Dental Implants in Lancaster, TX
Missing teeth are hard to deal with, not only on a functional level but on a cosmetic level too. If you are missing one or more teeth, it can have an impact on the way you talk, smile, and chew, eventually impacting your entire life. In fact, many people become isolated or even depressed as a result of their missing teeth. While there are options such as dentures and bridges to replace missing teeth, they are not as valuable as dental implants. In fact, a dental implant is the only tooth restoration that mimics the function of a real tooth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are tiny posts or screws made of biocompatible titanium that are surgically placed into the jawbone and gums to replace a missing tooth. Dental implants replace tooth roots, which are an integral part of a healthy smile and functioning jawbone. They do not replace the crown or visible portion of the tooth, as traditional restorations such as bridges or dentures.
Dental Implant Benefits
Pleasant Run Family Dental recommends dental implants over alternative procedures such as dentures or dental bridges for those who have enough bone structure to hold the implant.
Dental implants offer the following advantages over dentures and dental bridges:
- Permanent restoration
- Look and feel like your natural teeth
- No slippage resulting in slurred speech – a common downside of dentures
- Implants have better long-term prognosis than dental bridges
- Improved comfort
- Enables you to eat any foods you like without pain or difficulty
- Does not impact the tooth structure of adjoining teeth, resulting in better long-term oral health
- Increased durability
- Results can vary depending on the expertise and skill of the dental surgeon
- 3-D imaging using the state-of-the-art Kodak 9300 Cone Beam CT Scanner
Do Dental Implants Function Like Real Teeth?
Many people wonder how something artificial could have the same function as its natural root. Today’s technology has made it possible to use titanium screws as the root. The titanium material naturally fuses with your jawbone. What this means is that your jawbone is getting the constant stimulation it needs to continue to grow. Without that stimulation, the bone would eventually die and disintegrate into your body. You are then left with less jawbone to hold your facial structure in place. This means that your face could begin to sag, similar to that of an elderly person. The problem is that bone loss does not care about age – no matter how old you are, if you are missing a tooth and the bone is not stimulated, your face will begin to sag.
What Are Dental Implants Used For?
In addition to being used to replace missing teeth, dental implants can be used for a variety of reasons:
• Keep bone levels stable to prevent premature aging of the face
• Hold dentures in place, otherwise known as overdentures
• Give you adequate use of a tooth, despite your natural tooth being missing
• Hold a space in your mouth for a missing tooth to prevent a misaligned bite or overcrowding
Can I Get Dental Implants?
There are some patients that are not good candidates for dental implants. This does not mean the diagnosis is forever; sometimes, a procedure or two is necessary before a patient can be a candidate. In general, we need patients that have adequate gum and bone tissue that is in good condition for candidates for dental implants. The good news is that if you have already experienced bone or gum tissue loss, we can perform grafting procedures that bulk the area back up, making you a candidate for dental implants once it is complete.
Are you a senior patient wondering if dental implants are right for you? Learn more about dental implants for seniors here.
Cost Of Dental Implants
Patients who need dental implants often start the process by asking how much it will cost. It is, however, difficult to provide a price quote for dental implants, especially full-mouth restorations, as every patient is different, and full-mouth dental implant prices are affected by many factors. These include:
- Number of Dental Implants You Need
- How Healthy Your Bone and Gum Tissues Are
- Type of Full-Mouth Implant Restoration
- Type of Sedation You Choose
- Additional Steps (Extractions, etc.)
The Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implant surgery is an in-depth procedure that requires multiple appointments and many months of healing. In the end, the process is well worth it as it gives you a beautiful tooth with full function once again.
At your first appointment, we will assess your mouth to ensure that you are a good candidate for the implants. If we determine that your bones and gums are in good enough condition to support the implant, we will set you up with the first surgical appointment. At your appointment, we will gain access to the jawbone by opening up your gums. The implant is then surgically placed into the bone, and the area is closed with stitches. These stitches will remain in your mouth for the next 7-10 days as the mouth heals. After that time, we will remove the stitches but still allow your mouth to heal for a period of several months.
After we determine that your mouth is completely healed, we will set you up for a second appointment. At this appointment, the post is placed in the implant. This post is what holds the dental crown or overdenture that will eventually be placed on the implant. This post is typically a zirconium abutment as it is the sturdiest choice for implants.
Once the post is placed, it is time to place the crown. Before we can do this, however, we will need to take impressions of the area. These impressions are then sent to our lab, where a custom crown is made. If you are opting for overdentures, we will have the dentures made to fit your mouth as well as match the color and shape of the rest of your mouth. Once your crown or denture is created, we will place it over the post to complete your new smile!
Dental Implant Care
Caring for dental implants is just like caring for your natural teeth. You must properly brush and floss them at least twice a day (flossing can be done once). It is imperative that you never skip these steps, however, because if dental decay were to set in below the gum line, your dental implants could prematurely fail. In addition, you could be at risk for gum disease, which could cause bone loss and even more difficulties with your dental implants down the road.
Just as you would care for your regular teeth, watch your oral hygiene and your diet. Do not consume excessively chewy, sugary, or crunchy foods as they will leave debris behind that turns into bacteria, which eventually causes infection in your mouth. If you want to keep your dental implants looking good for many years to come, keep up with your regular dental apportionments and ensure proper oral hygiene at home.
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We have special offers available to provide our patients with the best service at an affordable price. We also accept most PPO insurances and Medicaid.
Call us for a free dental consultation for most procedures.