Dental Implants in East Longmeadow, MA
An estimated 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth. When you have missing teeth, you may feel embarrassed or self-conscious, and eating your favorite foods can become difficult or impossible. Fortunately, with modern dentistry, you don’t have to continue to suffer the issues missing teeth can cause. Dental implants can restore both the function and look of your smile so that you can live confidently again. If you have lost a tooth, Gregory Zirakian, DMD, at East Longmeadow Family Dental Center offers standard and mini dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial structures that replace missing teeth. Standard dental implants consist of a titanium post embedded into your jawbone, on which a false tooth can be placed. Standard dental implants use an abutment to hold the false tooth, while mini dental implants do not require this extra piece.
Dental implants can be an ideal option for people who have lost teeth because of:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Tooth root fracture
- Facial injury
Standard dental implants require more jawbone density than mini dental implants, so if you have suffered bone loss because of your missing tooth, mini implants can be the better option.
The best candidates for dental implants are people who are healthy enough for a surgical procedure and who have a good oral hygiene routine.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants can help prevent further jawbone loss. Your jawbone depends on the roots of your teeth to receive the stimulation it needs to keep creating bone cells.
When you lose a tooth, the root is no longer there to provide that stimulation, leading to bone loss in your jaw. Because dental implants function like a tooth’s root, they can help you maintain jawbone density.
Dental implants also provide more stability than dentures if you need to replace many of your teeth. Dentures can slip despite the use of adhesives, making it impossible to enjoy some of your favorite foods and in some instances, even affecting your speech.
With dental implants, you can eat foods like steak and corn on the cob confidently and speak with ease. You can stabilize dentures with implants as well. With a few implants in place, you can enjoy full or partial dentures without the worry of dealing with adhesives.
And unlike getting dental bridges or crowns, dental implants do not require the removal of any enamel from neighboring teeth. Dental implants offer a natural look and a perfect fit while also letting you use the full force of your jaw to chew.
Getting Dental Implants
If you have missing teeth, you can start the process of getting dental implants by scheduling a free consultation with Dr. Zirakian.
During this appointment, he will examine your mouth and ask about your medical history. Let him know if you take any medications or have any health issues that can prevent you from being a good candidate for a surgical procedure.
He will take digital X-rays to check your jawbone and see what the exact placement of the implant should be. He will also recommend either standard implants or mini dental implants based on your unique needs.
If you are a good candidate for dental implants, he will discuss the costs and provide instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. You can ask about the anesthesia you will receive and any sedation options available.
Preparing for Your Procedure
To prepare for the procedure, you will need to consult with your primary care physician who may recommend you avoid blood-thinning medications and supplements for a few days. These can include:
- Vitamin E
- Fish oil
- St. John’s Wort
You also want to avoid alcohol for at least two days before the procedure.
The Day of Your Procedure
On the day of your appointment, you will receive anesthesia to numb your gums and jaw and any other requested sedation. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Zirakian will make the necessary incisions. For standard implants, you can expect more incisions than for mini dental implants.
If you are getting standard implants, he will drill into your jawbone and place the implant, screwing it so that it doesn’t move. Mini dental implants do not need to be completely embedded into the jawbone, so the procedure is quicker.
Dr. Zirakian will then stitch the incisions and offer tips on what to expect from the recovery process. Dr. Zirakian will make the impressions needed so the lab can create the false teeth.
If you received sedation during the procedure, you will need to have someone drive you home. Once Dr. Zirakian receives the false teeth from the lab, he will schedule another appointment to fit them on the abutments of standard implants or directly on the mini dental implants.
Aftercare and Maintenance of Dental Implants
As you recover from the procedure, you will want to avoid chewing hard or sticky foods. Make sure to give the implants time to settle.
You want to brush your teeth and floss as you normally would, but be gentle around the incisions. You also want to avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for at least 72 hours, and remember to chew on the other side of your mouth.
Caring for dental implants is similar to caring for your natural teeth. You want to maintain good oral hygiene and limit foods and drinks that can stain the implants. If you grind your teeth at night, ask Dr. Zirakian about getting a mouthguard because your jaw can put a lot of pressure on your false and natural teeth, potentially cracking them.
If you smoke, try to quit.
You also need to schedule regular appointments with Dr. Zirakian, so he can monitor the dental implants as well as your overall oral health.
Restore Your Smile with Dental Implants in East Longmeadow, MA
If you have missing teeth, dental implants can restore the way your mouth looks as well as how your bite functions, allowing you to enjoy all of the foods you love and to share your smile with confidence.
At East Longmeadow Family Dental Center, Dr. Gregory Zirakian understands the challenges missing teeth can cause. He offers over 40 years of experience and the latest technological advancements to help patients get the results they deserve. Contact East Longmeadow Family Dental Center to schedule a free consultation today.
- What is a Dental Implant?
- What is a Mini Dental Implant?
- Can I Replace a Single Front Tooth?
- What is the Best Option to Replace a Single Missing Tooth?
- Who is a Good Candidate for a Dental Implant?
- What if I Don’t Have Enough Bone for a Traditional Implant?
- What If I Don’t Have Enough Bone for a Dental Implant?
- Will I Require Bone Grafting for a Mini Dental Implant?
- What are the Advantages of Mini Dental Implants?
- Am I Too Old for a Dental Implant?
- Dental Implant Process Explained
- Does It Hurt to Get a Dental Implant?
- How Long Does the Dental Implant Procedure Take?
- How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
- Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?