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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

Man smiling at his dental implants in Ann Arbor

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:

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Day-to-Day Benefits

Older couple enjoying benefits of dental implants in Ann Arbor

  • Teeth that fit properly from day one – No matter how many teeth you need to have replaced, you can expect your future smile to feel as natural as it looks! This is thanks to the integration of bone and soft tissue with titanium material, a process that effectively mimics the roots of teeth closer than ever! Whether you’re smiling with friends and family or eating your favorite meal, dental implants will be able to keep up with your lifestyle.
  • No slipping, sliding, or uncomfortable dentures – Even if dentures fit in the beginning, they won’t last that way forever. This leads to many people settling for an uncomfortable or shifting denture, making even the most basic tasks difficult. Dental implants are secured tightly in place, so you never have to worry about a tooth shifting while in use. That includes implant dentures!
  • Eat the foods you enjoy most – Traditional tooth replacements often can’t break down foods that are tough or crunchy in nature. With dental implants, there’s no worry about whether they will be able to handle foods like steak or apples. As long as you practice regular oral hygiene, you can enjoy all your favorite foods to your heart’s content!

Health Benefits

Older couple with dental implants in Ann Arbor jogging

  • Improved overall health – Those who have all of their teeth tend to have a longer lifespan than those who do not. So, not only are you doing big favors for your oral health by replacing teeth, you’re also benefiting your long-term overall health and well-being!
  • Stronger bone tissue – Dental implants are designed to stimulate existing bone tissue in order to keep it strong and prevent it from breaking down. This atrophy is very common for those with tooth loss, making dental implants a fantastic option for long-term bone health. Solid bone tissue also means a strong biting force, making it easy to chew your favorite foods.
  • Easier nutrition – The more foods you can eat, the more convenient it is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and proteins! No longer do you have to worry about cutting your food into smaller pieces just to enjoy them.

Long-Term Benefits

Older couple with dental implants in Ann Arbor smiling outside

  • Freedom from denture adhesives and creams – Dental implants are held in place through their titanium post, even if you receive an implant denture. That means you can skip buying denture adhesives or glues when it’s time to go grocery shopping!
  • Longevity - When cared for properly with regular oral hygiene and visits to the dentist, dental implants can last a lifetime. On average, they last about 30+ years, which is substantially longer than any other tooth replacement option out there!
  • Reliability – Dental implants have an incredibly high success rate when taking the right precautions. For example, those who practice consistent oral hygiene and avoid tobacco products can expect success rates between 95% and 98%.

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!

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Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Ann Arbor implant dentist and patient discussing dental implant cost

The cost of your dental implant treatment involves more than just the dental implants themselves. We’ll also need to consider the steps involved in rebuilding your smile. For instance, if you’re not initially a good candidate for dental implants, the price of a preliminary treatment like gum disease therapy or bone grafting will add to the final cost of your dental implants. Then, there’s the surgical placement of the dental implants themselves, the cost of which will be influenced by the area of the mouth the implants are placed and the use of sedation dentistry. However, our patients can enjoy the convenience of having their dental implants placed right here in our office, saving them the time and money it would take to see an outside specialist.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Closeup of the parts of a dental implant in Ann Arbor

Next, we’ll take into account a variety of different aspects about your dental implants, including:

  • Number of dental implants: As you might suspect, the more dental implants you need, the higher your cost will be.
  • Type of restoration: Dental implants can be restored with crowns, bridges, partials, and full dentures, each of which come with their own price.
  • Size or material: Some dental implants are shorter or longer than others, while some are made of zirconia instead of titanium, all of which will influence the end price.
  • Brand of dental implant: Different companies make dental implants slightly differently to cater to the needs of unique patients. We only use trusted, high-quality brands of dental implants to ensure our patients get the best results.

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

Man enjoying his new dental implants in Ann Arbor after placement

It may seem tempting to choose dentures or a dental bridge over a dental implant because of their lower price tag. However, the higher upfront cost of dental implants can potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run! Dentures and dental bridges need to be replaced every 5-7 years, which can become both inconvenient and costly in the long run. Dental implants on the other hand have the potential to last you a lifetime, which can save you a tremendous amount of money in replacements. Plus, they will save you even more money on at-home oral hygiene products and lower your overall oral healthcare costs!

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Dental insurance paperwork for the cost of dental implants in Ann Arbor

Most dental insurance plans don’t cover dental implants entirely. Instead, you can likely count on your policy to cover parts of your treatment, such as the consultation, sedation dentistry, and part of the final restoration. Our knowledgeable team will be happy to review your plan’s details to make sure your benefits are being maximized.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Woman and dentist discussing how to make dental implants affordable in Ann Arbor

We truly believe that dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth, which is why we want to help make your treatment as affordable as possible. If you don’t have dental insurance, or if you’re not pleased with your coverage, we can help you apply for CareCredit financing. This third-party company offers a variety of low- to no-interest payment plans. Qualifying patients can begin their dental implant treatment right away and slowly pay for it over time by breaking up the cost into smaller, more manageable payments. Give us a call today or visit us online to learn more about how to apply for CareCredit financing!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

a person lounging on a couch and smiling

After investing in dental implants in Ann Arbor, you’ll want to do everything you can to get the most out of them and preserve your beautiful, newly restored grin. Fortunately, that’s a fairly simple feat, as long as you remain diligent and are proactive about tackling oral issues that could arise. Many studies have shown that dental implants have a 90-95% success rate, even after 10 years of placement, and with high-quality care, you could enjoy them for 35 years or longer! Below, we’ve outlined a few key maintenance tips to follow to keep your implants healthy.

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Prioritize Oral Hygiene

a person brushing their teeth and looking in a bathroom mirror

After you get dental implants, you’ll need to maintain good oral hygiene. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean changing any of your day-to-day practices that you had with your natural teeth because you’ll be able to take care of them in the same way! Make sure to brush twice each day for two minutes each time to remove any plaque accumulation. You’ll also need to floss at least once every day and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash daily. This will help minimize the accumulation of harmful oral bacteria.

Eat a Balanced Diet

a family cooking together in their kitchen

By this, we don’t mean you need to change your diet per se, just be mindful of snacking on foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars (because these are what bacteria love to feed on). If you do snack on these foods, take the time to floss and brush your teeth afterward to make sure they don’t linger in your mouth and stick to your teeth.

Break Bad Oral Habits

a person with a cigarette in their hand

You may not have ever considered how some of your habits affect your oral health, but now’s the time to do just that! If you smoke, bite your nails, chew on pencils, or crunch ice, your actions could put you at a higher risk of damaging your new prosthetic or causing one of your implants to come loose. Instead, try developing a healthier alternative, like squeezing a stress ball, and minimize your risk of implant failure.

Protect Your Dental Implants

a person holding a mouthguard

If you grind and clench your teeth each night or play contact sports that could put you at-risk for breaking your new smile, invest in a professional-grade nightguard or sportsguard. These are custom-fitted for your mouth and made from durable protective acrylic to shield your jaw joints and teeth.

Schedule Routine Checkups & Cleanings

a person getting their teeth polished at the dental office

Just like you normally would, you’ll need to keep up with your bi-annual checkups and cleanings with brushing teeth your implant dentist in Ann Arbor. Every six months, schedule your appointment . During these visits, our team will inspect your restoration and make sure it’s not damaged. If we do notice the early signs of any problems, like gum disease, we can tackle it before it has a chance to cause even greater damage to your new 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.