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Dental Implants

Replace Missing Teeth for a Lifetime

If you’re missing a tooth, you really only have two options: replace it or don’t. If you choose the latter, you could face all kinds of complications concerning your diet and appearance; in fact, recent studies have shown that missing even one tooth greatly increases your chances of losing more teeth over time! There are several options available for replacing missing teeth, but research reveals that dental implants are the only surefire way to prevent jawbone deterioration and additional tooth loss. To learn more about the best way to replace missing teeth, contact Aesthetic Dentistry of Wickford and schedule a consultation for dental implants in North Kingstown, RI.

Why Choose Aesthetic Dentistry of Wickford for Dental Implants?

  • Implants Placed & Restored In-House
  • Dentist Is an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • Affordable Financing Options Available

What Are Dental Implants?

single dental implant with crown in the jaw

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that’s usually made of titanium, zirconia, or other biocompatible materials. The implant post is surgically inserted into your jawbone where your tooth once was. There, it actually fuses to the bone, creating a sturdy, lasting foundation for your new teeth. Once this fusion is complete, we can place a metal attachment called an abutment that secures the implant to your restoration. Depending on the number of teeth you have to replace, the restoration can be a customized dental crown, bridge, or denture.

As the only option that recreates a missing tooth’s root structure as well as its crown, our dentists will usually recommend dental implants over traditional options like bridges and dentures. Due to their surgical placement in the jaw, dental implants restore more biting power, feel and look more natural, and last significantly longer.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

dentist showing a patient her dental X-rays

There are few (if any) dentistry services more complex than dental implant-supported tooth replacement. While this multi-phase treatment process can seem daunting, the end result is well worth the extra steps. Instead of just replacing the visible portions of the smile with a traditional tooth replacement prosthetic, dental implants let us replace the roots of missing teeth, delivering flawless, natural function and stability. In order to help you better understand the complexities of dental implant tooth replacement, we always begin your treatment with a thorough consultation where we’ll describe every step of the process. Our goal is to ensure you feel completely confident in your treatment plan before we begin. While everyone’s dental implant treatment process will look different, here are the four basic steps of the process:

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Initial Dental Implant Consultation

man biting into a red apple

During your dental implant consultation, we’ll review all of your treatment options. We’ll want to review your oral and overall health history, past surgical experiences, and other factors that may impact the success of your dental implants. If we determine that dental implants are the best option, we still may need to perform one or more preparatory services before we begin your treatment plan. These procedures may include tooth extractions, bone or tissue grafts, and any other services that will improve your chances for successful dental implant placement.

Dental Implant Surgery

close-up of someone smiling with a dental implant

Once the preparatory procedures are complete, we’ll need to surgically place the dental implant posts. This procedure is typically very straightforward. We simply make an incision into the soft tissue. Then, the implant post is inserted into the jawbone.

Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment

dentist showing a patient how dental implants work

After the dental implant posts are placed, the osseointegration process begins. This is the technical term for the way the implant posts fuse with bone and gum tissue to mimic the healthy, natural structure of tooth roots. Depending on the individual patient, the osseointegration process can take anywhere from three to six months. Once the implants are firmly in place, we will attach abutments that are used to attach the replacement teeth to the supportive implant posts. After the abutments are in place, we’ll capture bite impressions that are used to design the custom dental crown, bridge, partial, or full dentures. The custom design is sent to our dental lab where your flawlessly designed restoration is hand-made to fully renew your smile.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

implant-supported bridge in a model of a mouth

The final step of the process is the placement of your beautiful new smile. After we receive the restoration from our lab, we’ll attach the replacement teeth to your abutments, recreating the lost tooth structure and function.

Benefits of Dental Implants

elderly man smiling

Dental implants are the ideal tooth-replacement option because they restore the missing tooth's root as well as the crown. They do not require support from adjacent teeth, and they stimulate the jawbone through the forces of biting and chewing. With dental implants, patients do not experience increased tooth decay or sensitivity as with traditional bridges. They have a success rate of 95 to 98% and can be used to secure dentures, partials, crowns, and bridgework. And, with regular oral hygiene, dental implants can last most people for a lifetime.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

two implant posts supporting a dental bridge

Generally speaking, nearly anyone with missing teeth and adequate oral and overall health is eligible for dental implants. No matter how many teeth you have lost, there is a dental implant option for you:

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Missing One Tooth

Even a single missing tooth can affect much more than your appearance! Fortunately, replacing one with a dental implant is nice and straightforward. Once the new root has been placed within the jawbone, our team can attach it to a beautiful porcelain crown to close the gap in your smile. This material is well-known for its ability to completely mimic natural enamel, and because the tooth will have the same basic structure as those surrounding it, it will seamlessly blend into the smile.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Dental implants can also be used to support a dental bridge that doesn’t require the surrounding teeth to be altered. Instead, two implant crowns are placed on either side of the missing ones, and these are bonded to prosthetic teeth to replace them. This kind of restoration not only replenishes the appearance of the smile, but it also helps even out the bite and prevents the remaining teeth from drifting out of place.

Missing All Teeth

In the past, a removable denture was the only solution to extensive tooth loss, and as a result, many people were forced to wear an uncomfortable prosthetic they could never trust to stay in place. Dental implants can now change all of that. With an implant denture, the prosthetic teeth are anchored directly to the jawbone using multiple implant posts, providing a stable fit, longevity, and strong bite that a traditional denture simply can’t match.

<Link to separate Implant Dentures page>

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

man putting coins into a pink piggy bank

The most important thing to know about the cost of dental implants is that there is no set price. The overall cost of the procedure can vary widely from patient to patient depending on a number of factors, such as how many teeth need to be replaced and how healthy a patient’s jawbone is.

While they can be more expensive than other traditional options upfront, dental implants are actually the most cost-effective replacement in the long-term, as they can be trusted to last for about 30 years or more. Regular dentures and bridges, by comparison, typically need to be completely replaced every seven to 10 years.

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Types of Dental Implants

elderly woman looking at her smile in the mirror

First of all, when estimating the final cost, it’s important to know exactly what getting dental implants means in your case. Did you lose a single tooth while crunching some ice? If so, a single dental implant along with a crown (and possible an abutment to connect the two) will be all you need from your dentist in North Kingstown. If, however, you’re suffering from complete edentulism (a total loss of all teeth) in your upper or lower jaw, then you’ll likely need multiple implants in order to support a full denture. Your unique dental needs may be the biggest factor in how the dental implant process unfolds.

What Are the Stages of Dental Implant Treatment?

dentist placing a bridge onto several implant posts

You need to have good oral health in order to get implants, so if you’re suffering from gum disease, you’ll need to undergo periodontal treatment first. Also, if your jawbone has deteriorated due to a lack of teeth, you might need to get bone grafts before you can successfully receive dental implants.

After the necessary preparations, you’ll undergo the actual implant surgery. In most cases, you’ll have to wait a few months for your gums to heal before you can receive your prosthetic teeth. Once your mouth is ready, an abutment might be installed, and finally the permanent restoration will be placed.

Each of these individual steps in the process will incur its own costs.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

dental implant post, abutment, and crown in the jaw

There’s no doubt that over the long term, dental implants will provide many benefits that are well worth the price. The metal posts provide better stability for your prosthetic teeth, meaning you’ll have enhanced chewing power and can eat a wider variety of foods. You also won’t have to worry about slipping like you would with a traditional denture.

Other restorations, such as a dental bridge, might seem less costly at first. However, one of the biggest advantages of dental implants is that they can last a lifetime if you take good care of them; this means you could ultimately end up paying less for them than you would for a different kind of prosthetic tooth that would need to be replaced more often.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

young woman pointing to her smile

Your insurance plan may not pay the full price of dental implants; however, it might cover periodontal therapy or other related procedures. We’ll help you make sure you’re maximizing your benefits and get the full reimbursements you’re entitled to.

Dental Implant FAQs

smiling elderly woman

Dental implants in North Kingstown are one of the most advanced and best restorative options for your oral health. Even though deciding to replace your missing teeth can seem stressful, it’s worth the extra time to spend researching your options. Using the most advanced dental technology, it’s no wonder patients and dentists alike recommend this precise and helpful treatment. To make it easier on you, we’ve compiled some common questions we get from patients below. 

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Is It Painful to Get Dental Implants?

This is a common concern among patients who are looking into getting dental implants. When you visit an experienced implant dentist in North Kingstown like Dr. Philippe Morisseau, the procedure is straightforward and fast. Keep in mind though, more complex cases may take longer to place.

Most dental implants are placed while you’re under a local anesthetic, so you shouldn’t feel pain or discomfort throughout the procedure. Sedation can also be used to help make you feel relaxed and comfortable. In fact, you most likely won’t remember the procedure afterward, which can be helpful if you’re especially nervous. With the latest advancements in technology in the dental field, you can rest assured that your procedure will be fast and precise. You may experience some soreness after your implants are placed, but it shouldn’t be anything that over-the-counter pain medication can’t help relieve.

How Long Does It Take to Get Dental Implants?

Every patient’s treatment timeline differs drastically depending on a variety of factors such as:

  • How many teeth you need to have replaced.
  • Where your teeth are located.
  • What type of restoration you need.
  • Whether you need preparatory procedures like tooth extractions, bone grafting, or treatment for other oral health problems.

Typically, the process takes course over multiple visits and can take several months, depending on the complexity of your case. If you need preparatory procedures such as a bone graft, your gums will have to heal before your implants can be placed. This can add an additional month or so to your timeline. After your implants have been placed, your gums will have to heal again, and your posts will need time to naturally fuse with your jawbone. After that, your abutments and restorations can be secured. To learn what your unique treatment timeline will look like, visit our office for a consultation.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Some patients are concerned about how safe dental implants are. This is one of the most advanced restorative procedures available. In fact, it boasts a 95 percent success rate. This is primarily due to the advancements in dental technology, which increases the accuracy and precision of the surgery and allows patients to enjoy natural-looking and feeling replacement teeth for decades to come.

Will I Need a Bone Graft Before Getting Dental Implants?

If you’ve been missing teeth for a while, your jawbone may have begun deteriorating because it hasn’t been stimulated by the roots of your teeth. When you visit us for a consultation, our team will inspect your oral health and take multiple images of your mouth to determine whether you’ll need any preparatory procedures like a bone graft, tooth extraction, or gum disease treatment. From there, we’ll determine the rest of your treatment plan.