Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are made from titanium screws and are used to permanently restore the function and visual aesthetic of missing teeth. They are inserted into the jaw bone where they will fuse with the surrounding bone and will then support a dental prosthetic such as a crown, bridge, or dentures. Because they are anchored into the jaw bone, dental implants are the strongest and longest-lasting restoration method. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or an entire smile. The two main types of dental implants are:

  • Endosteal: the most commonly used type of dental implants, endosteal implants use titanium screws implanted into the jawbone to support a dental prosthesis. The implant itself sits in the jawbone, while the attachment piece, or abutment, protrudes from the gums and acts as a mount for the dental prosthesis.
  • Subperiosteal: made from a metal framework, subperiosteal implants sit on top of the jawbone, but beneath the gum line. This type of implant has a series of posts that sit above the gum tissue for the dental prosthesis.

Additionally, there are specialized dental implant techniques that may be used:

  • Immediate Load Dental Implants: also known as Teeth in a Day®, immediate load dental implants can be used when you have adequate bone mass to support the immediate placement of a temporary tooth with your dental implant. However, your dental implant must be well supported to allow for this option.
  • Mini Dental Implants (MDIs): known as small or narrow diameter implants, mini dental implants are only the diameter of a toothpick. Because of their small size, they can be placed with a less-invasive technique, but are not as strong as regularly-sized dental implants. Mini dental implants are generally used to support a lower denture.
  • All-on-4®: this technique is used when an entire smile is being restored. With this technique, four dental implants are placed on the top and/or bottom of the jaw. Then, specialized abutments are used to attach a set of temporary teeth. Once the implants have healed and fused with the jaw bone, a set of permanent teeth will be attached to the implants.

Did You Know?

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry notes that currently 3 million Americans currently have dental implants, and this number is expected to grow by 500,000 every year due to the fact that about 30 million Americans live without their natural teeth.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Ideal candidates for dental implants are individuals who teeth that are severely damaged, decayed, or missing altogether, and who are in relatively good health. Additionally, you will need to have enough bone mass around the area receiving the dental implant or be willing to undergo a bone graft. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for dental implants, schedule a consultation with Dr. Toor of Glow Dental today!

 

What if I don’t have adequate bone mass to support a dental implant?

A lack of bone mass can occur due to genetics, medications, or because of missing teeth. When your teeth are lost, a process called bone resorption occurs. During bone resorption, the bone around your missing tooth begins to be absorbed back into the body due to lack of stimulation. If you have had missing teeth for longer than six months, chances are you will not have adequate bone mass for dental implants.

If you do not have adequate bone mass to support an endosteal dental implant, you may be able to consider having a subperiosteal implant placed instead. Because this type of implant sits above your jaw bone, it is an ideal option for individuals lacking the proper bone mass. However, subperiosteal implants are not as strong as endosteal implants, and Dr. Toor may still recommend endosteal implants. If this is the case, there are certain things that can be done to build up your bone mass.

One common technique used to build up bone mass is a bone graft. Just as bone is able to be lost in the body, it can also be regenerated. A bone graft uses bone material, either artificial or harvested from elsewhere in your body, and places it below your gum line in the area of your jaw that is lacking bone. Bone grafting material can come in many forms such as powder, granules, putty, or a gel. Once in place, this grafting material will start to build up new bone in the affected area. 

computerized image of a sinus lift

Another technique that may be used in a sinus lift. A sinus lift is similar to a bone graft, except the bone material is added to the upper jaw below the sinuses. This is to build up the bone that lies between your teeth and your sinus cavity to ensure that dental implants can be placed safely without puncturing your sinus cavity. Sinus lifts are generally required for missing upper teeth towards the back of the mouth.

Finally, a ridge expansion can also be used. A ridge expansion is used in cases where the jaw bone does not have enough width. By adding bone grafting material to a certain area on the ridge at the top of your jaw, your jaw bone will widen enough to support a dental implant.

What can I expect when having dental implants placed at Glow Dental Dallas?

When having dental implants placed at Glow Dental Dallas, you can expect to undergo a multi-step process that will take anywhere between six and nine months to complete. The first step of this process is a surgical procedure that implants a titanium screw or screws into the jawbone to replace the tooth root of the missing tooth or teeth. Once the screw has been placed within the jawbone, the gums will be sutured up around the implant.

dental implant placement process

When the titanium screw is placed, a few different things may happen. First, a bone graft may also be performed. In some cases, however, a bone graft may be required before placing the titanium screw. An abutment, or connector piece, may also be attached to the titanium screw and will protrude through the gums. Whether or not these things happen will depend on your individual treatment plan. Prior to your implant surgery, Dr. Toor will discuss his plan of action with you.

After your titanium screw has been placed, it will undergo a process called osseointegration in which it will fuse with the surrounding bone. This process takes several months and is the reason why the dental implant process is so long. Osseointegration is a necessity for implant strength and success. Your permanent dental crown or restoration can only be mounted on the abutment piece once your implant is strong enough to safely support it. Thus, once your bones have fused to the dental implant, your permanent restoration will be fabricated and placed.

 

What kind of post-treatment care can I expect?

After the initial placement of your dental implant, you will likely experience some swelling, discomfort, and possible bruising. Depending on the extent of your procedure, Dr. Toor may prescribe some pain medication and/or antibiotics. If these are prescribed, it is important to take any and all medication as directed. You can also use ice packs in the first 48 hours for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off to help alleviate swelling and discomfort. After the first 48 hours, you can use heat packs for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. ‘

In the first 24 hours after your dental implant placement procedure, you will also need to avoid the following:

  • Vigorous physical activity
  • Drinking through a straw or sucking
  • Swishing liquids in your mouth
  • Smoking (should hold off for four days if possible)
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Hot or spicy foods
  • Strong mouthwashes containing alcohol
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Using a rotary toothbrush (you will need to use a manual toothbrush for at least 3 months)

About two hours after your dental implant procedure, or when your anesthetic wears off, you can start eating. In the first two days following surgery, soft and cool foods are recommended because excessively hot or spicy foods can cause irritation or bleeding. After the first two days, soft foods are recommended including:

  • Yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pudding
  • Fish (without bones)
  • Pasta
  • Steamed veggies
  • Ice cream
  • Applesauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cottage cheese

Additionally, you will want to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated, especially right after surgery. Alcohol is to be avoided as it will hinder healing and can have negative interactions with your medications.

 

How do I care for my dental implants?

Man flossing his teeth

Once your dental implants have healed, you will care for them like you would your natural teeth. This means brushing twice a day for minutes at a time using a fluoridated toothpaste, flossing once a day, and visiting Glow Dental Dallas for your dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning at least once every six months. Regular dental checkups are important to ensure that your implants are functioning properly. Dental implants are the longest-lasting restoration method and can last about 10-20 years if well-taken care of, nevertheless they still need to be monitored for signs they need to be replaced.

 

Can dental implants be removed?

Dental implants can be removed, however they are usually only removed if they fail or to change their position. Dental implants have two main types of failures: early and late. Early implant failures occur within a few months of the implant placement and can be attributed to too much movement while healing, a lack of osseointegration, or infection. Late implant failures occur a year after the implant placement procedure and can be attributed to an infection, having too much force applied, or simply becoming loose. In these cases, the implant is removed, the cause is addressed, and the implant is usually replaced.  

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of your dental implants will vary depending on your individual treatment plan and dental needs. With that being said, Authority Dental notes that single-tooth dental implants can cost anywhere between $1,000-$3,000 with an additional $500 and $3,000 being added for the abutment and permanent restoration that is mounted to the dental implant, bringing the total cost to about $1,500 and $6,000. 

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates the cost of a single-tooth dental implant as being an average of $3,000-$4,500. To find out the total cost of your dental implant procedure, you will need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Toor so that he can prepare a treatment proposal for you. Keep in mind that if you have dental insurance, you may be able to obtain partial coverage to help pay for your dental implants. 

 

For honest and effective dentistry that takes your overall health and well-being into consideration, schedule a consultation with Dr. Toor of Glow Dental & Implant Center. We proudly serve the residents of Dallas, TX, as well as Casa View Dallas, Casa Linda Dallas, East Dallas, White Rock Lake, Lakewood, and the surrounding communities.

 

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