When one or more of your natural teeth is lost, your appearance isn’t the only thing that suffers. Your oral health also begins to decline as your jawbone loses the support that the roots of your teeth provide. Dentures and dental bridges only recreate the way your smile looks; they do nothing to prevent the oral health concerns associated with tooth loss. The only option that does so is dental implants. Because they replace the roots of the teeth, dental implants last longer, feel more natural, and are much better for your health than traditional tooth replacements. Better yet, our team at Derby Dental can handle the entire treatment process in-house. To learn more about this lifelike, long-term tooth replacement, call us today and schedule your consultation to discuss tooth replacement with dental implants in Austin, TX!
A dental implant is a screw-shaped titanium cylinder that we surgically insert into the jawbone to take the place of a missing tooth’s root structure. However, many people use the term “dental implants” to also refer to the abutment and the restoration. The abutment sits atop the implant post and holds the restoration (dental crown, bridge, or denture) securely into place. Because titanium is biocompatible, the dental implant post integrates with your jawbone to form a sturdy, lasting solution that traditional options cannot provide. In short, dental implants are capable of looking, feeling, and functioning just like your natural teeth!
Oftentimes, general dentists must refer their patients to separate specialists for the surgical placement of dental implants, but not here at Derby Dental. We can handle this procedure ourselves, making your treatment much more convenient (not to mention affordable!).
The dental implant process is lengthier and more complex than that of conventional bridges and dentures, but your new teeth will be worth the wait. Generally speaking, the four basic steps are:
Dental implants aren’t your only option for rebuilding your smile, but they do offer various unique advantages over traditional bridges and dentures. This is thanks to the fact that they can mimic the roots of your natural teeth, allowing them to provide several important benefits that other tooth replacement options can’t. Below are just some of the reasons why many dentists consider dental implants to be the gold standard for replacing teeth.
You’ll use your dental implants every day to eat, speak, and smile. As such, you’ll be able to enjoy the following benefits regularly:
In addition to improving your everyday life, dental implants have a number of health advantages:
Dental implants don’t just improve your quality of life in the present. They also have several benefits that you’ll only be able to fully appreciate as the years go by:
No matter how many teeth you’re missing, there’s a way that we can complete your smile with dental implants. During your consultation, we’ll examine your mouth and review your medical history to ensure you’re healthy enough for the treatment. Once we’ve confirmed that you are (and you’ve undergone any necessary preliminary procedures), we can devise a plan based on the number of teeth you need to replace.
To fill a single-tooth gap, we vertically position a dental implant in the socket. Once it has integrated with the jaw, we place a lifelike dental crown on top. This solution is more conservative than a dental bridge, as it doesn’t rely on your remaining teeth for support.
Two dental implants can bring back multiple teeth in a row by anchoring a dental bridge into place. Because this prosthetic is supported by implants, you won’t have to sacrifice enamel from your natural teeth. An implant-supported partial denture can also restore several teeth in various locations along an arch.
An entire arch of missing teeth can be restored at the same time by attaching a full denture onto just four to eight implants. Implant dentures can be either removable or permanently fixed in place, and they don’t slip around or cause gum irritation like regular dentures notoriously do.
Although the cost of dental implants may seem intimidating at first, keep in mind that your treatment is extremely unlikely to cost the same as any other patient’s. So many variables come into play, making the price impossible to determine unless you visit us for a consultation. At that point, we can discuss financing options that will make your new teeth affordable.
It’s worth mentioning that because dental implants can last for decades, they can actually be more cost-effective in the long run than traditional prosthetics that need replacing every few years. Coupled with the health benefits that this solution offers, this makes it easy to see why dental implants are worth every penny!
When you care for them properly, dental implants can last upwards of three decades! This makes them the longest-lasting tooth replacement option available today. However, they will only last if you closely follow your aftercare instructions and maintain good habits. Here are some steps that you should be taking to keep your dental implants in good shape.
Dental implants cannot get cavities, but you should still practice excellent oral hygiene. In addition to keeping your surrounding teeth in good shape, sticking to an excellent oral hygiene routine can prevent other dental problems, like gum disease, that can cause your dental implants to fail. Remember to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash every day.
One of the many benefits of getting dental implants is the fact that you don’t need to worry about any eating restrictions. You could easily enjoy nutritious meals without struggling to chew. Just remember that enjoying too many foods that are hard, sticky, or sugary can be problematic for your oral health, so it pays to be cautious.
Refrain from smoking or using other tobacco products immediately after your dental implant placement. This can slow down healing and increase your risk of developing an infection. Don’t use your teeth as tools either. You could end up accidentally damaging your dental implants or surrounding teeth. Instead, try to find some scissors, pliers, a bottle opener, or another tool that can help you complete your task safely.
Your dental implants may be strong, but they aren’t indestructible. You should always wear a mouthguard to protect your dental implants and natural teeth when participating in sports. If you grind your teeth at night, ask about a nightguard to protect your implants from additional wear and tear.
You should always attend regular cleanings and checkups twice a year. This way, we can monitor your dental implants and spot any issues as easily as possible. By catching potential problems now, you can keep them from becoming more serious and leading to further consequences.
Dental implants have become increasingly popular over the past few decades thanks to their incredible versatility and function, but if you have questions, you’re far from the only one. At Derby Dental, we want you to feel confident ahead of your tooth replacement treatment and informed to the fullest extent. Below, you’ll find a handful of some of the most common questions we hear as well as our detailed answers. Feel free to give them a look ahead of your consultation. If you have other questions, we’d be happy to help!
Dental implants maintain a success rate as high as 95%. When placed by a professional, you can expect your tooth replacement procedure to be not just successful, but predictable. Of course, the overall success rate of your implants long-term will depend on how well you take care of them outside the office (i.e. oral hygiene, commitment to routine checkups, diet, etc.) The success rate can also vary depending on which tooth is being replaced. Since the molars receive more strain from chewing than your front teeth, they do carry a slightly higher risk of failure. With that said, dental implants were initially invented to replace the molars because these teeth were the most likely to fall out.
Following your dental implant surgery, you should be able to resume normal activities after a day or so. However, while you may be able to go to do certain tasks (such as work a desk job), you will need to avoid strenuous activity for the first week or so. This ensures you heal as quickly as possible. Bleeding typically stops after a couple days, while facial swelling should come down after three to four days. You can take painkillers (prescription or over-the-counter) as needed. Keep in mind that your implant can easily take up to six months to fuse with the jawbone completely.
In certain cases, the jawbone could be healthy enough to receive a dental implant immediately after an extraction is performed. This is often the case for younger patients, but not always. However, it’s also typical for dentists to ask patients to wait three to six months for the mouth to heal. They won’t want to wait any longer than that though as the jawbone could shrink to the point where a bone graft is needed. The timeline in which you receive your dental implant following an extraction will largely depend on the current condition of your bone tissue.
Dentures and bridges do cost less overall, but they won’t help you avoid all of the consequences of tooth loss. This includes jawbone deterioration and weakened chewing power, making dental implants the better investment in the long-term. If you have dental insurance, our office will take a look at your plan to see if you can receive coverage for any portion of your treatment, such as the restoration. If you’re still unsure of how to cover the costs of your treatment, consider enrolling into a third-party option like CareCredit or our in-house discount plan.
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