Dental Implants – State College, PA

Replacing Missing Teeth for Full, Healthy Smiles

woman admiring her smile with dental implants in State College

Are you embarrassed to smile because of missing teeth? Many people mistakenly believe that a missing tooth is merely a cosmetic problem. But losing a tooth, whether to injury or dental disease, can create serious problems for your oral health. Shifting and rotating of neighboring teeth, gum disease, jawbone deterioration, and additional tooth loss can all occur within just a few years. Replacing one or more teeth with dental implants in State College can restore your oral health, not to mention give you a more confident smile! Call us today to schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Chris Devlin.

Why Choose Chris J. Devlin, DMD, PC for Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implants Placed & Restored In-Office
  • Friendly & Experienced Dentist & Team
  • Insurance Accepted & Affordable Financing Offered

What Are Dental Implants?

X-ray of a patient with dental implants in State College

A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jawbone to act as an artificial root for a lost tooth. Initially, there is a small incision made in your gums to access the bone. Then, a tiny hole is created for your implant. Once placed, it fuses to the jaw, creating a sturdy and stable support for a dental crown. This process, called osseointegration, takes between three and six months. Once complete, you’ll come back into our office, where Dr. Devlin will place your permanent crown. If you’re missing several or all of your teeth, multiple dental implant posts can also be used to support a dental bridge or a full or partial denture.

Dental implants are the only option to rebuild your entire missing tooth from the roots up. Because of this, they are much more reliable, lifelike, and durable than alternative treatments. With the right care and maintenance, they can even last a lifetime!

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

dental implant model

Many general dentists have to refer patients to an unfamiliar oral surgeon for dental implant placement, but Dr. Devlin’s advanced training allows him to handle the entire process under one roof. This makes the overall process smoother, more convenient, and more cost-effective.

Since no two smiles are created equal, your dental implant journey will never be exactly the same as anyone else’s. However, there are four basic steps that everyone experiences:

Dental Implant Consultation

dentist showing a patient their dental X-rays

During your initial consultation with Dr. Devlin, he will thoroughly examine your mouth for any issues such as gum disease and jawbone deterioration that must be addressed prior to placing implants. This appointment is also a great opportunity for you to ask Dr. Devlin any questions you may have about the details of the process.

After a performing thorough oral examination and taking x-rays to determine your candidacy for dental implants, we will go over a detailed treatment timeline to give you an idea of how long it will be until your smile is fully rebuilt. If you do have any oral health problems, don’t worry; it may just take slightly longer to achieve your complete smile.

Dental Implant Surgery

patient giving a thumbs-up in the dental chair

Following your consultation, you may require preliminary procedures like gum disease therapy or a bone graft to improve your chances of dental implants success. The length of this step varies from patient to patient, but typically, bone grafting takes four to six months to fully heal.

Once your jawbone is ready, your surgery can take place. Small incisions are made in your gum tissue to access your jawbone. Titanium posts are then placed directly into the bone, which will serve as the root structure of your new teeth. Over a period of three to six months, a remarkable process called osseointegration will occur. During osseointegration, your implant posts will fuse with your jawbone until they are essentially a part of your own anatomy.

Dental Implant Osseointegration/ Abutment

man smiling in a park

A few months later, once osseointegration is complete, you may need to undergo another minor surgery to place your abutments. An abutment is a metal connector piece placed on top of your implant that will attach your restoration to your implant. After this procedure is finished, your gums will need to heal for at least couple of weeks before you can return to your dentist in State College to receive your restorations.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

dental implant being placed in the lower jaw

Once your gum tissue has healed, Dr. Devlin will take impressions of your mouth to send off to a dental lab, where a professional ceramist will get to work on crafting your restoration. After they arrive, you’ll return to our office, where we’ll finally place your crown, bridge, or denture. From there, you can enjoy your new and improved smile for years to come!

Because there are so many factors that affect the process of getting dental implants in State College, the best way to determine just how long it will take is to schedule a consultation. Dr. Devlin and the rest of our team are more than happy to answer your questions about any step in the dental implant process. To book a consultation and find out whether dental implants are just the treatment your smile needs, contact us today!

Benefits of Dental Implants

close-up of a man smiling with a full set of white teeth

Dental implants are the only solution to tooth loss that replaces the root of the tooth as well as the visible portion known as the crown. The titanium post fully integrates with your jawbone, eventually becoming part of your own anatomy. With a success rate of over 95%, dental implants are undoubtedly the best available solution to tooth loss. They are designed to easily last at least three decades. In fact, if you take proper care of them with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups with Dr. Devlin, they can easily last for the rest of your life!

Who Dental Implants Can Help

elderly man at a dental implant consultation

No matter your degree of tooth loss, your problem can be solved with dental implants. From one tooth to an entire mouthful, dental implants can restore form, function, and aesthetics back to your smile. The only difference is the number of implants you’re receiving and what type of restoration will top it.

Missing One Tooth

For just one missing tooth, we can place a dental crown over the implant post to give you a realistic-looking tooth. This restoration is made of durable dental porcelain and is custom shaded to match the color of your remaining teeth so that it blends right in with your smile.

Missing Multiple Teeth

If you’re missing several teeth in a row, not to worry. We can use a dental bridge to fill the gap. We’ll place a crown-topped implant on either end of the gap in your grin, with artificial teeth called pontics strung along to literally bridge the space in between.

Missing All Teeth

Even if you’re missing all of your teeth, dental implants can help. Using an average of four to six implants strategically placed throughout the jawbone, we can snap on a denture that’s fixed or removable, depending on your personal preference. They eliminate the slipping and sliding around that ill-fitting traditional dentures sometimes bring.

Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

It’s impossible to give you a precise estimate of how much you’ll end up paying for dental implants in State College because each and every case is different. Your total cost could be influenced by a variety of factors, such as any preliminary treatment you may need (like a bone graft or periodontal therapy), how many implants you’re receiving, and the cost of your restoration. Just remember that although it might seem like you’re paying more up front, dental implants are an investment that can benefit you and your smile for decades to come.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Receiving dental implants usually takes several appointments. During your consultation, your dentist in State College can lay out a detailed and personalized timeline based on your unique oral health needs. During this consultation, you’ll learn if other treatments are necessary, including:

  • Bone grafting
  • Removal of tooth decay
  • Gum disease therapy
  • Tooth extractions

On top of that, the surgery and anesthesia required to complete dental implant treatment have their own unique costs. Since Dr. Devlin performs placement and restoration in-house, you can expect dental fees that are more compact overall.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

How many teeth are you missing, and what kind of prosthetic do you need to replace them? That’s the main question affecting the price of dental implants. Furthermore, the materials used to create your dental implants can also influence your final price tag as the cost of titanium (for the root) can vary from other materials. We’ll be happy to explain why we opt for certain materials over others as well as answer any questions you have about the manufacturers we work with.

Final Dental Implant Restoration

The more complex your restoration needs to be to make your smile complete, the higher the cost of treatment. For example, while our implant crowns are still highly lifelike, they do not require as much personalization and attention to detail as more complicated options like dental bridges or dentures. Additionally, more complex restorations require more time to fabricate to ensure they feel natural in the mouth and keep the bite even.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

While many insurance plans don’t cover the cost of the implants themselves, they will often pay for other elements of the treatment, such as your consultation or gum disease therapy. They can also cover the cost of the restoration itself, but the percentage at which they do can vary. Our team can file the paperwork for you in order to maximize your benefits, minimize your out-of-pocket costs, and make the entire process as stress-free as possible.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Even if you do not use a dental insurance plan at this time, there are other options available to you to make dental implants more affordable. You can also use CareCredit, a third-party service, to finance your implants at incredibly low interest rates. This option makes it easier to cover the cost of dental implants in monthly installments instead of paying for them in one lump sum.

Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Woman in dental chair with a toothache

Dental implants boast an astonishing success rate of 95%, even 10 years after placement! However, there is still a rare chance you could experience dental implant failure. If your restored smile begins to feel uncomfortable or you’re concerned about the well-being of your dental implants for another reason, don’t hesitate to give us a call right away. There may be a chance that we can salvage your replacement teeth.

Learn More About Implant Failure and Salvage

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

patient showing off her dental implants in State College

Your dental implants are built to last and restore your smile for several decades; however, they can only do their job if you’re diligent about maintaining and taking care of them! Fortunately, your implants also don’t require any specialized level of care and it’s quite easy to ensure that they’re clean and capable of serving their purpose. Here’s a quick breakdown of several things you can do to ensure that your dental implants in State College last.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

a patient brushing her teeth in State College, PA

Although your dental implants are impervious to cavities, you still need to prioritize excellent oral care once you have them since your remaining natural teeth, gum tissue, and jawbone are all still susceptible to problems. Be sure that you’re brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and also rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. By regularly cleaning your mouth of debris and bacteria, you’ll foster a healthy environment for your implants that encourages the metal posts to remain sturdy, secure, and free of complications!

Eat a Healthy Diet

a patient eating a healthy diet in State College

One of the best aspects of dental implants is that unlike traditional restoration options such as dentures or bridges, you’re still able to enjoy all of your favorite foods. This is because dental implants restore roughly 80% of your chewing power! However, it’s still wise to carefully consider the dietary choices you’re making, as some sugary sweets can lead to problems for your implants if you’re prone to overindulging. Hard or sticky objects can also potentially damage your implants, too. You should opt for healthy choices such as vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and more.

Break Bad Habits

a patient breaking a cigarette in half in State College

Dental implants are tough, but they aren’t invincible; they will not last if you aren’t able to break bad oral habits that might harm them. Try to eliminate the following habits:

  • Smoking and using tobacco – Smoking can interfere with osseointegration (the fusion between implant and jawbone) and make your teeth vulnerable to infection, increasing the risk of dental implant failure.
  • Using your teeth as tools – Holding objects with your mouth or using your teeth as tools to open packaging is an easy way to damage your implants and compromise their integrity.
  • Chewing on hard objects – Biting hard items like fingernails, pens and pencils, and even ice cubes can quickly wear down the surfaces of your dental implants.

Protect Your Dental Implants

a patient holding a mouthguard in State College

If you participate in sports or physical activities where there’s an increased risk of facial trauma, you should consider investing in a mouthguard to further protect your implants. These unique mouth protectors are easy to use, effective against hard hits and wear and tear, and comfortable to wear. If you’re susceptible to bruxism, (teeth grinding), you can also request a nightguard from your dentist; if unaddressed, bruxism can lead to your implants wearing down and loosening over time.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

a patient during her dental checkup in State College

To put it shortly, regular preventive care is the absolute best way you can ensure the integrity of your dental implants. By visiting your dentist biannually, you’re giving them the chance to inspect your implants for underlying oral health issues. Gum disease, for instance, often poses a serious threat to implants as well as the surrounding mouth tissue—but it’s easily mitigated through preventive dental care!

Dental Implant FAQs

dentist placing a crown on a dental implant

Dental implants in State College are one of the best options available for replacing missing teeth for full, healthy smiles. This unique tooth replacement option is completely different than dentures and dental bridges, so it’s natural to have some questions about it. For your convenience, we’ve gathered some of the most common questions we get about dental implants below so you can learn more about them!

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

Whether you’re missing one, several, or all your teeth dental implants can help you regain a complete set of pearly whites. However, you may need to complete a few preliminary treatments beforehand in order to be considered a good candidate. Typically, you’ll need:

  • Good overall health: Since placing dental implants is a surgical procedure, you need to be healthy enough to undergo minor surgery.
  • Great oral health: Tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues can threaten the success of your dental implants, so they need to be corrected first.
  • Enough jawbone density: Your jawbone needs to be strong enough to support your dental implants as they fuse with the bone tissue.

What Can I Expect After Dental Implant Surgery?

Thanks to modern dental technology, numbing medications, and sedation options, most patients are happy to report that dental implant surgery isn’t painful at all. Afterwards, it’s normal to experience some discomfort, swelling, and light bleeding for a few days. You’ll be provided with a prescription for painkillers as well as specific post-op instructions to help you navigate the days following your procedure. While most of your symptoms will need a week or so to fade, you should have no problem going back to most of your normal activities the day after your surgery.

How Are Dental Implants Cared For?

Dental implants are renown for looking, feeling, and functioning just like natural teeth. The great news is that they can be cared for just as easily as well! Unlike dentures, you won’t need to buy any special brushes, pastes, or cleaning solutions for your dental implants. In fact, you may not have to change your daily dental routine at all! The best way to keep your newly rebuilt smile strong and sparkling is to practice great oral hygiene habits like:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
  • Flossing between your teeth daily and rinsing with mouthwash regularly.
  • Refraining from chewing on hard objects as well as using your teeth as tools to open packages.
  • Quitting bad habits like smoking and overconsumption of alcohol.
  • Visiting us twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Cost?

Many patients are hesitant to invest in dental implants because they cost more than dentures and dental bridges. However, we truly believe that the higher initial price of dental implants is well worth the cost. Not only do dental implants provide unmatched comfort and restored biting power, but they’re the only tooth replacement option that can help prevent jawbone deterioration after tooth loss. What’s more, most patients agree that you simply can’t put a price on the confidence and peace of mind that dental implants offer with their sturdy, natural-feeling foundation.

Ready to see if dental implants are right for you? Give your State College dentist Dr. Devlin a call today to start your journey towards replacing your missing teeth and regaining a complete set of pearly whites!