Dr. Sneed Answers Your Questions

How do I know if I’m a candidate for dental implants?

The good news is: most people are candidates for a dental implant or implants. But the best way to tell if this transformative procedure is right for you is to schedule a visit with Dr. Sneed and her team. They will assess your oral and overall health to determine if dental implants will be beneficial for you. If you’ve got a healthy gum line (to help protect your dental implant) and a healthy jawbone (to help with implant placement), there’s a very good chance you’re an ideal candidate.

What are dental implants made of?

A dental implant is made up of a few parts. There’s an artificial root or post, usually made of titanium, that holds an abutment for added support. On top of that, Dr. Sneed will place a customized crown that’s permanently bonded to the post. The end result is a full smile that looks and feels natural.

What do dental implants cost?

It can be tricky to estimate an individual cost for dental implants because every patient and every case is different. That’s what makes dental implant treatment so special because it’s extremely personalized to you and your smile. The cost also depends on the number of teeth you’re going to need to have replaced. Dr. Sneed is highly experienced in single-tooth implants, implant bridges, and implant-retained dentures. All of these procedures come with varying price tags but they’re a far more permanent, reasonable solution for a missing tooth or problem teeth than other options that may need to be done again and again as time passes.

How long does it take to get a dental implant placed?

There’s no definitive timeline for getting a dental implant. It truly depends on the status of your oral and overall health. The treatment, depending on where your missing tooth is located, can generally take anywhere from about five to eight months. Some people may need additional time to allow for bone growth in their jaw to help create a solid foundation for a dental implant to be placed. In most cases, there’s a three-step process to getting a dental implant: (1) an initial consultation (2) placement of the artificial tooth root (3) placement of the custom crown.

How do I maintain an implant to keep it healthy?

A dental implant is an excellent tooth replacement option because it typically does not require any additional care other than your regular oral health routine. Brushing twice and flossing once daily along with maintaining your cleanings and checkups are key to keeping your implant (and your natural teeth) in solid shape. Even though your dental implant crown can’t get cavities, it’s still important to remember that it’s subject to the same wear and tear as your other teeth. An implant that’s well-cared for has the potential to last a long time.

Are implants covered under my dental insurance?

This is something you’ll need to discuss with your dental insurance provider. Some plans will provide coverage while others will not, especially if your dental implant is considered a cosmetic or elective procedure. Your best bet is come to the office and meet with us. Together we can take a look at your insurance and decide what options are best for you. Even if you are not covered, for whatever reason, we can work together to decide what’s best for you and your smile.

What are the top 5 signs that I may have gum disease?

Did you know that it can be hard to tell if you have periodontal or gum disease? This is because you may have it and not even be in pain. Oftentimes symptoms don’t even occur until the disease is in an advanced stage. Here are some of the warning signs you need to be aware of according to the American Academy of Periodontology:

  • Swollen, red gums that are tender to the touch
  • Bleeding during brushing or flossing
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth
  • Loose teeth that are separating from your gums
  • Bad breath

My teeth bleed when I brush. Is that normal?

Seeing a little blood every now and then when you’re brushing is OK. However, if there’s a lot of blood it could be a sign of periodontal or gum disease. Certain medications can also cause bleeding gums too. This may be something you’ll want to discuss with your primary care physician. A new toothbrush or a new type of dental floss might be to blame. Pregnant women will oftentimes experience more sensitive gums that bleed when brushing as well.

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