Here in Blackwell, Dr. Aaron Neale believes that one of the greatest inventions in dentistry is the dental implant. Whether you’re missing one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch of pearly whites, this state-of-the-art tooth loss solution can seamlessly replace missing teeth with the next best thing. Dental implants replace the roots of a missing tooth along with its crown, which gives it a wide range of benefits you can’t achieve with dentures or dental bridges. The final result is strong, functional, seamlessly attractive, and very long-lasting. It’s like having a second chance to enjoy your original teeth!
At Blackwell Dentistry, we’re proud to now offer every stage of dental implants treatment right here in our office for maximum convenience and comfort. You won’t need to worry about getting a referral or traveling to a different dental practice when rebuilding your smile! Please contact us today if you have any questions, or if you’re ready to schedule a consultation.
What Are Dental Implants?
There are two parts to your natural teeth: the visible crown and the hidden root underneath. Other tooth replacement options like a dental bridge or denture only replace the part of a missing tooth that can be seen when you smile. However, without the support of the roots, these restorations leave a lot to be desired in way of comfort and stability.
On the other hand, dental implants are designed to replace the entire structure of a missing tooth both above and below the gumline. A small titanium implant post that is inserted directly into the jawbone replaces the roots of the missing tooth and provides a solid foundation for the final restoration it supports. One or more implant posts can be used to anchor a custom-made crown, bridge, or denture into place to bring back any number of missing teeth. Rebuilding your smile like this offers unmatched functionality, longevity, and a host of other benefits, which is why dental implants are widely considered to be the gold standard of tooth replacement.
The 4 Step Dental Implant Process
Due to the unique placement of dental implants, they require a process that is very different from that of dentures or dental bridges. Getting dental implants is a multistep treatment that spans the course of several months. In general, you can expect four main stages for rebuilding your smile:
INITIAL DENTAL IMPLANT CONSULTATION
When Dr. Neale is preparing for your implant placement procedure, he’ll take images of your mouth using a high-tech Cone Beam scanner. This device works similarly to an X-ray machine, but it provides much more detailed information. The scans it takes provide a three-dimensional rendering of your mouth, which allows Dr. Neale to create an extremely detailed plan for the implant placement surgery.
The scan will help him determine where specifically in your bone the implants should go. He’ll choose locations that have adequate bone density and that will provide the strongest base possible for your new teeth.
DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY
You can expect to be quite comfortable during your placement surgery. Thanks to a combination of local anesthesia and sedation, you shouldn’t feel a thing as your dentist creates small incisions in your gums and inserts the implant posts into your bone. Your surgery may last anywhere from an hour to several hours, depending on how many implants you’re receiving.
DENTAL IMPLANT OSSEOINTEGRATION & DELIVERY OF FINAL RESTORATION
One of the best things about dental implants is their biocompatibility. Titanium works very well within the human body; it can even bond with your bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration. This will take place over the months following your implant placement surgery. Then, you’ll be ready to receive your beautiful new teeth!
Of course, we’ll be there to support you and address all of your questions and concerns both before and after your procedure. Our goal is to help you achieve a strong, healthy new smile with as little hassle as possible. If you would like to learn more about dental implants and how they are placed, contact our office today to request a consultation.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are quickly becoming the most popular way to replace missing teeth. In fact, according to the American Academy of implant Dentistry, roughly 3 million Americans have dental implants, and that number grows by more than 500,000 every year. Since they replace both the roots and the crowns of missing teeth, dental implants can dramatically improve your quality of life in ways that traditional options like bridges and dentures simply can’t. While we’ll be more than happy to go over how they can change your life personally during your initial consultation, we’ve listed some of the most popular reasons why our patients love dental implants below.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Many people are under the false impression that dental implants are only for older patients who are replacing a single tooth. Thankfully, this couldn’t be further from the truth! As long as you’re a healthy adult with adequate jawbone density, you can get dental implants at any age to replace any number of teeth. Tooth loss impacts smiles of all ages, so don’t be shy about visiting us for a consultation to see how dental implants can help.
MISSING 1 TOOTH
Traditionally, to replace a single missing tooth, the neighboring healthy teeth would need to be filed down and fitted with a dental bridge. However, placing a dental implant topped with a beautiful dental crown can seamlessly replace your tooth without wearing down any of your remaining teeth.
MISSING MULTIPLE TEETH
If you’re missing several teeth in a row, one dental implant can be placed on each end of the gap to support a fixed dental bridge between them. This allows you to literally bridge the gap in your smile without altering any of your teeth. If you’re missing several teeth around your mouth, we may recommend using implants to anchor a partial denture in place to complete your smile.
MISSING ALL TEETH
Many patients who have experienced severe tooth loss believe that they aren’t good candidates for dental implants – but this isn’t true in most cases! Implant dentures are available, and Dr. Neale may even be able to outfit existing dentures with dental implant technology as well. These custom-made prosthetics can attach to a small number of implants, replacing an entire arch of teeth at a time. They will stay sturdily in place – no unwanted slipping – and function normally, helping you enjoy your smile confidently once more.
Maintaining & Caring For Your Dental Implants
Dental implant care in Blackwell is essential if you want your prosthetics to thrive. At Blackwell Dentistry, our team will be happy to go over, in detail, all the information you need to keep your new smile looking and feeling its best. While you will not need special cleaning supplies, denture adhesive, or frequent adjustments along the way, you will need to know how to properly clean your teeth, maintain a healthy diet, avoid bad habits, and protect your smile. Not to mention, you’ll be expected to see us regularly for follow-up checkups and cleanings. To help you prepare for what life will be like once your dental implants are in place, here is some valuable information for you to review. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
MAKING ORAL HYGIENE A PRIORITY
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are important components of any oral hygiene routine. But when you have dental implants, you’ll need to be even more diligent in your efforts to maintain a healthy smile. While your titanium posts and customized restorations cannot decay, your natural teeth can. Also, your soft oral tissues are vulnerable to gum disease if you don’t clean your mouth as often as you should. If you want to avoid the potential for implant failure, it’s best to adopt a routine of brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing at least once a day (if not more), and rinsing to flush away any remnants left behind.
EATING A HEALTHY DIET
Your dental implants in Blackwell will benefit most when you choose to eat healthy foods. Swapping out sugars and starches for leafy greens, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and dairy will help to strengthen your natural tooth enamel and promote good gum health. If too much sugar or starch is consumed, you can put your body and oral health at risk for decay, gum disease, and possible dental implant failure. When your smile in its entirety is healthy, you’ll enjoy your dental implants for longer.
BREAKING BAD HABITS
Chewing on inanimate objects, nail-biting, eating ice, smoking, and using your teeth as tools are some of the worst possible habits you can practice with or without dental implants. Of course, if you’ve recently invested in replacing your missing teeth and are continuing to do these things, you’ll be destined to spend even more time and money fixing your real and artificial teeth. Breaking these bad habits early on will not only safeguard your implants but also better protect your healthy teeth from potential damage.
PROTECTING YOUR DENTAL IMPLANTS
Whether it is sports or stress that has you turning to a customized mouthguard, you can rest assured that your dental implants will be safe from harm. These unique devices are made to protect your teeth and soft oral tissues should you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) or experience a hard hit on the field or sudden fall on the track. Wearing a mouthguard that fits correctly and feels comfortable will ensure that it remains in place for maximum support and protection, giving you greater peace of mind while at play or throughout the night.
SCHEDULING REGULAR DENTAL CHECKUPS
Regular dental checkups and cleanings with your implant dentist in Blackwell are some of the most important steps you can take to ensuring the lifespan of your dental implants. Because fractures and small chips can develop along the way, these visits allow our team to examine your artificial teeth and recommend treatment, if necessary, so you can keep enjoying your new smile. We’ll also look for signs of decay on regular teeth as well as gum disease and oral cancer, all of which can negatively impact your smile and its future. By continuing to keep these visits, you will remain proactive about taking better care of your oral health.
Dental Implant FAQs
Have you only recently learn about dental implant treatment? Thankfully, they have been used to replace teeth for well over 50 years. They’ve only become more advanced and reliable over time, which is sure to give you more confidence ahead of treatment. With that said, we recognize that you may have additional questions you’d like addressed. Below, you can read our detailed responses to some of the most common concerns we hear regarding dental implants for your convenience.
When placed by a dental professional, dental implant placement is a very safe and successful process for the overwhelming majority of patients. With that said, patients who have a low bone density or gum disease will need preparatory treatments before they can receive implants. In addition, if you believe that surgery or the healing process will be too risky due to a preexisting condition (i.e. diabetes, cancer, or another medical issue) our office is happy to discuss it with you in more detail during your consultation.
Dental implant failure is generally considered to be extremely uncommon, but it can still occur. The main two reasons dental implants fail is because the implant did not properly integrate with the jawbone tissue (failed osseointegration) or because of an infection caused by poor oral hygiene surrounding the implant (known as peri-implantitis.) If the patient had low jawbone density to begin with, this can also lead to failure. However, failure is far more commonly caused by poor habits like tobacco use, which is considered to be the leading cause of an unsuccessful implant placement. Your dentist will provide guidelines for minimizing your risk of implant failure however possible.
In most cases, only one to two days off are needed to recover from dental implants. With that said, every case can be different. Dr. Neale will go over your personalized treatment plan and determine what an appropriate amount of time is needed for you to recover effectively. For example, if you had many implants placed or your work is physically demanding, you will likely need to take three to four days off, if not more. Our office does not recommend strenuous activity immediately following implant surgery as this could divert blood from the implant site and negatively affect healing.
Our office captures highly detailed impressions of your mouth to ensure your restoration is personalized to the fullest extent. Once the restorations are placed over the implant, there is no reason anyone should be able to tell the difference between your natural teeth and your tooth replacement. You should not have to smile in any specific way to hide your implants, which is something that certainly can’t be said for dentures that don’t fit properly.
Most dental implant surgeries take one to two hours to complete. However, this timeframe can be extended if you need to have many dental implants placed.