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Dental Implants – Lehigh Valley, PA

Fill the Gaps in Your Smile for Good

If you’re missing one or more of your natural teeth, there’s a very good chance that Dr. S. John Salivonchik will recommend dental implants. This state-of-the-art tooth replacement is able to bring back the hidden root structure of lost teeth as well as the crowns that protrude above the gumline. Once your treatment is finished, it will seem as though your teeth never went missing in the first place! Dr. Salivonchik works closely with local periodontists and oral surgeons to deliver top-quality dental implants in Lehigh Valley, PA. To schedule a consultation and learn more about what dental implants could do for you, contact us today!

Why Choose S. John Salivonchik D.M.D., P.C. for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

model of how dental implants in Lehigh Valley work

Dental implants are unique in that instead of resting on top of the gums, like dentures and dental bridges, they are surgically embedded in the jaw. The dental implant itself is a small post made of biocompatible materials, usually titanium. After the post is inserted in the jaw, it fuses to the surrounding bone and tissue, creating a foundation as strong as the roots of your real teeth. Then, Dr. Salivonchik can secure a custom crown, bridge, or denture into place to complete your smile.

As the most comprehensive tooth replacement currently available, dental implants are truly in a class of their own. Not only do they stimulate the jaw to prevent bone loss, but they look, feel, and function almost exactly like natural teeth. Plus, they can even last a lifetime if you take good care of them.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

dentist showing a patient a model of a dental implant in the jaw

While the dental implant process is lengthier than that of bridges or dentures, rest assured this option is worth the wait. Dr. Salivonchik wants you to have a complete understanding of how your new smile will function, which he can discuss with you at your consultation. Until then, you can read through this general guideline of how dental implants work in Lehigh Valley. For any further questions, don’t be afraid to give us a call!

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

dentist looking at a patient’s X-rays

The first step to restoring your smile is scheduling a consultation with Dr. Salivonchik, your implant dentist in Lehigh Valley. This will give you an opportunity to discuss your smile goals with him while also letting him evaluate your mouth to determine your eligibility for the procedure.

Although dental implants are more than 95% percent successful, a pre-placement evaluate is necessary. Good dental implant candidates generally have:

  • Good oral hygiene habits
  • Sufficient jawbone density
  • Healthy gums

If Dr. Salivonchik believes you need preparatory work before implant placement – such as bone grafting, periodontal therapy, or a sinus lift – he’ll let you know. Otherwise, you can go ahead and schedule the implant placement surgery.

Dental Implant Surgery

dentist examining a patient’s mouth

You’ll be referred to our trusted periodontist for the procedure. That way, you can be sure you’ll receive the highest quality of care. First, your mouth will be numbed to ensure you don’t feel any pain. Your gum tissue is opened up, and the implant posts are placed directly into your jawbone at predetermined angles. Your gums are then sutured closed, and you can begin the healing process. 

Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment

dental implant in the lower jaw

On average, you’ll need to wait three to six months for the implant posts to fully fuse with your jawbone. This process is called osseointegration, and it’s the reason why dental implants in Lehigh Valley are able to last so long.

After osseointegration is complete, you’ll undergo another, smaller surgery to receive your abutments. These are small metal pieces that connect your implant to your artificial teeth. Typically, you’ll need to wait about two weeks between having your abutments placed and receiving your restoration.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

dental patient admiring his smile in a mirror

Your restoration, whether that be a crown, bridge, or denture, will be made to our exact specifications in a dental lab. Once it has arrived at our office, Dr. Salivonchik will anchor it onto your abutments. Then, you can walk out of our office with a confident, beautiful smile that, with the right aftercare and maintenance, can last for decades to come!

Benefits of Dental Implants

close-up of a person’s smile with a dental implant

Dental implants will improve your smile’s appearance, comfort, and function. You won’t experience the jawbone loss that occurs when teeth are missing, and you needn’t worry about embarrassing slippage that sometimes accompanies traditional replacement teeth methods. Many patients report that they look younger with dental implants, due to the support provided to facial skin and muscles.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

man sitting in the dental chair

One of the best parts about dental implants is that they are so versatile. Dr. Salivonchik can use them to reliably replace any number of teeth for your particular situation:

Missing One Tooth

single dental implant with a crown

Unlike with a traditional bridge, in which a replacement tooth is secured using crowns on the adjacent teeth, a single dental implant crown can be positioned between two healthy teeth without affecting them at all, better preserving someone’s natural smile.

Missing Multiple Teeth

two dental implants supporting a dental bridge

For patients missing teeth throughout the mouth, multiple dental implant crowns can help close the gaps. If a patient has a gap due to consecutive missing teeth, just two implants can be used to support a prosthetic that restores up to four teeth, providing a more efficient and affordable solution.

Missing All Teeth

four dental implants supporting a full denture

Even a full or partial denture can be held in place using dental implants to help patients missing several teeth. Because the prosthetic is attached to the jawbone, patients don’t have to worry about their prosthetic shifting unexpectedly. Plus, implant dentures have also been shown to maintain their fit for much longer compared to traditional ones.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

young woman talking to her dentist

Every dental implant treatment is fully customized based on a patient’s unique needs, so as a result, there is no fixed price for the procedure. Factors such as how many implants a patient is receiving, what kind of restoration is needed, and any necessary preparatory procedures can all influence the final cost. So, how much will it cost YOU to get dental implants? We can let you know at a one-on-one consultation where we can answer this and any other questions you might have.

While dental implants can be a significant investment, they often end up costing patients less compared to traditional bridges and dentures. Why? Largely because of their longevity. With a regular restoration, a patient will have to pay to have it replaced multiple times over the years, but with implants, they are often just a onetime cost, able to last for the rest of a patient’s life with maintenance.

Types of Dental Implants

three dental implants lying on a flat surface

Not all dental implants are the same. As a result, they all have different costs. The type of implant used will impact the price, such as if you go with a standard titanium post, a mini post, or a ceramic post. If you need more than one, such as to support a bridge or denture, you can expect the cost to increase as well.

What Are the Stages of Dental Implant Treatment?

dentist placing a crown on top of a dental implant model

The process to restore your smile will occur in multiple stages throughout several months. Each stage of your treatment consists of separate fees. This can actually make it easier to pay for your dental implants because you don’t need to cover the entire amount upfront. Dr. Salivonchik will explain each step in your plan and how much you can expect to pay, including:

  • Initial Consultation: Besides the office fees, you’ll need to pay for X-rays and a CT scan to assess your oral health.
  • Additional Treatments: You may need additional procedures before your placement surgery, such as tooth extractions, bone grafting, or a sinus lift.
  • Placement Surgery: You will need sedation or anesthesia to ensure your comfort as your implant posts are surgically placed into your jawbone.
  • Abutments & Restorations: Each post will need to have an abutment attached to it. The special fixtures secure your custom-made restoration to the dental implants.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

smiling woman sitting at a table

Dental implants are an investment for several reasons. They are proven to last for several decades, so you’ll never need to worry about paying to have them replaced if you take the time to care for them over the years, like maintaining your oral hygiene.

Dental implants also improve your oral health because they stimulate your jawbone. This provides any remaining teeth with the support they need to stay in place. This decreases your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and additional tooth loss to reduce the need for costly treatments in the future.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

patient at a dental implant consultation

Dental insurance carriers won’t pay for the entire treatment, but your policy may cover certain aspects after paying your annual deductible. It may pay for the X-rays, anesthesia, restorations, or other components in your treatment until you reach your yearly limit. We work on your behalf with your insurance company to reduce the amount you need to pay out-of-pocket. We will take the time to discuss your payment options to cover any remaining balance, such as using CareCredit.

If you’re ready to learn more about the cost of dental implants, contact our office today to schedule your consultation for an estimate.

Dental Implant FAQs

dentist showing a dental implant to a patient

Replacing your missing teeth with dental implants in Lehigh Valley is an excellent investment; however, it’s normal to have several questions before you’re ready to commit to the procedure. Dr. Salivonchik will explain each phase of your treatment and address your concerns. In the meantime, here are the answers to a few of the most common questions we hear regarding dental implants.

Can I get dental implants if I have gum disease?

Although gum disease is preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates at least 50% of adults have a form of it. It can be treated in the early stages without causing any long-term damage. Unfortunately, it often goes undetected until it causes irreversible complications, like tooth loss.

If you’ve lost teeth from gum disease, you are not a candidate for dental implants until after the infection has been treated. The long-term success of dental implants relies on your jaw’s ability to support the posts and remaining infection-free. As a result, you will need additional treatments before your placement surgery, like bone grafting or periodontal therapy.

Am I too old for dental implants?

Age isn’t necessarily a determining factor for your candidacy for dental implants. As long as you’ve finished growing, age doesn’t matter when it comes to replacing your missing teeth. Instead, Dr. Salivonchik bases his decision on several other requirements, such as your oral health and lifestyle habits.

Does it hurt to get dental implants?

The process of replacing your missing teeth with dental implant will require an oral surgery. Don’t worry, you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort while the posts are inserted into your jawbone because sedation or anesthesia is used.

You can expect there to be some discomfort during the recovery, but most patients say it isn’t any worse than having a tooth extracted. You can use an over-the-counter pain reliever to make yourself more comfortable during the recovery process.

Can dental implants fail?

Dental implants have a very high success rate, but they can fail. Generally, the risk of implant failure is less than 5%. Most often, it’s the result of an infection called peri-implantitis. It is like gum disease, so it can destroy your oral structures, including those that support your dental implants.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to lower your risk of implant failure, such as:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth and clean around the abutments each night using a high-quality dental floss.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

Even with the best prevention, there is the chance that a complication can still arise. If you experience any pain, swelling, or a feeling that the implant is loose, contact our office right away. Dr. Salivonchik will get to the root of the problem to save your smile.

If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask during your initial consultation. Dr. Salivonchik will ensure you’re confident in your decision to rebuild your smile.

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