Dental Implants — Gorham, ME
& Lifelong Tooth Replacement
In today’s world, dental implants are the premier treatment solution for most patients who’ve lost parts of their natural smiles. They’re exceptional in that they rebuild the entire structure of a natural tooth, not just the white crown that sits atop the gum line. The final result is highly durable, seamlessly attractive, and built to last for several decades or even the rest of a person’s life. At Morgan-Hill Dental Care, we’re happy to offer comprehensive implant care right here in our dental office! Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation or if you have any questions.
Why Choose Morgan-Hill Dental Care For Dental Implants?
- Dental Implant Placement & Restoration in 1 Convenient Location
- State-of-the-Art Dental Technology for Precise, Long-Lasting Results
- Custom Dental Restorations to Replace Any Number of Missing Teeth
What Are Dental Implants?
There are two parts to a natural tooth: the visible crown that you see when you smile, and the roots underneath that help hold it in place. Traditional tooth replacement options like dentures and dental bridges only replace the crowns of missing teeth. Without a root to stabilize them, they tend to leave a lot to be desired in terms of comfort and function. That’s where dental implants come in! They’re the only tooth loss solution that replaces the entire structure of a missing tooth, both above and below the gumline.
A dental implant is a small titanium post that is inserted into the jawbone to replace the roots of a missing tooth. Not only does this provide a reliable and strong foundation for your new teeth, but it prevents the jawbone deterioration and sunken, aged facial appearance that typically accompanies tooth loss. On top of the implant post is a small connector piece called an abutment, which secures the final restoration in place. This crown, bridge, or denture will be custom-made from high quality materials to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile. When you rebuild missing teeth from the roots up, the end result is a smile that looks, functions, and feels just like natural!
The 4 Step Dental Implant Process
Before getting started with your tooth replacement plan, we will carefully review every step of the dental implant restoration process. We want to make sure you feel 100% confident before we get started with this state-of-the-art tooth replacement process. Your treatment plan will be completed over the course of several phases of treatment. We’ll start with a tooth replacement consultation. Then, we’ll perform any preparatory procedures before surgically placing your dental implant posts. Then, we’ll design and craft your replacement tooth or teeth, leaving you with a flawless smile.
Initial Dental Implant Consultation
The first step in any dental treatment plan is to visit our Gorham dental office for a consultation appointment. During these visits, we’ll carefully examine your smile, capture diagnostic images, and discuss all of your treatment options. At this appointment, we’ll walk you through every step of the process, including scheduling and budget.
Issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and inadequate jawbone density can potentially threaten the success of dental implant treatment. Don’t worry — if you’re not initially a good candidate for dental implants, we can likely help you become one! After you’ve healed from any necessary preliminary treatments such as gum disease therapy or bone grafting, we can move onto the next step of your dental implant treatment.
Dental Implant Surgery
Many general dentistry practices have to refer their patients to separate specialists for the surgical component of their dental implant procedure – but this isn’t the case here at Morgan-Hill Dental Care. Dr. Ted and Dr. Hill both have the specialty training needed to personally perform this important stage of treatment in-house, resulting in maximized convenience.
During your surgery, we’ll first use local anesthetic and possibly sedation dentistry to ensure you’re comfortable. Then, we’ll make one or more small incisions in the gum tissue to access the jawbone. The dental implant post is then inserted into the bone in a pre-planned position and the gums are closed again. We’ll place a protective cap on top of the dental implant and then send you home with post-op care instructions to heal.
Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement
Over the next several months, the dental implants undergo the osseointegration process. This means the implant posts fuse with the bone and gum tissue, mimicking the lost roots of teeth. Once the osseointegration process is complete, you’ll return to our dental office in Gorham where we’ll place the abutment posts. These connector pieces will anchor your replacement teeth to the dental implants. After the abutments are placed, we’ll capture bite impressions and design your dental crown, bridge, partial, or full denture.
Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations
Once the custom crafted restoration is completed by our skilled dental lab, you’ll return to our office for the final part of your dental implant tooth replacement plan, the attachment of your restoration. This process is quick and simple. Once in place, your dental crown, bridge, or denture will flawlessly restore your smile from the roots up.
Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions
Both Dr. Ted and Dr. Hill have completed advanced training to be able to perform the entire dental implant process under one roof, including your placement surgery. This will allow you to remain in the safe and very capable hands of our team at Morgan-Hill Dental Care throughout your entire treatment. We’ll provide you with detailed post-op instructions in Gorham to help you make a fast and complication-free recovery, but we’ve also provided you with a few tips below, so you know what to expect after your procedure.
Taking Care of Your Smile Directly After Surgery
If you’ve never had an oral surgery before, the thought of recovering from your implant placement can seem very daunting. Know that throughout it all, our team will be there for you to answer any questions or concerns you have and make sure that everything goes according to plan so you can enjoy your new smile to the fullest.
Right after your surgery, you’ll need to make sure that the blood clot that forms around your newly placed implant posts remain in place so your gums can heal and keep bacteria from infecting the area. To ensure this happens, avoid the following actions:
- Drinking from straws
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Placing your fingers in your mouth
Common Side-Effects to Expect
While we hope that every patient’s healing experience is without complication, there’s always risk when it comes to having a surgery. Knowing what side-effects are natural and which ones aren’t can help you determine when it’s time to seek help:
- Gradual bleeding can be expected, but it should be able to be stopped by placing a sterile gauze pad and a small amount of pressure on the surgical site.
- Swelling can last for up to a week, but placing a cold compress on the area for 10-minute increments can help reduce it.
- General discomfort should be able to be alleviated by taking prescribed or recommended medications from our team.
Eating a Soft Diet
After your surgery, it’s important to stick to a soft diet to avoid dislodging the blood clot and allow your gums to heal. Before your procedure, be sure to stock up on some of the following foods:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Scrambled eggs
Maintaining a Healthy Smile
To keep the surgical site clean and free of infection, you’ll need to brush your teeth as you normally do (starting a day after your surgery), just be gentle whenever you’re brushing around your implants. You’ll also want to rinse your mouth with salt water after each meal. In some cases, we may prescribe a special mouth rinse to do this with. In any case, be sure to avoid mouthwash that has alcohol in it that could dry out your mouth.
Taking Care of Your New Teeth
Once your implants have fused with your jawbone through the process of osseointegration, we’ll secure your permanent restoration on your implants to complete your smile. During this process, there should be minimal swelling or bleeding, although your mouth may feel a little sensitive. Be sure to keep taking care of your smile as you normally would, brushing twice each day, flossing, and rinsing your mouth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have a unique set of benefits that you simply cannot receive with other tooth replacement options. That’s why at Morgan-Hill Dental Care, we offer expertly placed dental implants to bring your smile back to its full beauty and function. Our team of dentists are experienced in restoring smiles with dental implants. If you’re considering this amazing tooth replacement option, contact our office today to get started. In the meantime, you can check out some of the advantages of receiving dental implants in Gorham.
Enjoy a Youthful Appearance
Since dental implants restore your missing tooth’s root as well as your visible crown, your jawbone receives the stimulation it needs to stay healthy and strong. That means that you can maintain a full, healthy, and beautiful-looking face, without the sunken appearance of a deteriorating jawbone from missing teeth. If you’re looking for a more youthful appearance, replacing your teeth with dental implants is a great place to start!
Preserve Your Health
Dental implants not only restore your confidence to smile, but they preserve your existing oral and overall health. Without replacing missing teeth, your remaining teeth can drift into the gaps, causing misalignment and a whole new set of problems. By choosing dental implants to replace your teeth, you’re giving yourself a smile that looks, feels, and functions just like the grin you were born with.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Other tooth replacements like dentures limit your chewing power, which in turn changes your diet. With dental implants, you can eat all of your favorite foods like delicious steaks, popcorn, or other foods you may have been avoiding with missing teeth.
Keep Your Remaining Natural Teeth
With the unique benefit dental implants provide by keeping your jaw healthy and strong, you’ll be able to keep the remaining natural teeth you have. Without stimulation from implants, your jaw will deteriorate, or shrink, which can lead to even more tooth loss in the future.
Get a Well-Deserved Confidence Boost
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement that allows your crown to mimic the way your natural teeth emerge from your gums. This creates the most beautiful and natural-looking smile for an extreme boost of confidence. With dental implants, you’ll receive an increase in self-esteem that will make you want to show off your smile.
Maintain Easy Oral Healthcare
Because dental implants mimic your natural tooth structure, you won’t have to learn new oral healthcare techniques to take care of them. A normal daily brushing and flossing routine will keep your dental implants and smile as healthy as ever!
Receive a Beautiful Smile for a Lifetime
While dental implants are typically more expensive than other replacement options, their longevity makes them well-worth it. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Other replacements will need adjusting to accommodate your shrinking jawbone, but dental implants become a permanent part of your mouth to support dental restorations for decades to come.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
If you find yourself with one or several missing teeth, consider getting dental implants. The reason for the missing teeth makes no difference in this situation. Whether the tooth or teeth have been lost because of decay, injury, or gum disease does not change the effectiveness of dental implants. We have patients that have dealt with each of these conditions but now have their natural teeth restored, giving them the confidence to smile, laugh, and eat in public.
Missing 1 Tooth
When faced with individual missing teeth, an all-ceramic dental crown on a single implant post is the best method for conservative and confident restoration. They can be placed between natural teeth without any major alterations needed, and the final result is so seamless that patients will likely find it difficult to point out the false tooth after some time has passed.
Missing Multiple Teeth
Crowns are also a viable option when restoring several teeth throughout the mouth, but cases where one or more teeth that used to appear in a row have been lost are better suited to implant dental bridges. Like the name implies, this modern style of prosthetic “bridges” gaps by anchoring into place over two dental implants – one on either side. The final result is very sturdy and functional while still providing excellent aesthetic quality.
Missing All Teeth
Implant dentures are available for restoring several teeth at once or even an entire arch. Instead of having to place one implant for every lost tooth, we can instead anchor these prosthetics over a small number of strategically angled implants – this makes the reconstructive process much more cost-effective. Depending on a patient’s personal needs, their new “teeth” can be permanently fixed in place or left removable like a traditional denture.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
At first glance, there is no denying that the cost of dental implants is higher than that of other tooth replacement options. As a result, you may think they are out of reach and instead gravitate toward dental bridges or dentures to rebuild your smile. While each of these tooth replacement solutions is effective, it is important to know that the price of dental implants in Gorham varies depending on your unique dental needs. What’s more, dental implants are a long-term investment in your oral health that can potentially be the more cost-effective choice, since you won’t have to pay for replacements. If you have a specific question about how much dental implants in Gorham cost, or would like to schedule your initial consultation, don’t hesitate to contact our office!
Types of Dental Implants
To suit each patient’s unique smile goals, each treatment plan is custom-made. That’s why it can be difficult to provide an exact price. However, across the board, there are a few factors that influence the upfront cost, including the specific type of dental implant used and the number needed to restore your oral health and smile. For example, a patient missing only one tooth is going to pay significantly less compared to a patient looking to replace several teeth throughout their mouth. In short, the more implants needed, the more complex the procedure, and the more complex the procedure, the more it costs to complete.
Stages of Dental Implant Treatment
Unlike dentures or a dental bridge, getting dental implants is a multistep process that spans the course of several months. What’s more, treatments are tailored to the unique needs of each patient. Some patients will need preliminary treatments like a bone graft while others may not. or some, their journey to a new and improved smile requires periodontal therapy or a bone graft. For others, it begins with the surgical phase when the implant is placed. Either way, the implant post and the bone need time to fuse together before the final restoration is anchored in place to ensure the highest likelihood of success. Fortunately, this spaced-out process allows you to break up the total cost of your treatment, so you won’t have to pay a large lump sum upfront.
Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?
Now you know a bit more about the factors that influence the final cost of dental implants, but you still may have one important question on your mind: Are they worth the cost? If you are looking for a long-lasting, low maintenance, highly effective, extremely lifelike tooth-replacement option, then the answer is yes! Although the initial cost is a bit higher, the long-term benefits make them the superior choice. After all, they don’t come with an extensive list of dietary restrictions, require frequent adjustment appointments, and necessitate replacements every 10 years!
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Although dental plans vary from patient to patient, dental implants typically aren’t covered by dental insurance providers. However, that doesn’t mean a portion of your treatment won’t be covered, like the cost of periodontal therapy, X-rays, or the dental crown. The best way to know for sure is to get in touch with your carrier directly or have our team file a claim on your behalf! We welcome a long list of dental insurance plans and happily accept low-to-no interest financing options. That way, the cost isn’t what stands in the way of the strong, healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
Now that you’ve rebuilt your smile with dental implants in Gorham, you’ll naturally want them to last as long as possible. Our dentists are here to provide you with personalized advice on maintaining and caring for your dental implants, but for the most part, it’s not that different from taking care of real teeth. As long as you follow these five easy tips, you can most likely expect your new pearly whites to last for several years, decades, or even a lifetime!
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Whether you have dental implants or not, keeping your mouth clean is always important. Although the titanium posts and porcelain restorations cannot develop cavities, your remaining teeth certainly can. Also, gum disease can damage the tissues supporting your implants, which can put them in jeopardy.
You’ll be pleased to hear that day-to-day dental implant care in Gorham is quite similar to that of natural teeth. Just brush your teeth (real and implant-supported) twice a day for two minutes each time, floss at least once per day, and rinse with an ADA-approved mouthwash regularly.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A diet that is too high in sugar and starches is not only bad for your overall well-being, but your oral health as well. Harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on sugary and starchy particles from the foods and drinks you consume. They use them as fuel to erode tooth enamel and inflame gum tissue, both of which can compromise the success of your dental implants. Try substituting these items for healthier alternatives, like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and calcium-rich dairy products.
Break Bad Habits
Do you tend to bite your nails when you’re stressed or nervous? Do you habitually chew on inedible objects like pencils or ice? Do you smoke? Do you use your teeth to open bottles? All of these habits can wreak havoc on your dental implants and remaining teeth, resulting in not only pain, but expensive dental care costs. Talk to your implant dentist in Gorham about how you can wean yourself off these potentially dangerous habits.
Protect Your Dental Implants
Sports-related dental injuries are incredibly common, whether a foul ball hits you in the face or you suddenly trip and fall. Dental implants are just as vulnerable to these injuries as real teeth, which is why you should shield your smile with a custom mouthguard.
In a similar vein, chronic teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) can severely damage your pearly whites. The constant force of clenching and grinding may wear down your tooth enamel and implant restorations. Our team can make you a personalized nightguard to prevent your upper and lower teeth from making harmful contact while you sleep.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
It doesn’t matter if you’ve only replaced one tooth with a dental implant or you have implant dentures on both arches; regular dental checkups and cleanings are still essential for your smile’s health. By visiting us every six months, our team can check for any signs of damage in your dental implants, natural teeth, or oral soft tissues. If we detect anything worrisome, we can treat it early on, saving you from pain (and high dental bills) in the future.
Dental Implant FAQs
If you are ready to replace your missing teeth, you’ve likely heard about the advantages of dental implants in Gorham; however, you still have a few concerns before you can commit to the treatment. We understand your apprehensions, which is why we’ll explain everything during your consultation. To help calm your nerves, here are the answers to a few of the most common questions patients ask us about dental implants.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are a popular treatment for lost teeth because they can last for decades, unlike traditional prosthetics that need to be replaced every few years. It’s not uncommon for dental implants to thrive for 30 years or longer, but their lifespan largely depends on your health and lifestyle. You can safeguard your new smile by committing to your oral hygiene at home. Besides brushing twice per day and flossing daily, don’t forget to use an antimicrobial mouthrinse. It’s also best to see your implant dentist in Gorham at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. You’ll want to avoid anything that may damage your new teeth, like chewing anything hard/sticky or using your teeth as tools to open packages.
Does getting dental implants hurt?
You will require oral surgery to place your implant posts into your jawbone. You don’t need to fret about any discomfort during your procedure because sedation or anesthesia will be used to block pain signals. Your jawbone doesn’t have any nerve endings; however, it’s normal to experience some slight discomfort while you heal. You can manage your pain by taking any prescribed or OTC medications as recommended by your dentist. You can also apply a cold compress to the outside of your face to decrease any pain or swelling. If your discomfort doesn’t improve within a few days or worsens, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.
What are the signs of dental implant failure?
Dental implants are the most reliable option to treat tooth loss. Generally, the risk of failure is less than 5%. If you develop any signs of a complication, like severe pain, inflammation, or feeling that the implant is loose, call your dentist immediately. They’ll find the source of the problem to provide the quick intervention you need to prevent complete dental implant failure.
Do dental implants feel natural?
Over 500,000 people annually choose dental implants because they closely look and function like your real teeth. Unlike traditional prosthetics, they don’t rely on other teeth, suction, or an adhesive for support. Instead, your jawbone fuses to the posts to provide unmatched stability. You’ll never need to worry about any slipping or irritation to enjoy your favorite foods again. You can regain as much as 70% of your natural biting force. If you have any sensations when biting or chewing, such as from heat, cold, or pressure, it will not come from the implants because they don’t have any nerve endings. Any sensations you feel will originate from the gum tissue surrounding your implants.