Dental Implants – Worcester, MA

The New Gold Standard for Replacing Teeth

Man looking at smile after tooth replacement with dental implants

Many people are making the switch from traditional tooth replacement prosthetics to dental implants. With this procedure, our dental team at Community Dentists of Worcester can restore the entire structure of all of your missing teeth – including the roots that previously helped stimulate the jawbone to keep it healthy. Thanks to the various advantages they offer, dental implants from our Worcester, MA dentist are considered to be the next best thing to having your natural teeth again. Are you a good candidate for dental implant surgery? Find out by calling our dental office today to schedule a consultation.

Why Choose Community Dentists of Worcester for Dental Implants?

  • Knowledgeable Implant Dentists
  • In-House Implant Placement and Restoration
  • New Teeth That Last Well Over Three Decades

What is a Dental Implant?

Woman looking at smile after dental implants

The term “dental implant” refers to a small titanium post that is shaped like a screw. When a dental implant is surgically placed in your jaw, it can fuse with the bone via osseointegration. In other words, dental implants are different from other tooth replacements because they basically become part of your body. After osseointegration is complete and abutments have been attached, the implant posts will be able to support customized dental restorations like crowns, bridges, and dentures.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

a model of dental implants

Compared to traditional tooth replacement options like bridges or dentures, the process of receiving dental implants is a little more complex and can take several months. However, given that dental implants can last several decades, this wait is well worth it. Our team here at Community Dentists of Worcester is here to walk you through what this process looks like so that you can feel comfortable about rebuilding your compromised smile with dental implants. Here’s more about the four main steps you can expect.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

a patient smiling during her implant consultation

The dental implant process starts with an initial consultation here at our office. During this appointment, our team will examine your mouth and facial structures to determine if dental implants are a suitable option for you. We’ll also need to review your medical history and determine if your jawbone is capable of supporting implants; patients with insufficient bone density might need to undergo a dental bone graft to remedy the issue. Other possible preliminary procedures include periodontal therapy or sometimes tooth extractions. If we’re able to clear you for dental implants, we can get your appointment scheduled and also provide you with an estimated cost and approximate timeline.

Dental Implant Surgery

a closeup of an oral surgeon working

You’ll be happy to hear that we can complete the entire dental implant process in-house thanks to our skilled and qualified team! This means that you won’t have to worry about scheduling outside visits to other offices, which will save you time and money in the future. And the best part is that the procedure is relatively straightforward! First, we’ll thoroughly numb your mouth and ensure that you’re fully comfortable before beginning the surgery. Next, small incisions are made in the gum tissue to access the jawbone, and the implants are placed precisely into it. The gums are then sutured shut and protective caps are placed over the posts to protect them as they heal.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

a dentist holding a model of dental implants

Osseointegration, or the fusion between dental implant posts and bone, is arguably the single most important factor when it comes to dental implant success; if the posts cannot fuse with your jawbone, they won’t be able to provide you with a stable, lasting solution. On average, it takes anywhere from three to six months or so for this process to occur; however, it’s also heavily dependent on your compliance with recovery guidelines. Once the posts have successfully fused with your jaw, you’ll come back to receive abutments, which are small connector pieces that allow your final restoration(s) to sit in place.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

a patient smiling after receiving dental implants

A few weeks after your abutments are placed, you’ll come back for your final restorations. You can rest assured that these will be designed based on precise impressions of your natural smile, so you won’t have to worry about awkward-looking results that don’t function well. Once your replacement teeth have been placed, we’ll ensure that your bite is comfortable before sending you on your way with a complete and beautiful smile!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dentist using model to explain the benefits of dental implants

Dental implants are one of the most sought-after tooth-replacement solutions in the United States. A major reason why this procedure has become so popular in recent decades is that dental implants offer a number of advantages that traditional replacement options can’t match. Some of these benefits include:

Day-to-Day Benefits

Woman smiling while working at coffee shop

Whether you’re struggling with one missing tooth or an entire arch of missing teeth, you know how tooth loss can negatively affect your day-to-day life. The good news is that dental implants offer several benefits in this respect, including:

  • Easier Maintenance: You won’t have to worry about denture cleaners and other special oral hygiene products with dental implants. In fact, you can keep them in pristine condition with all of the same best practices you use for your natural teeth, like brushing twice a day!
  • Increased Confidence: Since dental implants are inserted directly into the jawbone, they won’t budge while you laugh, speak, or chew. Plus, the restoration placed on top will be custom-made to meet your specific aesthetic goals, ensuring you love the look of your smile as well.
  • Ability to Eat Most Foods: Gaps in your smile can make it painful to chew and difficult to eat, which is why many patients struggling with tooth loss stick to a soft foods diet. The good news is that dental implants restore your bite, allowing you to eat a varied diet once more.

Health Benefits

Couple smiling while gardening

In addition to improving your day-to-day life, dental implants improve your oral and overall health. For example, this state-of-the-art tooth-replacement solution:

  • Preserves Your Jawbone: While dental bridges rely on surrounding teeth for support and dentures rest on your gums, dental implants are inserted into your jawbone. Each time you chew, it gets stimulated, helping to prevent bone loss.
  • Protects Natural Teeth: As we mentioned above, some tooth-replacement options, like dental bridges, require the surrounding teeth to be altered, even if they are healthy. The same cannot be said for dental implants since they are self-supporting!
  • Benefits Your Overall Health: When you’re missing teeth, eating vegetables, fruits, and other nutrient-dense foods can be difficult, leading to malnutrition. Fortunately, dental implants can rebuild your bite and improve your overall health in the process.

Long-Term Benefits

Man in blue shirt smiling on couch

Perhaps one of the biggest perks of all is that dental implants are worth the investment in the short and long-term. Here’s why:

  • High Success Rate: You may have heard that dental implants have an impressive 95% success rate, but it’s actually even higher among non-smoking patients!
  • Youthful Appearance: While the implant post preserves your jawbone to prevent bone loss, the restoration on top fills out your cheeks to prevent a sunken, aged appearance.
  • Long-Lasting Results: Dental implants are known for lasting 30 years or more with proper care. So, if you adopt healthy dental habits, they have the potential to last a lifetime!

Start to Finish Convenience

Older woman looking at smile after dental implant tooth replacement

Here at Community Dentists of Worcester, we have a highly trained team of dental experts that can complete every step of the dental implant procedure in-house. There’s no need for you to make a visit to a separate specialist; you can stick with a team you’re familiar with the entire time, meaning there’s much less risk of miscommunication or confusion during the process. Our dental office utilizes the latest dental technology – including cone beam CT scans and state-of-the-art digital impressions – to plan dental implant surgery; this helps ensure that your dental implants are placed exactly where they need to go.

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Woman pointing to smile after dental implants

There are various options for replacing missing teeth, and dental implants aren’t necessarily the best choice for everyone. To determine whether you’re a candidate, we’ll need to examine your mouth and jawbone during an initial consultation. We’ll keep an eye out for bone loss, gum disease, and other potential obstacles for dental implant surgery. In some cases, we may find that preliminary procedures like bone grafts are necessary before you can start the dental implant process.

Once we’ve completed our examination, we will walk you through the treatment process and give you an estimated timeline; we’ll also address any questions you might want to have answered before you commit to the process.

Missing Single Tooth

Animated smile during single missing tooth replacement

We can replace a missing tooth with a single dental implant post. It will take a few months for the implant to join with the jawbone, but once it does, we’ll be able to restore it with a personalized dental crown. Unlike a traditional bridge, a dental implant crown won’t require us to make any changes to your healthy teeth in order to fill in the gap in your grin.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Animated smile during dental implant supported fixed bridge placement

When there are multiple consecutive teeth missing, we can often replace them with a bridge and two dental implants. The crowns of the bridge will be anchored to the dental implant posts, keeping your new teeth firmly in place. An appropriate number of prosthetic teeth called pontics will fill in the space between the crowns to complete your grin.

Missing All Teeth

Animated smile during dental implant denture placement

Anywhere from four to eight dental implant posts can be used to support a full denture in order to replace an entire row of missing teeth. Implant dentures will not slip or shift in your mouth, and in many cases, they’re permanently anchored in place, allowing you to brush and floss the same way you normally would.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Dentist and dentistry patient looking at dental implant model

Every dental implant treatment is personalized according to the patient’s needs, so there’s no universal cost that applies to every case. At your initial consultation, we’ll have to consider the number of implants required along with the type of restoration that will ultimately complete your smile, along with other relevant factors. Then, we can give you an idea of what the final price will look like. We’re happy to take a variety of dental insurance plans, and we’ve gone out of our way to make sure that you have plenty of options for paying for your procedure. Don’t be shy about letting our team know if there’s anything you want to ask about the financial aspect of getting dental implants in Worcester.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

a patient during their dental implant consultation

It’s possible that you might end up needing a preliminary treatment before you’re cleared for dental implant surgery. These treatments include gum disease therapy, tooth extractions, bone grafting, and other similar procedures, and they can all add to the cost of dental implants. However, once your mouth has been prepared to host dental implants, our team can move forward with the surgery. This part of the process will have its own separate cost based on certain factors, but fortunately, we’re able to complete it entirely in-house, meaning you won’t have to worry about being billed by a separate provider or driving somewhere potentially far from you!

The Parts of Your Dental Implants

a dental implant against a green background

The overall cost of dental implants is also affected by their respective parts:

  • Number of Implants – Dental implants can replace one, two, or even an entire row of missing teeth, and the number that you receive will heavily determine your final bill.
  • Type of Restoration – Different types of restorations can be combined with implants; crowns, bridges, and dentures can all be used and have different costs.
  • Material – Sometimes implants are crafted from zirconia instead of titanium, which affects their total cost.
  • Brand – There are different implant manufacturers that meet the needs of various patients, and the manufacturer we choose will affect the amount you end up paying. You can rest assured that we’ll answer any questions you have concerning brand-specific price points and benefits!

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

a person saving money in a piggy bank

It can be tempting to try and save money by opting for a more traditional tooth restoration option like dentures or bridges, but you should know that despite their higher initial price point, dental implants end up paying for themselves many times over! First of all, you won’t have to pay for replacements every 5 or 10 years, since they’re a permanent option that’s built to last. Secondly, there are no special solutions you’ll have to buy to properly care for them, unlike dentures. Lastly, since they’re quite easy to take care of, you’ll have an easier time dodging nasty oral health issues like gum disease or tooth decay on any remaining natural teeth that would require costly care to address.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants

a closeup of a dental insurance form

Generally speaking, most insurance plans do not pay for the actual dental implants themselves, but there are some exceptions. Some will apply benefits to portions of the treatment, like preliminary procedures and the cost of the restoration. If you have any questions or concerns about your coverage, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact us; our skilled team can sit down with you and help you learn what out-of-pocket costs you may need to pay when you opt for dental implants.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

a patient paying their dental bill

In addition to working with most major dental insurance plans, we’re also proud to offer additional financing through CareCredit. You’ll be able to split up the cost of treatment into small, manageable monthly installments with little-to-no interest, meaning that dental implants can be situated to fit into all sorts of differing monthly budgets!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

a person chatting with their dentist

Proper dental implant care is crucial for ensuring the longevity of your new smile! Although these innovative implants generally hold a high success rate, even beyond 10 or so years, it’s wise to take care of them so that you experience no complications along the way. Here’s a brief rundown of the most important elements when it comes to caring for and maintaining your new dental implants.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

a person brushing their teeth at home

You should prioritize your oral health more than ever before after you’ve received your dental implants—if you do things correctly, they can serve you well for life! Be sure that you’re brushing and flossing every day, in addition to rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Even though your implant posts themselves cannot become decayed, your remaining natural teeth still can, and your gums are also still susceptible to gum disease. However, a diligent daily routine can ensure that things remain clean and problem-free.

Eat a Healthy Diet

a person holding a salad

Dental implant patients are quite excited to begin enjoying all of their favorite foods once more—and since the implants can restore up to 80% of their original bite force, their mouths are more than up to the task! That said, it’s still best to stick to a healthy diet and avoid foods that could cause damage to your replacement teeth or the implant posts themselves. Add plenty of sensible options to your diet, such as vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid items with excess amounts of sugar, since gum disease still poses a serious threat to your implants.

Break Bad Habits

a person breaking a cigarette in half

Dental implants are strong, but they aren’t invincible. Avoid bad oral habits that might damage them, such as:

  • Smoking and using tobacco products can affect your body’s ability to heal, as well as leave you more vulnerable to infection—both of which spell bad news for your dental implants.
  • Using your teeth as tools such as to open packaging, unscrew bottlecaps, or hold items is a sure way to damage your implants. These habits can also spread harmful bacteria to your mouth.
  • Biting into hard foods and objects regularly, as well as biting your nails, can also damage your restorations, as well as dislodge or harm your underlying implant posts.

Protect Your Dental Implants

a closeup of a mouthguard

If you play sports or regularly partake in outdoor activities, did you know you’re at a much higher risk of experiencing a dental injury? This means your implants are also at an increased risk—but thankfully, they can be protected. You should invest in a protective mouthguard; these devices are affordable, accessible, and easy to wear. They can also be used to protect your implants from the negative impact of bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

dental implants against a green background

Even though dental implants are helping to provide you with a brand-new smile, they don’t replace the need for routine dental care! Issues like tooth decay and gum disease aren’t always noticeable at home, and even if you have immaculate brushing and flossing habits, these problems can affect your implants. During every dental checkup, your implants will receive a thorough inspection to ensure that everything is problem-free and in working order, so that you can go about your daily life with a beautiful and functional smile!

Dental Implant FAQs

a patient during their dental implant consultation

The process of rebuilding your smile can be intimidating, to say the least; however, here at Community Dentists of Worcester, our team is committed to ensuring that you have zero doubts heading into the dental implant process. That’s why we’ve gathered a few of the most frequently asked questions that we receive about dental implants, along with their respective answers. We want you to feel confident about the future of your smile, and we firmly believe that dental implants will be able to help you smile brightly and live happily once more! Of course, if you have any other questions about dental implants or the process for receiving them, don’t hesitate to contact us at once for additional information or assistance.

How Long Have Dental Implants Been Around?

The oldest evidence of dental implants dates back to around 600 A.D., linked to ancient Mayans using pieces of seashell and carved stones to replace missing teeth. Although humans have been attempting to replace their lost teeth for thousands of years, modern dental implants have only been used for the last few decades. In 1952, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon discovered that titanium was capable of fusing with bone matter, which led to the metal becoming the go-to choice for dental implants as it could safely join with the jawbone. Dental implants today still rely on this special material!

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are built to last; designed with the future in mind, they can last for up to several decades under ideal circumstances. This greatly exceeds the lifespans of other restorative treatment options like dentures and crowns. However, to make your implants last, you’ll need to take excellent care of your smile. Fortunately, implants don’t really change much of one’s daily oral hygiene regimen; you simply need to brush and floss daily, in addition to seeing us regularly for routine preventive care. You should also avoid bad oral habits; though durable, implants can still fail if you’re a chronic smoker, you don’t practice good oral hygiene, or you’re prone to using your teeth as tools. If all goes well, your implants have the potential to remain beautiful and functional for 20 or even 30 years!

Am I Too Young or Too Old to Get Dental Implants?

Patients are often thrilled to hear that there’s no upper age limit for dental implants—as long as you’re in decent oral health and have sufficient jawbone density, you’re likely a good candidate for this life-changing procedure! Older patients with inadequate jawbone density can often undergo a supplemental bone graft beforehand, and patients with unresolved oral issues that might impact implant placement can undergo treatment as needed. However, when it comes to younger patients, dental implants generally aren’t recommended. This is because during youth, the body (including the jawbone) is constantly undergoing changes and still developing, meaning dental implants wouldn’t be given a suitable, sturdy environment for osseointegration (or the fusion between implant and bone matter).

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

As with any type of surgery, it’s normal to have concerns about pain when going into the dental implant process. That said, your mouth will be adequately numbed throughout the surgery; this, coupled with the fact that the jaw has few nerve endings to begin with, ensures that no pain is felt during the implant placement process! It’s normal to experience some soreness afterward, though, as the mouth begins healing up. Fortunately, this can be counteracted with prescribed and over-the-counter pain relievers, cold compresses, and following other instructions provided by us. Of course, if you experience worsening pain after the procedure, don’t wait to let us know!