Dental Implants IN SEARCY
Over the course of my career, I have seen the technology and science for dental implants make amazing advancements. What I was taught in the 1990’s couldn’t be done with dental implants, is now done every day as a practical and realistic solution for tooth replacement.
What are dental implants? Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that give you the opportunity to replace lost or missing teeth and restore your smile with a natural look, fit, and feel. The artificial roots, or dental implants, are inserted into the spaces where you are missing teeth. After a period of time, usually a few months, the gums and underlying jaw bone hold the implant tightly, and we can then make implant crowns, implant bridges, or specialized implant dentures that firmly attach to the implant roots.
Dental Implants vs Traditional Dentures
If you are missing multiple teeth or your natural teeth are deteriorating beyond what can practically be restored, dental implants provide significant benefits over traditional dentures and partial dentures. With dental implants, you won’t have to wear a bulky, plastic denture. With dental implants, you won’t have to depend upon denture adhesives to keep your teeth from coming loose. With dental implants, you’ll be able to chew up to 10x better than you could with a denture, and you’ll be able to feel the warmth and enjoy the taste of your food like you can with natural teeth. With dental implants, your face will look your natural age and your jaw structure will stay strong and healthy as implants prevent premature aging and jaw bone shrinkage that results from traditional denture use.
Dental Implants vs Traditional Bridges
If you are missing a single tooth, a bridge can be made to replace that tooth by rebuilding the natural teeth that sit on each side of the space of the missing tooth. There are times when rebuilding those natural teeth will serve you well, but many times it’s best to preserve your natural teeth untouched. The major advantage that dental implants have over traditional bridges is that dental implants stand alone without relying on the adjacent teeth. Dental implants can be inserted into the space of the missing tooth, allowing your natural teeth to remain untouched. Many people find the advantage of preserving their natural teeth reduces their future dental expenses as the maintenance for dental implants is much lower than the maintenance that commonly occurs with traditional bridges.
All-On-Four Implant Solutions
A question we are commonly asked is, “Do I have to get implants for every tooth that I am missing?” With the advances in 3D x-ray imaging and dental implant design, we are routinely able to restore your smile by using only 4 implants to support the replacement of the full upper set of teeth and 4 implants for the lower set of teeth. This technique is commonly called the “All-On-Four” technique and is the preferred solution when replacing all of the teeth is recommended. When this technique is used, you can often get your implant teeth the same day as the natural teeth are removed! Our patients often tell us that choosing the All-On-Four treatment is the best decision they ever made at the dentist, and they smile like they have never smiled before.
Dental implants typically have three parts:
1. The implant: A medical-grade titanium screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. This is what is inserted into the spaces of missing teeth and permanently attaches to the jaw bone underlying the gums.
2. The abutment: A connector that permanently attaches the implant to your new implant crown, implant bridge, or specialized implant denture.
3. The implant crown, implant bridge, or implant denture: These permanently attach to the underlying abutments and complete your smile!
If you have concerns about the condition of your teeth, dental implants could be the right choice for you. If you would like to better understand how dental implants are the definitive solution to replace your missing teeth, please schedule an appointment below. You will be amazed what the treatment, the technology, and TFD’s expert care can do for you.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
No. Your dental implant surgery will not cause you any pain or discomfort. Dr. Jared Cox uses advanced surgical techniques, minimally-invasive tools, and numbing to ensure that you do not feel any pain throughout your surgery.
We also offer sedation dentistry to help you feel even more comfortable during your dental implant surgery. You’ll take a few pills the night before and the day of your appointment, and you’ll be able to relax and sleep through your appointment. You may even forget what happens during your surgery!
While you will experience some pain and discomfort after your numbing and sedation wear off at Today’s Family Dentistry, this usually peaks and begins to fade within a day or two of your implant. As you continue to heal and recover, your pain will lessen.
If you notice severe pain or discomfort up to 1-2 weeks after your surgery, this is not normal, and you should contact Today’s Family Dentistry for a follow-up consultation with Dr. Cox.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Your dental implant itself, the small piece of metal that’s placed into your gums and jaw, will never wear out. If you take care of your mouth properly, protect yourself from oral injuries, and see Dr. Cox for checkups every six months, you can expect your implant to last you for the rest of your life. After 30 years, more than 90% of patients still have their original dental implants. This makes implants the best long-term investment in your oral health if you’d like to replace one or more missing teeth.
However, your implant restoration, which is the prosthetic used to replace your missing tooth, may not last this long. Restorations like crowns, bridges, and dentures go through a lot of wear and tear as you smile, chew, and bite. They usually need to be replaced about every 15 years, though this may vary depending on the type of implant and the type of implant restoration.
At your six-month checkup, Dr. Cox will check on your dental implants and your restorations to make sure they’re both in great shape, and recommend any follow-ups that may be necessary if he notices that you have a worn-out piece of dental work. This gives you peace of mind and ensures your implants and restorations always stay in great shape.
What Do I Do If I Damage a Dental Implant?
Call Today’s Family Dentistry. If your implant hurts, the crown or other restoration is loose, or there’s any other issue with your implant, you should see Dr. Cox for a checkup right away.
Most commonly, the damage will only affect your implant restoration, like a dental crown. If you suffer an oral injury, for example, this could crack a crown or knock it loose, or it may become unscrewed. This is easy to fix, so Dr. Cox can help.
It’s rarer for the implant itself to become damaged. This is because your metal implant will heal and bond to the surrounding gum and jaw tissue. Unless you experience serious dental trauma, it will likely remain intact.
However, your dental implant can become damaged if you don’t care for it properly immediately after your surgery. If it moves too much or the gum tissue around it becomes infected, for example, the implant could fail. This is why it’s so important to follow Dr. Cox’s instructions as you heal and recover from your surgery.