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Dental Implants – Ann Arbor, MI

Bring Back Missing Teeth for Life

Losing even one tooth has a big impact on your quality of life – and losing several teeth? The effect can be dramatic, to say the least. When you’ve suffered from tooth loss, it’s time for a replacement. Dental implants placed by your trusted cosmetic dentist, Dr. James Olsen, restore your ability to eat, speak, and smile as naturally (and as beautifully) as ever. To learn more about how dental implants in Ann Arbor can bring back missing teeth for life, call us to schedule a consultation!

Why Choose James Olsen, DDS for Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implants Placed & Restored In-House
  • Affordable Dental Financing Available
  • State-of-the-Art Dental Technology

What Are Dental Implants?

dental implant being placed in the lower jaw

A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that is surgically placed beneath the gum line. Over a recovery period of three to six months, the dental implant fuses with the jawbone. You will wear a temporary tooth replacement while this process, called osseointegration, occurs. Once osseointegration is complete, the dental implant will be just another part of your body, and its restoration can begin. You will return to our office where your implant dentist in Ann Arbor will place a connecting abutment to attach your implant to your new crown, bridge, or denture.

Dental implants are a whole-tooth replacement. That means they give you back both parts of the tooth: its root and the prosthetic tooth that sits on top. With the stability provided by the dental implant within your jaw, your new teeth will be just as secure as your natural ones. That’s why Dr. Olsen often recommends dental implants as the premier treatment for tooth loss.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

close-up of a woman smiling with a dental implant

Many general dentists must refer patients to an oral surgeon for the placement of dental implants, but not Dr. Olsen. As a highly trained implant dentist in Ann Arbor, he is equipped to perform the entire procedure, from the placement surgery to the final restoration, in our state-of-the-art dental office! 

It’s worth mentioning that the dental implant process can span several months to a year or more. We think you’ll find, though, that the reliability and longevity offered by this treatment makes it more than worth the wait. After all, dental implants can last a lifetime if you take good care of them! With that said, the four steps of the dental implant process are the consultation, the placement surgery, osseointegration, and the installation of your restorations.

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Initial Dental Implant Consultation

implant dentist in Ann Arbor showing a patient their X-rays

The first step in your tooth replacement journey is a consultation with Dr. James Olsen. He’ll capture high-definition X-rays and images of your mouth and jaw, allowing him to view the current density of your jawbone. He’ll also be able to map out the unique pathways of nerves in the area to meticulously plan the exact angle and location in which he’ll place your implants.

If you have any questions about how dental implants work in Ann Arbor, Dr. Olsen will take the time to answer them during your consultation. He’ll walk you through the process step-by-step so that you know just what to expect. If he finds that you need certain preliminary procedures before you can receive dental implants, such as gum disease therapy or bone grafting, he’ll go over those as well.

Dental Implant Surgery

model of an X-ray of a patient with a dental implant

Dental implant surgery is relatively straightforward, especially since we can conveniently perform the procedure in our own office. Dr. Olsen will numb your mouth, make small incisions in your gums, precisely insert the implants in your jawbone, and place healing caps on top of them before stitching your gums closed. Most patients are able to resume their normal routines the following day, but everyone is different. Just make sure to give yourself plenty of time to heal.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

model of a dental implant in the upper jaw

As soon as the implants are placed in your jaw, they begin the process of osseointegration, in which they merge with the surrounding bone and tissue. Although this process generally takes three to six months, it creates a sturdy foundation for your new teeth, preventing them from slipping or falling out.

When we’ve determined that osseointegration is complete, Dr. Olsen will place abutments on top of your implants. Abutments are tiny metal connectors that are attached to the implants in order to secure your restorations in place.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

dentist placing a crown on top of a dental implant model

Once we receive your permanent crown, bridge, or denture from the dental lab, you’ll return to our office to have it installed onto your abutments. Then, you’re free to enjoy your new smile! After completing the process, most patients agree that the process of getting dental implants in Ann Arbor was absolutely worthwhile.

Benefits of Dental Implants

dental patient enjoying his new smile in a mirror

Patients who are eligible for dental implants should know there is no better choice to be made. Dental implants offer an array of benefits for people suffering from the loss of one, two, or even a full row of teeth. The advantages associated with dental implants include:

  • Improved oral health
  • Teeth that fit properly from day one
  • No slipping, sliding, or uncomfortable dentures
  • Freedom from denture adhesives and creams

And when cared for properly with regular oral hygiene and visits to the dentist, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

dentist showing a patient how dental implants work

Dr. Olsen can let you know whether or not you are eligible for implant dentistry. Eligible patients should have plenty of supporting jawbone. A bone augmentation surgery can be performed in advance of implants to build up weak or insufficient bone structure. Patients should also be in good oral and overall health, free from serious gum disease and conditions that affect the immune system, like HIV/AIDS, uncontrolled diabetes, and advanced-stage cancers.

Once we’ve determined your candidacy for dental implants, Dr. Olsen can decide which of the following treatments is best for you.

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Missing One Tooth

To replace a single missing tooth, we will use what is called an implant-retained crown. This will consist of three parts: the implant itself, an all-porcelain crown, and a small metal connector called an abutment. The abutment will be used to attach the crown to the implant, and once this is done, it will be virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth. We’ll shape and shade the porcelain to perfectly blend with your smile, and all you’ll need to do is brush and floss to make it last for decades to come.

Missing Multiple Teeth

If you are missing a few teeth in a row, then we can actually use implant crowns to support a bridge as well. Two implant crowns will be placed on either side of the gap in your smile, and these will be bonded to prosthetic teeth to close it. Compared to a traditional bridge, implant bridges are much stronger, look more natural, and allow us to preserve more of your remaining teeth. For a typical bridge, healthy teeth have to be shaved down in order to fit the crowns that support the replacement teeth, but with an implant bridge, your smile is left intact.

Missing All Teeth

Sick and tired of dealing with your unreliable dentures? If so, we can use dental implants to finally give you a set of teeth you can always rely on. We can custom make a denture for you that snaps onto multiple implants placed within your jaw. Its hold will be much more secure than your standard removable prosthetic, it will last longer, and your bite force will also be much stronger, allowing you to enjoy a more varied and healthy diet with ease.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

dentist holding a model of dental implants in Ann Arbor

Because the cost of dental implants can vary greatly from patient to patient, it’s basically impossible for us to give you a quote until we’ve assessed your individual needs. Some factors that could affect the price include the number of teeth you’ve lost, your overall dental health, and the density of your jawbone.

While dental implants tend to cost more than traditional dentures and bridges, they’re the better long-term choice. They can last for decades, if not a lifetime. In contrast, bridges and dentures must be replaced every five to 10 years or so, compounding their original lower cost. By investing in dental implants, your wallet will benefit just as much as your smile!

Dental Implant FAQs

Person placing blocks to spell FAQ

If you’ve never heard of dental implants before, you may have certain questions about them that only an implant dentist can answer. Dr. Olsen is not only an expert in the placement and restoration of dental implants, but he’s always happy to break down the implant process and answer your questions to help you feel confident about your investment. Below, you can read a handful of the most common questions we hear and our responses. Feel free to reach out directly if your question is not mentioned.

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Are Dental Implants Safe?

Patients who have good health can expect their dental implant treatment to be a success when they are placed by a professional like Dr. Olsen. However, certain problems will need to be addressed ahead of time if they put your implant at risk, such as low jawbone density. Taking care of problems like these ahead of time will not only ensure a safer dental implant treatment, but give your dental implants the longevity they need. Additionally, patients who have diabetes, cancer, or another medical condition that affects healing or creates an enhanced risk for dental implant treatment will need to mention it during their consultation.

How Soon After a Tooth Extraction Can I Get Dental Implants?

Our office often recommends placing dental implants soon after an implant is placed if the jawbone is healthy as this works to reduce the risk of bone deterioration, a process that begins soon after a tooth is extracted. However, if the bone is not strong enough, a bone graft would be performed and given time to heal, usually about three to six months. Every dental implant case is different, so we’ll make sure you have a clear understanding of our recommendation after completing detailed exams and your consultation.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Afford Dental Implants?

It’s worth mentioning that while dental bridges and dentures tend to cost less, they won’t do anything to address the underlying symptoms that come with tooth loss. This includes weakened jawbone strength and bone deterioration, two problems only dental implants can resolve. This makes them an investment in their own right. Our team is happy to look at your current dental insurance plan and determine what coverage you can receive for the procedures related to dental implant treatment. If you have either an FSA or HSA, you may also be eligible for reimbursement. Alternatively, our office works with CareCredit, a third-party financing option that can make treatments more affordable.

Will People Be Able to Tell That I Have Dental Implants?

Dr. Olsen uses the iTero digital impression system to design your future restoration exactly. Once placed, no one should be able to tell the difference between your natural tooth and your implant, especially if the implant is replacing a tooth visible in your smile. Additionally, implants are meant to mimic tooth roots so closely that they feel just as natural as they look. There’s no need to hold them in place or worry about them appearing natural, a problem that often occurs with dentures.