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Dental Implants – Gainesville, GA

Lifelike Solutions to Restore Your Smile

Traditional replacements for missing teeth, like dentures and dental bridges, might look like your natural pearly whites, but they still leave a lot to be desired. That’s because they only bring back the visible crowns of the teeth, not the root structure hidden beneath the gumline. For that reason, they don’t quite feel natural. At Lifetime Dental of Gainesville, Dr. Shue Her often recommends dental implants to patients looking for a more lifelike and long-lasting tooth replacement. If you’re missing a single tooth or several teeth and want the most comprehensive solution to replace them, give our dental office a call to schedule a consultation to discuss dental implants in Gainesville, GA.

Why Choose Lifetime Dental of Gainesville for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

model of how dental implants in Gainesville work

Dental implants are small titanium cylinders that are surgically inserted into the jaw to recreate the roots of missing teeth. Titanium is the preferred material for dental implants due to its biocompatible properties. After their surgical placement, the implant posts fuse to the surrounding bone and tissue through the months-long process of osseointegration. Once this process is finished, Dr. Her can install a custom dental crown, bridge, or denture on top of the implants. In the end, you’ll have replacement teeth that look, feel, and function just like the genuine article!

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

dentist showing a dental implant model to a patient

Although dental implant treatment takes longer than getting a denture or bridge, implants can provide a lifetime of healthy smiles if you take good care of them! The dental implant process varies slightly on a case-by-case basis, but here are the four basic steps: initial dental implant consultation, dental implant surgery, osseointegration, and delivery of dental implant restorations. Dr. Her is highly skilled and trained to provide dental implant placement and restoration in-house. His clinical skills and advanced training include Full-Arch All-On-4 implant restorations at the 3D Dentist Institute. When it comes to understanding how dental implants work in Gainesville, you can trust that you’ll be learning and receiving the best possible care from our team at Lifetime Dental of Gainesville.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dental implant consultation in Gainesville

You’ll meet with Dr. Her to discuss your smile goals, and he’ll determine whether you’re eligible for dental implants. A thorough examination using the Sirona® 3D Cone Beam Scanner will allow him to review your teeth, gums, bone, nerves, tissues, and other facial structures to plan your treatment more accurately and precisely. If signs of periodontal disease, severe tooth decay, or a weakened jawbone appear, you may be required to undergo preliminary treatments (i.e., bone grafting, periodontal therapy, tooth extraction) before moving forward with dental implant surgery.

Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant placement in Gainesville

Dr. Her is pleased to keep patients in-house, avoiding any need for an outside referral. By performing the entire process in our Gainesville office, he can ensure safety, comfort, and a successful procedure. Once you receive local anesthesia to numb your mouth, he will make one or more small incisions in your gum tissues to expose the existing bone. Carefully placing each dental implant, your implant dentist in Gainesville will then close the tissue and place protective healing caps over each surgical site.

Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment

Dental implant in Gainesville

After your surgery is complete, you will be instructed to spend the next 3-6 months recovering at home and allowing osseointegration to occur. This is the process of your implants fusing with your jawbone. This must be successful to ensure they remain in place. Once you are healed, you will return for another small procedure that requires placing metal abutments on top of each dental implant. These will serve as connector appliances between your implants and customized restoration.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Man with dental implants in Gainesville

The final phase of the dental implant process involves receiving your customized restoration. Made by skilled lab technicians, the size, shape, and color of your new teeth will blend in beautifully with the rest of your smile, making it virtually impossible for anyone to tell the difference. Because dental implants in Gainesville look, feel, and act like regular teeth, you’ll begin to feel more comfortable and confident in your appearance, allowing you to embrace a better quality of life, eat the foods you love, and enjoy a healthier smile that can last 30 years or more with proper care.

Benefits of Dental Implants

woman lounging on her couch

The benefits of dental implants in Gainesville are many. In fact, once you begin to make a list and notice the differences between them and more traditional prosthetics (i.e., dentures, dental bridges), you quickly become aware of just how wise of an investment it is to choose dental implants. With more than 500,000 placed each year and more than 3 million people living with them in the United States, it’s easy to see why they are the gold standard for tooth replacement. Their longevity, stability, functionality, and ability to improve jawbone stimulation and oral health make them far superior to other solutions. They also provide patients like yourself who are suffering from tooth loss a chance to enjoy a better quality of life.

Day-to-Day Benefits

man brushing his teeth

  • Better oral health – Instead of facing a time-consuming morning and nighttime routine trying to clean your teeth and prosthetics, dental implants look and act just like regular teeth. This makes the oral hygiene routine much easier, effectively reducing your risk for tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Improved bite force – Because dental implants in Gainesville stimulate bone tissue, they restore your biting force much more than a traditional bridge or denture. This means eating your favorite foods is possible again, even those that are hard or crunchy. Not to mention, you’ll never need to worry about slippage or your prosthetic accidentally falling out.
  • More youthful appearance – Dental implants restore blood flow to your face, ensuring that proper nutrients can travel to your oral and facial tissue. When teeth are lost, skin sags prematurely, resulting in a more sunken and older appearance. Dental implants restore this process and prevent the premature signs of aging.

Health Benefits

man in a green polo shirt sitting in a park

  • No dental drift – While other tooth replacement options can prevent neighboring teeth from shifting out of place, dental implants are the only solution that effectively restores functions that we often take for granted when teeth are lost.
  • Continuous jawbone stimulation - Because implants are anchored inside your jawbone, the bone is being stimulated any time you chew. This stimulation allows you to keep your fullest biting force and prevent the bone from shrinking, which is very common among individuals with tooth loss.
  • Your healthy teeth remain untouched – Unlike dental bridges that require altering your natural, healthy teeth, dental implants do not require the preparation of other teeth. Instead, they replace only the missing tooth and work within the vacated socket.
  • Longer Life – It is believed that individuals over the age of 65 with 5 or more teeth have a shorter lifespan. Using dental implants to replace your missing teeth can help to reduce your risk for systemic diseases that are known to shorten a person’s life. Heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other common conditions no longer have to be as much of a concern with dental implants.

Long-Term Benefits

woman pointing to her smile

  • Success rate – With an average success rate as high as 98 percent over 10 years, you can smile and eat your favorite meals with confidence.
  • Improved longevity – Because of the osseointegration process that occurs after implants are placed by an implant dentist in Gainesville, you can expect your tooth replacement to last several decades without worry.
  • Saving money – Dental adhesives, special cleaning solutions, and frequent adjustments and replacements every few years are not what you’ll be spending your money on should you choose dental implants. Instead, you’ll get to use your hard-earned dollars on other items you want while enjoying a healthier, longer-lasting smile.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

man asking his dentist questions about dental implants

Since dental implants are incredibly versatile, you can replace teeth in a multitude of ways. Whether you’re missing a single tooth, multiple consecutive or non-consecutive teeth, or all the teeth in your arch, implants can be used to restore your smile to the fullest. In fact, most adults who suffer from tooth loss are eligible to receive these permanent prosthetics. And even if you are not cleared for implant surgery right away, our dental implant dentist in Gainesville will offer solutions to help you get there! Below, we briefly explain how we get it done in each scenario.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Man smiling with dental implants in Gainesville

With more than 500,000 dental implants placed each year, millions of individuals in the United States are living with these unique prosthetics and enjoying every minute. As an adult with missing teeth, you want the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest, which is why our team at Lifetime Dental of Gainesville will thoroughly examine your oral and facial structures to determine your eligibility. We’ll look at three different factors:

  • Your oral health and if you need periodontal therapy or tooth extraction
  • Your overall health and if you’re able to undergo minor oral surgery without the concern of implant failure
  • Your jawbone density and if there is enough to support your implants and restoration. If not, you’ll likely need a bone graft

Missing One Tooth

model of a single dental implant with a crown

Even one missing tooth can make it difficult to speak and eat. You may even feel embarrassed to smile. This is why it’s important to have it replaced as soon as possible. Replacing a single tooth requires one implant to be placed directly into the jaw and given several months to heal. Once your bone and gum tissue has healed around the implant, we can place an abutment, which is used to stabilize the implant crown. The crown used to restore the implant is made from all-ceramic material, typically porcelain, for the most natural-looking esthetics.

Missing Multiple Teeth

model of two dental implants with a bridge

Unlike traditional dental bridges, implant bridges do not require the removal of existing tooth enamel just to have them placed. A pair of dental implants can lay the groundwork for a strong three or four-crown bridge. But even if your teeth are not consecutively missing, we can create an implant partial that works just like a traditional prosthetic but instead of using metal clips, it attaches to your dental implants in Gainesville.

Missing All Teeth

model of four dental implants supporting a full denture

By using a series of dental implants, typically four to six, we can create a stable foundation for your new full denture, whether it’s fixed or removable. In this way, implant dentures actually help you save money on dental costs overall. They also allow you to enjoy a greater bite force and chewing power, so you can eat the foods you love without worrying about your prosthetic slipping or falling out in front of others.

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Diagram of a dental implant resting on money

The cost of your dental implant treatment largely depends on your needs. Keep in mind that if the upfront costs seem high, it’s because treatment is akin to other long-term investments designed to last you for decades at a time. Furthermore, dental implants are a tooth replacement option that provides its own unique restorative benefits. Since many factors go into your final cost, we’re happy to discuss treatment with you in great detail during your consultation. Here’s a brief preview of what you can expect when you arrive.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Dentist explaining cost of dental implants in Gainesville to patient

For starters, if you need to have preparatory treatments to make implant placement viable, such as bone grafts, periodontal therapy, or sinus lifts, this will increase overall costs. If you are told you need one or multiple of these procedures before receiving dental implants, it’s because they ensure the long-term health and success of your tooth replacement.

The same applies depending on the extensiveness of your tooth loss. If you need to have multiple implants placed, this increases the length and complexity of your oral surgery. The amount of anesthesia used to make your treatment not only comfortable, but possible, will also influence your final costs.

Thankfully, because our office keeps the entire process in-house, you can expect your fees to be more compact and easier to understand when all is said and done.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Diagram of dental implants in Gainesville and their components

When multiple implants are needed to rebuild your smile, more materials are required to make these implants. In most cases, that material is titanium, a specialized resource that is biocompatible with bone and gum tissue. Like cars or other highly customized items, there are different makes and models of dental implants that work better or last longer than others, which influence your final price tag. Of course, our team is happy to explain why we use certain implants over others and how they make a difference in your tooth replacement.

Final Dental Implant Restoration

Woman smiling while visiting implant dentist in Gainesville

With more implants come more complex dental restorations to complete your smile. For example, a single implant only requires one dental crown to cover the post and fill the gap in your mouth. However, a pair of implants will need a bridge and several implants will need a dedicated denture. The larger the restoration, the more time and materials are needed to craft it.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Dental insurance form resting on a table

Dental insurance does not cover dental implants in most cases. However, you may be able to receive partial coverage for preparatory treatments or restorations used during the tooth replacement process. Our team will review your plan’s benefits to confirm if coverage is available for any phases of your care. If there is coverage, it will likely be only for a specific percentage of the cost.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Man shaking hands with his implant dentist in Gainesville

If you do not have dental insurance at this time, there are other options for you to consider to make your dental implants affordable. For example, financing through CareCredit allows you to make monthly installments on more expensive services like dental implants with little to no interest attached. This makes more costly services affordable even to those on a budget. You may also be able to save money on preventive services by signing up for our in-house Lifetime Club, a patient membership plan that provides guaranteed rates on preventive services and discounts on other in-house treatments.

Dental Implant FAQs

couple at a dental implant consultation

At Lifetime Dental of Gainesville, we understand that making the choice to replace your missing teeth with dental implants in Gainesville is a huge decision. That’s why we go out of our way to make sure that you have all of the facts and information you need to feel confident in your treatment choice. When you visit us for an initial consultation, we’ll walk you through the procedure step-by-step so you know exactly what to expect. In the meantime, we’ve answered some common questions we receive from our patients for your convenience.

Does dental implant surgery hurt?

Whether you’re having a single implant placed or many, the procedure itself should be virtually painless. In fact, most of our patients are able to go back to their daily routine the very next day. We typically administer a local anesthetic to numb your mouth before we insert the implants. Plus, the bone where they’re placed has very few pain-sensing nerves.

For the few days following your dental implant surgery, you may experience some soreness and general discomfort around the implant site. Typically, it’s nothing that can’t be remedied with over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen. Using an icepack and a soft-food diet can help you make a speedy recovery and reduce any possibility of swelling.

How long do dental implants last?

If dental implants are properly cared for, they can last for up to 35 years. After your restorations have been permanently placed, your dentist in Gainesville will provide you with aftercare instructions so you can get the most out of your replacement teeth. Since they’re the closest solution to your natural teeth, you can care for them in the exact same way. Be sure to brush twice each day, floss, rinse with antibacterial mouthwash, and visit our office every six months for a professional checkup and cleaning.

Are dental implants right for me?

Not every patient that gets dental implants is a perfect candidate to begin with. Remember that just because you may not possess all of these qualities right now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t get implants. It just means that you may need a preparatory procedure such as gum disease therapy or a bone graft beforehand.

Here are some qualities that make the best dental implant candidates:

  • Healthy gums
  • Committed to maintain their dental health
  • Sufficient jawbone density
  • Don’t have autoimmune diseases
  • Don’t excessively drink or smoke

Can I get dental implants if I smoke?

Just because you smoke doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t an eligible candidate for dental implants. Although, it’s important to know that smoking increases your risk of gum disease, slows down your healing process, and can ultimately result in implant failure. If you’re considering investing in this tooth replacement solution, consider quitting smoking so you can enjoy your new smile for longer.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

senior woman with dental implants in Gainesville grinning from ear to ear

As long as you take good care of your dental implants, they can last for 30 years on average. In fact, you might even be able to enjoy them for the rest of your life! Luckily, dental implant care in Gainesville isn’t difficult; it’s actually quite similar to how you would maintain natural teeth. Below, you’ll find five easy steps to take that can help you get the most out of your dental implants.

Prioritize Daily Oral Hygiene

senior man brushing his teeth

Dental implants can’t decay like natural teeth can, but the bone and tissue supporting them could still fall victim to infections like gum disease. When bacteria attack these tissues for too long, it could dissolve the bond between your jawbone and the implant post, resulting in dental implant failure.

To safeguard your implants, be sure to brush your teeth for two full minutes twice a day. If you haven’t already added flossing to your daily routine, consider doing so, as dangerous bacteria often gather in areas that your toothbrush can’t reach.

Stick to a Nutritious Diet

woman biting into a red apple

By eating foods that encourage healthy gums, you’ll be keeping the foundation of your dental implants healthy. Not only do fresh produce and dairy products promote overall health, but they also contain vital nutrients that keep your jawbone strong and your gum tissue infection-free.

Remember that when it comes to sugary and starchy foods, like potato chips and candy bars, moderation is key. Treating yourself every now and then shouldn’t be a problem, but overindulgence in such items makes it easier for harmful bacteria in your mouth to thrive.

Kick Bad Habits

woman chewing on a pencil while sitting at her desk

Many people engage in habits that aren’t exactly great for oral health, such as smoking, chewing on pens/pencils, biting their fingernails, or crunching on ice. Just as these habits can damage natural teeth, they also pose risks for dental implants. Using your teeth to bite or chew anything other than food can break your implant restorations, and smoking increases your risk of oral infection and dental implant failure exponentially.

If you’re having trouble kicking these habits, ask a member of our team to point you toward the right resources.

Protect Your Teeth with a Mouthguard

person putting a yellow athletic mouthguard in their mouth

If you’re prone to clenching and grinding your teeth while you sleep, wearing a protective nightguard is crucial. Otherwise, your implants (and any natural teeth you have left) are susceptible to long-term wear and tear.

On a similar note, you should wear an athletic mouthguard if you participate in any physical activities that carry the risk of impact to the face. That way, any injury to your implants is lessened.

Attend Two Dental Checkups a Year

dental hygienist cleaning a patient’s teeth

No matter how many of your teeth have been replaced, seeing Dr. Her for two dental checkups a year is still essential. Many problems in the gums, implants, or remaining teeth can develop and progress significantly without your knowledge. When Dr. Her is able to regularly examine your mouth, he can detect such issues and plan to address them with conservative methods. This can save you a great deal of time and money in the long run!

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