What are dental implants?
Dental implants are incredibly lifelike, consisting of a prosthetic crown as well as root. There are three parts to a dental implant: a small titanium post that is inserted into your jaw bone to replace the root of your missing tooth; a connector piece called an abutment that is placed on the top of the dental implant to anchor the crown; and the crown itself that is custom-made to match your natural teeth. Like natural teeth, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime if cared for well.
Why are dental implants so popular?
When you receive a dental plant, you are getting a complete tooth replacement — root and all — that looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth. The implant also keeps your jaw bone healthy for improved overall oral health because implants are anchored in the jaw permanently, constantly stimulating the bone in your jaw just like a natural tooth. Dental implants don’t slip or click when you talk, eat, or laugh, so you never have to be embarrassed about your tooth replacement like many people are who have received tooth restorations like traditional dentures.
Are dental implants affordable?
White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center provides expert dental implant placement at affordable prices. The best way to determine your specific dental implant cost at our practice is to request a consultation appointment with Dr. Williams. During this first visit, you and Dr. Williams will work side-by-side to create a treatment plan just for you — your cost estimate will be known at this time.
Can my child receive dental implants if they lose a permanent tooth?
Yes! And just like with adults, dental implants can be the best solution for your child’s overall and long-term oral health and smile. However, oral surgeons usually wait to perform dental implant procedures on children until their growth has completed — typically, around age 16 for girls and age 18 for boys. If your child has lost a permanent tooth, come on in and see Dr. Williams to discuss options.
Can a general dentist place my dental implant?
Dental implants should be placed by an experienced oral surgeon, not a general dentist. This is to ensure that your implant has long-term success and that your dental implant placement is completed with precision and skill for a less invasive surgery and a smooth recovery. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are specially trained in the surgical procedures required to perform this delicate surgery. While a general dentist typically places any temporary teeth, you may use while your implants are healing, as well as the permanent replacement teeth that will be attached to the dental implants to complete your treatment, oral surgeons are required to surgically insert your dental implant and perform any necessary bone grafting procedures that may be necessary for a successful result. See our page on oral surgery for more important information.
How long is the dental implant process?
It can take a few months for your dental implant treatment to be complete and more than a year for more complex conditions. Treatment time depends on a few things, including how quickly you heal, how many implants you are receiving, and if you require bone grafts or extractions to prepare your mouth for implants. During your first visit with Dr. Williams, you will have an oral exam with diagnostic images and will then receive a treatment plan that will include an estimated amount of time it will take to complete your treatment.
What happens during dental implant surgery?
You are receiving personalized care at our practice, so it is not possible to estimate the exact time that your procedure will take; however, a single implant placement procedure usually takes approximately 30–60 minutes. Multiple implant placement can take around two to three hours. The treatment you will be receiving will be explained to you in detail at a consultation time with your oral surgeon that is set aside specifically for you. You will also receive pre-operative and post-operative instructions before you have any procedures. Your dental implant surgery itself will be performed in the comfort and safety of our state-of-the-art practice, most likely under intravenous (IV) sedation, unless otherwise specified during your consultation — and our highly trained team will continuously monitor you throughout your procedure. The day of your surgery will begin with the administration of your anesthesia so that you will not feel any discomfort during your procedure. Your oral surgeon will then make a small cut in your gum tissue where your implant is to be inserted. Once the implant post is placed securely into your jaw bone, the gum tissue is stitched closed. You will have plenty of time to rest comfortably in our office before your designated driver takes you home. We are here for you, so always feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Is the dental implant procedure painful?
Oftentimes, the first question our dental implants patients ask us is if dental implant placement is painful. While all oral surgeries involve some discomfort, it is our priority to ensure that our patients have the best experience possible — and that includes comfort! You are in excellent hands with Dr. Williams and the world-class surgical team at White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center. Our skilled surgeon has years of hospital-based anesthesia training and is an expert at placing dental implants in a way that requires the least invasive procedure possible and the least amount of post-surgical downtime. Before your procedure, you will receive detailed aftercare and post-surgical instructions to help minimize your discomfort, as well as prescriptions to manage any discomfort you may experience.
What if there is not enough bone in my jaw for secure implant placement?
When bone atrophy in the jaw occurs from prolonged tooth loss or other causes, dental implants can be harder to place securely for long-term functionality. Fortunately, our patients with bone loss can often be candidates for successful implants with the help of the bone grafting techniques we perform at White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center. Bone grafting is a proven way to shore up lost bone where an implant is going to be placed so that your dental implant has a stable foundation. Dr. Williams performs bone grafting procedures in the comfort of our practice.
How do I care for a dental implant?
One of the best things about a dental implant is that once your implant is sufficiently healed, you can go ahead and brush and floss your implant the same way you do your natural teeth! With good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, a dental implant has the potential to last a lifetime.
What is the recovery like after dental implant placement?
Because the titanium post of your dental implant fuses with your jaw bone for a durable and lifelike tooth loss solution, healing time can take several weeks. You will need to stick with a diet of soft foods for a while and avoid chewing on the implant site until your oral surgeon tells you that your healing period is complete. In the meantime, other than a few restrictions to protect your healing surgical site, most patients are back to their regular routines within a few days after their implant placement surgery. Every detail of your aftercare and pre- and post-surgical instructions will be explained to you before your treatment begins, including medications for the management of any post-operative discomfort you may experience. For more on preparing for and recovering from oral surgery, visit our Oral Surgery page.
What will I use to chew with while my implants heal?
This is a very common question at our practice! Never fear, you will not have to live life without teeth while your implants heal! During the several weeks’ time it takes for your implant post to fuse with the bone in your jaw, you have a few options for temporary teeth. A temporary bridge can be made, and in the case of multiple implants, your current denture can be modified. It’s even possible for a new temporary denture to be customized for you. If you desire, a non-removable transitional crown or crowns can be made and placed during your healing time as well. Whatever temporary solution you choose, once you’re healed, you will enjoy a custom-designed crown that will match your existing teeth. Before your procedure, Dr. Williams will discuss all your options for temporary teeth.
At White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center we feel it is our privilege to offer you the very best in comfortable and compassionate oral surgery care, so please feel free to contact us at your convenience with any questions or concerns you may have. Our knowledgeable staff is happy to guide you every step of the way through your treatment at our practice. Dr. Williams performs the full scope of oral surgery procedures and is available to meet with you for a consultation to discuss if dental implants are the optimal choice for your individual case and smile.
It is perfectly normal to feel nervous about receiving dental implant treatment to restore a tooth or multiple teeth — we want to help assure you that you are in excellent hands at our offices in North Conway and Littleton, NH, so we have provided personal stories from some of our dental implant patients to help you feel at ease.