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Why Choose Chitra P. Naik, DMD for Dental Implants?

  • Partnered with Flint’s Best Dental Implant Specialists
  • Friendly Dentist with 25+ Years of Experience
  • Low-Interest Dental Financing Available

What Are Dental Implants?

dental implant post with abutment and crown

Compared to traditional dentures and dental bridges, dental implants are truly next-level tooth replacement. The implant itself is a titanium post that integrates with your jawbone after it has been placed there by an oral surgeon. At that point, Dr. Naik can restore the implant with a dental crown, bridge, or denture, depending on how many teeth you’re missing. Dental implants simulate natural teeth in virtually every way, letting you eat and smile like you used to.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

dentist showing a dental implant to a patient

When it’s time to have your dental implants placed, we’ll refer you to one of our trusted dental implant specialists in the area. These oral surgeons have been providing treatments for our dental office for years and we know that once you meet them, you’ll feel confident that you’re getting the expertise you need for dental implants. We do everything possible to make sure that all of your needs are met and that your implant placement is nothing less than safe and successful.

Although the dental implant process can take several months, the long-term advantages of this solution are worth waiting for! Most patients go through four basic phases of treatment:

  1. Consultation – We’ll determine whether you’re eligible for dental implants and confirm whether you’ll need tooth extractions or any other preparatory procedures first.
  2. Surgery – An oral surgeon creates an incision in your gum tissue and inserts the implant post into your jaw.
  3. Osseointegration – Your jawbone grows firmly attached to the implants over the course of the next three to six months.
  4. Restoration – Finally, we can attach your custom-made crown, bridge, or denture on top of your implants.

Benefits of Dental Implants

man and woman sitting at a table with various foods

Here are just a few of the benefits you can look forward to when you choose dental implants:

  • Restored biting force, making it easy to eat chewy or tough foods
  • A long-lasting solution for major tooth loss, averaging about 25 years to a lifetime of use
  • A truly cost-effective solution in the long run
  • The most natural-feeling and esthetically pleasing tooth replacement option to date
  • The ability to maintain all of your natural tooth enamel
  • A sturdier and more reliable option than dentures and bridges

Who Dental Implants Can Help

dentist looking at patient X-rays on a tablet

Keep in mind that implants are not exclusively for replacing individual teeth. It doesn’t matter if you’re missing one tooth, a few teeth, or an entire arch; dental implants can help you do it all!

Missing One Tooth

single dental implant with crown

If you’re missing one tooth, a single implant, crown, and abutment will be used. The abutment acts as a screw between the crown and implant, creating a secure foundation on top of the existing bone integration. The crown is made entirely from porcelain to provide the most aesthetically pleasing replacement tooth possible.

Missing Multiple Teeth

two dental implants with bridge

If you need to replace multiple teeth, Dr. Naik can use dental implants to anchor a bridge. A fixed bridge is a set of prosthetic teeth, and is used to complete a smile which has up to three missing teeth in a row. It’s normally attached to existing teeth, but if there aren’t viable teeth strong enough to maintain the position of a bridge, Dr. Naik may be able to use dental implants to substitute.

Missing All Teeth

implant denture on upper arch

If you have a denture that you’d like to give a more secure fit, four to six implants can be placed, and your denture can be customized to fit on top of them. If the denture needs replacement, Dr. Naik can create a restoration that fits your mouth comfortably. This is a great option for those tired of dealing with a denture that shifts and slides while in use.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

patient at dental implant consultation

Dental implants are a highly customizable treatment, which means each patient is going to have their own set of needs. When determining the cost, you’ll need to consider several options before a total cost can be provided, including:

  • The number of implants being placed
  • The cost of placement
  • The type of restorations used
  • Preparatory treatments necessary to place implants (sinus lifts, bone grafts, etc.)

Remember, dental implants are considered a long-term investment because they are cheaper than other options and designed to last for many decades.

Dental Implant FAQs

senior man admiring his new smile with dental implants

Do you still have questions about getting dental implants in Flint? Making the decision to replace your missing teeth and improve your day-to-day quality of life is a big deal. We want each of our patients to feel confident and comfortable in their decision to fill gaps in their smile with this modern restorative procedure. That’s why we’ve answered some common questions we get from our patients below, for your convenience.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

During your dental implant placement surgery, your mouth will be completely numbed using local anesthesia. This way, you won’t have to feel a thing. However, once the anesthesia wears off, you’ll most likely feel some slight discomfort and soreness. The severity of your discomfort often depends on how many implants you’ve had placed.

Fortunately, any pain should begin to subside within a week and can easily be managed with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen. If your surgery was more extensive, you may be prescribed pain medication. You may also notice some swelling for a day or two following your surgery.

Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Not every patient that we see is a great candidate for dental implants right off the bat. Some patients need preparatory procedures that help improve their oral health, so their dental implants have a strong and sturdy foundation to be placed in, which is why the procedure boasts a 95 percent success rate. Some qualities that make a great candidate include:

  • Have healthy gums
  • Are committed to their oral hygiene routine
  • Don’t have an autoimmune disease
  • Don’t excessively smoke or drink alcohol

Even if you don’t possess all of these qualities at the moment, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get dental implants. Be sure to  schedule a consultation  with Dr. Naik to determine how you can become a great candidate for the procedure.

How Long Does the Dental Implant Process Take?

Every patient’s dental implant timeline varies depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • How many implants you need placed
  • What type of restorations you need
  • Whether you need preparatory procedures
  • Where your missing teeth are located

During your initial consultation,  Dr. Naik  will develop a custom-tailored timeline for you, so you know exactly what to expect from the process. Typically, it takes place over the course of several months due to necessary healing periods that involve the natural fusion of your implants to your jawbone, providing your restoration with added strength and durability. 

Are Dental Implants Approved by the FDA?

Yes, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the use of dental implants in 1982. Their approval was granted based on the results of countless clinical studies and research that was conducted, proving that they were a safe and effective long-term treatment solution to tooth loss.

Do Dental Implants Look Natural?

Dental implants are the closest solution to getting your home-grown pearly whites back. They’re custom-crafted to resemble your natural teeth and are virtually indistinguishable. The restorations are typically crafted from high-quality materials like ceramic, composite resin, and porcelain, that are able to mimic the look of natural enamel.

Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Woman after failed dental implant in Flint

It is highly unlikely that you will experience a failed dental implant. The success rate after initial placement is 95%; however, there are instances where a new prosthetic can be compromised. Whether caused by peri-implantitis, improper placement, or facial trauma, Dr. Naik and our team can offer dental implant salvage to save your smile’s future.

Learn More About Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Toothbrushes in clay cup

Your new dental implants can keep your smile beautiful and healthy for many years down the road. However, it’s important that you take care of them. If you aren’t maintaining your implant properly, you could experience a dental implant failure and need to have it replaced. Here are some precautions and healthy habits that can help you to keep your restored smile healthy for many years to come.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Man holding toothbrush and toothpaste

Dental implants themselves cannot get cavities, but it’s still crucial that you practice excellent oral hygiene. If your surrounding teeth and gum tissue aren’t healthy, your dental implant can fail. By brushing twice and flossing once a day as well as rinsing with mouthwash, you can decrease your risk of getting cavities in your healthy teeth and developing gum disease.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Chicken breast with carrots and broccoli

When you have dental implants, you don’t need to limit the foods that you are eating. You can enjoy a full, nutritious diet. However, if you eat too many foods that are hard, sticky, or sugary, you could experience some issues. Stick to a diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin C to keep your jawbone strong and your gum tissues healthy!

Break Bad Habits

Man crushing cigarettes

If you indulge in bad dental habits, your dental implants are more likely to fail. You should refrain from smoking and chewing tobacco, and don’t use your teeth to bite or chew on hard objects. This can damage your restorations.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Colorful mouthguards

Your dental implants are very strong and durable, but they aren’t indestructible. By wearing a mouthguard when you participate in sports, you can protect your dental implants. If you grind your teeth at night, you may want to consider wearing a nightguard to prevent additional wear and tear.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Woman smiling in dental chair

You should attend regular cleanings and checkups every six months. This way, we can thoroughly clean your smile and ensure that your implants and the rest of your pearly whites are still in good shape!