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As dentists, we do all we can to save your teeth. We encourage regular checkups so we can clean and examine your teeth for any issues, such as tooth decay or gum disease. We offer treatments for soft enamel if your enamel has worn down. In some cases, however, it’s impossible to save the teeth. 

That’s where dental implants come in. All teeth have roots, and when a tooth is lost, the root goes with it. When that tooth needs to be replaced, an implant may be the recommended solution. Dental implants can hold a new tooth in place, which helps the rest of your teeth stay where they should. This means fewer gaps between your teeth, and that’s just one of several positive effects they can have. 

Beavers & Broomfield Family Dentistry, in conjunction with our referred oral surgeon, provides dental implants to patients who have lost teeth due to tooth decay, injuries or accidents, gum disease, and other causes. We treat the cause of your tooth loss as well. You will get comprehensive care when you come for dental implants in our Fayetteville, AR, office!

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What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small, cone-shaped containers that hold screwed-in, new teeth. Think of them like a drywall screw. You first put in the plastic piece that will hold the screw. Dental implants work in a similar way. 

The dental implant is placed in the bone of the jaw to hold a new tooth. Dental implants can benefit the jaw because, without a tooth there, the jaw tends to break down. Nearby teeth will begin moving to close the gap, which will leave a gap between the teeth or will close the gap enough that a new tooth won’t have room to be put in place. That’s why our patients sometimes have to have orthodontic treatment before they have their procedure.

On top of the implant is where we place the abutment and the crown. The abutment is the middle piece that connects the implant to the crown. The crown is the top piece that acts as the new tooth.

How Long Does It Take To Get Dental Implants?

The process of implanting the titanium cone into the jaw usually takes only an hour or two, depending on how soon after you lose your tooth you get the implant. If you wait a long time, the hole where the root had been closes up, making it harder to get them in place. The lower part of the dental implant goes where the tooth root has been. 

Once the oral surgeon puts the dental implant in place, we wait several months for your jaw to grow around and hold it properly. This takes an average of 4-6 months, depending on the health of your jawbone. Once the bone has fused with the implant, we can top it with the abutment and dental crown that will serve as your new tooth. 

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Are Dental Implants Safe? 

Dental implants have been around for decades and have a tried-and-true reputation for being extremely safe. It’s possible to have complications, but they tend to be very rare and are often caused by medical conditions such as gum disease or weakened bones. We will let you know all the risks before you have your dental implant procedure during your initial consultation. 

Our patients wonder if MRIs and X-Rays are safe when they have dental implants, and the answer is yes. X-rays will actually show us how your new teeth are healing and functioning.

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

Are dental implants painful? The initial procedure of implanting the lower part of the dental implant usually takes an hour or two. Your oral surgeon will offer various options of anesthesia so you stay relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. 

Once the anesthesia has worn off, you may experience mild discomfort and swelling for a couple of days after the procedure. Usually, over-the-counter pain medication is enough to reduce or eliminate any pain. You can also rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to soothe your gums.

Later on, after the procedure, some issues may occur. There is a tiny screw in the abutment that occasionally can become loose. Many people think that the implant may be loose, but it’s actually just that little screw that needs tightening. That is something we can do quickly in-office. Very rarely, the implant can become inflamed or infected and require a trip back to the oral surgeon. This typically happens when a patient doesn’t continue routine dental cleanings and proper home care. That is why it is important to keep up with your regularly scheduled cleanings.

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What Can I Eat After Dental Implants?

Your mouth may be a little sore afterward, so eat soft or liquid foods after your procedure. Soft foods to eat after dental implants include soups (minus a lot of meat or vegetable you need to chew), mashed potatoes and sorbet, or similar foods.

You should avoid dairy after your dental implant surgical procedure, like ice cream, protein shakes, and milk. Dairy products cause inflammation in your oral tissues which will make it more difficult for your mouth to heal after your surgery. These products have also been known to cause nausea and vomiting after surgery which will put you at risk for infection.

You’ll want to avoid any foods that are crunchy, sticky, spicy, or hard. These can irritate your gums and jaw and cause damage, pain, or infection, which may cause your implants to fail. Sticky foods can pull the implant out before it has a chance to set in your jaw. 

Stay on your liquid/soft diet for at least a week or two, so your jaw and gums have time to heal. After that, slowly start introducing tougher foods, like meats, harder cheeses, and breads.

Will the Dental Implants Match My Teeth?

While we’re waiting for your dental implant to set in your jaw properly, we prepare the upper part of the dental implant — the crown. The plan is to make the tooth blend in perfectly with your natural teeth. 

 If you want to whiten your teeth before you get your final crown, you need to wait at least 2-3 weeks after your initial procedure to make sure you heal properly. Otherwise, the bleaching agent in the whitening procedure can impede your healing. Beavers & Broomfield Family Dentistry offers teeth whitening as part of its restorative dental services. Talk with us about whitening your teeth.

Once you have the teeth the shade you want, we will help you choose a crown that will perfectly match your other teeth. Keep in mind, though, that tooth whitening tends to be temporary and will not affect your crown. So as the tooth whitening fades, your crown may not match as well. You can opt for a new crown for an extra cost, or you can avoid tooth whitening and stick with your natural tooth color.

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How Long Do Dental Implants Last

The benefit of dental implants is that they will last forever when well-maintained. Replacement of the crown attached to the tooth implant posts may be needed every 15-20 years due to typical wear and tear. 

Our patients often ask if dental implants are worth it. Our answer depends on the patient, but in general, the answer is yes! They will last in the long term, which is why full-mouth dental implants are expensive. For those with weakened jaw bones, implants actually stimulate bone growth which will help you in the long term.  It is an investment for your oral health and mental health that will last!

How Do I Pay for Dental Implants in Fayetteville, AR? 

Does Dental insurance cover implants? Some insurance policies will pay at least part of your dental implant costs. We can work with you to determine what your insurance will cover when it comes to paying for dental implants in Arkansas. 

Beavers & Broomfield Family Dentistry also offers a special savings plan called Coverage You Can Smile About. This coverage offers discounts and savings for several procedures, including dental implants. We will collaborate with you to discover the most cost-effective approach to cover the expenses of your dental implants!

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Dental Implants in Fayetteville, AR

Dental implants are a great alternative to living with those gaps in your teeth. We can help restore your smile to a more natural look! If you’re interested in seeing what we can do, get started by requesting an appointment in our Fayetteville, AR, office. We’ll be happy to talk you through the procedure and help you decide whether dental implants are right for you!

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