Lost a Tooth? Don’t Call the Tooth Fairy Yet!

Losing a tooth is an exciting rite-of-passage when you are young, but as an adult it is a cause for concern.  It is also common: most adults will lose teeth to decay, gum disease or injury. Losing teeth not only affects your smile but also impacts your bite and your jawbone. Fortunately, there are options!  Here at Falmouth Dental Arts, we can address tooth loss with a dental implant or with bridges. We aim to make every process as comfortable and safe as possible, and we will help you to determine which choice is right for you.  Here is some more general information about these two options.


The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends implants as the standard replacement for missing teeth.  Implants look and feel like natural teeth and are designed to last a lifetime. However, you do need a healthy jawbone and soft tissue to be a candidate for dental implants.

If an implant is right for you, the first step is to place a titanium implant in your jaw.  The implant replaces your tooth root and will naturally fuse to your jawbone over the course of several weeks.  Once that is firmly in place, a titanium post will be added to serve as an anchor for a crown.


A bridge is a good option for replacing a few teeth.  It involves fusing artificial teeth to a metal frame. The frame is then cemented to supports, which are either implants or healthy teeth covered with crowns.  There are limits, however, to how many teeth a bridge can replace. Generally, a bridge is a less-invasive procedure but does not last as long as an implant. The average life of a bridge is 10 years.

The Future

There is also an exciting third option on the horizon!  Researchers have found a way to grow teeth from dental tissue stem cells.  We will delve in to this possibility in our next blog post…stay tuned!

As always, the best way to prevent tooth loss is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.  However, tooth loss happens. If you have lost a tooth or have concerns about your teeth, please give us a call at 207.781.5900.  We are happy to discuss your options as we truly believe that having healthy teeth is an integral part of comprehensive health care.  



*Image courtesy of www.health.harvard.edu

Dental Insurance: The Ins and Outs

Our goal is to provide you with high quality patient care in a team building relationship while delivering the best oral health care possible to our patients. Since dental insurance is offered in a variety of packages, we thought you might benefit from answers to questions we frequently hear.


What do I receive for services at your office?

  • Our office offers preventative services, such as cleanings and digital x-rays. We also offer more extensive services like fillings, crowns and bridges, implants, and dentures.


How do I obtain dental insurance?

  • While dental insurance for some is an employee benefit, for others it may be an individually purchased dental plan.
  • Benefits are determined based on the coverage purchased, by either the employer or employee.
  • Most dental plans follow what is known as the 100%, 80%, 50% model that corresponds to three types of procedures. Please keep in mind that the following are general rules and that each policy could be different.

Type 1 Diagnostic/Preventative – routine dental cleanings, exams, x-rays, oral cancer screenings, sealants, and fluoride treatments. Many dental insurance plans cover close to 100% of costs associated with Type 1 procedures.

Type 2 Basic/Restorative – composite restorations (white fillings), root canals, extractions, periodontal cleanings, and periodontal root debridements (treating periodontal disease). Many dental insurance plans cover close to 80% of costs associated with Type 2 procedures.

Type 3 Major – crowns, crown buildups, bridges, implant crowns, and dentures. Many dental insurance plans cover close to 50% of costs associated with Type 3 procedures.


What does my plan cover?

  • It’s important to check your individual dental coverage before having dental services rendered. Many dental insurance companies have exclusions, waiting periods, and annual or bi-annual dental maximums along with varying deductibles and co-pays.


Do I have dental insurance benefits left for this year?

  • Ask our front office team to assist you in finding out what your remaining individual benefits are.


Will I lose those benefits if I don’t utilize them?

  • Yes and no. With some plans, you will lose your dental benefits if you don’t use them by year end while other plans have a small rollover feature. We can help you find the specifics for your policy.


If you still have questions related to dental insurance, please give us a call at 207-781-5900 and our office staff will assist you in any way we can.