Missing teeth can lead to several serious oral health issues if left untreated. Your other teeth may shift to fill the gap in your smile, creating bite alignment issues. In addition, missing teeth can result in deterioration of your jawbone, which can lead to additional tooth loss and create a sunken facial impression. In order to avoid these problems, it's crucial that you replace your missing teeth as soon as possible, and dental implants provide you with the most effective option.
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement solution that replaces your missing root along with your missing tooth. This ensures a stable, durable, long lasting outcome that will restore the full functionality of your tooth and root.
While dental implants are the ideal option, they aren't right for everyone. The best way to determine whether you're a good dental implant candidate is to speak with one of our dentists in person.
Please call 610-642-7024 today to schedule a dental implant consultation. We serve patients in Newtown Square, Bryn Mawr, Ardmore and the surrounding areas of Philadelphia.
- What are Dental Implants
- Benefits of Dental Implants
- Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
- The Dental Implant Process
- Same-Day Dental Implants
- Recovery from Dental Implant Surgery
- Maintaining Your Dental Implants
- What Do Dental Implants Cost?
- Contact Us
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small, titanium anchor that is placed in the upper or lower jawbone. It functions like a replacement root that will house your new prosthetic tooth. A dental crown, bridge or denture will be attached to the implant, providing a restoration that mimics the look, function, and feel of natural teeth.
Dental implants can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- Replacing a missing tooth
- Anchoring dental bridges
- Anchoring dentures
- Replacing several missing teeth
- Maintaining the jaw bone
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Aesthetics – Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth. Since they fuse with your jawbone, they are a permanent restoration that will be virtually undetectable by others.
- Comfort – Because they are a permanent restoration, dental implants eliminate the discomfort associated with removable dentures.
- Improved speech – Poorly fitting dentures tend to slip, causing speech problems such as slurred words. Dental implants eliminate these issues.
- Improved eating ability – Dentures can slide in your mouth, making chewing difficult. Since dental implants function just like your natural teeth, you can eat all of your favorite foods without worry.
- Durability – With proper care, your dental implants can last for the rest of your life.
- Improved oral health – Dental implants do not require your neighboring teeth to be altered the way a dental bridge does. This improves the long-term health of adjacent teeth. Dental implants also reduce your risk of bone loss, an important benefit not provided by dentures or bridges.
- Convenience – Dental implants eliminate the hassles of removing and cleaning dentures on a daily basis.
- Oral hygiene – It is much easier to brush and floss with dental implants than with dental bridges or dentures.
- Preserves facial appearance – By preventing bone loss in your jaw, dental implants help you avoid the sunken facial appearance that commonly occurs when you are missing teeth.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Ideal dental implant candidates should meet the following basic criteria:
- Have enough bone density to support the dental implant
- Are free of gum disease
- Do not have any bite alignment issues
- Do not smoke or are willing to quit smoking for the duration of the dental implant process
- Are not taking medications that could interfere with bone growth
- Are willing to commit to the lengthy time period required to complete the entire process
One of the most important criteria for dental implant candidacy is having sufficient bone structure in your jaw to accommodate the dental implant. In some cases, you may be able to undergo a bone graft to restore sufficient bone density in your jaw. At your initial consultation, our dentists will tell you if a bone graft is necessary before undergoing the dental implant procedure.
Gum disease is also a common issue impacting dental implant candidacy. In many instances, this common oral health condition is the primary reason for tooth loss. If you have gum disease, it will need to be treated prior to your dental implant procedure.
The Dental Implant Process
Dental implant surgery must be completed in several stages. In general, the entire process can take anywhere from four to nine months. However, in cases where a bone graft is required, it may take even longer.
It can take as long as four to nine months for a bone graft to achieve results that will enable you to support a dental implant. If only minor bone grafting is necessary, this time may be considerably shorter.
During the next step in the process, your titanium dental implant will be surgically placed in your jawbone. It will take three to six months for your jawbone to heal after your dental implant is inserted. During this time, your jawbone fuses with the dental implant, making it a permanent replacement tooth root. This process is called osseointegration.
Once osseointegration is complete, you will return to our office to have a titanium post, called an abutment, attached to your dental implant. The abutment will stick out just past the gum line and hold your new prosthetic tooth.
It will take one to two weeks for your gums to heal after the abutment is placed. You will then return to our office to receive your new prosthetic tooth.
Our dentists will take an impression of your mouth which is used to make the dental crown that will serve as your prosthetic tooth. Our dentists can adjust the size, shape, and color of your crown to match your adjacent natural teeth. As a result, your new prosthetic tooth will blend in seamlessly with your smile. Once your dental crown is attached to the abutment, the process will be complete and you can enjoy your fully functional replacement tooth.
Please read our Questions about Dental Implants page for additional information.
Same-Day Dental Implants
At The Office of Doctor Bellisario, we offer same-day dental implants for individuals who are suitable candidates. This option is an ideal solution if you need to replace an entire arch of teeth. During your procedure, four dental implants are strategically placed throughout your arch. A full arch of prosthetic teeth is then securely attached to these implants, providing you with a fully functional set of replacement teeth.
As the name implies, you can enjoy the benefits of your new teeth right away. Our dentists will fit you with a temporary restoration the day your implants are placed. Once your implants have fully healed, you’ll return to our office to receive your permanent prosthetic teeth.
Recovery from Dental Implant Surgery
You may experience some bleeding or soreness in the gums after the placement of your dental implant. This will subside as you heal. If any of these symptoms come back after the implant has healed, it could be a sign of peri-implantitis or periodontal disease in the tissue around the implant.
Symptoms to look out for include:
- Bleeding or sensitive gums
- Inflammation around the implant
- Gums receding around the implant
- Implant feels loose
- Scratches or roughness on the implant crown surface
- Difficulty chewing with the implant.
If you notice any of these symptoms several weeks after the final surgical procedure, you should set up an appointment with our implant dentists immediately.
Maintaining Your Dental Implants
You care for dental implants the same way you care for your natural teeth. Make sure you're brushing twice a day and flossing daily, and consider adding the following products to your everyday dental hygiene routine:
- Antimicrobial mouthwash
- Inter-dental brushes
- Plaque-disclosing tablets
When you come to our office for a cleaning, you will notice our dentists using plastic or resin tools on your implant to avoid scratching it. It is important to go in for cleanings regularly if you’ve recently had a dental implant placed. Your first year after the surgery, you should schedule a cleaning with our dentists every three months in order to prevent plaque from building up heavily around the implant.
What Do Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of dental implants varies based on the following factors:
- The number of dental implants being placed
- The type of prosthetic device used as your replacement teeth
- Whether a bone graft is necessary as part of your procedure
- The need to treat additional oral health issues, such as gum disease, prior to placing the dental implant
During your consultation, our dentists will perform a comprehensive oral health evaluation in order to provide you with a more concrete price estimate. Dr. Bellisario is committed to making sure your implant procedure fits into your budget, and we offer a variety of financing options to address your unique needs. We’ll explain these financing plans in detail during your consultation.
Contact our Newtown Square Implant Dentist
Please contact The Office of Doctor Bellisario using the form on this page or call 610-642-7024 today to schedule a dental implant consultation. We serve patients in Newtown Square, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr and the surrounding areas of Philadelphia.