Since their introduction in the 1960s, dental implants have become the gold standard for replacing broken or missing teeth. They provide patients with a permanent and stable solution to conventional bridges and dentures, boosting their confidence in their smile, and guaranteeing natural-looking results.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are screw-shaped root replacements made of a biocompatible titanium alloy. They are surgically screwed into the jaw bone. Once the bone fuses with the implant(s) through a process called osseointegration, the latter provides an anchor for a tooth crown, bridge or denture, and delivers similar stability to that of a natural tooth root.
Our dentists at Baystate Dental have the experience and expertise necessary to perform this intricate procedure. In addition to being members of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, their extensive training and friendly chair-side manner ensure that you receive the best care possible.
We provide dental implant care to patients in the Springfield, Chicopee, Greenfield, Northampton, Longmeadow, West Springfield, Westfield, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Ludlow, and Wilbraham, MA, area. If you would like to find out about the tooth implant process, dental implant prices, or any additional questions about the procedure, please call (413) 734-9400 to book a consultation with one of our experienced dentists.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal.
- Endosteal implants are either small cylindrical-shaped screws or plates.
- Subperiosteal implants are blade-shaped implants that are placed below the gum, but on top of the jawbone.
At Baystate Dental, our goal is to deliver the best service for our patients. This is why we offer screw-shaped endosteal implants and mini-implants.
Why Consider Dental Implants Rather than Dentures or Dental Bridges?
Dental implants can be used to support single crowns, fixed or fixed-removable bridgework, or full or partial dentures. They also provide you with the following advantages:
- Longevity: A well-placed and integrated dental implant can stay in place for a lifetime.
- Stability: Once integrated, the dental implant provides a stable support for dental restorations. You will no longer have to fiddle with your dentures or worry about them falling out of your mouth in front of others.
- Preservation of Bone: Over time, the jawbone in the area of a missing tooth or teeth can shrink. Dental implant placement immediately after tooth extraction can maintain the bone’s height and width. This helps retain or, in the case of long-term tooth loss, restore and maintain your natural face shape.
- Preservation of Natural Tooth Material: In the case of dental bridges, the teeth on either side of the gap need to be prepared before crowns can be placed on the top to support the suspended tooth. A dental implant can be used to support a single tooth instead of having to use a conventional bridge. However, your dentist can also recommend placement of implants to support a bridge.
How Many Dental Implants Will I Need?
How many dental implants you need will depend on the type of restoration procedure your dentist recommends. Generally:
- One implant can support one tooth.
- Two implants can be used to support a molar or a bridge.
- Four implants are generally used to support one full denture.
- Eight to ten implants may be used to support a full denture in both the upper and lower jaw.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
With modern bone grafting techniques, dental implants are an appropriate dental replacement option for many patients. Those with good overall health but insufficient height and width of bone may still have a successful dental implant procedure.
Dental implant problems may arise, though, in patients who have periodontal disease, who are smokers, and/or have medical conditions that affect the body’s ability to generate or maintain bone quality such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer. Patients who engage in bruxism (clenching or grinding of the teeth) may also not be good candidates, although there is a growing number of successful cases for these patients as well.
Each patient is unique. At Baystate Dental, we develop an individualized implant treatment plan for every patient. Your initial implant consultation will involve taking of X-rays, visual examination, review of your medical history, and an explanation of the treatment options that would provide the best results in your case. The next step would be to show you pictures of how the dental implant procedure works, and what your final restoration will look like and to provide you an estimate of the treatment’s fees.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
How much dental implants cost depends on:
- How many implants will be placed
- The need for other treatments such as bone or gum (soft tissue) grafting
- The kind of restoration (crown, bridge, denture) being placed
Dental implant prices in general can vary from practice to practice and state to state. At Baystate Dental, we will provide you a detailed estimate according to our dentists’ proposed treatment plan. This way, you will be able to make an informed decision about your care.
If you would like to arrange an implant dentistry consultation, please contact our implant specialists at one of the Baystate Dental offices.
What is the Dental Implant Procedure Like?
Adding dental implants is a three-stage process.
The first stage is the placement of the implant or implants. Once the implant or implants are in place, a healing abutment is placed on top and the gum is closed around the base of the implant.
The second stage is the healing process, which can take anywhere from three to six months, sometimes longer if bone grafting was necessary at the time of implant placement. During this time, the titanium implant will integrate with the surrounding bone. In the meanwhile, your dentist may suggest wearing a provisional bridge or denture until you heal. You will be instructed to follow a soft diet and to avoid using the denture, bridge or crown for chewing as much as possible.
The third stage happens once the implant is stable. The healing abutment is replaced with the final abutment, and the new tooth, bridge or denture and your smile are completed.
Aside from these three, bone grafting and soft tissue (gum) grafting may be done as a separate stage. Gum grafting is usually done at the end once everything is integrated and healed so that your dentist can see the final shape of the area.
Depending on the patient, the whole tooth implant process can take anywhere from four to twelve months. While the above are the usual and expected dental implant stages, they may vary depending on each patient’s needs.
Despite what you may think, you will not experience much discomfort or pain, especially with the medicines your dentist prescribes. If you have further questions or concerns about anything during your treatment, call our office at (413) 734-9400. We are also available to all of our patients through our offices in Springfield, Chicopee, Longmeadow, West Springfield, Westfield, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Ludlow, Northampton, Greenfield, and Wilbraham MA.
How Long Can I Expect My Dental Implants to Last?
Dental implants have a 90 to 95 percent success rate. However, few dental implant problems may still arise, mostly from:
Patients not following post-operative care instructions
Poor oral hygiene following implant placement
How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?
Even though implants, crowns and dentures are artificial, they still need to be brushed properly and evaluated regularly by one of our experienced dentists. You will also be given instructions on how to properly care for your implant and tooth restoration, so follow these properly.
If you would like to discuss dental implants with one of our highly-qualified implant dentists at one of our many convenient locations to serve you; Belchertown, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Greenfield – Suite 6, Greenfield – Suite 7, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Northampton – King St, Springfield – Harrison Ave, Springfield – Main St #212, Springfield – Main St #215, Westfield, West Springfield, and Wilbraham, Massachusetts.