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Dental Implants – Muskegon, MI

Replacement Teeth That Look
& Feel Completely Natural

Tooth loss happens to most people at some point in their lives. When you lose a crucial portion of your smile, it can cause your confidence to plummet and make everyday tasks, like eating and speaking, difficult. Dental implants in Muskegon are a modern, advanced tooth replacement treatment that allow patients to enjoy a smile that looks and feels just like their home-grown one. Our dental office is able to complete the entire procedure for replacing missing teeth with dental implants in our Muskegon, MI dnetal office, from beginning to end, so you’ll be able to stick with the same team of professionals you trust throughout the entire process.

Why Choose Healthy Smiles Dental Care for Dental Implants?

Animated smile with dental implant supported fixed bridge

What is a Dental Implant?

Animated tooth and dental implant supported replacement tooth

A dental implant is a titanium post that is placed below the gumline to restore the root of any number of missing teeth. Due to its biocompatible features, it’s able to fuse with the jawbone through a natural process called osseointegration. This provides necessary stimulation and blood flow to the area, preventing it from deteriorating. Once the healing period is complete, we’ll attach a small connector piece, called an abutment, to the implant. This will secure the dental crown, bridge, or denture and complete your smile.

The Dental Implant Process

Diagram of an integrated dental implant in Muskegon

Replacing teeth with dental implants requires multiple steps to complete, all of which play an essential role in your tooth replacement process. With the help of our in-office periodontist, Dr. Gadalla, we can keep the entire procedure in-house, including the surgical portion. Below, you can learn more about the most important steps that go into dental implant treatment ahead of your initial appointment with us. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call!

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Implant dentist in Muskegon speaking with a patient

Before we can confirm your eligibility to receive dental implants, we’ll need to first complete a dental implant consultation. During this appointment, we’ll examine your mouth and evaluate the current status of your oral health. We’ll also address any concerns you may have as well as answer questions about the procedure. If we determine you are able to begin your dental implant treatment, we’ll get you scheduled for surgery at a later date as well as offer tips to help you prepare in advance.

Dental Implant Surgery

Diagram of dental implant hovering over gap in the mouth

Before beginning your dental implant surgery, our team will administer a local anesthetic to your mouth to ensure no sensations are felt during treatment. At most, you will only feel light pressure during the placement (and extraction, if applicable). Once fully numbed (as well as given any dental sedation if requested), we will start by opening up your gum tissue, then place the implant directly into your jaw. Next, the gum tissue is stitched closed so the integration process can begin. You’ll be given specific aftercare instructions to follow to ensure the most comfortable recovery period possible.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

Diagram showing how dental implants work in Muskegon

The titanium post placed inside of your jaw is biocompatible, meaning it will integrate with your bone and soft tissue without worry of being rejected by the body as a foreign object. However, the process of osseointegration (or fusing of jawbone tissue with the implant) will take anywhere between three and six months to complete. Once you’ve healed and your implant has fully fused, you’ll come back to our office to have an abutment attached. This metal connector acts as a foundation for your permanent restoration. When the abutment is placed, we’ll wait an additional two to three weeks so the gum tissue can heal around it.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

Series of dental restorations resting on a table

At your final dental implant appointment, we’ll attach your crown, bridge, or denture to your dental implant(s) and make any adjustments to the restoration as needed before sending you on your way. Your new tooth is designed to blend in exactly with your neighboring teeth, ensuring that it looks like a natural part of your smile. Only you and our office should notice that you had teeth replaced!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Man and woman smiling after dental implants

Roughly half a million dental implants get placed each year! What is the reason behind their blossoming popularity? Since dental implants replace both the roots and crowns of lost teeth, they provide a number of unique advantages that traditional dental restorations simply cannot provide. They are the most natural-feeling, longest-lasting tooth replacement treatment that modern dentistry has to offer. Here are just a few of the benefits of dental implants in Muskegon that you can look forward to.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Once your implants are placed and restored, they can improve your everyday life by allowing you to:

  • Eat all of your favorite foods – At most, a traditional denture only brings back about 20% of your original chewing power. It also covers the roof of your mouth, interfering with your sense of taste. Dental implants replenish most of your biting force and do not cover your palate, letting you chew and taste your favorite foods with ease.
  • Smile with confidence – Implant restorations are designed to complement your unique facial structure and resemble the pearly whites you once had. You can also trust that unlike conventional dentures, implant-supported teeth will never slip out of place because they are secured in your jaw.
  • Speak clearly – Dentures don’t prevent the jawbone from deteriorating after tooth loss in the way that dental implants in Muskegon do. Eventually, they lose their snug fit and slide around in the mouth. This may cause you to slur your words or produce a clicking sound when trying to talk. Implant-retained teeth will remain firmly in place, resulting in clear speech.
  • Enjoy easy maintenance – With the exception of a removable implant denture, dental implant restorations can be cared for through regular brushing and flossing, just like natural teeth.

Health Benefits

Dental implants offer some outstanding oral health benefits, including:

  • Preventing jawbone loss – When a tooth is missing, that area of the jawbone deteriorates from lack of stimulation. Support for your remaining teeth may weaken, increasing your risk of additional tooth loss. Luckily, dental implants stimulate the jawbone just like natural teeth do.
  • Stabilizing adjacent teeth – An empty space from a missing tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift toward the gap, leading to orthodontic issues, TMJ disorder, chewing problems, and difficulties replacing the lost tooth later on. Dental implants fill the gap and keep your remaining teeth stable.
  • Minimizing the risk of gum disease – Food particles can get trapped in gaps between teeth, attracting bacteria that cause gum disease. Because dental implants fill these spaces, there is less room for food debris and bacteria to accumulate.
  • Preserving natural teeth – To place a traditional dental bridge, the teeth on either side of the gap have to be filed down, leaving them weaker and more sensitive in the long run. Because dental implants are self-supporting, you can keep more of your natural tooth enamel.

Long-Term Benefits

While dental implants offer immediate advantages, they really shine over the long-term. As the years go by, you may experience the following:

  • A more youthful appearance – Without tooth roots to stimulate the jawbone, it becomes unable to support your facial structures. Your face may sag and wrinkle, prematurely aging you. Dental implants keep your jawbone strong and you looking young.
  • A longer lifespan – Missing teeth have been linked to health conditions like heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Dental implants function like natural teeth, preventing these issues.
  • A great deal of saved money and time – Dental implants can potentially last a lifetime, making them a better long-term investment than bridges or dentures that have to be repaired and replaced every few years. You’ll save quite a bit of money (and time) by not having to visit your implant dentist in Muskegon as often for adjustments.

Indications of Dental Implants

Older man considering dental implant tooth replacement

The best way to learn whether you can benefit from this modern procedure is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gadalla and Dr. Rodriguez today. Our team will examine X-ray images of your facial structure and discuss your treatment options with you. Depending on your needs, we’ll create a custom-tailored treatment timeline and walk you through it so you know exactly what to expect.

Missing One Tooth

Animated smile with dental implant supported dental crown

Even if you’re missing a single tooth, it’s important to get it replaced to prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of alignment. We can restore the gap in your smile by placing a single dental implant in the gums and jawbone. We’ll attach the abutment, followed by the customized dental crown to complete your grin.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Animated smile with dental implant supported fixed bridge

For multiple missing teeth in a row, we’re able to replace them with dental implants without having to alter any surrounding, healthy teeth. We can do this by inserting two dental implants at either end of the space in your arch of teeth. These will hold the ends of the dental bridge in place, closing the gap in your smile.

Missing All of Your Teeth

Animated smile with dental implant supported denture

If you’re missing an entire arch of teeth, we can place a customized denture that’s secured to anywhere from four to eight dental implants. Once the restoration is secured, you won’t have to worry about having it slip or shift in your mouth while you eat or speak, because the implants provide it with a strong and stable foundation.

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Implant dentist in Muskegon shaking hands with a patient

In order to determine the cost of your implant procedure, we’ll need to conduct a thorough examination of your mouth to understand key specifics, like how many implants you need to have placed and what restoration you require. Once we iron out these details, we’ll walk you through the process and discuss cost factors with you. After your initial consultation, our team will be more than happy to speak about financial options and insurance coverage. Below, you can read about the most notable factors that affect the cost of your tooth replacement.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Dentists discussing cost of dental implants in Muskegon

In certain cases, you may need to complete preparatory procedures ahead of receiving dental implants. For example:

  • Treatments like gum disease therapy, tooth extractions, and bone grafts could be needed, increasing the cost of your overall tooth replacement.
  • Depending on how many dental implants you need, your surgery could be longer or shorter than average. This will drive your costs up further.
  • Because we have a trained periodontist in-house who can place dental implants at the practice, you won’t need to travel to an offsite specialist who may have different surgical fees. This makes your final bill more compact and easy to understand.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Diagram highlighting components of dental implants in Muskegon

The more implants you need to rebuild your smile, the more materials will be required to create the implants and have them placed. Dental implants are made from titanium, an incredibly strong, biocompatible material that fuses with jawbone tissue. This makes it a specialized material that doesn’t come cheap. However, the costs of implants can also vary depending on their make and manufacturer. Feel free to ask our periodontist about the dental implants we use if you’d like to learn more.

Final Dental Implant Restoration

Diagram of a restoration hovering over integrated dental implants

Depending on your circumstances, you may need a restoration that is more or less complex. The more complex the restoration needs to be to rebuild your smile, the more materials, time, and effort will be necessary to create it. For example, single implant crowns are generally far less expensive than an implant bridge or denture. Every restoration we provide is made to be incredibly lifelike and last for many years, so you can expect your tooth replacement to meet your day-to-day needs without interruption.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Man reviewing cost of dental implants in Muskegon on computer

In most cases, dental implant treatment does not receive coverage from dental insurance plans. However, there are certain circumstances where you can get coverage for portions of your care. This includes preparatory treatments like gum disease therapy and extractions or restorative services like the crown, bridge or denture that attaches to the implant(s). Our team will go over any benefits you have and ensure your plan is being maximized to the fullest extent.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Man placing coins onto sawhorse with model tooth on it

Other solutions for making dental implants affordable are available at our office as well. One option that many patients consider is third-party financing from CareCredit, a service that lets you pay for dental treatments over the span of several months in low installments, generally with little to no interest attached. Alternatively, you can sign up for our in-house dental savings plan to receive discounts on certain services related to dental implant treatment as well as guaranteed preventive care as part of a subscription. We also currently have a special on dental implant placement you can take advantage of; just mention it during your consultation!

Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions

woman who knows post-op instructions for dental implants in Muskegon

Out of the many dental procedures you can undergo, dental implant placement is one of the most invasive. In fact, it is considered minor surgery! As a result, it entails a recovery period and post-op instructions, but if you don’t follow them, you risk experiencing complications or even having failed dental implants. We will provide all the information you need so that you can have a smoother experience after the placement surgery. If you ever have any questions through the post-op period, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

man resting directly after placement procedure

For at least a day or two after the surgical procedure, you need to rest from normal activities, especially strenuous ones like heavy lifting or exercising. In fact, you may want to have a friend or family member watch you at least during the 24 hours following the surgery.  Keep a clean piece of gauze on the site until a blood clot forms—make sure that clot stays there! It protects the site while the tissues underneath heal.

Common Side Effects

man experiencing swelling and other common side effects of implant placement

When the anesthetic wears off, it is normal to experience some discomfort, but it can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain medication as directed. You may also have some swelling—a cold compress can reduce this as well as numb the area for additional pain relief. Both the discomfort and the swelling should go away after a few days.

If your discomfort increases or doesn’t subside after a couple of days, if the blood clot comes off too soon after the procedure, or if you get a fever, you need to contact us. You could have an infection or another complication.

Diet

person eating a soft food diet after implant placement

When you need to eat, have soft foods for several days after the procedure. Examples of allowable foods include yogurt, mashed potatoes, eggs, and oatmeal. Keep in mind that you should not use a straw for at least 48 hours following the procedure because this action could cause the clot to be removed prematurely. When a few days have passed since your procedure, you may begin reintroducing normal foods back into your diet, but be extra cautious with hard, crunchy foods.

Health & Oral Hygiene

person brushing their teeth for oral hygiene

Keeping your mouth clean is essential for smooth healing, which means that you should continue to brush and floss your teeth as you recover. However, for several days, you need to be gentle, especially around the surgical site. You may also rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to clean the site.

You can slowly resume your usual schedule as you feel up to it, but we recommend refraining from exercise for about 4 days to a week, depending on how you’re doing. Listen to your body and don’t push it too far.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

man enjoying his new teeth

Several months after the implant post has been placed, you may be ready for the restoration to be attached. When this happens, you could feel some sensitivity in your gum tissue and require a day or two to reacclimate to having such stable teeth that feel realistic. However, like riding a bike, it should come back to you quickly! If you struggle with discomfort beyond a couple of days, then it could be an issue with the fit or require our attention.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Woman with phone smiling with dental implants in Muskegon, MI

While it does take some time to get used to living with dental implants, you’ll be happy to find that they can be cared for just as easily as your natural teeth. By taking good care of your dental implants and maintaining optimal oral hygiene, you can help your dental implants last for decades, or even the rest of your life. The following tips are important for maintaining your new teeth so that you can get as much use of them as possible on a daily basis.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Toothbrush, dental floss, and mouthwash on wooden cabinet

Obviously, dental implants can’t get cavities. Unfortunately, the gum tissue that holds your implant in place can still become infected, and that can very easily lead to dental implant failure. As such, brushing and flossing are as important as ever for keeping the area around your dental implant healthy. Remember to brush at least twice a day and make sure that each brushing session lasts about two minutes. If you want to keep the risk of an infection to an absolute minimum, start rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash. 

Eat a Healthy Diet

Tooth-friendly healthy foods on a table

Once dental implants restore most of your biting force, you’re free to eat whatever you want again, and that means you can choose a diet that will keep the tissues supporting your dental implant healthy and strong. Calcium is particularly important for maintaining your jawbone while vitamin C is good for your gums. In general, a balanced diet with plenty of lean proteins, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables can help create the best environment for your implants.

Break Bad Habits

Woman with dental implants in Muskegon, MI chewing on pencil

When committing to getting dental implants, you’ll want to take note of any bad habits that could put your new teeth at risk and break them immediately. This means no smoking; tobacco can interfere with the osseointegration process and lead to gum infections. Also, you’ll need to avoid chewing on pen caps, fingernails, and other hard objects that can damage implant restorations. Finally, if you make it a habit to tear open packaging with your teeth, make the conscious effort to switch to using scissors instead so that you don’t do unnecessary damage to your smile.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Woman with dental implants in Muskegon, MI holding mouthguard

As strong as dental implants are, they are not immune to damage. To keep them (and the rest of your teeth) safe, you should wear an athletic mouthguard when playing contact sports or participating in any sort of athletic activity where you could take a blow to the face. Also, if you grind your teeth at night, you should wear a nightguard to keep your implant from loosening.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Man with dental implants in Muskegon, MI sitting in dental chair

Dental implants, just like regular teeth, need to be examined every six months. At each checkup, we’ll make sure that the implants themselves are in good shape and check the state of the tissues around it. Early detection and thorough preventive care make it easier for us to stop problems with your implants from happening in the first place.

 

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

While it depends on the patient and their oral care routine and lifestyle, dental implants typically last for at least 30 years or more, which is substantially longer than bridges and dentures. To ensure that the implants last, you’ll need to make sure to brush, floss, and use mouthwash every day. You should also visit our office every six months so you can have an exam and cleaning performed. We do not recommend chewing on anything that is extremely hard or sticky, nor should you use your teeth to open packages or bottles. Keep in mind that these are habits you would need to follow with natural teeth as well.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

When patients have positive oral health, they can expect their dental implant treatment to be very successful. This is especially the case when placed by a professional like Dr. Gadalla, who is Healthy Smiles Dental Care’s dedicated periodontist. Those who have low jawbone density or gum disease will need to have these problems resolved first before any phase of dental implant treatment can begin. Additionally, those with diabetes, cancer, or another medical condition can experience a higher risk of issues. This is something we will discuss in more detail during your consultation.

How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take?

The length of dental implant surgery can largely depend on how many dental implants you need to have placed. For example, while a single dental implant will usually take one to two hours, which includes the time needed to administer anesthesia and make the operatory sterile, it could be longer if you need to have two or more implants placed in a single session.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I’m Diabetic?

Even those who have diabetes can receive dental implants as long as they have the condition under control and well managed. If this is the case, your odds for success are generally comparable to those who do not have diabetes. However, those with chronic high blood sugar or little control of their diabetes will experience slower healing, making it more difficult for the dental implant to integrate. Make sure to speak with your endocrinologist or primary doctor beforehand to ensure your blood sugar levels are well under control.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Afford Dental Implants?

Keep in mind that only dental implants can effectively prevent jawbone deterioration, making them a worthwhile investment compared to bridges and dentures despite being more expensive. We’ll be happy to look at your dental insurance plan and see if any phases of treatment (such as the restoration) are eligible for coverage. If not, you may also want to review your FSA/HSA (if applicable), set up a payment plan with CareCredit, or enroll into our in-office membership to get discounts on implant services.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

smiling man who can benefit from dental implants in Muskegon

At Healthy Smiles Dental Care, every treatment we do is customized to each patient’s unique necessities. This is especially evident with dental implants. Regardless of how many teeth you need to replace, we have a dental implant solution that can complete your smile. When we meet with you in the consultation, we’ll examine your mouth, discuss your needs, and put together a treatment plan designed just for you. No matter how far gone your smile may seem after tooth loss, dental implants can be utilized to get your smile back on track.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

woman who is a good candidate for dental implants in Muskegon

Not everyone qualifies for this complex replacement option at first. In fact, there are certain criteria you must meet in order to move forward with treatment, including:

  • Good oral health : If you have gum disease or another oral condition, the chances of the jawbone successfully growing and surrounding the implant will be low.
  • Enough jawbone density : Your jawbone needs to be sufficiently strong to support the implants. Otherwise, they will not stay in place or function as they should.
  • Good overall well-being : Your health doesn’t to be perfect, but certain conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes or osteoporosis, can interfere with your implants’ success.

Although not everyone makes a good candidate for implants initially, there are ways to remove impediments. For instance, we can administer gum disease therapy, perform a bone graft, or otherwise help you get back into a better position for implant treatment.

Missing One Tooth

single dental implant in Muskegon for missing one tooth section

A single tooth is fairly simple to replace—all you need is a single dental implant with a crown on top. This method of replacement is much more secure and longer lasting than a dental bridge. Its lifelike structure gives this replacement tooth a realistic appearance as well as reliable stability. In fact, no one should be able to tell that the tooth is prosthetic.

Missing Multiple Teeth

implant bridge in Muskegon for missing multiple teeth section

Did you know that you don’t have to replace each individual missing tooth? In fact, several teeth can be replaced with as few as two implants. Instead of attaching to natural teeth, which have to be altered for the restoration, implant bridges are bonded to implants embedded in the jawbone, replacing many teeth in a row. For smiles in need of partial dentures, strategically placed implants can hold a partial denture in place with more stability than a traditional denture.

Missing All Teeth

implant dentures in Muskegon for missing all teeth section

Even if you have no natural teeth left, dental implants can be used to change your life. With only four to six implants, an entire arch can be restored. Unlike traditional dentures that depend on suction, implant dentures are attached to dental implants, so you’ll find it much easier to bite and chew nutritious foods and feel more self-confidence. In addition, the few implants you have will prevent the jawbone loss that commonly occurs after natural teeth are missing.

Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Dental implants today boast a 95% success rate, even after they been inside the mouth for 10+ years. This is certainly a testament to their reliability and longevity. However, there is always an inherent (yet low) possibility that they fail. If you notice your tooth replacement feeling uncomfortable or you have other concerns that something is not quite right with your dental implant, call us right away. The sooner you call, the more likely we may be able to save your implant from needing removal.

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