Dental Implants — Northampton, MA | East Longmeadow, MA

Put Your Tooth Loss Behind You Forever

While losing teeth as a child is usually an exciting milestone to be celebrated, the same can’t be said about tooth loss as an adult. It’s common knowledge that permanent teeth don’t grow back, but fewer people realize that even a single missing tooth can take a substantial toll on both your oral health and your overall wellbeing. Dentures and dental bridges can fill those gaps in your smile quickly, but since they require special care and need to be replaced every few years, may feel like you’re constantly being reminded of your missing teeth. If you’re ready to put your tooth loss behind you forever, it’s time to replace your missing teeth with the next best thing: dental implants in Northampton and East Longmeadow.

Why Choose EMA For Dental Implants?

  • Experienced Team Led by Prosthodontic Specialist
  • Entire Dental Implant Treatment Completed Under One Roof
  • Dental Insurance Welcome & Flexible Financing Options Available

What Are Dental Implants?

Hand points to model with dental implants

A dental implant is a small, screw-shaped post that can be inserted directly into the jawbone. Since they’re made from biocompatible materials like titanium, dental implants are designed to fuse with the surrounding bone and gum tissue to essentially replace the missing tooth’s roots. This provides a strong, stable, and lifelike foundation for the replacement tooth or teeth it supports and stimulates blood flow in the jawbone to keep it strong.

On top of the dental implant is a small connector piece called an abutment, which secures a custom-made restoration into place. Depending on the extent of your tooth loss, one or more dental implants can be used to replace any number of missing teeth with a crown, bridge, or denture. The end result is a smile that looks, feels, and functions just like natural once again.

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

three D illustration showing how dental implants work

To replace the entire structure of a missing tooth with dental implants, a minor surgery is required. Unlike many other dentists who must refer their patients out for this stage of treatment, we can place and restore your implants all under one roof. This is not only more convenient, but it will help you enjoy a more consistent treatment process. Read on to learn about the journey toward smiling with dental implants in East Longmeadow & Northampton.

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Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Northampton implant dentist showing patient model of dental implant

During your initial consultation, one of our experts will carefully examine your smile, number of teeth you’re missing, strength of your jawbone, and overall oral health before recommending dental implants. Keep in mind that any preexisting issues will need to be treated before moving on to your surgery. It’s common for patients to undergo bone grafting or periodontal therapy in order to ensure the success of their treatment.

Dental Implant Surgery

Closeup of dentist performing dental implant surgery

After ensuring that you’re numb and comfortable, we will begin by making a small incision in your gums to access the bone. Then, we will create a small hole in the jaw, which will accommodate your dental implant. Once placed, we will mount a temporary restoration to maintain your smile’s appearance.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

Diagram of dental implants after placement

After surgery, you will start a healing process called osseointegration, where the dental implants will gradually fuse with the surrounding tissues. This integration process will take at least 3 to 4 months, but the result is a sturdy and strong implant that can last for a lifetime. Once your implant is completely healed, we can mount an abutment which is a small connector that allows us to place the restoration.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

dental restoration and model jaw

Lastly, you’ll come into our office, where we will take impressions of your smile with the implant and abutment. From there, we will design a custom-made restoration that will seamlessly fit on top of your dental implant. We’ll make sure that you’re satisfied with your restoration before permanently mounting it on top of the implant. Then, all that’s left to do is to walk out of our office with a full, strong, and beautiful set of teeth!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Smiling woman with white shirt and dental implants in Northampton, MA

Why are dental implants often the first form of treatment that we recommend to patients with missing teeth? Simply put, it’s because there’s no other replacement option that’s quite like them, thanks to the fact that they are designed to be placed in the jawbone to act as sturdy new tooth roots. Listed below are some of the most notable benefits of dental implants in East Longmeadow and Northampton; consider them carefully before calling our office to schedule an implant consultation of your own.

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Lifestyle Benefits

Smiling man in patterned shirt with dental implants in Northampton, MA

You deserve new teeth that let you get the most out of life, and the following advantages of dental implants will make it easier to do just that.

  • The Ability to Eat What You Want: Dental implants replace the entire structure of the missing tooth, and as a result they are much stronger and more stable than traditional dentures. As such, you’ll be able to comfortably and successfully chew almost any kind of food.
  • A Beautiful, Confident Grin: Dental implants feel completely natural in the mouth, and the restorations placed on them are designed to match the facial aesthetics of each patient. When you have new teeth that look and feel like natural teeth, it’s easy to smile in front of others.
  • Clear Speech: The stability of dental implants makes it easier for you to speak clearly at all times. No longer will you have worry about dentures that slip at the wrong moment and cause you to mumble or slur the last part of your sentence.
  • Simplified Oral Hygiene: While traditional dentures require specialized cleaning products and techniques, dental implants can be cared for in much the same way that one would take care of real teeth.

Health Benefits

Woman in flowered shirt smiling with dental implants in Northampton, MA

In addition to making your day-to-day life easier, dental implants will be actively contributing to your health in various ways.

  • Improved Diet: Dental implants let you maintain a nutritious diet by making it easier to eat a wide variety of healthy foods. No dietary restrictions means there’s nothing stopping you from planning healthy meals.
  • Improved Jaw Strength: The stimulation of dental implants will help keep your jawbone strong and healthy, and that in turn will protect the rest of your smile.
  • Systemic Health Benefits: Studies show a correlation between tooth loss and several systemic diseases. Compared to other forms of tooth replacement, dental implants come the closest to being like your real teeth, and thus they may help lower the risks involved.

Long-Term Benefits

Older man with glasses smiling with dental implants in Northampton, MA

Unlike other forms of tooth replacement, dental implants are known to be able to last a lifetime with minimal maintenance. The procedure has a high success rate of around 95% even after 10 or 20 years. Thus, when you invest in dental implants, you invest in the peace of mind that comes from knowing your new teeth will last for a long time. Thanks to the fact that they don’t need to be replaced as often, dental implants could ultimately save you money in the long run.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Men with dental implants in East Longmeadow & Northampton smiling

No matter how incomplete your smile may be at the moment, there’s a dental implant solution out there for you that will restore confidence in your ability to eat, talk, and grin without any difficulties. Once we’ve determined that you’re a good candidate for dental implants, we’ll design a custom treatment plan for you based on how many teeth you are missing. To better set your expectations ahead of your first consultation, keep reading to see how the consultation process works!

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Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Implant dentist in East Longmeadow and Northampton showing patient an X-ray

During your initial appointment on dental implant treatment, our office will closely examine your smile and evaluate the condition of your oral health. This allows us to determine if you are eligible to receive dental implants outright or if you need preparatory treatments beforehand.

Ideal candidates for dental implants:

  • Have good oral health with no existing dental problems (gum disease and tooth decay need to be addressed before completing any oral surgery)
  • Have good overall health (preexisting conditions can affect your body’s ability to heal, which is why it helps to get permission to complete this minor surgery from your general practitioner first)
  • Have sufficient bone tissue (if the bone is too thin to receive dental implants, a bone graft may be needed beforehand)

Missing 1 Tooth

Diagram of single dental implant in East Longmeadow and Northampton

Once your dental implant has successfully healed within the jawbone, it will be time to complete a patient’s new tooth with a custom-made restoration. If only a single implant/tooth needs to be rebuilt, our practice offers implant crowns. These new smile additions will look beautifully lifelike and feel right at home alongside your natural teeth. On top of that, they will prevent nearby teeth from shifting out of place, making your smile uneven.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Diagram of an implant bridge in East Longmeadow and Northampton

If you’re missing two or more teeth consecutively, we can place an implant at either end of the empty space in your grin in order to secure a state-of-the-art dental bridge. This lifelike restoration consists of several dental crowns strung together to literally bridge the gap in your smile. Best of all, implant bridges won’t wear down your natural teeth like their traditional counterparts do. This is because dental implants are strong enough to hold a dedicated restoration without needing to modify existing teeth just to keep it in place.

Missing All Teeth

Diagram of an implant denture in East Longmeadow and Northampton

An implant denture is a cost-effective way to replace an entire arch of teeth. Just a few strategically placed dental implants can retain and stabilize a removable full or partial denture. Patients report a 100% improvement in comfort and functionality over conventional removable dentures. This is in large part due to the implants keeping the denture fully secured inside the mouth, whether you’re chewing your favorite foods or speaking with friends and family. Patients also have the option to choose between fixed implant dentures that are only removed by our office vs. removable implant dentures, which are easier to clean day-to-day.

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Mini Dental Implants

Diagram showing mini dental implants in East Longmeadow and Northampton

Like the name suggests, mini dental implants are simply a smaller version of traditional implants. Our team is likely to recommend this service for patients who want to use implants to retain a denture or don’t have enough healthy jawbone density in certain areas of the mouth to support a traditional implant. The cost of mini implants is also more affordable, and patients will recover on a faster timeframe from their surgical placement.

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Accelerated Dental Implants

Dentist looking at X-rays of accelerated dental implants in Northampton

Traditional reconstruction with dental implants is a multi-appointment process that typically takes months, and patients may be without a full set of capable teeth during that time. At EMA Dental, we’re proud to offer state-of-the-art treatment solutions for a much speedier and more convenient process. As a prosthodontics specialist, Dr. Mariano is a local expert in both TEETH-IN-A-DAY™ and TEETH-IN-AN-HOUR™ treatments that can help you enjoy a complete smile with dental implants faster than ever. If you’re interested, Dr. Mariano will determine if you’re a good candidate for TEETH-IN-A-DAY™ or TEETH-IN-AN-HOUR™ during your initial consultation.

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Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

In most cases, dental implants tend to have a success rate of well over 95%. Even so, there’s still a very small chance that they could fail, and this can be due to various reasons that our team will need to sift through in order to identify the root cause. That’s why, if your implant is feeling uncomfortable or you’re beginning to suspect that something is off with your new smile, be sure to notify our office sooner rather than later so that we can provide salvage treatment to preserve your treatment results.

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Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Stacks of money and model implant symbolizing the cost of dental implants in Northampton

Unsurprisingly, dental implants typically come with a higher price tag than other tooth replacement options like bridges or dentures. However, there is no fixed cost of replacing your missing teeth in Western Massachusetts with dental implants because each treatment is different. Your cost depends on several factors, such as how many teeth you’re missing and whether you need any preliminary treatments, like gum disease therapy, before receiving implants. Ultimately, though, trust us when we say that dental implants are well worth every penny. You’re making an investment in the future of your oral health, and a healthy, beautiful smile is truly priceless!

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Types of Dental Implants

Different types of dental implants on blue background

There are different types of dental implants and the replacement you need will depend on how many teeth you’re missing. Usually, the more teeth you’re missing, the more expensive your treatment will be. However, no two smiles are the same, which is why your initial consultation is so important. While replacing a single tooth with one dental implant and crown will be less expensive than replacing several with a missing bridge, an implant denture is a more cost-effective than individual dental implants in cases of severe tooth loss.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

Smiling patient and dentist talking about the cost of dental implants

Dental implants often come with a higher price tag compared to other replacements, however they bring our patients many unique benefits that make them well worth it. In fact, your dental implants themselves can last for a lifetime with proper care, which may even save you money in the future from avoiding additional dentistry. Additionally, dental implants stimulate the jawbone to prevent it from deteriorating after tooth loss. This maintains your full facial appearance, but it also protects your smile from additional tooth loss that occurs when the jaw shrinks.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Dental insurance paperwork for the cost of dental implants

Typically, dental insurance will not cover dental implants, however your plan may be able to help when it comes to the cost of certain procedures related to your treatment. Your consultation, treatment for preexisting dental issues, and part of your restorations are just some examples of what your insurance may be able to cover—it all depends on your plan. Our friendly team can help you maximize your insurance benefits to make our quality dentistry as affordable as possible.

Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions

A happy elderly man sitting in a dentist’s chair

As a matter of fact, dental implant treatment doesn’t end with surgery. It’s vital that you also recover from the placement process. Only then will your new implants work as they should. Thankfully, managing this time of healing isn’t all that hard. Our dental team has listed a few dental implant post-op instructions below. By using them, your mouth will make a full recovery. Read on for further details, or call us in the coming days.

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What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

Dentists performing a dental implant surgery

After implant surgery, the most crucial thing is to leave the forming blood clot alone. Otherwise, you’ll delay or even reverse your recovery. Given such facts, try to follow these rules:

  • Don’t spit; swallow your saliva or use a tissue for dabbing if necessary.
  • Avoid using straws, as their suction force can dislodge your blood clot.
  • At a minimum, don’t smoke the day after your implant surgery.
  • For a few days, keep your fingers and tongue away from the surgical site(s).

Common Side Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

A young man suffering from tooth and mouth pain

In the days after implant placement, you’ll likely experience some side effects. The most common of these include:

  • General Discomfort – Once your surgery’s anesthesia fades, your may ache a bit. Ease any pain with store-bought pain relievers.
  • Intermittent bleeding – There’s a chance your treatment site will bleed slightly. Use gauze and light pressure to lessen this effect.
  • Gum or Facial Swelling – Your gums and face could swell in the first 72 hours post-surgery. To compensate, use a cold compress to reduce symptoms.

Rest assured, the above effects are short-lived; they should fade in a few days’ time. Please let us know if that isn’t the case for you.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

A man eating noodle soup at a table

In the days after implant surgery, it’s best to only eat soft and non-abrasive foods. Anything tougher could dislodge your blood clot and delay recovery.

As part of your “soft food diet,” you could eat:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Pasta
  • (Non-hot) Soup 
  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Ice cream

Once you’re up to it, feel free to resume your normal diet. Just make sure to go easy on crunchy and tough foods. Also, don’t chew directly on the implant site(s).

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

A young woman brushing her teeth in front of a bathroom mirror

Even as it heals from implant surgery, your mouth needs daily cleaning. You must maintain good oral hygiene while you recover. That said, you’ll need to change your usual routines.

For example, you should still brush your teeth twice daily. These sessions protect the treatment area from plaque. However, try to brush gently when you near the surgical site. Being too rough could dislodge the blood clot.

At the same time, alter your mouth rinse habit. The alcohol content from a normal mouthwash will disturb the implant site. Instead, you should do twice-daily rinses with saltwater. This approach reduces your post-surgery inflammation.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

A graphic pointing out a woman’s dental implant

Once your new crown, bridge, or denture is attached, the hard part is over. The most you’ll face is some minor gum sensitivity – a symptom that fades quickly and is easily managed. Apart from that, you shouldn’t experience unpleasant effects. You’ll instead be ready to enjoy your newly restored grin!

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

patient and dentist examining X-rays after advanced dental implant procedures

Sometimes, there are occasions when a patient isn’t a candidate for dental implants. Maybe they have suffered from too much bone loss in their jaw, or their sinus cavity gets in the way of placing an implant in the upper back part of the mouth. Fortunately, there are procedures that can still make you eligible for implants. Bone grafting or a sinus lift can give your new smile the strong foundation it needs to thrive. We can explain whether these procedures are necessary during your consultation.

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Bone Grafting

Diagram showing before and after bone grafting in East Longmeadow

Dental implants are capable of lasting so long because of a process called osseointegration. Because the implant posts are surgically placed into your jawbone, they act as your new tooth roots, stimulating bone growth and forging a powerful bond.

Unfortunately, if you’ve lost jawbone mass, there won’t be enough bone to support the implants. That’s where bone grafting in East Longmeadow & Northampton comes in.

A section of bone material is taken from either a donor or elsewhere on your body and transferred to the area that will receive the implants. After your surgery is complete, the newly added graft will begin fusing with your existing jawbone. You’ll spend the next few months healing to create the strong base your new teeth will need.

Sinus Lifts

Diagram of dental implant after sinus lift in Northampton

If you’ve suffered from bone loss in your upper arch, the bone near your maxillary sinuses may not be large enough to accommodate the implants without having them protrude into these cavities. Also known as a sinus augmentation, a sinus lift in East Longmeadow & Northampton adds bone to this area so that we can replace missing molars and premolars.

First, we open your gum tissue, exposing your jawbone. A small hole is made in the bone, allowing us to gently lift the sinus membrane upward. We then place grafting material into this hole and suture your gums closed. You can then start the months-long process of healing.

Maintaining & Caring For Your Dental Implants

Dental implant care in East Longmeadow & Northampton

Now that you have your dental implants, the next step is learning how to properly maintain them. Keeping your new smile in optimal shape is vital if you want to extend its lifespan and enjoy the many great benefits only dental implants can provide. From knowing what to eat, how to clean your teeth, which habits to break, and why you should always protect your smile, these helpful tips will ensure you practice good dental implant care in East Longmeadow & Northampton for years to come.

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Making Oral Hygiene a Priority

Woman brushing teeth in East Longmeadow & Northampton

With dental implants, you can continue to brush, floss, and rinse like normal. These teeth act and feel just like regular ones, allowing you to better maintain the health of your smile. Bad bacteria and food particles can accumulate and cause decay and cavities to form on your natural teeth. They can also result in poor gum health if you refuse to practice good oral hygiene at home. By continuing to keep up with your daily routine, you can minimize your risk for more serious oral health problems.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Couple eating in East Longmeadow & Northampton

Everyone enjoys a sweet treat now and then, but if you make them part of your daily diet, you may find your new teeth failing. Too much sugar and starch are known to cause cavities and gum disease. Without making healthier choices and/or neglecting your oral hygiene habits, you can negatively impact your real and artificial teeth. Poor gum health can result in bone and tooth loss as well as dental implant failure. However, choosing healthier alternatives like fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, lean protein, and low-fat dairy make it possible to improve gum health and strengthen regular tooth enamel.

Breaking Bad Habits

Person breaking cigarette in East Longmeadow & Northampton

Bad habits are hard to break, and your implant dentist understands this. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. While dental implants are durable, they’re not indestructible, which means you will need to give up poor lifestyle habits like chewing on inanimate objects and eating ice. You’ll also want to avoid smoking, as this can weaken your immune system and keep your implants from fusing to the bone. Not to mention, biting your fingernails and using your teeth to open packages and containers will only result in breaks and fractures to your dental implants, causing you to require a potential replacement.

Protecting Your Dental Implants

Customized mouthguard in East Longmeadow & Northampton

Do you play sports? Are you prone to grinding your teeth at night while asleep? Sports-related injuries and bruxism are known to cause significant damage to your teeth and gums. Without proper mouth protection, you can expect your dental implants to suffer serious consequences. With the help of a customized mouthguard, your dentist can equip you with an appliance that protects your pearly whites (real and artificial) as well as your soft oral tissues from serious damage. Instead of worrying about accidentally knocking out a dental implant or scratching your gums, you can keep your smile fully intact and reduce your chances of visiting the emergency dental office for treatment.

Scheduling Regular Dental Checkups

Woman seeing dentist in East Longmeadow & Northampton

Your implant dentist in East Longmeadow & Northampton wants to see you every six months for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Even if all your teeth have been replaced by these permanent prosthetics, it’s important that you keep these visits. Gum disease and damage to your implants and restorations can occur at any time. Having a skilled and qualified professional examine your smile twice each year will help you to better maintain good oral health and fully intact teeth that are free of any chips, cracks, or breaks.

Dental Implant FAQs

Implant dentist in Northampton talking to patient about X-rays

From the types of dental implants to the process and cost, now you know a bit more about this state-of-the-art tooth-replacement option. If you’re ready to get started, then don’t hesitate to contact us so we can schedule your initial consultation with our implant dentist in East Longmeadow. However, if you’d like to continue your research, that’s okay too! Keep reading for the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from patients.

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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The longevity of your dental implants depends largely on how well you care for them. If you have a solid oral hygiene routine in place, then they can last for 30+ years! Therefore, it’s essential to brush for two full minutes at least twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. You should also quit poor dental habits, like smoking, chewing on ice, and using your teeth as tools, since they can crack, chip, or otherwise damage your dental implants.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

If you’ve hesitated to get dental implants in Northampton because you’re worried about the pain, you’ll be happy to know that our team goes the extra mile to make the procedure pain-free. That starts with a local anesthetic before the procedure and extends to prescribed or OTC pain medication afterwards. Other measures, like using a cold compress, will also reduce puffiness and alleviate any discomfort.

What Can Cause Dental Implants to Fail?

The two most common causes of dental implant failure are peri-implantitis and failed osseointegration. Peri-implantitis is a form of gum disease that develops from poor oral hygiene. Failed osseointegration, on the other hand, refers to the unsuccessful fusion of the bone and gums to the implant. Other reasons dental implants can fail include chronic teeth grinding, tobacco use, and certain medications. That’s why our implant dentist in Northampton will provide you with guidelines for minimizing your risk of implant failure before your procedure.

Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Eat with Dental Implants?

One of the many perks of dental implants is that they are extremely durable, allowing you to indulge in all of your favorite foods again! However, like your natural teeth, they aren’t indestructible, which is why it is important to exercise caution with extremely hard or sticky foods. You should also limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages, like soda and ice cream, which can cause dental problems, like gum disease. 

Do Dental Implants Look Natural?

Absolutely! Since dental implants in East Longmeadow are custom-made for each patient, the results are incredibly lifelike. During your initial consultation, your implant dentist will note the size, shape, and shade of your surrounding teeth so that the new tooth blends in seamlessly. Plus, since the post is inserted directly into your jawbone, you won’t have to worry about embarrassing slippage when you talk, chew, or laugh.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

So long as you’re in decent health, dental implants are quite safe. Not only are they harmless to your body, but they’re also highly successful at restoring your smile.

For starters, qualified dentists take precautions before placement surgery. One such measure is an oral exam to assess your mouth’s health. If they find low jawbone density or gum disease, they’ll work with you to fix these problems first. Doing so will make your surgery safer and more likely to succeed.

Furthermore, most dentists use advanced tools for implant placement. Our own office has a CT/Cone Beam scanner, which captures 3D images of your smile and jaws. It can thus map placement surgery beforehand to make treatment more precise.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Dental Implant Surgery?

There are two stages to implant surgery recovery: the short-term and the long-term. Each requires a different amount of time.

Per its name, the short-term recovery doesn’t take long. You’ll be well enough to resume everyday activities the day after surgery. Plus, any bleeding should fade after a couple of days. That said, remember to take prescribed pain relievers as needed. Avoid strenuous exercise for the first week after surgery as well.

In contrast, long-term recovery can take a while. Implants often need six months to fuse with your jawbone properly. As such, be careful with them during that period.

Will I Have to Take Off Work for Dental Implant Surgery?

You’ll likely need to miss some work for implant surgery. Given your case, though, how much time you should take off can vary.

In most cases, a patient only needs to take one or two days off for treatment. Your gums should be sufficiently healed by that point. You can then return to work and perform your job as usual.

Of course, there are exceptions. If your job is physically demanding, taking three or four days off would be best. Heavy exercise would divert blood from the implant site and delay healing. To compensate, you could schedule your procedure on a Thursday or Friday.

Do Dental Implants Make You Look Younger?

Truthfully, yes – dental implants do make you look younger. Their features can practically take years off of your face.

You see, tooth loss harms your facial structure. It reduces the stimulation to your jaw, causing the latter to erode. As a result, the condition can make your face look saggy, hollow, and sunken.

Thankfully, though, implants can change things. They’ll stimulate your jawbone and thus prevent (and reverse) facial collapse. That way, your face will look firm, full, and vibrant.