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Dental Implants – Indianapolis, IN

Replace Missing Teeth from the Roots Up

older couple with dental implants in Indianapolis sitting on their front porch

If you want an attractive, durable, and permanent solution to replace missing teeth, then you’ll want to learn more about dental implants in Indianapolis. Drs. Farthing and Tepner use this modern restorative solution to complete smiles, increase confidence, and improve a patient’s overall quality of life. Because dental implants replace missing teeth from the roots up, they’re able to last longer and feel more natural than traditional dentures and dental bridges. To learn more about how dental implants can transform your smile, call our team at Indianapolis Family Dentistry today!

Why Choose Indianapolis Family Dentistry for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

dental implant being placed in the lower jaw

There are three parts to a dental implant: the titanium implant post, a restoration, and a metal abutment that connects the two. The implant post is surgically inserted into the jawbone to mimic the lost tooth’s root. After it fuses to the jawbone via the osseointegration process, an abutment is placed. This allows us to restore your implant with a custom-made dental crown, bridge, or denture, instantly completing your smile with a solution that looks, feels, and functions just like real teeth!

4 Step Dental Implant Process

dental implant process in Indianapolis

Although dental implants are among dentistry’s most complex procedures, your experience doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. We can walk you through every step and be your guide, answering your questions and ensuring your comfort. There are basically four stages of getting implants, and at Indianapolis Family Dentistry, our goal is to make the process as simple and pleasant as possible from start to finish. With us, you can truly enjoy your fully restored smile.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

implant consultation in Indianapolis

All treatments, especially one as complex as dental implants, start with a consultation. Why? This meeting allows us to fully assess your smile. We’ll perform a thorough exam to confirm your oral health, evaluate dental X-rays, and discuss your needs and goals. During this appointment, we can determine whether your jawbone has the requisite density and whether it can support a dental implant properly. In other words, this simple consultation is essential to your implant success.

Dental Implant Surgery

implant placement with an implant dentist in Indianapolis

In the second phase of the dental implant process, one or more implant posts are surgically placed in the jaw. For more complex cases, we may refer you to a trusted oral surgeon, but we can generally do the placement procedure right here in our office. Either way, you’ll work with a provider who has years of advanced training and clinical experience with implants. Once the posts have been positioned, the gum tissue will then be closed and allowed to heal.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

woman smiling with dental implants in Indianapolis

Following surgery, we’ll give your mouth time for a process known as osseointegration to occur. During the this phase, your implant stimulates new growth in the jawbone, which attaches to the implant. This creates a strong bond that mimics how the jaw and a real tooth root naturally bond. After about three to six months, the osseointegration process should be complete, and it’s time to put in the abutment, which is a small titanium piece that connects the implant to the restoration.

Delivery of Dental Restoration(s)

dentures attaching to dental implants in Indianapolis

Once the osseointegration process is complete, you’ll begin the restorative phase of your treatment. In the restoration phase, we’ll take impressions of your mouth and send measurements to our dental lab for fabrication. Then, Dr. Farthing or Dr. Tepner attach a custom-made crown, bridge, or denture atop the implant(s), completing your smile and your treatment. At that point, your smile is complete, and you’re ready to enjoy full function again.

Benefits of Dental Implants

happy woman holding an apple

Want to make the best decision for your smile, your wallet, and your oral health? It’s simple – nothing replaces one or more missing teeth as effectively as dental implants. If you’re not quite convinced, then this next section is for you. Below, you will find some of the most significant benefits of this tooth-replacement solution.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Senior couple smiling while hugging outside

With dental implants, you’ll notice a significant difference in your overall quality of life. In fact, they even improve your day-to-day life by allowing you to:

  • Eat what you like with confidence – There is no need to worry about your teeth breaking or falling out during a meal. Even fresh apples and corn on the cob are possible with dental implants!
  • Speak clearly – Whistles and lisps can develop when you least expect it without a properly fitting tooth replacement. Dental implants make clear speech easy.
  • Smile with confidence – Dental implants look just like your natural teeth, greatly improving the aesthetics of your smile.
  • Simplify your routine – There is no need for messy, bothersome denture creams. Teeth replaced by dental implants fit just the way they should for years to come.

Health Benefits

Mature man smiling during dental checkup

Did you know that choosing dental implants can positively affect your oral and overall health? Here’s how:

  • Dental implants preserve your jawbone –Without the stimulation from a prosthetic root, the jawbone will gradually degenerate over time. But dental implants stimulate and stabilize the jawbone, allowing your mouth to stay healthy and whole.
  • Dental implants improve your oral health – Even one missing tooth can cause your entire row of teeth to move out of alignment. Fortunately, dental implants can prevent that from happening – all without altering any healthy enamel.
  • Dental implants prevent problems like malnutrition – One downside of tooth loss is that it makes it difficult to eat healthy foods like raw vegetables. Fortunately, dental implants restore some of the strength you lost, which means you’ll be able to enjoy a more nutrient-dense and varied diet again.

Long-Term Benefits

Woman smiling while hugging children on couch

If you’re not sure if dental implants are worth the higher upfront cost, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits. That’s because this tooth-replacement solution is:

  • The longest-lasting solution – When cared for properly, dental implants can last for several decades. In fact, many patients enjoy their revitalized smile and strong bite for a lifetime!
  • The best financial decision you can make – Other options in tooth replacement must be replaced numerous times, but dental implants fit properly forever. While the initial cost may be greater with dental implants, you come out ahead in the long run.

If you’re still unsure if dental implants are the best choice for you, you can always give us a call! We’d be happy to provide further insight and answer any questions you have about your tooth-replacement options.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

dental bridge being placed over two dental implant posts

Whether you have just one gap in your grin or you need a full mouth replacement, dental implants can help you. Here are some of your treatment options that your dental implant dentist in Indianapolis offers:

Missing One Tooth

To replace one missing tooth, a single implant post can be inserted into the socket and topped with a lifelike dental crown. This solution brings back your tooth without requiring the alteration of surrounding teeth like dental bridges do.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Several consecutive missing teeth can be restored by anchoring a dental bridge onto just two implant posts. Missing teeth throughout the mouth can be brought back with a partial denture.

Missing All Teeth

You might think that dental implants are out of reach for you because you have extensive tooth loss. However, implant dentures from Dr. Farthing and Dr. Tepner just might make you feel differently. This advanced tooth replacement method makes it easy to replace multiple teeth on opposing sides of the mouth and even all the teeth in a given arch! After your detailed consultation, we’ll confirm your eligibility for treatment and make sure you understand all the details of the overall process.

Learn More About Implant Retained Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

patient talking to her dentist

As with most things, when it comes to investing in your smile, you get what you pay for. While dental implants tend to cost more than other options, their unique benefits are always well worth it. That said, there are many factors that contribute to the overall cost of your dental implants in Indianapolis. We will always be able to give you a better idea during a consultation. However, we’ve also included some important information about dental implant pricing below.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

dental implant lying on top of a stack of money

Before you can receive dental implants, preliminary treatments like gum disease therapy and tooth extractions may be necessary, which will increase your total cost. Surgery will incur its own separate price, and it can vary based on the type of anesthesia used. Should we need to refer you to a specialist for implant placement, they will discuss fees with you during your appointment. Fortunately, we perform most simple dental implant cases right here in our office, which saves you time and money

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

patient at a dental implant consultation

The number of dental implants that you need will directly impact the cost. However, the material they are made of will also contribute to the treatment price. Implants are made of titanium, zirconia, or other materials. Just like cars or clothes, different brands are better and longer lasting than others. We will always be transparent about the types of implants and restorations that we recommend.

Final Dental Implant Restoration

dental insurance form

Once your implants are placed, we will provide you with custom-made restorations. If you’re missing a single tooth, we can use a dental crown to complete your smile. For multiple missing teeth, a dental bridge supported by implants will literally “bridge” the gap. Lastly, if you’re missing all or most of your teeth, an implant denture will effectively replace your entire smile with ultimate stability and security.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

dental team member showing paperwork to a patient

Usually, dental insurance doesn’t cover dental implants in Indianapolis. However, there are sometimes exceptions. Insurance can cover your consultation, treatment of preexisting issues, and part of your restoration, but this will vary from plan to plan. Our friendly front desk team is always happy to review your insurance and contact your provider to maximize benefits for lower out of pocket costs.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

hand typing numbers into a calculator

No insurance? No problem! We are committed to making this amazing dental service affordable for all budgets, which is why we also have our own in-house membership plan. This savings plan allows you to enjoy numerous dental benefits, including routine checkups and cleanings, for one simple annual fee or low monthly payments. The best part is that this savings plan includes 15% to 20% off on ALL other dental services, which is an advantage that you’d never be able to get with dental insurance. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office with any questions.

Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions

Woman in light blue shirt standing with arms folded

After dental implant placement comes the recovery process. There’s no need to be nervous about this stage; the Indianapolis Family Dentistry team can advise you when it comes to caring for your smile while it’s healing. There are a number of guidelines that all patients should follow, and you can learn more about them below. Personalized aftercare instructions will be provided as needed, and questions are always welcome.

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

Man in grey shirt feeling jaw due to discomfort

A dark-colored blood clot will start to form at the site where a dental implant was placed. Blood clots are somewhat like scabs in that they protect damaged areas while they’re healing. During your first day of recovery, you should focus on making sure that the blood clot remains undisturbed. Do not touch it with your tongue or your fingers, and refrain from drinking through a straw. You shouldn’t spit either; if there’s too much saliva in your mouth, you can get rid of it with a tissue.

Common Side Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

Woman in light brown shirt with oral discomfort

If you notice bleeding, swelling, or discomfort in your mouth after dental implant surgery, don’t be alarmed. These types of symptoms are a normal part of the recovery process. You should be able to reduce bleeding by lightly pressing gauze onto the area, and you can control swelling with a warm or cold compress. Any discomfort you experience should be manageable with medication, and it should go away on its own after a while. Let us know if your symptoms don’t seem to be getting better with time.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

Bowl of oatmeal next to a spoon

Cooked pasta, oatmeal, eggs, soft fruits, cooked vegetables, and smooth soups are all examples of the kinds of foods you should eat after dental implant placement. In general, you should stay away from anything that’s crunchy or difficult to chew. It’s possible to return to a normal diet after your mouth has healed, but you still have to be careful not to chew directly on the implant posts.

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

Six toothbrushes sitting in a clear glass

Oral hygiene becomes especially important after dental implants are in place. If the bacteria in your mouth cause an infection, your dental implants might not be able to fuse with your jawbone properly. Maintain a healthy smile by brushing like you normally would. Be careful, though; you don’t want to brush too hard near the implant site.

We also recommend rinsing with salt water at least twice a day. Remember not to spit once you’re done; just lean over the sink and tilt your head to gently pour the water out of your mouth.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

Render of a single dental implant in Indianapolis, IN, and a crown

The final restoration will be attached several months after the initial implant surgery, so your mouth should be completely recovered by this time. If you notice any bleeding after receiving your restoration, let us know; that should not be happening at this stage. Your gums might be mildly sensitive, but it shouldn’t be anything that can’t be handled with pain medication.

Maintaining & Caring For Your Dental Implants

implant dentures

Dental implants are the closest option you’ll find to natural teeth, and like natural teeth, they need to be well maintained. In theory, dental implants in Indianapolis can last 30 years or even longer—if you put in the effort of caring for them. Fortunately, the upkeep for implants is fairly simple; you just need to treat them as you would real teeth. Giving them the same care enables you to enjoy your newly completed smile for many years down the road.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

man brushing with dental implants in Indianapolis

Although your implants cannot get a cavity, your gum tissue is still capable of developing an infection. Therefore, it’s important that you stick to a consistent daily hygiene routine. Thorough brushing and flossing clears away bacteria-filled plaque that could lead to gum disease. These tasks only take a few minutes out of your day, but they can help prolong your implants’ lifespan.

Eat a Healthy Diet

man eating healthy foods with dental implants in Indianapolis

Believe it or not, the food and drinks you consume can play a role in either keeping your implants working for many years or in causing premature failure. Try to limit the sugary or acidic foods you eat (or drink). Healthy, water-filled, and fibrous fruits and vegetables not only provide the vitamins your body needs but can aid in getting rid of bacteria. Keeping a mouth-friendly diet can ensure your entire smile stays strong.

Break Bad Habits

woman chewing on ice

You may already know that smoking or using tobacco products is unhealthy for your smile, but did you know that seemingly little habits can put your implants at risk of failure? For instance, if you open packaging with your teeth or chew ice, your fingernails, pencils, or other hard objects, it puts immense pressure on the implant. Instead of endangering your tooth replacements, find scissors or other tools and spare your smile from unnecessary damage.

Protect Your Dental Implants

nightguard to protect dental implants in Indianapolis

Did you know that jaw pain could be the result of clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep? Although you can’t control this habit, it can wear down your replacement teeth and even cause failure. A nightguard can help your jaw joint relax and separate your upper and lower teeth during the night. Another time to provide extra protection for your restored smile is while you participate in contact sports. Even sports like soccer, baseball, or others can involve blows to the face, which is why we recommend wearing a mouthguard when you play.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

woman visiting an implant dentist in Indianapolis

Just as you need to continue healthy habits at home, you also need to continue visiting your implant dentist in Indianapolis at least every six months. These checkup and cleaning appointments allow us to keep a close eye on your oral health and stop any minor issues from becoming more serious and from causing implant failure. We know that implants are a sizeable investment, and these visits can help protect it.

Dental Implant FAQs

dentist showing a dental implant model to a patient

Many people are not familiar with dental implants until a dentist tells them about the treatment. Once you find out how successful and effective it actually is, you’re sure to find your future tooth replacement even more exciting! Of course, we understand if you have questions. That’s why we’ve included a detailed list of your most common concerns and our answers. If your question isn’t listed, we’d be more than happy to take your call!

What are dental implants made of?

Dental implants are made from titanium in most cases. This is because, like many other medical treatments, titanium is an incredibly biocompatible material. This simply means that it integrates well with existing bone and soft tissue and is designed to last for a very long time in the body. In other cases, dental implants can be made from ceramic, but these tend to cost more.

How long do dental implants last?

On average, dental implants typically last between 25 years and a lifetime. This is substantially longer than any other tooth replacement method, largely because of the integration process that implants undergo with your bone and soft tissue. Dental bridges and dentures tend to only last between 10 and 15 years and will inevitably need to be replaced. As long as you take proper care of them daily and visit our dental office once every six months for checkups and cleanings, you can expect true longevity from your tooth replacements.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Most patients are candidates for dental implants as long as they have sufficient oral health, healthy gum tissue, and enough bone for the implants to integrate to. These factors play a major role in whether or not you’ll be able to receive dental implants. In the event that you need preparatory treatments to become eligible for dental implants, we’ll be more than happy to walk you through the process and confirm exactly what needs to be done to ensure a safe and successful implant placement.

Do dental implants ever fail?

While it is technically possible for dental implants to fail, it is an incredibly rare occurrence when the treatment is performed by a professional. If an implant does fail, it’s typically because of poor aftercare on part of the patient, especially if they use tobacco in any form shortly after completing surgery. If you want to ensure that your implants do not fail, make sure to follow all of our dental office’s aftercare instructions.