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Dental Implants – Goodlettsville, TN

A Complete Solution for Missing Teeth

Missing teeth are a problem that about 180 million Americans have to deal with every day, but that number is quickly shrinking thanks to dental implants. It is the only solution that replaces an entire tooth both above and below the gumline, giving patients a strong and lifelike result they can trust for decades to come. If you’re ready to have a full smile again, dental implants are the best way to get it back, and Dr. McClain is ready to provide everything you need to replace missing teeth with dental implants in Goodlettsville, TN. Just give our office a call to get started!

Why Choose Goodlettsville Smiles for Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implants Placed & Restored in One Location
  • Low-to-No Interest Dental Financing Available
  • Replacement Teeth Custom-Made for Each Patient

What Are Dental Implants?

model of dental implants in Goodlettsville

A dental implant is designed to do something that no other tooth loss solution can do – bring back the root of a tooth as well as its crown. The implant itself is a titanium post that mimics the root. After Dr. McClain surgically places this post in your jaw, it integrates with the surrounding bone and tissue, essentially becoming the same structure. This creates a stable, reliable, and long-lasting foundation for your new smile. The restoration – which could be a dental crown, bridge, or denture – is secured on top of the implants with metal connectors called abutments.

Benefits of Dental Implants

patient admiring her smile in a mirror

Over the past several decades, dental implants have grown to be one of the most popular tooth replacement solutions around. Today, approximately five million dental implants are placed each year in the U.S., according to the American Dental Association. Why is dental implant treatment so popular? Compared to traditional dentures and bridges, dental implants offer a range of noteworthy benefits. From jawbone preservation to a greater bite force, below are just a few of the benefits of dental implants in Goodlettsville and why we believe they are the best solution to replace missing teeth.

Day-to-Day Benefits

elderly couple sitting on a couch
  • Many individuals who wear traditional dentures constantly worry about their false teeth slipping when they eat or speak. Patients with dental bridges, meanwhile, must often avoid biting into certain foods, such as hard apples. In contrast, dental implants provide nearly the same chewing power as natural teeth! Their supreme stability comes from the fact that implant treatment restores both the visible tooth and the tooth root structure. When you replace missing teeth with dental implants in Goodlettsville, you can enjoy all of your favorite foods without worry!
  • Dental implants are designed to blend in seamlessly with your natural smile. Indeed, implants look so natural that people you meet will likely not even notice you have undergone restorative dental treatment. Implants’ natural look and feel are due in large part to the fact that they are integrated directly into the jaw, just like real teeth. Dentures, on the other hand, rely on an artificial plastic base for support. Bridges, meanwhile, attach to adjacent healthy teeth to stay in place.
  • Do you avoid showing your teeth when you smile in photos? Do you lack the confidence to joke around and laugh with friends, coworkers, or even family? Missing teeth can be a major source of embarrassment – but dental implants can help! Whether you are missing a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire row, dental implants can both restore your smile and boost your self-esteem. With a complete and attractive smile achieved through implant treatment, you will once again have the confidence to be yourself no matter where you are or with whom you are spending time.

Health Benefits

dental implant being placed in the jaw
  • If you are looking to not only improve your oral health but your overall health and wellbeing, too, replacing your missing teeth with dental implants will help to lower your risk of systemic issues. It is believed that individuals who have lost 5 or more teeth by the time they reach the age of 65 will suffer from more serious health conditions and diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis.
  • Instead of worrying about the changes in your facial shape and possible sores that will develop because of an ill-fitting denture, living with dental implants allows you to enjoy a pain-free smile that is void of irritation or sores caused by prosthetics.
  • Tooth roots provide important stimulation to the jawbone. When teeth go missing, the bone in the jaw begins to slowly deteriorate, which can leave your face looking sunken and aged. Because dental implants bond with the jawbone through a natural process called “osseointegration,” they can usually prevent further bone loss. In this way, implant treatment can help you keep looking as young as you feel!

Long-Term Benefits

elderly man brushing his teeth
  • If you are looking for a long-term solution to restore your smile, look no further! With proper care, dental implants can easily last for decades or even the rest of your life. To keep your implants in great shape for as long as possible and get the most bang for your buck, be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time with a non-abrasive toothpaste, floss at least once daily, and visit an implant dentist in Goodlettsville every six months for a dental exam and professional cleaning.
  • Depending on how they’re placed and how well you take care of your dental implants, the American College of Prosthodontics estimates they have a success rate of 98%. After 10 years, dental implants continue to have a success rate of 90-95%!
  • By choosing to replace your missing teeth with dental implants, you will save lots of money in the long run for several reasons:
    • You will not need to buy dental adhesives to hold them in place
    • You do not require specialized cleaning solutions to maintain your implants and restorations
    • You will not need frequent adjustments or replacements, which is typical for dentures or fixed bridges (i.e., every 5-7 years)

4 Step Dental Implant Process

single dental implant showing the parts of the process.

Compared to most other dental treatments, implants tend to take the most time and include the most steps. In fact, it is a process that can span six months to a year! However, this is an instance where the time and effort are well worthwhile. At Goodlettsville Smiles, we are proud to perform implant treatment from beginning to end in one convenient office. Dr. McClain and the rest of our team will be with you every step of the way to ensure a comfortable experience.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Before we can begin implant treatment, we need to have a dedicated consultation with Dr. McClain to address any questions you may have about this treatment. During this appointment, you’ll need to provide us with a complete medical history and an accurate list of your current medications. Also, Dr. McClain will examine your gums and jawbone to make sure that both are healthy enough for the placement procedure. Once she puts together a custom treatment plan for you, our team can then give you a concrete estimate for the work and a timeline for each step of the process.

Dental Implant Surgery

In some cases, we may need to do other procedures before the implant placement, like gum disease therapy or a tooth extraction, but if you require no preliminary work, we can then perform the placement surgery. For this procedure, we will numb the area completely before making a tiny incision in the gums. We’ll then put the post into the jawbone and close the gums. Above the surface, we’ll place a protective cap over the site to help it heal undisturbed.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

After implant placement, the jawbone needs time to grow and securely surround the post. This process, called osseointegration, can take up to six months to complete. When we’re confident that your implant has successfully integrated with the bone, we will then reopen the gums to put in a small connection piece called an abutment, which will stick out above the gums. Once the gums have healed, we can then begin to work on creating your restoration.

Delivery of Dental Restoration(s)

At this point of the process, we’ll take impressions of your teeth and mouth and send this information to the dental lab. After their technicians are finished fabricating your restoration, you’ll return to our office, when we can make sure it feels comfortable within your bite and permanently affix it to the implant. When you leave our office, you’ll have a smile that looks and feels natural, is strong, and enables you to eat all your favorite foods.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

older couple looking at each other and smiling

Dental implants are actually quite versatile, so it’s no surprise that they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years. No matter how many teeth you might be missing, Dr. McClain can use implants to restore a complete and fully functioning smile. During your consultation, we’ll confirm whether or not you’re a good candidate for dental implant surgery. If you are, we’ll figure out how many titanium posts are needed and create a personalized treatment plan for your unique smile.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

patient visiting dentist for checkup

The truth is, almost every adult is a good candidate for dental implants in Goodlettsville. It’s one of the reasons why they’ve become an incredibly popular method of tooth replacement! At a minimum, you’ll need to meet the following criteria to qualify for this modern solution:

  • Good Overall Health: Because the dental implant process requires oral surgery, you’ll need to be well enough to undergo this minor procedure.
  • Great Oral Health: Preexisting health issues like cavities and gum disease can wreak havoc on your smile! As such, you’ll need to address those problems before replacing your missing teeth.
  • Adequate Jawbone Density: To ensure successful implant treatment, you need to have a strong jawbone.

Don’t worry – even if you don’t meet these guidelines, you can potentially still get dental implants by undergoing certain preliminary treatments like extractions, gum disease therapy, and bone grafting. With these procedures, you can get on the right track toward a newly rebuilt smile!

Missing One Tooth

3D illustration of single dental implants

If you’re only missing one tooth, a single implant root can be placed directly between two healthy teeth and topped with a crown without disturbing them, making a lone gap in the smile disappear. This approach is far sturdier and more long-lasting than a dental bridge. Plus, it doesn’t require the alteration of natural enamel from the adjacent teeth!

Missing Multiple Teeth

patient visiting dentist for checkup

If you have more than one missing tooth in a row, you won’t need individual implants to replace them. Rather, just two implant roots can support a bridge, holding up to four teeth at the same time. By comparison, they are much stronger than a traditional dental bridge. The exact number of dental implants you need will depend on how many teeth you’re missing and where they were located.

Missing All Teeth

3D illustration of implant denture

With just four to six implants, Dr. McClain can give you a full denture that is much, much more stable than any removable prosthetic. Because of this, patients are able to eat a much wider array of foods with ease, often improving their overall health. Depending on your case, implant dentures can be either removable or fixed in place.

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

man holding a dental implant in his hand

There is no set cost for the dental implant procedure because as we touched on above, they can be used to replace varying numbers of teeth depending on a patient’s particular situation. While it’s true that implant restorations tend to be more expensive than other traditional options, they’re often able to last for 30 years or more. As a result, patients are able to avoid the periodic maintenance and retreatment regular bridges and dentures require, which can add up to thousands in savings. Read on to learn more about the cost of your dental implants in Goodlettsville.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

businesswoman standing on a city sidewalk with her arms crossed

Preexisting dental issues like gum disease and any necessary tooth extractions must be treated before getting dental implants, which can add to the cost of your procedure. A healthy mouth makes it more likely for your dental implants to last. Next, your implant surgery incurs a specific cost, which can vary based on necessary anesthesia during treatment. One of the benefits of implant placement and restoration with Dr. McClain is that you’ll have more convenient, compact fees from a single office instead of keeping track of multiple payments.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

elderly woman giving a thumbs-up in the dental chair

One of the main factors of your implant cost is the number of implants that you need. Dental implants can be made of various materials like titanium and zirconia that come from different brands/manufacturers. Just like cars, some are better than others, which means the cheaper option isn’t always the best. Our patients deserve the highest quality restorations, which is why we will always be transparent about the types of dental implants we use and the fees that come with them. 

Final Dental Implant Restoration

dental implant being placed in the lower jaw

We provide different restorations based on your specific pattern of tooth loss. Are you missing a single tooth? We can mount a custom-made dental crown on top of a single implant. For those missing multiple teeth consecutively, implants can support a strong dental bridge. Lastly, if you’re missing all or most of your teeth, we can provide a full smile replacement with implant dentures.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

man sitting in the dental chair

Typically, dental insurance does not cover dental implants, however there are some exceptions. In some cases, your insurance provider may cover certain aspects of the treatment like your consultation or correcting preexisting issues like gum disease, but this will vary from plan to plan. Our friendly front desk staff uses their years of experience in working with insurance to maximize your benefits for lower out-of-pocket costs.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

older man in an office standing with his hands in his pockets

We proudly offer cost-effective dentistry, which is why we have alternative financing through CareCredit. Patients can access low-to-no interest financing plans with fair, monthly fees. Whether you have insurance coverage, or you’re on your own, we want to make our dental implants accessible for all budgets. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions

An aging gentleman happy with his new dental implant

Remember, a crucial recovery process takes place after dental implant surgery. Your mouth needs time to adjust and heal from the process. That said, you shouldn’t feel daunted by this recovery. Once treatment is done, we at Goodlettsville Smiles will provide helpful dental implant post-op instructions. Such guidance covers what to expect, typical post-surgery symptoms, how to help your smile heal, etc. If you’d like to know these instructions in detail, just keep reading and learn more!

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

A team of dentists finishing a dental implant surgery

After implant surgery, your first priority is to leave the forming blood clot untouched. Doing so ensures your gums will heal smoothly. With that being said, remember to do the following:

  • Avoid spitting saliva. Instead, swallow it or use a tissue for dabbing purposes.
  • Don’t use drinking straws. The resulting suction force could dislodge your blood clot.
  • For at least the first day after surgery, don’t smoke tobacco products.
  • Keep your fingers and tongue away from the surgical site(s).

Common Side Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

An older man having side effects from dental implant placement

In the days after implant placement, some mild yet normal side effects may occur. The most common of them are:

  • Gum or Facial Swelling – The treatment site may swell for the first 72 hours post-surgery. Try using a cold compress in case that happens.
  • Intermittent Bleeding – Gum tissue near your new implant may bleed intermittently. This effect can persist for multiple days, so consider reducing it with gauze and light pressure.
  • Minor Discomfort –  As you might expect, you’ll feel a bit sore once the surgery’s anesthesia wears off. Take over-the-counter pain relievers to manage your ache.

Luckily, the items above should be temporary and subside over time. If they don’t, do let us know

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

A young woman eating soup after dental implant surgery

For about a week after placement, follow a non-abrasive soft-food diet. Meals with hard textures could disrupt the implant fusion process.

Examples of foods to include are:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pasta
  • (Non-hot) Soup 
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Pudding

Ultimately, you can resume a regular diet once you feel ready. Even so, we strongly suggest that you curb your intake of crunchy and tough foods. You should also avoid chewing directly on the implant site(s).

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

An older woman brushing her teeth after dental implant placement

While your mouth is healing from a surgery, you still need to keep it clean. Consequently, keep up with good oral hygiene — just make some minor changes in light of recovery.

Firstly, continue to brush your teeth as usual. Do be careful when you reach the surgical site(s), however.

Meanwhile, change your mouth rinse approach. A mouthwash with high alcohol content can cause additional issues. So, rinse your mouth twice daily with salt water instead. This approach reduces post-surgery inflammation.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

A man pointing out his implanted tooth against a light background

The hard part is already over once the new tooth (or teeth) are attached. You only need to have the crown, bridge, or denture attached to the implant. This last step may cause mild sensitivity, but such is easily managed with pain medication. You shouldn’t face any swelling, bleeding, or extensive recovery. Therefore, you’ll be ready to smile the same day!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

smiling man sitting in the dental chair

One of the main reasons why dental implants have become so popular is their incredibly long lifespan. Unlike traditional tooth replacements, dental implants have the potential to last for several decades or even for the rest of a patient’s life! However, they do still require some maintenance on your part. The good news is that they can be cared for like regular teeth. Here are five tips to help your dental implants last as long as possible.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

elderly couple brushing their teeth together

Just because your implants can’t get cavities doesn’t mean oral hygiene isn’t important anymore. Poor oral hygiene can lead to infections like gum disease, which is actually the most common cause of dental implant failure.

Fortunately, dental implant care in Goodlettsville is quite similar to that of natural teeth. In most cases, daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash are enough to minimize the buildup of harmful bacteria and keep your mouth fresh and clean.

Eat a Healthy Diet

woman biting into a red apple

Since they make chewing easy, you can eat practically anything you want with dental implants. However, be wary of foods that are particularly hard, sticky, or sugary. They could break or dislodge your restoration, or increase the risk of bacterial infection. Moderation is key when it comes to these items.

Make sure to incorporate plenty of nutritious foods into your diet. For example, calcium-rich dairy products will keep your jawbone strong, and leafy greens contain vitamin C that promotes healthy gums. Both of these things can contribute to the long-term success of your dental implants in Goodlettsville.

Break Bad Habits

person breaking a cigarette in half

We all have bad habits, but some of them can threaten your dental implants. Smoking is one of the worst offenders. Tobacco slows down the body’s ability to heal, which may prevent your implants from merging with your jawbone. Not only that, but smoking more than doubles your risk for gum disease, so your implants may still fail even after osseointegration is complete.

Other habits that can harm your implants and restorations include using your teeth as tools to open packages, bottles, etc. We also recommend that you avoid chewing on hard, inedible items like fingernails, pens, or pencils.

Protect Your Dental Implants

man putting a red mouthguard in his mouth

As strong as dental implants are, sports-related injuries and chronic teeth grinding can still cause serious damage. That’s why we highly suggest wearing a protective mouthguard if you play contact sports or if you grind your teeth at night. As an implant dentist in Goodlettsville, Dr. McClain can make you a custom appliance that fits more comfortably and provides greater protection than the mouthguards you’ll find at the drugstore.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

man putting a red mouthguard in his mouth

Routine checkups and cleanings are still important, even if you have replaced all of your teeth with dental implants. Our team can give your implants a professional cleaning, reducing bacterial growth that could cause problems down the line. Additionally, Dr. McClain can closely examine your implants for signs of trouble and treat them right away.

Dental Implant FAQs

dental implant with a crown next to a natural tooth

By choosing to replace your lost teeth with dental implants in Goodlettsville, you’re making the best possible investment in your smile. Although dental implants are often considered the gold standard for tooth replacement, you probably still have some questions that need to be answered before you commit to this treatment. Dr. McClain will take the time to address all of your concerns during your consultation. In the meantime, we invite you to read through this list of frequently asked dental implant questions.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

While dental implants are a wonderful tooth replacement option, it’s not right for everyone. For example, if your jawbone has lost density (which is common after tooth loss), then it may not be strong enough to adequately support dental implants. However, a bone graft may be enough to remedy this issue. Also, you must have generally good oral health in order to be eligible for dental implants. At your consultation, your dentist in Goodlettsville can discuss all of these factors to determine whether you make a good dental implant candidate.

Can Dental Implants Replace Front Teeth?

Definitely! Dental implants can replace missing teeth no matter where in the mouth they were located. Plus, the restoration that goes over the implants will be custom-made to mimic the pearly whites you were born with. Unless you go around telling people, no one should even be able to tell that they’re not your natural teeth!

Does Dental Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

In many cases, dental insurance will not pay for the implants themselves. However, they will likely mitigate the cost of some other portion of the treatment, such as your restoration. We will work with your insurance company to maximize the benefits you qualify for. We even offer in-network savings with many popular dental insurance plans, including Delta Dental, Cigna, and MetLife.

Additionally, we can help you break up the cost of your treatment via CareCredit. This company has multiple plans you can choose from that can all fit into your budget. Most of them even come with little or zero interest!

How Long Does the Dental Implant Process Take?

The answer to this question varies from patient to patient, but for most people, getting dental implants takes anywhere from a few months to a year. Preparatory work, such as bone grafting, can lengthen that period by several more months. The reason it takes so long is that osseointegration (the process during which the implants fuse to your jawbone and surrounding tissues) can take three to six months to complete. Only when osseointegration is finished can we place your final crown, bridge, or denture.

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