Dental Implants

A missing tooth or two seem innocuous enough, but you’d be surprised at the havoc they can create with your smile. The surrounding teeth move and your bite and alignment can become skewed. Plus, if the tooth is visible it can make a person hide their smile, and that’s a crime!

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a prosthetic replacement for a missing tooth. The tooth could have been lost due to injury or accident, or it could be so badly decayed that it cannot be saved. The name implant actually refers to the anchoring portion of the prosthetic. Shaped like a screw, the implant is made of titanium and screws down into the bone in the socket formerly occupied by the tooth root.

The bone then naturally grows around the implant, making it a part of the jaw. Once this process is complete, a post is placed into the implant and an artificial tooth atop that. Dental implants, because they are integrated into the bone, behave exactly like a natural tooth. At Smile Texas, We offer a comprehensive amount of Dental Implant options.

The superior answer for replacing missing teeth

Who Are The Ideal Candidates For Dental Implants?

At Smile Texas, we love the way dental implants change our patients’ lives. Confidence returns. They are proud of their smile. They can eat anything they want. To that end, we feel just about anyone is a great candidate for implants. If you have been missing teeth for a long time, you may have some bone loss. In those cases, we may need to use bone grafting before placing implants.

Otherwise, we feel that anyone with normal bone mass is a good candidate for an implant or implants. Other times a few implants may not be enough, which is why we also offer full-mouth restoration

Different Types Of Implants

A dental implant is an individual prosthetic that basically creates a new tooth. Implants can be placed individually to replace a single missing tooth, or they can be used to anchor full-arch prosthetics or partial prosthetics.

When replacing the entire arch, Dr. Kline has developed the Teeth by Tonight® procedure that places four to six implants as anchors on each arch. A full arch prosthetic of beautiful teeth is then permanently attached to those implants.

Amazingly, we can perform this procedure in just one day. Patients then eat a relatively soft diet as the implants become fully integrated into the jawbone. When the implants have fully integrated, the patient returns are we attach his or her permanent final prosthetic to the implants.

What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?

Dental implants function exactly like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, you don’t need to worry about them slipping and you can say goodbye to messy adhesives. You can eat anything you want without worry; favorite foods such as corn on the cob can return to your diet! Dental implants help with:

  • Enhanced Esthetics
  • Reduction Of Bone Loss
  • Preservation Of Adjacent Teeth
  • Easier Eating

There won’t be any gaps in your smile or whistling when you talk. And your confidence will soar with your beautiful new smile.

Why Replace A Missing Tooth With Dental Implants?

Many people lose a tooth or two and simply don’t replace them. Of course, this leads to cosmetic issues with front teeth, but it can also lead to the person avoiding certain foods if the missing tooth is a molar.

Beyond the cosmetic issues, missing teeth cause problems with the other teeth and lead to bone loss. Without the pressure to stay in place, the adjacent teeth tend to slide over into the open gap, creating problems with your bite and the alignment of your teeth. Plus, when a person chews, a tremendous amount of bite force energy is transferred through the teeth down into the bone.

This stimulation continually creates new bone mass. Without the stimulation (due to missing teeth above), the bone in that area begins to deteriorate and resorb. That’s why many people with many missing teeth appear as if their face is collapsing inward around their mouth.

Like any surgery, dental implant surgery poses some health risks. Problems are rare, though, and when they do occur they’re usually minor and easily treated. Risks include:

  • Infection at the implant site
  • Injury or damage to surrounding structures, such as other teeth or blood vessels
  • Nerve damage, which can cause pain, numbness or tingling in your natural teeth, gums, lips or chin
  • Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities

Preparation

The planning process for dental implants may involve a variety of specialists, including a doctor who specializes in conditions of the mouth, jaw and face (oral and maxillofacial surgeon), a dentist specializing in treating structures that support the teeth, such as gums and bones (periodontist), a dentist who designs and fits artificial teeth (prosthodontist), or occasionally an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.

Because dental implants require one or more surgical procedures, you must have a thorough evaluation to prepare for the process, including a:

  • Comprehensive dental exam. You may have dental X-rays and 3D images taken, and have models made of your teeth and jaw.
  • Review of your medical history. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions and any medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If you have certain heart conditions or orthopedic implants, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help prevent infection.
  • Treatment plan. Tailored to your situation, this plan takes into account factors such as how many teeth you need replaced and the condition of your jawbone and remaining teeth.

To control pain, anesthesia options during surgery include local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia. Talk to your dental specialist about which option is best for you. Your dental care team will instruct you about eating and drinking before surgery, depending on what type of anesthesia you have. If you’re having sedation or general anesthesia, plan to have someone take you home after surgery and expect to rest for the remainder of the day.

The Dental Implant Procedure With Smile Texas

During your consultation with Dr. Kline or Dr. Davis, we will perform a full oral exam, along with a CT Scan, to determine if you have sufficient bone mass to support implants. Once that is decided, the process involves four steps:

Placement 

With minimal gum disruption, the titanium implant is screwed down into the socket left from the natural tooth.

Osseointegration

This is the process where the bone grows around the implant, fully integrating it. This can take from three to six months if only placing single implants (not Teeth By Tonight!™).

Abutment

Once the implant has securely integrated with the surrounding bone, we attach a small metal post called an abutment to the implant. We then allow the surrounding gum tissue to heal for approximately another six weeks.

Crown

The final step is to attach the false tooth, known as a crown, onto the abutment. This false tooth is custom-made at a dental lab and perfectly matches the surrounding teeth. After placement, you’re ready to go out and use your new implants.

Recovery

Chances are, you have questions like how long does it take for gums to heal after dental implants? Is there throbbing pain after dental implant, or how long do dental implants hurt?

Whether your dentist performs your procedure in one stage or several, you could experience discomfort — like you would with many other dental surgeries. This discomfort could be:

  • Bruising of your gums and skin
  • Swelling of your face and gums
  • Minor bleeding
  • Pain at the implant area

You might require pain medicines or antibiotics following your implant procedure. If discomfort, swelling or any other issue becomes worse in the days following your procedure, contact your dentist.

After every surgery stage, you might need to consume softer foods until your surgical area heals. Generally, your dentist will use self-dissolving stitches. If not, they’ll need to remove them.

What Results Can I Expect From Dental Implants?

After the dental implant procedure, you will receive all the benefits of natural teeth with your dental implants. It is important to continue good oral hygiene with the implants to prevent bacteria buildup, which can cause gum disease or bone loss.

Abutment – sits between the implant and the prosthetic teeth, it is held in place by the abutment screw

Cap – also called a crown, a permanent prosthetic tooth attached to an implant

Dental Implant – a titanium rod that is implanted into the jaw. One prosthetic tooth replacement is then attached to each implant.

Dental Implant – a titanium rod that is implanted into the jaw. One prosthetic tooth replacement is then attached to each implant.

Edentulism – a patient with no teeth is said to have edentulism

Immediate Loading – a procedure whereby patients receive implants and dental prosthesis during the same visit.

Overdenture – traditional dentures that attach to dental implants. Overdentures are removable and attach to the implants with a bar or ball attachments.

Dental prosthesis – a temporary or permanent replacement for teeth. They may be place on top of your teeth or replace lost teeth entirely.

Titanium – the metal used to make dental implants. It is ideal for dental applications because it is noncorroding, soft and lightweight.

Two-stage Implants – implants that require two office visits to complete tooth restoration. The implants are covered by gum tissue immediately after being placed in the jaw.

Bone Graft – bone tissue used to replace lost bone in the jaw as part of the dental implantation process. The patient’s bone tissue or bone from a tissue bank may be used. Sometimes grafts are necessary to strengthen the jaw for implants to hold securely.

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