When one or more natural teeth have been lost, significant consequences for the patient’s health, oral function, and overall quality of life are likely to follow close behind. That’s why Dr. Frank Michitti recommends replacement as soon as possible, and patients in need can find multiple quality options here at Lifetime Dental. The clear frontrunner is dental implants, which are the closest to your original teeth in structure, strength, and appearance. In fact, most patients can’t even distinguish the teeth in their smile that have been replaced by implants from the genuine article after some time has passed. Contact our dental office today to schedule your first consultation to discuss dental implants in Agawam, MA and regain the complete, proud smile you deserve.
A dental implant is made of three parts: an implant post, an abutment, and the final restoration. The implant post is placed directly into the jaw to mimic the roots of the missing teeth. This provides an incredibly reliable and long-lasting foundation for your new tooth or teeth, which are attached via the abutment. Dental implants are widely considered as the gold standard of tooth replacement, and it’s easy to see why. When you rebuild your smile from the roots up, your new pearly whites will look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
To provide their unique benefits, dental implants require a multistep process. Unlike other tooth replacement options like dentures or dental bridges, the dental implant process involves several stages over the course of several months. However, the time and effort are well-worth the stunning results! While every patients’ dental implant journey will be slightly different, here are the basic steps you can expect.
You’ll first need an initial consultation to determine your candidacy for dental implants. Besides a visual examination, you’ll also need a CT scan to assess your jawbone and oral structures. Based on the results of the examination, you may need additional procedures before undergoing your placement surgery, like bone grafting.
Bone grafting is necessary if your jawbone isn’t thick enough to support your dental implant. It adds a piece of bone to areas that are weakened. Although it creates another step in your treatment plan, it’s time well spent to ensure your new smile has the foundation it needs to thrive.
After you’ve healed from any preliminary treatments like bone grafting pr periodontal therapy, we can schedule your dental implant surgery. While many other dental practices need to refer their patients to an outside specialist for this step, we’re proud to offer start-to-finish convenience! Dr. Michitti has completed thousands of hours of advanced training in order to personally complete every step of the dental implant process. Not only will this help save you time and money, but you’ll feel more relaxed during your treatment working with a familiar dental team.
Once we’ve ensured you’re comfortable, Dr. Michitti will make an incision in the gums to expose the jawbone. Then, he’ll insert the dental implant post directly into the bone before suturing the gums closed once again. A protective cap will be placed over the top of the implant post to help maintain the shape of the gums while your mouth heals.
After your surgery, your dental implant post will begin a process called osseointegration. This is where the titanium post fuses with the surrounding bone tissue, essentially becoming a part of your jaw. Typically, it will take anywhere from four to six months before your mouth has healed enough to be ready for the next step of getting your dental implants. While this may seem like quite some time, the end result is a steadfast foundation for your smile that’s well-worth the wait.
Once you’ve recovered enough, you may need to undergo a second minor surgery to have a small connector piece called an abutment attached to the top of the implant post. Then, once your gums have healed, you’ll be ready for the last step of the dental implant process.
While you recovery from your surgery, we’ll create your final restoration. This is the custom crown, bridge, or denture that will act as your new teeth. We use the highest quality materials and state-of-the-art technology to ensure your final restoration is beautiful, durable, and long-lasting. It should blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile once placed!
Dental implants are one of the most popular ways to replace missing in Agawam because of the benefits they provide, such as:
No matter if you’re missing one, several, or all your natural teeth, dental implants can help! This versatile tooth loss solution can help practically any adult permanently complete their smile. However, not every patient is a good candidate initially. During your initial consultation, we’ll evaluate your oral health and help you determine which kind of dental implant is right for you.
Any patient missing one or more teeth may be a candidate for dental implant supported tooth replacement. Generally, the ideal candidate will be relatively healthy, have good oral health, and be able to dedicate the time and funds to completing the process. We’ll also take CT scans of your jaw to ensure you have enough bone density to support your new dental implants
Once you’re ready for your new smile, we’ll go over all your options for replacing your missing teeth. As mentioned previously, dental implants can be used to address any kind of tooth loss, including:
Metal-free dental crowns can cover individual dental implants, providing capable coverage that doesn’t significantly alter nearby healthy teeth.
Implant bridges or partials are designed to anchor permanently in place over multiple implants at once, providing a more comprehensive solution to tooth loss.
Implant dentures can replace an entire arch of missing teeth by supporting a custom full denture with just four to six dental implants. This cuts down on both cost and recovery time!
Despite a higher upfront cost, dental implants are wise long-term investment in your smile, health, and self-confidence! Because every case is different, there is no one-size-fits-all cost to dental implants. During an initial consultation, Dr. Michitti will carefully examine your teeth, discuss your unique smile goals, and provide you with an accurate cost estimate. Here are some of the many factors that may influence the cost of your dental implant treatment.
Before getting dental implants, you may need to undergo a preliminary treatment such as gum disease therapy, a bone graft procedure, or tooth extractions. These treatments are critical to ensuring successful implant treatment but will increase the overall cost.
In addition, the dental implant surgery, which typically involves anesthesia to ensure patient comfort, also incurs its own cost. While many dental practices send patients to an oral surgeon for implant placement, Dr. Michitti has the expertise to perform start-to-finish implant treatment right here at Lifetime Dental. Keeping the entire dental implant process under one roof will save you time and keep fees more compact and convenient.
Most dental implants are made from titanium or zirconia. The material used to make your dental implants, along with the manufacturer your dentist partners with, will likely affect the overall cost of your implant treatment. Just like some cars can outperform others, some implant brands and materials have advantages over alternatives. Dr. Michitti will happily discuss with you which type of quality implants he uses and why during your initial consultation.
Dental implants are a versatile restorative treatment that can replace a single missing tooth, several teeth, or even an entire dental arch. How many teeth you replace and which restoration you have placed will affect the overall cost of treatment.
There are three main types of implant-supported restorations:
Unfortunately, many insurance plans do not yet cover the cost of dental implants. However, your dental insurance may cover preliminary treatments such as gum disease therapy or a percentage of the cost of your crown, bridge, or denture.
Every dental insurance plan is slightly different, so be sure to read your policy carefully before beginning implant treatment. If you would like assistance understanding your insurance coverage, do not hesitate to ask for help! Our knowledgeable staff has many years of experience helping patients maximize their insurance benefits and will be happy to review the details of your plan.
At Lifetime Dental, we are committed to ensuring dental implants are within financial reach of all our patients, regardless of their insurance status. That is why we are proud to offer an in-house Membership Plan! For just one low annual fee, you can receive the preventive care you need and deep discounts on restorative treatments like dental implants. In addition, low-interest financing for dental implants is also available through CareCredit. Splitting the cost of implant treatment into smaller, more convenient chunks through CareCredit can help fit dental implants into your family’s budget. Ask our staff for more details about either of these options!
Because Dr. Frank Michitti is trained on placing dental implants, we’re able to complete the entire process from start-to-finish from the comfort of our own office. Directly after your surgery, our team at Lifetime Dental will provide you with post-op instructions to help you make a speedy recovery. Below, we’ve some dental implant post-op instruction in Agawam what you can expect throughout the healing period and when you should contact our office out of concern.
Implant surgery is one of the most taxing parts of this entire process, but with the right care and maintenance, you should be able to make a comfortable and fast recovery so you can be one step closer to having a complete and healthy smile again.
It’s important to make sure that the blood clot on your surgery site remains completely untouched so your gums can heal around the implant. To do this, be sure to avoid:
If you’ve never had an oral surgery before, it can be difficult to tell what symptoms are normal and which ones you should be concerned about. As you’re healing, you should notice that any initial discomfort will gradually disappear. If it just seems to be getting worse, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Here are some normal side-effects that you can expect in the days following your procedure:
It’s important to stick to a soft diet in the few days following your surgery. Here are some foods that we typically recommend patients stock up on:
Within a few days, once your discomfort dissipates, you should be able to change back to your normal diet. Just avoid chewing directly on the implant surgery site.
It’s incredibly important to keep your mouth clean after your surgery to make sure that your dental implants in Agawam successfully integrate with your jawbone. Here are a few oral hygiene and health tips:
Now that you’re all healed-up and the dental implants have fused with your jawbone, you’ll be able to complete the last step of the process—finishing your smile by attaching your prosthetic! You may experience some minor sensitivity in your gum tissue, but with pain medication, it should be completely manageable. Let us know if you notice any swelling or bleeding, because these typically aren’t side-effects that you should experience after restoration attachment. Lastly, make the most out of your beautiful new smile!
Before beginning any advanced dental treatment, you’ll have questions, and Dr. Michitti and his team are always happy to help. That’s why we’ve gathered some common questions we get about this popular treatment below for your convenience. If you don’t see your question or you’re ready to find out more, it’s time to schedule your tooth replacement consultation with our dedicated dentist and team.
Dental implants are restored in two treatment phases. During the initial phase, we’ll surgically place the dental implants posts. Following the surgical placement of dental implants, you’ll need to wait three to six months before we can begin the second part of your treatment. During this waiting period, your dental implant post will fully fuse with the supportive tooth structures. Then, you’ll return for the second phase of treatment – the creation and placement of your replacement teeth. The entire process can take as long as a year for some patients, but in the end, you’ll have a fully repaired smile that will last a lifetime.
Dental implants, with proper care, can last for two or more decades without the need for repair or replacement. In fact, many patients keep their custom implant supported tooth replacement prosthetic for their entire lifetime.
Directly following your dental implant placement, you’ll receive a special set of post-operative care instructions. Once the entire implant placement and restoration process is complete, your dental hygiene at home will largely go back to normal. You’ll need to brush for at least two minutes at a time twice a day and floss daily. If you have a more complex implant supported fixed bridge or denture, we may encourage you to use a specialized flossing tool or water flosser to ensure you fully remove any plaque buildup around the gums. For the first few years following your dental implant restoration, we may recommend you visit our dental office three or more times each year for checkups. This simply ensures there are no complications, and your dental implant will remain in place for life.
Dental implants have a 95 to 98% success rate, depending on the age range of the patients. Patients under the age of 60 have a 98% success rate, and those over 60 have a 95% success rate. Still, 2 to 5% of dental implants fail. The key to ensuring your implant remains firmly in place is finding a skilled dentist like Dr. Michitti to place and restore your implant, carefully following your post-operative instructions, and keeping up with your oral hygiene in our dental office and at home.