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Dental Implants — Merrimack, NH

The Best Way to Replace Missing Teeth

Are you missing a tooth? Maybe more than one tooth? Do you have a loose partial or denture? If so, we are here to help! While there are plenty of ways to fill those gaps in your smile, state-of-the-art dental implants are simply the best way to replace missing teeth. This unique type of restoration mimics the design of a natural tooth both above and below the gumline to provide unmatched comfort and functionality. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about spending extra time, money, and hassle visiting different dental offices when you visit us here at Dental Designs of New England. Dr. Shetty and our on-site periodontist Dr. Braga use their combined expertise to place and restore dental implants all under the same roof. To learn more about dental implants, don’t hesitate to give us a call to schedule your consultation today!

Why Choose Dental Designs of New England For Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

Diagram of X-ray of dental implants in Merrimack

There are three main parts to a dental implant: the implant post, the final restoration, and the small connector piece called an abutment that connects the two. The final restoration sits above the gumline to replace the crown of your missing tooth, while the implant post beneath is inserted directly into the jawbone to mimic the roots. This is what makes dental implants so much more comfortable and functional than dentures and dental bridges, which only replace the crowns of teeth. What’s more, this unique placement encourages a healthier, stronger jawbone and has the potential to keep your new teeth in place for a lifetime. Dentists consider dental implants to be the gold standard of tooth replacement because of their ability to look, feel, and function just like natural teeth!

4 Step Dental Implant Process

woman smiling with dental implants in Merrimack

Compared to many other dental procedures, getting dental implants is usually one of most complex treatments. After all, they are rebuilding your lost teeth from the roots up. However, our experienced team can walk you through the entire process from the first consultation all the way through restoration, handling each step in-house. With us, you can work with a team you already know and trust. Our process includes four major steps: consultation, surgery, osseointegration, and restoration.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

dental implant consultation

At first, the consultation may not seem too important, but it is actually essential. In order to be successful with this treatment, we take our time in the planning stage, meticulously examining your mouth and jawbone to confirm that they’re healthy enough for implants. The consultation is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about how dental implants work in Merrimack and to get a clearer idea of the timeline and cost associated with this treatment.

Dental Implant Surgery

parts of dental implants in Merrimack

Dental implants are surgically placed below the gum line. While many patients worry about this surgery, it is actually a minimally invasive procedure, and it’s performed right here in our office. First, we simply need to make a small incision into the gums. Then, we place the dental implant into the jawbone, and a protective cap is attached to it. This cap maintains the space needed to attach the restoration to the implant while also allowing the post to fuse with the surrounding bone and gum tissue.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

implant bridge in Merrimack

Following the surgery, a process called osseointegration needs to occur. Basically, the implant post, which was positioned in the jawbone, stimulates new bone growth. This can take between three and six months to complete, but it’s the secret to the stability and strength of these replacement teeth. After the implant has fully fused with the jawbone, we can then do another quick placement procedure for the abutment, or connector piece, which will stick up above the gum surface.

Delivery of Dental Restoration(s)

happy couple with dental implants in Merrimack

When your gums have healed after the abutment placement, you return to our office so we can take impressions of your mouth. With this information, our trusted dental lab technicians can fabricate your custom restoration. Once they’re finished, we can connect your restoration and complete your new smile! At that point, you’re free to use your restored teeth as you would natural ones—just be sure to take care of them with daily oral hygiene and regular visits to our office.

Benefits of Dental Implants

smiling woman holding an apple and giving a thumbs-up in the dental chair

When it comes to bringing back your missing teeth, the benefits of dental implants in Merrimack outweigh those of any other tooth replacement option. Due to the materials and treatment process that are used to fill the empty spaces, you can enjoy a solution that closely looks and feels natural. With over a 95% 10-year success rate, you can make a truly worthwhile investment in your smile, health, and overall quality of life. At Dental Designs of New England, we’re happy to help you enjoy this life-changing solution!

Day-to-Day Benefits

couple with dental implants in Merrimack enjoying various foods

  • Dental implant posts fuse to your jawbone, creating a secure and stable foundation for your replacement teeth. You’ll never have to worry about any embarrassing slippage, clicking, or whistling, so you can speak and smile with confidence.
  • Although conventional options like dentures allow you to eat a variety of foods, there are still limitations. To maintain a nutritious and balanced diet, you should choose dental implants in Merrimack. Because they recreate the root structure of missing teeth, they restore the majority of the biting and chewing power you had before tooth loss.
  • In addition to letting you eat whatever you want, dental implants also allow you to enjoy your favorite beverages. Traditional dentures often warp when exposed to hot drinks like coffee and tea, making them fit less comfortably. With dental implant restorations, this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • You won’t have to spend more than a few minutes per day on oral hygiene. In most cases, cleaning dental implants is as simple as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash – just like with real teeth!

Health Benefits

woman looking at her face in the mirror

  • Since dental implant maintenance is so simple, you’ll have a much lower risk of oral health problems like infections in your gums and remaining teeth.
  • Dental implants are the only tooth replacement to preserve the density of your jawbone. Ordinarily, the bone deteriorates after tooth loss without the roots of your teeth. Implant posts stimulate your jaw and encourage new bone growth. This not only keeps your face looking young, but it also protects your soft tissues and any natural teeth you have left.
  • Studies have suggested a correlation between a patient’s number of teeth and their lifespan. Because dental implants fill all of the functions of real teeth, it’s reasonable to believe that they can help you enjoy a longer life!

Long-Term Benefits

couple stretching outside before exercising

  • With the right at-home hygiene and routine checkups with your implant dentist in Merrimack, your dental implants have the potential to last for a lifetime. You shouldn’t need frequent adjustments to ensure that they continue to fit well, nor should you have to get your implants replaced every five to ten years like you would with traditional solutions.
  • Over the years, you’ll save quite a bit of time that you would have otherwise had to spend getting a bridge or denture replaced. You’ll also save a great deal of money in the long run; not only will you not have to pay for replacements, but you also won’t need to purchase specialized cleaning supplies or adhesives.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

man smiling in front of a yellow background

Not only are dental implants the premier tooth loss solution, but they’re versatile enough to help practically any healthy adult replace any number of missing teeth. The same certainly cannot be said for conventional bridges and dentures! Of course, to find out whether you qualify for dental implant treatment, you’ll need to meet with Dr. Shetty and Dr. Braga first. Until then, read on to get an idea of who dental implants can help. 

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

woman talking to her dental implant dentist in Merrimack

Although most healthy adults are eligible for this treatment, you’ll still need to attend a consultation with a dental implant dentist in Merrimack just to be sure. During this appointment, we usually look for these three things:

  • Good general health – Ideally, you should be free of any medical conditions that could make it difficult for you to undergo minor oral surgery.
  • Great oral health – Cavities, gum disease, and other pre-existing oral health concerns should be addressed prior to dental implant surgery. Otherwise, they could interfere with the procedure’s success.
  • Strong jawbone – The jawbone naturally begins to shrink after tooth loss, so if you’ve been without teeth for some time, your jaw may not be able to adequately support implant posts. In this case, you might need to undergo a bone grafting procedure beforehand.

Even if you don’t initially meet all of these qualifications, there’s still a chance that you can benefit from dental implants. With the right preparatory procedures, like gum disease therapy and bone grafting, this treatment could very likely become an option for you.

Depending on the extent of your tooth loss, we’ll create a customized treatment plan to help you enjoy a complete smile again:

Missing One Tooth

single dental implant supporting a crown

To replace a single tooth, Dr. Braga places a small titanium post that mimics a tooth root in the gap created by a missing tooth. Over time, your jawbone will fuse to the implant, forging a solid foundation for a custom crown. Dr. Shetty then attaches a crown to the implant, restoring your smile’s health and appearance. Although receiving a dental implant requires oral surgery, it’s actually less invasive and more conservative than getting a dental bridge. Bridges require enamel from two of your remaining teeth to be permanently removed, making them more prone to sensitivity, decay, and breakage in the long run. Because dental implants are self-supporting, they let you preserve more of your natural tooth structure.

Missing Multiple Teeth

two dental implants supporting a bridge

A few strategically placed dental implants in Merrimack can permanently anchor a bridge or partial denture. The specific number of implants you receive will depend on the number and positions of your missing teeth. If you have lost multiple teeth in a row, an implant post can be placed at either end to secure a custom bridge. For several missing teeth located throughout the mouth, a small number of implants can anchor a partial denture. Both of these solutions prevent your prosthetic from wearing down your natural teeth, which can occur over time with traditional bridges and partials.

Missing All Teeth

four dental implants supporting a full denture

Even if all of your natural teeth are gone, you can still enjoy a complete smile with an implant denture. By inserting an average of four to six dental implant posts at predetermined areas and angles in the jaw, we can secure a full denture into place. Implant dentures eliminate the most common complaints that patients have about regular dentures, such as slipping, gum irritation, and lack of chewing power. Not only are implant dentures incredibly stable, but they can last for decades!

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

dental implant lying on top of a stack of cash

With any dental treatment, cost is a major factor on patients’ minds. This is especially true when it comes to dental implants, because if you’ve done any research online, you’ve seen that they often cost much more than regular dentures or dental bridges. The truth of the matter is that the final price of dental implant treatment can vary widely from patient to patient depending on their particular situation, but regardless, they are still, by far, the most cost-effective tooth replacement available today. During your initial consultation, we’ll walk you through every step of the process and help you budget for the costs associated with this treatment.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

dentists performing dental implant surgery

Before we can surgically place your implants, we’ll need to make sure you’re free of any oral health issues that could jeopardize the success of your new teeth, such as jawbone loss, gum disease, or tooth decay. If we detect any of these conditions, we’ll need to schedule the appropriate preparatory procedures (bone grafting, periodontal therapy, tooth extractions, etc.). Although these treatments are necessary, it’s worth mentioning that they will increase your total costs.

Dental implant surgery itself will also incur its own cost, as will any sedation used during the procedure. Because we can handle this procedure in-house, you won’t need to worry about paying a separate bill to an outside specialist like you would with many general dentists. This will make your payment process much easier!

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

dental implant post, abutment, and crown

Several variables go into the cost of dental implants in Merrimack, including the number, material, brand, size, and even the location of the implant posts within your mouth. Depending on where your implants are placed, you may require shorter or longer posts, which naturally influence the price. The materials the implants are crafted from, such as titanium and zirconia, are ideal for different situations and come with different price tags. Additionally, the number of implants you require also determines the type of restoration – crown, bridge, or denture – that you’ll need.

If all of this sounds confusing or overwhelming, don’t worry! Our team will go over each of these factors and their associated fees during your consultation to give you a clear understanding of your new smile.

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

senior woman holding an apple in the dental chair

Would you love to never spend another cent on denture adhesive? Want to avoid having to purchase specialized cleaning products to maintain your new pearly whites? Prefer a solution that can last a lifetime instead of needing to be replaced every five to seven years? If so, then you’ll be happy to know that dental implants can save you money in the long run by staying firmly in place, requiring only basic daily hygiene products, and being able to last for several decades.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

dental insurance form on a tablet

Not every dental insurance provider will cover dental implants; it depends on your specific policy. However, other treatments associated with implants may qualify for some coverage. For example, the restoration that goes on top of your implants typically receives about the same level of coverage as a crown, bridge, or denture ordinarily would.

We’re proud to say that Dental Designs of New England is a very insurance-friendly dental practice! We’re in-network with Delta Dental Premier, but we’ll happily file claims and maximize benefits for virtually every other PPO dental plan.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

dental team member showing a pamphlet to two patients

In addition to insurance, we offer other ways of making dental implants more accessible. For patients who want to spread the price of their treatment out over several months or years, we work with CareCredit and Wells Fargo Health Advantage to provide qualified patients with low- to no-interest payment plans that are flexible enough to fit comfortably within most budgets. Our in-house membership program also provides an alternative to insurance that gives you significant discounts on most of our services, including dental implants, as well as FREE basic preventive care – all for one low, flat annual rate!

Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions

Couple smiling after dental implant post-op instructions in Merrimack

Your dental implant post-op instructions will be provided to you by our team of experts. These tips and guidelines will help to ensure that you heal swiftly and avoid complications during this phase of treatment. You will need to make sure that you comply with the information provided so that you do not prolong the eventual results that await you once you receive your customized dental restoration.

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

Woman asleep with dental implants

Once your dental implant surgery is complete, you can expect to spend the remainder of the day resting at home. Someone will need to escort you home after your procedure, as it will take time for the anesthesia to wear off.

You are welcome to take over-the-counter pain relievers to minimize discomfort the moment your anesthesia begins to wane, and a cold compress can alleviate any swelling or pain. You should be mindful not to smoke or drink during this time, though, as it can delay your healing and put you at risk for implant failure.

Common Side Effects

Dental implant surgery

There are side effects that are common after receiving your dental implants. Those you should not be too concerned about include swelling, bleeding, and bruising. These should only be temporary and begin to fade after a short time; however, if you notice that any are worsening after several days, don’t hesitate to contact our dental office.


Woman eating soup with dental implants

Most patients opt for a liquid diet in the few days following their surgical implant placement, but soft foods are also acceptable, such as:

  • Pasta
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Pudding
  • Warm soup
  • Mashed potatoes

Denser, harder foods should be avoided, as they place additional pressure on surgical sites and can cause discomfort. Only once your mouth begins to feel normal again should you begin to incorporate these types of foods again.

Health & Oral Hygiene

Man brushing teeth

Maintaining good oral hygiene after dental implant surgery is pivotal. Although you will need to be careful cleaning around your surgical wounds, you must make sure to do all you can to keep bad oral bacteria from settling and impacting your sockets.

The day following your surgery, you may brush your teeth as normal, but you must be careful when cleaning around your implants. Flossing is also just as important. When it comes to rinsing, though, use a warm saltwater mixture instead of traditional mouthwash.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

Woman smiles with dental implants

It is not uncommon for sensitivity to occur after your new teeth are put into place. This will dissipate within a few days, and you can begin to enjoy your new smile with ease. Much like the millions of other Americans who are living with dental implants, you will be able to eat normally, smile confidently, and speak clearly once you receive your customized crown, bridge, or denture.

Dental Implant FAQs

Mature woman with dental implants in Merrimack smiling

From the 4-step process to the numerous benefits they come with, the above information is designed to make learning about dental implants in Merrimack as seamless as possible. Since this smile-rebuilding solution is a big commitment, it’s natural to have a few lingering questions on your mind. While we would be more than happy to answer any questions you have during your initial consultation, we’ve also taken the time to answer a few of the most common ones below!

How Long Do Dental Implants Last? 

Dental implants are built to last, which is why many patients enjoy their new and improved smile for 30+ years! It is important to note, however, that their longevity is largely based on how well you care for them. For example, if you smoke, neglect to brush your teeth, or skip your biannual cleanings, then they most likely won’t last as long. On the other hand, if you implement a solid at-home oral hygiene regimen, are cautious of your sugar intake, and avoid unhealthy habits, like using your teeth as tools to open things, then you’ll enjoy them for significantly longer.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

When placed by a skilled professional, dental implants have an impressive success rate of 95%. In fact, that number is even higher among certain patients, like non-smokers. As mentioned above, their longevity is based largely on your lifestyle habits, which is why prioritizing oral hygiene and avoiding unhealthy habits is so important. This will help prevent the common reasons for dental implant failure, like peri-implantitis.

Am I Too Old to Get Dental Implants?

If you think you’re too old for dental implants, think again. After all, there is no upper age limit for this state-of-the-art tooth-replacement solution. Whether you’re 55, 65, or 75, you could be a candidate! The best way to find out if dental implants are right for you is by scheduling an appointment with our skilled dentist in Merrimack.

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

The answer to this question depends entirely on your treatment plan. For example, patients getting 4-6 dental implants often need more time to recover than someone just getting one. Typically, taking off one or two days is all that’s needed. If you have a job that requires you to lift heavy objects, then you may need to take more time off. After all, you don’t want to compromise your results by accidentally overexerting yourself so close to your surgery.

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

Since dental implants are designed to be an exact replica of your missing teeth, even your closest loved ones will have a hard time telling the difference. Furthermore, dental implants are inserted directly into the jawbone, ensuring they will function like your natural teeth too.

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

Fortunately, dental implants don’t come with a long list of dietary restrictions. With that being said, it is a good idea to continue to exercise caution with crunchy, sticky, and sugary foods. In fact, for the first couple of weeks following your surgery, you should stick to mostly soft foods, like hard-boiled eggs, applesauce, and yogurt. Eventually, you’ll work your way back to your normal diet. Just be sure to incorporate lots of nutrient-dense and vitamin-rich foods to promote good oral and overall health.

Do Dental Implants Decay?

In short, the answer is no. That’s because top-tier materials, like titanium and porcelain, are resistant to decay. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re automatically immune to dental problems moving forward. While your natural teeth can still get cavities, the tissue that surrounds your dental implant can also become infected. As a result, implementing a solid oral hygiene routine is still of the utmost importance.

What Can Cause Dental Implants to Fail?

With a success rate of more than 95%, dental implant failure is relatively rare. If it does occur, it’s typically due to two reasons: peri-implantitis and failed osseointegration. In short, peri-implantitis is a form of gum disease while failed osseointegration is the unsuccessful fusion of your jawbone to your implant post. Chronic teeth grinding, tobacco use, and poor dental hygiene are all common culprits, which is why patients are carefully screened before becoming candidates for dental implants. This helps minimize the risk of implant failure and increases the likelihood of success in the short and long term.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?

Candidates for dental implants are determined on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, tobacco use doesn’t automatically disqualify you. It is important to note that smoking causes complications. For example, research shows that it slows down healing, can interfere with osseointegration, and can cause dry socket. For this reason, patients are instructed to quit smoking at least two weeks prior and not to resume the habit for at least three months following the surgery. The good news is that following this important rule can help you break the habit altogether!

Do Dental Implants Feel Natural?

One of the biggest perks of dental implants is that they are incredibly lifelike in both look and feel. There are several reasons for this. To start, they are placed directly into your jawbone, replacing the root of the tooth entirely. This restores your bite force and ensures no unwanted movement when you eat, laugh, or speak. Next, they are completely personalized to you, bypassing any bulkiness. Lastly, the crowns, bridges, and dentures that are placed on top come in a wide range of lifelike shades.

Do I Need a Bone Graft Before Getting Dental Implants?

Over time, tooth loss can result in bone loss. Therefore, bone grafts are a common preliminary treatment. Essentially, this procedure transplants a piece of bone tissue to the jawbone to create an adequate foundation for the implant. Whether or not you’ll need one is dependent on your dental needs, which your implant dentist in Merrimack will determine at your initial appointment.

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