When it comes to restoring your smile after tooth loss, you have plenty of options these days. Over the past two decades, however, dental implants have become the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. Why the relatively sudden growth in popularity after hundreds of years with just dentures and bridges? The answer is that dental implants in Salem recreate the entire tooth structure – something no other treatment can do. At Cochell Family Dentistry, Dr. Christel Cochell works with trusted dental implant specialists to bring you the high-quality care you deserve. Contact us today to get started!
There are actually three parts to a dental implant. The implant itself is a titanium post that resembles a screw in shape and size. Designed to replicate the root of a lost tooth, the implant is surgically inserted into the jaw, where it fuses to the bone and tissue thanks to a process called osseointegration. On top of the implant is a metal fixture, called an abutment, that secures your replacement teeth into place. Lastly, the custom-made dental crown, bridge, or denture is fastened on top, instantly completing your smile with seamless results. Once the dental implant is fully in place, you’ll have a solution that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural teeth.
Because of their unparalleled versatility, dental implants can let you enjoy a full and complete smile again no matter how many teeth you’ve lost. After we examine your smile and overall health status at a consultation, we can come up with a dental implant treatment plan that’s right for you.
A single implant can be paired with an all-ceramic dental crown for a virtually seamless replacement. Because of this treatment’s conservative nature, it will be able to fit in right alongside natural teeth without requiring them to be significantly altered or reduced. Its metal-free structure will also reflect light in the same way as natural tooth enamel, which means that you may even forgot it’s not natural after some time has passed. Meanwhile, the implant post will provide reliable support for many years to come.
If you have lost several natural teeth in a row, then a traditional dental bridge is still a viable option. However, multiple consecutive missing teeth can also be replenished with an implant-supported bridge. This prosthetic will be anchored in place securely with the help of two dental implants, which are surgically placed on either side of the gap. This modern style of reconstruction is much more successful than traditional bridges, which require healthy teeth to be filed down to accommodate dental crowns.
Contrary to popular belief, even patients who have lost a large number of natural teeth can be good candidates for dental implant reconstruction in most cases. Our Salem dentist can design a customized full or partial implant denture that attaches over a few strategically anchored implants, providing plenty of long-lasting quality at a cost-effective price. Implant dentures can be permanently anchored in place or kept removable like a traditional denture – this choice will depend on the patient’s own preferences and their current level of oral health.
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We encourage patients to schedule a dental implant consultation so we can assess their specific condition and walk them through the stages of this transformative process. Every situation is different, and our team cannot provide an accurate cost estimate until we have this information in hand. While dental implants are not the cheapest option available today for tooth replacement, we assure you that the lifelong benefits, aesthetics, and durability they provide are more than worth the initial investment.
When determining your estimated expenses, here are some of the factors that are considered:
There is a possibility that when meeting with our team to discuss dental implant placement, you will be recommended for preliminary treatments like periodontal therapy, tooth extractions, or bone grafting. Depending on the status of your oral health, these procedures may be necessary and can add to the total cost of your treatment.
Additional factors that are considered in the overall estimate include the price for your actual surgery and the anesthesia you will receive, both of which will increase the total amount. Since Cochell Family Dentistry refers our patients to a local specialist for the surgery portion of treatment, there will be two separate fees you will need to pay, one to the specialist and one for the implant restoration.
During your consultation, we will determine how many dental implants you will need to successfully restore your smile. The materials we use (titanium), as well as the manufacturer, can be a determining factor in how much your new smile will cost. While you might prefer to use a less expensive implant made from cheaper materials, it’s important to remember that the better the quality, the greater your results will be. At Cochell Family Dentistry, we will always be transparent about the materials and brands we use, so you can feel confident in your oral health decisions.
The type of restoration you receive will also affect the cost. While a single all-ceramic dental crown will be the least expensive option, you can expect an implant-retained dental bridge as well as an implant-retained denture to cost more.
Created by lab technicians, our team will send your impressions with specific instructions regarding how the restoration should look with regard to shape, size, and color. This ensures your new smile will look as natural as possible when put into place.
More and more, but not all dental insurance policies help cover the cost of dental implants; however, there are some exceptions. With some research we can help determine if your insurance helps cover implant therapy and what portion or percentage of the surgery, restoration, preliminary treatments, or consultation they will cover.
You or a member of our team can determine your out-of-pocket expenses by contacting a representative from your insurance company to inquire about possible coverage. At Cochell Family Dentistry, we will be happy to review your plan, help you maximize your benefits, and get you the information you need to make the right decision about your dental implant placement.
If you are uninsured or your dental insurance company refuses to pay for any of your dental implant procedure, there are other options available. We currently work with CareCredit, which is a third-party financier that provides eligible individuals the opportunity to enroll in low or no interest payment plans that are flexible and suitable for any budget. By signing up for this payment option, you can feel more confident moving forward with your treatment plan.
Ensuring optimal dental implant care in Salem requires diligence and a commitment on your part. As a patient with a new and improved smile, it is necessary that you adopt certain habits to keep your pearly whites looking and feeling their best well into the future. Below are just a few of the many ways you can take charge of your oral health and properly care for your dental implants. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office.
Good oral hygiene starts at home, which is why you will need to adopt good brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits. This means brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing at least once a day before bedtime, and rinsing regularly. This keeps bad oral bacteria from forming and putting you and your smile at risk for gum disease, which can easily damage your dental implants and lead to possible failure in the future.
Sugars and starches should be consumed in moderation, as they are known to spike blood sugar levels and cause cavities and gum disease. Without proper treatment, the formation of diabetes, as well as serious oral health concerns, can make life more difficult once your dental implants are impacted. This is why it’s important to eat healthy, nutrient-rich foods like leafy greens, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.
Bad habits are often hard to break, but it is necessary if you want to avoid visiting the implant dentist in Salem for an emergency. Nail-biting, eating ice, chewing on inanimate objects, and using your teeth as tools are not only bad for real teeth but also for your dental implants. Smoking is also one of the worst habits you can have when living with permanent prosthetics. Why? Because they make healing nearly impossible. It’s essential that the implant posts fuse with the bone tissue, and if you smoke, it makes this process extremely difficult, increasing your risk of implant failure. If you struggle with any of these habits, make sure to let us know so that we can help you take the next step to quit.
Whether you enjoy playing sports or suffer from stress that causes you to grind your teeth at night, having a customized mouthguard can be one of the best investments you’ll make. These oral devices fit comfortably inside your mouth to create a barrier against grinding, clenching, and any additional pressure caused by a hard hit or fall. Mouthguards can keep your dental implants in Salem better protected, allowing you to enjoy your new teeth for longer.
One of the most pivotal steps you should take while enjoying your new dental implants is to keep your regularly scheduled six-month dental checkups and cleanings. These visits make it possible for your implant dentist to check for any signs of decay, damage, or infection that might hinder your smile. By catching problems early on, we can mitigate the issue and keep your new teeth firmly in place.
Before you make a big decision like replacing your missing teeth with implants, you should learn as much about this option as you can so that you can make the right choice for your smile. You may have some questions in mind, and we want to answer some of them for you right here and now. If we don’t address your concerns in the responses below, feel free to ask us during your consultation. Contact our team to schedule an appointment today!
The implant process may vary in timing from patient to patient. For some, it may take six months from start to finish; for others, closer to a year. The timeline depends on several factors, including whether you need preliminary work like gum disease therapy or tooth extraction and how quickly your jawbone surrounds the implant posts. During your initial meeting with us, we may be able to give you an estimated timeline for treatment so you know what you may expect.
Many patients who are missing teeth, regardless of how many, qualify for dental implants. The only requirements are that you must be in good oral health (i.e., have no infections like gum disease) and have enough jawbone tissue to support the implants. Part of your consultation with us includes an oral examination and X-rays to determine if implants are a viable option for your smile. If you do not meet these requirements, don’t be discouraged. There are treatments that can get you in a better position for implants, including gum disease therapy or bone grafts.
One of the most amazing benefits of implants is that they have the potential to last for decades. In fact, it’s entirely possible for your implants to go 30 years or longer without needing replacement. In contrast, traditional dentures must be replaced about every five years with frequent adjustments in between. Dental bridges are only marginally better, needing replacement every 10 years. Implants can last a lifetime! Keep in mind that the lifespan of your implants greatly depends on how well you take care of them.
If you want your implants to continue working well years from now, you must maintain them. The good news is that taking care of implants is fairly simple! Like real teeth, your prosthetic teeth need to be brushed and flossed every day. Even though they are not vulnerable to decay, bacteria can cause infections that can lead to implant failure. In addition, you need to come to our Salem practice at least every six months for checkups and cleanings, so we can make sure your replacement teeth are still in good condition.