Dental Implants — Spring Hill, TN
Permanently Fill in the Gaps with Dental Implants
There are different levels to everything, and when it comes to tooth replacement, dental implants are simply at the top of the heap. Nothing else provides high-quality restorative, cosmetic, and long-lasting benefits like they can. And, we’re proud to say that Family Dental Associates is one of the only practices in the area that can perform the entire procedure in-house. This means you’ll be able to get your smile faster, and we’ll be able to ensure a fantastic result. If this sounds like the solution for you, be sure to contact our office today for a consultation. We’re also happy to rebuild smiles for patients in Columbia and Williamson County.
Why Choose Family Dental Associates for Dental Implants?
- Dental Implant Placement and Restoration Done In-House
- Advanced Dental Technology for Enhanced Treatment Planning
- Flexible Dental Financing Options Available
What Are Dental Implants?
When we talk about dental implants, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not actually one solid piece. Unlike natural teeth, which are made up of enamel containing pulp and dental tissue inside the crown and root, dental implants consist of three main components that work to replace teeth. This includes the titanium post that replaces the root, the restoration that attaches on top and sits next to neighboring teeth, and the abutment which connects them to create one seamless tooth replacement.
No other treatment option replaces teeth quite like dental implants do because of the way they integrate with your existing bone and soft tissue. The fusion that occurs between the implant and your jaw is what makes your replacement tooth feel so natural, whether you’re eating, speaking, or smiling. Because of their longevity, functionality, and stellar appearance, dentists often recommend them over traditional tooth replacement methods.
The 4 Step Dental Implant Process
At Family Dental Associates of Spring Hill, we offer patients a wide range of dental care solutions to meet any need, schedule, or budget. When it comes to tooth replacement, we almost always encourage our patients to at least consider a dental implant tooth replacement plan. While the placement and restoration of a dental implant supported crown, bridge, or denture does take a little more time and a larger monetary investment, the results are longer lasting and more natural feeling and functioning than other tooth replacement options. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to read about the implant process below in more detail or call our Spring Hill dental office to schedule your tooth replacement consultation today.
Before we get started with your implant supported tooth replacement plan, we’ll want to perform a complete evaluation of your current oral and overall health as well as your health history and any past surgical experiences. This includes a review of all medications to ensure no health condition or medication will adversely impact the success of your dental implant treatment plan. Then, we’ll plan any necessary preparatory treatments that may include one or more of the following services:
- Restorative services to improve oral health prior to treatment, including gum disease therapy
- Bone grafts to increase the density of supportive alveolar bone structures
- Soft tissue grafts may also be necessary to ensure the maximum chances for successful implant placement
- Medication and health history review with you and/or your employer
Dental Implant Surgery
Once your smile is prepared, we will place your dental implant posts. This is a minor surgical procedure. We start by making an incision in the soft tissue. Then, the dental implant post is inserted into the supportive structure. A protective cap is placed to allow the surgical site to heal and let the implant fuse with the gum and jawbone tissues.
Osseointegration & Abutment Placement
After the dental implants have fused with the gum line, we attach abutments. These pieces are used to affix the implant to the restorations. When the abutments are in place, we will design your dental crown, bridge, or denture that will be crafted by our dental lab technicians using the highest quality materials.
Delivery of Final Restoration
The final step of the process is the attachment of your custom-crafted dental crown, bridge, or denture. Once in place, these implant supported restorations will look, feel, and function just like your healthy, beautiful smile.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Whether you’ve lost just one tooth or an entire mouthful, you have more options than ever before for restoring your smile. Instead of traditional prosthetics, more patients are turning to dental implants after tooth loss. Often considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth, implants are the only solution to replicate the whole structure of a lost tooth, from the root up. This allows them to provide many advantages over other treatments. Here are just a few of the many benefits of dental implants in Spring Hill.
- Feels natural: Dental implants fuse with your jawbone, providing a sturdy foundation for your replacement teeth. You’ll regain 70% or more of your original biting force, allowing you to chew a variety of crunchy healthy foods like apples and celery.
- Looks natural: Depending on how many teeth you need to replace, your dental implants can be topped with a custom-made restoration, whether that’s a dental crown, bridge, or denture. We typically use all-ceramic materials due to their impressive ability to mimic tooth enamel. Once your dentist in Spring Hill has placed your restoration, it should look like a perfectly natural part of your smile.
- Strengthens your jawbone: Losing just one tooth causes your jawbone to shrink because it’s not stimulated by the tooth’s root anymore. Since traditional prosthetics only replace the portion of the tooth that’s visible above the gumline, they can’t prevent this problem, but dental implants can. The post acts as the root of your lost tooth, stimulating the jawbone and encouraging the growth of new bone mass. This keeps the bone strong enough to support your facial structures and prevent premature sagging and wrinkling.
- Stops dental drift: When a tooth is lost, the teeth surrounding it start drifting out of place in an attempt to fill the gap. Dental drift increases your risk for numerous oral health problems, such as bite misalignment, gum disease, cavities, and even further tooth loss. Filling the gap with a dental implant keeps the adjacent teeth in their place.
- Long-term success: Because dental implants form such a powerful bond with your jawbone, they offer a success rate of over 95 percent. With the right aftercare (such as diligent at-home oral hygiene and routine dental checkups and cleanings), they’re able to last for several decades, possibly even for the rest of your life. This solution can pay for itself over the years since it should never need to be replaced, unlike conventional bridges and dentures.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Dental implants can be a fantastic solution for those with varying degrees of tooth loss. Whether you have a single missing tooth or you’ve lost multiple teeth over the years, dental implants are one of the most effective treatment options available. Below, you can learn more about how our office gets the job done and makes your smile complete!
Missing One Tooth
If you are missing a single tooth, it can be replaced using an all-porcelain implant-retained crown. Dental porcelain is just as strong and durable as metal, but it can also perfectly mimic a tooth’s shape, size, color, and even feel. The only person who will know that it isn’t a real tooth will be you! To place it, we will connect it to the implant post using a small screw called an abutment.
Missing Multiple Teeth
For a row of missing teeth, an implant-retained crown can be attached to prosthetic teeth to form a bridge. Implant-retained bridges, when compared to traditional ones, are more stable, last longer, and don’t require healthy teeth to be filed down to hold supporting crowns. This means we’ll be able to complete your smile while preserving more of your remaining teeth.
For numerous consecutive and nonconsecutive teeth, we may recommend an implant supported partial denture. These prosthetics use a gum-colored base material to support any number of replacement teeth. The denture base is molded to fit between healthy teeth, and we place between two and four implant posts to provide support for the entire partial denture.
Missing All Teeth
Dental implants can also be used to support a full or partial denture. These dentures look just as natural as traditional ones, but they come with a multitude of benefits compared with traditional dentures:
- Implant dentures will never slip, pop, or click unexpectedly.
- They support your jaw from below, and this will help them maintain their fit much better over time.
- They allow for a much stronger bite force, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy a wider variety of foods easily.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Your tooth replacement plan will be completely personalized to meet your needs, and this means it’s impossible to provide an exact estimate of the costs of treatment without reviewing your unique case. During your complimentary dental implant tooth replacement consultation, we will walk you through the costs of every step of the tooth replacement process. Our team members will help you to prepare for the out of pocket treatment cost, process insurance claims, and assist you in applying for low and no interest financing.
Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery
The long-term success of dental implants is largely due to the multi-phased treatment process. Although it can take several months to complete your smile, it is necessary to ensure your new smile lasts. Each step of your treatment has different costs. Your dentist in Spring Hill explains the cost of each phase during your initial consultation, including:
- Initial Consultation: You need an initial consultation that includes digital X-rays and a CT scan to ensure dental implants are right for you.
- Additional Treatments: It is common to need additional treatments to create the right foundation for your dental implants, like tooth extractions or bone grafting.
- Placement Surgery: Sedation or anesthesia is used during oral surgery to place your implant posts into your jawbone.
- Abutments & Restorations: After your jawbone fuses to the posts, abutments are connected to them. The special fixtures allow your restorations to be attached to the posts.
The Parts & Type of Your Dental Implant
There is no set amount you can expect to pay for dental implants because the amount is determined by your individual treatment plan. One factor that influences the cost is the type of dental implant needed, such as a traditional or mini post. Besides the posts, the type of restoration you need also impacts the cost, such as if you need an implant crown, bridge, or denture. Generally, the more teeth you replace, the more it will cost.
How Dental Implants Pay for Themselves Long-Term
Dental implants can cost more than traditional options upfront, but they are the more affordable choice long-term because they never need to be replaced. They can last for several decades with the right aftercare. Not to mention, they improve your oral health to reduce your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and additional tooth loss. This lowers your overall dental expenses.
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Now, many insurance companies help pay for dental implants. Although they do not cover the entire treatment, they may lower the cost of certain aspects, like your CT scan or restorations. We work on your behalf with the insurance company to maximize the value of your policy. We also help reduce the amount you need to pay out-of-pocket to keep your new smile affordable.
Making Dental Implants Affordable
If you do not currently have dental insurance to cover the cost of dental implants, there are other ways you can make your treatment more affordable. For example, We accept a variety of payment options to cover any remaining balance, like third-party financing with CareCredit. This option allows you to cover payments for dental implants over the span of several months or years, depending on which plan you choose. These payments often come with little-to-no interest attached, making it possible to fit dental implants into almost any budget!
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
At first, it may seem strange that brushing and flossing can help your dental implants. After all, an artificial tooth can’t get cavities, can it? The answer is no… but the gum and bone tissue that the implant relies on to stay in place can still become infected. If you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent gum disease and other oral health issues, you may end up losing your implant. As such, it’s a good idea to refresh yourself on good oral hygiene habits, like brushing and flossing every night.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Good nutrition isn’t a problem with dental implants, so be sure that you’re getting plenty of foods that promote good jaw health. Calcium and vitamin C contribute to a strong jawbone and healthy gum tissue. There are certain foods you should stay away from, however. Be careful of anything hard that could damage your implant or the restoration it supports. Also, try to stay away from anything sticky that could end up pulling on your implant. And of course, excessive amounts of sugar are never a good thing for your oral health.
Break Bad Habits
To prevent your dental implants from breaking or failing, you should stop:
- Smoking or using tobacco products that encourage gum disease and other infections. (They also slow down healing and may prevent the implants from successfully joining with the bone.)
- Chewing on hard objects. (This includes fingernails and pen tips as well as excessively hard foods that might damage the restoration.)
- Opening packages with your teeth. (Take the time to find some scissors or some other tool.)
Protect Your Dental Implants
Implants need the same protection as other teeth when you’re playing sports or engaging in any physical activity where you could suffer a blow to the jaw. Invest in a sports mouthguard and wear it whenever you head out onto the field. (You should be wearing a mouthguard even for low-contact activities – just in case something unexpected does happen.) Mouthguards can also be used to protect your dental implant from the wear and tear of grinding your teeth at night.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Once you have dental implants, you can count on Dr. Schmitter and Dr. Kelly to give them the same quality care they give the rest of your teeth. As long as you continue to visit us for regular checkups and cleanings every six months, we’ll be able to catch issues with your implant in the early stages so that they can be treated quickly.
Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions
What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery
The first 24 to 48 hours after your dental implants are placed are crucial. Your mouth will be tender and sensitive, and you should plan on taking at least two or three days off from work to rest. Avoid strenuous physical activities, as that could slow down your body’s healing process.
A blood clot will form over the implant site. If it becomes dislodged, you may develop dry socket, which is not only painful, but can complicate recovery. Preventing dry socket is fairly simple as long as you avoid smoking, drinking through a straw, forcefully spitting, and blowing your nose for the first three days.
Common Side Effects
One of the most common side effects of dental implant surgery is general soreness in the area. The good news is that this discomfort can be managed by taking your prescribed or over-the-counter pain medications as instructed. Applying cold compresses to the outside of your cheek or jaw can also help to curb pain in addition to swelling. On the first day following your procedure, you may experience light bleeding, but we’ll let you know how and when to change the gauze pads over the site.
If the surgical site continues to bleed for more than 24 hours, or you experience pain that worsens instead of fading, please call your implant dentist in Spring Hill immediately.
Until your mouth has had several days to heal, you should maintain a soft food diet. Here are some great ideas of foods to stock up on before dental implant surgery:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Smoothies (just don’t drink them through a straw!)
- Cold, creamy soups
- Soft-cooked pasta
Try your best to get plenty of protein and calories so that your body has all of the nourishment it needs to heal.
Health & Oral Hygiene
For the first day or two after your surgery, avoid directly brushing or flossing the implant site. That being said, oral hygiene is critical in preventing infections during the healing process. You should still brush twice a day and floss once per day; just be extremely careful around the implant site. If we prescribed an oral rinse for you, be sure to use it as directed. You can also rinse with saltwater two or three times daily.
What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached
Depending on the complexity of your treatment, it should only take a few days to a week to compete the recovery process. However, you’ll have to wait until the dental implants in Spring Hill have integrated with your jawbone to receive your new crown, bridge, or denture. Once your new teeth are attached, you may experience some mild soreness in your gums, but it’s nothing that an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen can’t handle.
Dental Implant FAQs
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are proven to last for decades with the right aftercare. Although it isn’t unusual for them to thrive for 30 years or longer, their lifespan depends on your health and lifestyle. To protect your new smile from any complications, we recommend committing to your oral hygiene at home. Besides brushing twice daily and flossing nightly, use an antimicrobial mouthrinse to kill any bacteria that can lead to dental implant failure. Don’t forget to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. With a proactive approach, you can rest assured your dental implants will last several times longer than any traditional tooth replacement treatment to make a long-term investment in your smile.
How successful are dental implants?
Dental implants offer the most predictable results, with over a 95% success rate; however, their longevity depends on how well you maintain your oral health and regular dental appointments. The location of your dental implants can also affect how long they last, such as if you replaced your molars. The back teeth undergo more strain from chewing than those in the front of your mouth, so they have a slightly higher likeliness of failure; however, the risk of complications is still minimal.
Am I too old to get dental implants?
If you’ve finished growing, there isn’t any age requirement for dental implants. Adults of all ages can choose them to treat their missing teeth, even seniors. You’ll still need a thorough consultation with your implant dentist in Spring Hill to determine if you’re a candidate. They’ll evaluate your oral and general health to ensure dental implants are the right decision for you.
Do dental implants feel natural?
Unlike traditional prosthetics, dental implants have the support and stability of your jawbone. As a result, they will closely feel like your natural teeth, but you won’t have to worry about any sensitivity from heat, cold, or pressure because they don’t have any nerve endings. You can regain as much as 70% of your natural biting force to enjoy many of your favorite foods again.
Can I take dental implants out?
Your jawbone will fuse to your dental implants through a process called osseointegration; therefore, they cannot be removed, except by a dental professional if there’s a complication. There are some types of implant dentures that can be taken out for cleaning, but the implant posts will always remain securely in place.