While there are many methods available for replacing missing teeth, only one method offers full-blown replacement of the tooth root as well as the visible crown portion. The root is responsible for many functions, including bone stimulation and blood flow. Both of these functions matter when it comes to your oral health, and dental implants offer a comprehensive solution that you won’t find elsewhere. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Lewis today to see if dental implants in Allen, TX are right for your next tooth replacement!
When we talk about dental implants, we are often referring specifically to the titanium post that sits inside of your bone and soft tissue. However, your dental implant will also include a restoration that sits on top, as well as an abutment that connects the two components together. It is considered a surgical treatment and it will take several months to receive your permanent tooth replacement, so keep this in mind going forward.
Since dental implants replace the root and the tooth, you can expect long-term benefits that you won’t find anywhere else. For example, your bone tissue will no longer resorb back into your body, which is typical for tooth loss. This means you can retain your jaw’s fullest biting strength and prevent changes in your facial appearance. This is thanks to the implant’s biocompatibility and osseointegration, which is defined as the process in which man-made materials naturally integrate with organic structures, such as bone tissue.
Additionally, your dental implant is designed to last well over 25 years. In most cases, they remain healthy for the remainder of the patient’s life. They feel almost indistinguishable from natural teeth and look more lifelike than any other tooth replacement option. Plus, if you care about maintaining your existing tooth enamel, you won’t have to modify them to have implants placed because the titanium post does all of the heavy lifting.
Dental implants are often ideal for older patients who have experienced tooth loss, but they can be used in a variety of circumstances and placed in a wide array of patients. Whether you need to replace one tooth or multiple teeth at a time, they can be utilized to the fullest.
A single titanium post is placed inside of the jaw and given time to heal, while the abutment and restoration are placed after the implant has fully integrated. We will always use a porcelain crown to cover the implant to ensure the most natural-looking esthetics possible.
Replacing several teeth is done by placing multiple implants in the jaw at a time, typically two to hold a dental bridge. Since dental bridges require removal of existing tooth enamel, implant-retained bridges are ideal if you want to maintain as much enamel as possible.
To replace all teeth in a given arch, a series of implants are placed throughout the jaw, typically four to six, so they can be paired with a denture. The denture then snaps onto the implants, offering improved stability and longevity.
Dr. Lewis partners with local dental implant specialist Dr. Fatima Robertson, who performs the surgical portion of treatment for your convenience. This is considered the first part of your actual placement (not including the planning phase where we confirm the location of your new tooth and the number of teeth that need to be replaced. After the implant is placed and had time to heal, she’ll place the abutment. Then, you’ll come back to our dental office for the final restoration.
While dental implants can have a higher upfront cost than traditional methods, it’s important to acknowledge that your treatment will likely vary in costs from someone else’s. For example, the number of teeth you are replacing, the type of teeth you are replacing, and any preparatory treatments you intend to complete (i.e. gum therapy, bone grafts) can all influence your total cost. With that said, dental implants are a tooth replacement that’s designed to last for decades at a time, helping you save on long-term treatment costs that often accompany bridges and dentures.
Did you know that dental implants in Allen have an initial success rate of over 95%? Even after 10 years, they boast a high success rate. In fact, they have the potential to last a lifetime! Of course, whether or not they fulfill that potential is partially dependent on you. Taking proper care of your implants can greatly reduce the risk that they will fail and help you to enjoy them for the long haul. Read on to learn some practical tips for dental implant aftercare.
One of the leading causes of dental implant failure is an infection called peri-implantitis. Fortunately, most cases of peri-implantitis can be prevented via thorough oral hygiene. You should:
Dental implants are able to stand up to virtually any food, so you should feel free to eat what you want. However, keep in mind that just like some foods are bad for your natural teeth, some foods are worse than others for your implants. You should avoid overindulging in hard, sticky, and sugary foods. Instead, focus on eating a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients that support oral health, including calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
Some bad habits that can adversely affect dental implants include:
If you often wake up with a sore jaw, you might grind your teeth at night, which can harm your implants. You may need to start wearing a custom mouthguard while you sleep to protect your smile. Similarly, if you play sports, you should wear a sportsguard. Sportsguards that you can buy over the counter offer a degree of protection, but custom ones from a dentist are more comfortable and more effective.
You should be in the habit of scheduling an appointment with Dr. Lewis at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. She will examine your teeth and your implants. If there are any indications of a problem, she may be able to fix the issue before it becomes serious. Our team may remove your implant restorations and thoroughly clean your implant abutments and the area around them.
If you find yourself uncertain of what to expect at any point in the dental implant process, give us a call right away. Dr. Lewis has practicing dentistry for over 15 years now; she has plenty of experience and knowledge that she can use to help you make the best possible decisions for your smile. To make sure you have a solid starting point, we’ve listed the answers to some of the most common questions about dental implants in Allen.
When it comes to making implant posts, titanium alloy is definitely the material of choice. It is already used in other types of implants (such as those for the hips, shoulders, or knees) because of its highly biocompatible nature; once it has joined with the nearby tissue, it essentially becomes part of the bone thus giving your new teeth a comfortable, natural feel. Furthermore, there is little chance of titanium alloy causing any sort of allergies. On the rare occasion that a titanium implant would cause problems, zirconia implants may be recommended instead; there are no records of zirconia allergies, so it may end up being the safest option.
Even if you’ve been wearing traditional dentures for a while, you may still be able to get dental implants to support a full arch of teeth. It’s often possible to do this with your current set of dentures, although they’ll need to still be in excellent condition. Of course, if it has been a while since you’ve lost your teeth originally, you might need a bone graft before receiving implants; this is because bone loss is more likely to occur the longer your jaw has gone without the stimulation of natural tooth roots. We can determine whether you’re still a candidate for implant placement after an examination.
The initial recovery period is relatively short. Many patients are able to go to work the next day, and they can easily manage their discomfort with medication and ice packs. (Of course, they will need to be careful not to eat anything except soft foods during this time.) However, part of the healing process after implant surgery is osseointegration, which is when the bone in your jaw fuses with your implant posts. This can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months depending on how many implants you originally received.
Dental implant failure is very rare; the success rate of the procedure is around 95 to 98 percent, and multiple steps are taken to ensure the health of the mouth and jaw beforehand. But if you notice that the implant post has come loose, that there is a persistent pain in your jaw, that the area around the implant has become swollen, or that you’ve had difficulty chewing, you should get in touch with us right away so that we can help you figure out the nature of the issue and help you create a plan to address it.