Dental implants are changing the way people live. Whether replacing just one tooth or many teeth, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, smile, laugh, and enjoy life.
Think that dental implants may be the tooth or teeth replacement for you? Contact our Missoula dentists for a free consultation appointment! Our years of experience in restorative, cosmetic, and advanced dentistry offer our patients better results sooner so that they can feel confident again with their smile and appearance.
Dental implants have become the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. They are small titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone forms a bond with the titanium to create a strong foundation and anchor for artificial teeth.
Other benefits of implants include preserving facial contours and structure and preventing bone deterioration in the jaws. When a tooth is removed, the bone below it requires some sort of stimulation to maintain its shape and structure. The inserted implant provides just that by fusing together with the bone.
For most patients, the entire procedure usually takes three to six months. First, implants are placed in your jawbone where they will remain without a crown or restoration for three months so that the bone can bond to the titanium and the area around it heal. You should be able to wear a temporary retainer or dentures and eat a diet of soft foods during this time.
After the implant has healed within the jawbone, the second phase begins. Our Missoula dentists will uncover the implants and begin making your new teeth. An impression is taken and then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. Crowns, dentures, or tooth bridges are then made over the posts or attachments. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life, especially after the permanent crown or final dentures and bridge are put into place.
Unfortunately, the waiting period for your jawbone to heal varies between patients. For one patient, the healing and bonding process may only take a month or two, while for other patients it may take much longer. During that time, we will meet with you every few weeks or so to see the progress of the bone fusing to the dental implant, checking for any infections or complications that may slow down the process.
With such a complicated procedure, having the latest technology on your side can be a huge advantage to patients for a more effective treatment. Our dentists, Dr. Green and Dr. Green, utilize the most advanced technology, a cone beam CT scanner, to assist in implant planning and preparation. This scanner is used to place implants in a more precise position that will best align with your bite and current tooth and jaw structure.
Yes! Unlike the rest of your tooth roots, titanium implants are not susceptible to tooth decay. However, regular oral hygiene should still be maintained for remaining teeth and to prevent bacterial infections around your implant that may cause damage to your gums. Continue brushing and flossing every day, and be sure to visit your dentist twice a year for a regular teeth cleaning appointment.
While some insurance providers cover some of the cost of dental implants, others do not. We can check whether or not your coverage would pay for some of the procedure, a common question many of our patients have for us.
If you think dental implants would benefit you, the first step is to have a thorough examination of your mouth and review your medical history. Contact our Missoula dental office to set up a time for such an examination. Our friendly staff are happy to answer any and all of your questions concerning dental implants.
Complete your smile with sturdy dental implants and tooth replacements that won’t cause hiccups to your daily life. Implants stay in place, holding tooth crowns, bridges, and dentures securely down so that you don’t have to worry about them shifting around. Feel comfortable and confident again; contact us in Missoula, MT to learn more!