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Dental Implants – South Portland, ME

The Modern Solution to Tooth Loss

Are you missing one, several, or even all of your teeth? The empty spaces in your smile may seem to be growing wider and wider, making you self-conscious about your appearance. You may also find it challenging to chew your food and clearly enunciate your speech. Additionally, you are at an increased risk of future tooth loss and other oral health problems. What can help you fill in the gaps and regain a complete, healthy smile?

As the modern solution to tooth loss, dental implants in South Portland, ME are far and away the best option. Here at Gannett Drive Dental, our skilled dentists can perform every step of the dental implant treatment process under one roof. Give us a call today to get started!

Why Choose Gannett Drive Dental for Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implants Conveniently Placed & Restored In-House
  • Patient Comfort Is Our Top Priority
  • Reasonable Prices with No Surprises

What Are Dental Implants?

close-up of a person with dental implants in South Portland, ME

Dental implants are the only tooth replacement designed to bring back the entire tooth, from the roots up through the crown. The dental implant itself is a small titanium post that is placed directly in your jaw to act as an artificial tooth root. Titanium is biocompatible, which allows it to fuse with your jawbone to create long-lasting and sturdy support for any number of replacement teeth. After the implants have integrated with your jaw, we can place a custom-made dental crown, bridge, or denture on top to recreate the exact look and feel of your original smile. With the right care and maintenance, you can expect your dental implants to last for several decades, if not a lifetime!

Benefits of Dental Implants

dentist holding a model of a dental implant in the jaw

Patients and professionals alike have long regarded dental implants as the superior tooth replacement. This is due to their unique structure that replicates the root of a tooth that is normally hidden underneath the gumline. As a result, this solution offers advantages that you simply will not find with more traditional options like dental bridges and dentures. Keep reading to learn a few of them!

Tooth Replacement Solution Built to Last

happy couple sitting on their couch

Dental implants have come a long way since they were first invented. In fact, experts believe that materials like animal bones and seashells were once used to replace missing teeth. Naturally, the results were short-lived. Fortunately, the same cannot be said for modern dental implants! Due to the high-quality materials used and expert placement, they can last for 30+ years with proper care. Conversely, dentures and bridges need to be replaced every decade or so, making dental implants extremely cost-effective in the long run.

Lifelike in Every Sense of the Word

woman with dental implants pointing to her smile

Currently, dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that brings back the entire tooth from root to crown. The result? Your smile will be as functional as it is beautiful! Unlike dentures and bridges, this state-of-the-art restorative solution actually stimulates your jawbone as you chew, effectively preventing bone loss. Plus, they are custom-made to match the size, shade, and shape of your missing tooth so it seamlessly blends in with your natural teeth. In short, when you choose dental implants, you can have peace of mind that the restoration will look and feel lifelike.

No Altering of Natural Teeth Required

X-ray of a person with a single dental implant

Dental bridges are extremely effective at replacing one or more missing teeth, but they have one important drawback: they require the enamel to be shaved down on the adjacent teeth. That’s because the bridge needs an anchor to remain firmly in place. On the other hand, dental implants leave your healthy teeth completely intact! So, if you are missing multiple teeth in a row, consider opting for an implant-supported bridge instead.

Extremely High Success Rate

man with glasses brushing his teeth

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of dental implants is that they boast an impressive 95% success rate! Prolonging the lifespan of yours is a relatively simple task too since they can be cared for with the same best practices your natural teeth benefit from. Just make sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit our office every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning. It is also a good idea to avoid poor dental habits, like using tobacco products and chewing on ice, to keep your new and improved smile in pristine condition for as long as possible!

Who Dental Implants Can Help

dental implant patient admiring her smile in a mirror

Keep in mind that dental implants can be used to replace teeth in a number of different circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you’re replacing an individual tooth or all the teeth in your arch, dental implants are safe and effective!

Missing One Tooth

Replacing a single tooth requires just one implant post, a porcelain crown, and abutment to attach them together. Our office makes use of durable, lifelike materials to ensure that your replacement tooth not only feels natural, but looks natural as well.

Missing Multiple Teeth

To replace multiple consecutive teeth, we can fit a pair of dental implants with a dental bridge. Instead of removing tooth enamel to make room for a bridge like you would normally, we can customize a bridge to attach to dental implants already integrated with your jaw.

Missing All Teeth

If your denture does not fit properly any longer or you’re tired of getting it replaced every few years, an implant denture may be the solution for you. Whether you want your denture to be fixed or removable, replace the top or upper arch, or be full or partial, you can have it fitted with dental implants.

Learn More About Implant-Retained Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

dentist showing his patient a dental implant

The cost of dental implants is difficult to nail down until you’ve had a detailed examination performed by a dentist. During this visit, they can confirm the status of your oral health and whether or not you need to have preparatory treatments completed before dental implants are placed. For example, bone grafts, periodontal therapy, and sinus lifts can all improve viability if your jawbone has deteriorated too much over the years. Cost can also be influenced by the time of restoration created and the number of implants needed to replace teeth.

Keep in mind that dental implants are largely considered to be the most cost-effective tooth replacement option available because they do not require the same level of maintenance as other tooth methods.

Types of Dental Implants

three dental implants with abutments and crowns lying on a flat surface

When you visit our office for your consultation, we’ll capture images of your mouth and determine what type of dental implant restoration will best fit your needs. Depending on how many teeth you’re missing, we may suggest one of the following options:

  • Single Tooth Implant: If you’re missing a single tooth, we’ll suggest replacing it with a single implant topped with a custom-crafted dental crown.
  • Implant Bridge: For multiple consecutive missing teeth, we may recommend an implant bridge, which is held in place by at least two dental implants. Unlike a traditional bridge, one retained by implants doesn’t involve altering your healthy surrounding teeth.
  • Implant Denture: The costliest dental implant restoration would obviously be a complete denture. These require the support of at least four dental implants to replace an entire arch of missing teeth.

What are the Stages of Dental Implant Treatment?

dentist putting a crown on top of a dental implant

The dental implant procedure is the same, no matter what type of restoration you require. Our dentists at Gannett Drive Dental will begin the process with an initial consultation that will determine whether you require preparatory procedures such as a bone graft. After these have been completed, you will have your implants surgically placed, followed by a healing period of a few months. After your gums have completely healed, we’ll be ready to place your abutments, which are small connector pieces that will attach your restorations to your implants. Your final appointment will consist of placing your permanent restorations to complete your newly reconstructed smile.

One great feature about this process is that each phase incurs a separate fee, which means that the entire amount won’t be due at the same time. This allows patients to easily pay for each visit separately. These individual fees will include the:

  • Initial consultation
  • Preparatory procedures (if necessary)
  • Anesthesia
  • Implant placement
  • Abutment placement
  • Custom restoration

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

smiling woman holding a white coffee mug

We highly recommend dental implants because they provide our patients with countless benefits and lifelike replacement teeth that improves their overall quality of life. While there are multiple tooth replacement solutions available, dental implants in South Portland are the only treatment that replaces the entire structure of missing teeth from the roots up, promoting jawbone growth and improved oral health. Some additional benefits that make dental implants worth the investment include:

  • Long Lifespan: With the proper care, your dental implants can last for up to 35 years, as opposed to an average lifespan of seven to 10 years.
  • Natural Look and Feel: Dental implants look and feel more natural than traditional restorations because they’re securely anchored in your jawbone, just like your natural teeth.
  • Easy Maintenance: Just like your natural teeth, you can easily care for your implant restorations by brushing twice each day, flossing at least once a day, rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash, and visiting our office for your semi-annual checkups and cleanings.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

person looking at dental insurance information on a tablet

Most dental insurance policies don’t cover the cost of dental implants. However, that’s beginning to change, so it’s best to contact your insurance company directly to double-check. At Gannett Drive Dental, we gladly work with our patients to determine their best available payment options. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our office today to schedule a consultation!

Dental Implant FAQs

Illustration of dental implant in South Portland

Tooth loss is a common issue that people face all throughout the country. Fortunately, there are tooth replacement options out there that can restore your smile, including dental implants. However, you want to be well informed so you can make the best decision for the future of your smile. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about dental implants. If you don’t see your question listed below, just give us a call! We’d be happy to get you the information you’re looking for and set you up for a consultation.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants can last for upwards of 30 years and often several times longer than traditional bridges and dentures. Their lifespan depends on the health and lifestyle of the patient. To ensure that implants last, it is important to brush, floss, and rinse with a mouthwash on a daily basis. Always attend your regular cleanings and checkups to ensure that your implants are in good shape. Avoid chewing on anything that is particularly hard or sticky.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

Your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure begins. You will also most likely be sedated which will lower your body’s ability to register pain. The surgery will not hurt, but your mouth may be sore for a few days afterwards. To manage the pain, take prescribed and over-the-counter medication as directed and use cold compresses. If your discomfort worsens instead of improving after several days, give us a call.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

When placed by a skilled professional, dental implants can have a success rate of over 95%! This will all depend on how well you care for them with proper oral hygiene, routine checkups, a healthy diet, and wholesome lifestyle choices. Success also varies on where the implant is located in the mouth. Since molars receive more strain from chewing than the front teeth, they may be slightly more likely to fail. However, with excellent maintenance, your implants are very likely to be successful.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?

Being a smoker doesn’t automatically disqualify you from getting dental implants, but smokers do have a higher risk of dental implant failure. Smoking tobacco can cause dry mouth, slow down healing, and interfere with the implants’ ability to fuse with the jawbone. Smoking can also increase your risk of dry socket, which is when the blood clot forming over the implant site dislodges. If you smoke, you will need to quit at least two weeks before and several months after the procedure. This is also a great time to give up smoking for good!