in Barton City

It’s very important that you stick to a soft food diet as your mouth heals from dental implant surgery. Options that are cold will help ease swelling and numb discomfort, but don’t forget to also eat plenty of foods that have vitamins and nutrients. A few good choices include:

  • Ice cream, frozen yogurt, and smoothies
  • Yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Mashed potatoes, soup, and scrambled eggs

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

Woman brushing her teeth after dental implant surgery in Barton City

Practicing thorough oral hygiene is essential to keep infection at bay and prevent early dental implant failure. However, since your mouth is healing, you’ll need to take special care while doing so! Make sure to:

  • Brush your teeth regularly the day after your surgery, but be very gentle around the surgical site
  • Rinse with non-alcoholic mouthwash, water, or saltwater throughout the day
  • Don’t spit forcefully to avoid irritating the surgical site

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

Man admiring his smile after dental implant surgery in Barton City

While it will likely only take you a few days to a week to recover from dental implant surgery, your jawbone will continue to heal for several months. Once the implant has been fully integrated into place, you’ll return to our office for the final step of your treatment. Your custom-made teeth will be attached, and you’ll be ready to go out and show off your brand-new smile! It’s not uncommon to experience some slight gum sensitivity for the first few days, but this should wear off quickly.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

man smiling after getting dental implants in Barton City

Did you know that dental implants have an impressive success rate of 90-95% even after 10 years? Although they can certainly last a long time, that’s only the case if you take proper care of your new smile. By following a few simple precautions when it comes to your oral health, you can keep your implants safe from damage and infection. If you’d like to learn how to properly maintain your newly rebuilt grin, continue reading or give our office a call today!

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Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Once you’re all healed up, you need to maintain good oral hygiene to protect your mouth against harmful bacteria. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing daily with an ADA-approved mouthwash are essential practices that help ward off problems like cavities, decay, and gum disease. As a result, your chances of experiencing dental implant failure are much lower.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Even though you can eat almost any food you want with dental implants, it’s incredibly important that you avoid overindulging in hard, sticky, or sugary foods. An unhealthy diet can wreak havoc on your oral health and be detrimental to your implants. Instead, you should stick to a diet full of nutrient-rich foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and dairy products. Eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin C will keep your jawbone strong and gum tissues healthy.  

Break Bad Habits

Do you smoke? Bite your nails? Use your teeth as tools? Mindlessly chew on pens or pencils? If you’re guilty of these poor habits, you’re putting your dental implants at risk of failure. Therefore, you should do your smile a favor and kick these habits to the curb right away. You can keep sugar-free gum in your pocket for times when you feel tempted to chew on a non-food item. If you can’t quit smoking, ask your doctor or dentist for resources that’ll make the feat as easy as can be.

Protect Your Dental Implants

If you regularly play sports or grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about a custom-made oral device. An athletic mouthguard can protect your implants against any impact should you sustain a blow to the face. Meanwhile, a nightguard will keep your enamel and restorations safe throughout the night.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Visiting your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning is crucial for maintaining good oral health. These preventive visits will allow our team to regularly review your prosthetics and customized restorations, ensuring no problems are developing. By addressing any problems early on, you can avoid more complex and expensive issues down the line.

Dental Implant FAQs

a dentist showing a patient a model of a dental implant

Are you on the fence about getting dental implants in Barton City? It makes sense that you have questions you want answered before committing to a consultation, and we’re here to make that happen! Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions that we receive from our patients. That way, you can feel confident in your decision to start your journey towards a newly restored smile.

Does dental implant surgery hurt?

You’ll be pleased to know that dental implant surgery shouldn’t be painful, because your dentist will administer a local anesthetic before placing your implant posts. This will numb the nerves surrounding the area where your implants will be placed and keep you from feeling an ounce of pain throughout the procedure. If you’re anxious or nervous about your surgery, you can also ask us about oral conscious sedation as well. This will help you feel more relaxed during your surgery.

How long does the process of getting dental implants take?

The process of getting dental implants varies from patient to patient, but typically takes place over the course of several months. This is because your implants must undergo a natural process called osseointegration after they’re placed in your mouth, where they’ll fuse with your jawbone and provide it with necessary blood flow and support. Typically, the average treatment takes between six to eight months; however, that timeline is different for everyone.

Are their alternatives to dental implants?

There are alternatives to dental implants if you’re not a good candidate for this modern procedure, such as bridges and full or partial dentures. During your consultation, your implant dentist in Barton City will examine your jawbone and oral health and help you figure out whether this treatment is right for you. If not, we’ll provide you with alternatives that can help restore the function and feel of your smile.

Why do I need a bone graft to get dental implants?

Some patients require bone grafts before they receive dental implants because their jawbone isn’t dense enough to undergo the osseointegration process of the procedure. If you don’t want to undergo this preparatory surgery, you may be eligible for mini dental implants, which allow you to enjoy all of the benefits of regular dental implants without the added recovery time.

Will my dental insurance cover the cost of getting dental implants?

Unfortunately, it’s rarely, if ever the case that dental insurance companies cover the cost of dental implants. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t cover the price of your consultation, dental sedation, or other aspects of the process. That’s why we recommend still contacting your insurance company to ask about coverage. Our team will be more than happy to help with this if necessary.

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