Dental Implants

What Is A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a small, titanium post to which a custom crown, partial, or denture is attached. The titanium post functions as a new tooth root and provides a strong anchor for the replacement tooth or teeth. Because dental implants replace the tooth root as well as the tooth, they closely mimic natural tooth structure.

The Process of Getting Dental Implants

If you’ve chosen to replace your missing teeth with a dental implant supported crown, bridge, or denture, you may be wondering what to expect during your surgical implant placement procedure. Until recently, the Oyler Family Dentistry team referred patients to a local oral surgeons or periodontists for this part of the tooth replacement process. We use the innovative Dentsply Astra dental implant placement system, which improves the rate of successful implantation and offers safe, effective tooth replacement for more patients than ever before. Best of all, our Lawrenceburg dental patients can now receive every aspect of implant care in our comfortable, familiar dental practice. Read on to learn more about what you can expect on your journey towards a new smile!

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Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Before we recommend any treatment, we start with a consultation. During this visit, we’ll examine your current state of oral health, discuss your oral and overall health history, and talk about past surgical experiences. If we determine dental implants are a good option for you, we will provide all the information you need to make an informed decision about moving forward. At this point, we’ll also let you know if any preliminary treatments are recommended.

Dental Implant Surgery

The dental implant placement process is much simpler than it may sound. While it requires minor oral surgery, most patients are pleasantly surprised at how easy and comfortable the process is! First, we make a small incision in the gums. Then, the implant post is inserted directly into the jawbone. A protective cap is placed over the top of the implant to allow the post to fuse with the surrounding bone while preventing gum tissue from healing over the top. The gums are then closed around the dental implant and protective cap, and you’ll be sent home to heal.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

Following dental implant placement, you’ll likely need at least a day or two of dedicated recovery before returning to your normal, everyday activities. That being said, your jawbone will continue to heal over the next several months. Before you can move onto the next step, you’ll need to wait three to six months for a process called osseointegration to complete. This is where the titanium implant fuses with your jawbone to create a solid foundation for your new smile.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Once your dental implants have fused with the jawbone, the Oyler Family Dentistry team will get to work designing and crafting a flawless, custom dental restoration that will be attached on top. Dental implants can be used to support any number of replacement teeth, including:

  • Dental crowns - Attached to single implant posts to replace one tooth
  • Fixed bridges - A row of fused together dental crowns supported on both ends by dental implants to replace consecutive missing teeth
  • Dentures - Both partial and full dentures can be used to replace consecutive and nonconsecutive teeth or a whole arch of teeth and are supported by three to six implant posts

To further streamline the implant restoration process, we can use our E4D one-visit dental restoration system to provide crowns and bridges that can be designed, crafted, and anchored to implant posts in just one appointment.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are highly popular as a tooth-replacement option. In fact, they’re so well-regarded that dentists place over 500,000 of them every year! This popularity shouldn’t surprise, though, given the treatment’s unique features. You see, the benefits of dental implants are such that they can’t be found with dentures or dental bridges. You can thus trust them to improve your life dramatically. To learn the details, just keep reading or call our office.

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Day-to-Day Benefits

Primarily, what you’ll notice with implants are the day-to-day benefits. These commonly include:

  • A Beautiful, Restored Smile – Remember, implants rely on high-quality porcelain customized just for you. As such, they look gorgeous and blend seamlessly with surrounding teeth. It’s to the point that you won’t have to worry about others’ reactions. After all, these prosthetics are so lifelike that people can’t tell them apart from natural teeth.
  • Better Eating & Speaking – Unlike dentures or bridges, implants fuse with your jawbone and stimulate it. Consequently, the prosthetics are secure and greatly strengthen your bite force. You can thus trust that they won’t slip or fall, making meals and conversations a breeze.
  • Easy Maintenance – As it happens, you can maintain implants as you would natural teeth. Namely, you only need to brush them twice daily, floss them once daily, and rinse them with mouthwash. From there, you can expect them to stay clean and pretty!

Health Benefits

Over time, implants’ health benefits also become apparent. The upsides in question are:

  • Improved Nutrition – When implants restore your bite force, they don’t just let you eat your favorite foods again. The prosthetics also expand your potential dietary choices. As a result, you’re more likely to get the proper nutrients you need from meals.
  • A Stronger Jawbone – When you lack teeth, your jaw degrades from bone loss. That erosion can even lead to facial collapse if left unchecked. However, implants prevent this outcome by stimulating the jaw’s bone tissue.
  • Natural Teeth Support – The gaps created by tooth loss often make surrounding teeth tilt and fall out. Thankfully, implants’ ability to fill those spaces keeps tilting from occurring.

Long-term Benefits

Perhaps most importantly, implants have long-term benefits, making them a great investment. Consider those listed below:

  • Low Chance of Failure – After the initial placement surgery, implants rarely fail. It’s to the point that their success rate after ten years is over 95%.
  • Little-to-No Replacement – Implants work for the long haul, lasting 15-20 years on average. (With proper care, their lifespan can reach over 30 years.) So, you won’t need to replace them often.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – Despite their moderate upfront price, implants save you money overall. Their lifespan (see above) means they require few (if any) replacement or repair charges. In contrast, dentures and bridges only last five to seven years and need pricey repairs.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

Nearlly any adult patient with one or more missing teeth can qualify for dental implants! Since minor oral surgery is involved, dental implant candidates must be in good overall health. Additionally, you must be free of oral health issues like gum disease and have adequate jawbone density. Dr. Oyler will examine your medical history, oral health, and jawbone to determine if dental implants are right for you. The best way to discover if dental implants are right for you is to come see us for a consultation, so schedule yours today!

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Missing 1 Tooth

Replacing a single missing tooth is as easy as placing one dental implant into the jawbone and covering it with a custom-made dental crown. This option is much better for your oral health than a traditional dental bridge, since no remaining healthy teeth need to be altered.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Several missing teeth in a row can be replaced with an implant bridge. We’ll place one dental implant on either side of the page in your mouth where your missing teeth used to be. These will then support a dental bridge to fill in the empty space.

Missing All Teeth

Patients who have lost a full arch of teeth in their upper or lower jaw can benefit tremendously from implant dentures. Without the stability provided by dental implants or natural tooth roots, the jawbone will rapidly degenerate after such extensive tooth loss. But implant dentistry encourages the stimulation the jawbone needs to stay healthy and whole. Implant dentures are an excellent option for patients who are currently dealing with a loose denture or those who are on the brink of total tooth loss. 

Dental Implants Vs Traditional Dental Bridges & Dentures

When it comes to tooth replacement, nothing else provides a prosthetic root for the crown that is affixed on top. Dental implants are the only whole-tooth replacement available today. That means they are also the longest-lasting tooth replacement.

In fact, implants can be expected to last for a lifetime with proper maintenance. Other options, like the fixed bridge or non-implant supported dentures, require adjustments throughout a lifetime. But dental implants look, fit, and feel just like they should from day one and for decades to come.

While dental implants may have a higher initial cost than other options, they are truly the best investment you can make in tooth replacement.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Many patients assume right away that dental implants are too expensive for them, but rest assured that our team will help you navigate the financial aspects of this treatment smoothly and without unnecessary stress. During your first consultation, we will review your unique circumstances and provide a thorough breakdown of what to expect cost-wise so that there are no unexpected surprises further down the road. Several payment options are available as well, including low-interest financing through CareCredit!

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Types of Dental Implants

There isn’t a set fee for dental implants because the price is determined by your personal needs. There are various factors that influence the cost, like the number of teeth you’re missing. Generally, you can expect to pay more when replacing several or all your teeth because you’ll require multiple posts and abutments, and your restoration will be larger; however, it is more cost effective than if you were to treat each tooth individually.

Stages of Treatment

The treatment process will take several months to complete because there are various steps required to recreate the tooth from the root up. Each phase will have a separate cost. Although it may take you longer to complete your smile, it can make dental implants more affordable. You won’t need to cover the entire treatment upfront, giving you more time to pay. Although every plan differs, most patients need to pay for:

  • Initial Consultation : Besides a visual examination, you’ll need a CT scan and X-rays.
  • Additional Treatments : It’s common to need additional treatments, like periodontal therapy or tooth extractions.
  • Placement Surgery : We preform the implant placement in-house, so you won’t have separate fees for the oral surgeon, but you will need to pay for each post and the sedation or anesthesia.
  • Abutments : Each post needs to have an abutment which is a special fixture to connect your restoration.
  • Restoration : The more teeth you’re replacing, the higher the cost.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

You’ll initially pay more for dental implants, but they are more affordable long-term because they can last for a lifetime with the right aftercare. As result, you should never need to worry about paying to have them replaced. Not to mention, they improve your oral health to reduce your overall dental expenses.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Many dental insurances will pay a portion of the cost of certain steps in your treatment, like the initial consultation, CT scan, or restorations. We’ll work on your behalf to maximize your dental benefits to decrease your out-of-pocket expense. Our office accepts several payment options for any remaining balance, like CareCredit. We’ll help you find the solutions you need to replace your missing teeth without breaking the bank.

If you’re ready to enjoy a complete smile again, take your first step toward a better quality of life. Contact our office today to  schedule your consultation  for dental implants.

State-of-the Art Dental Implant Technology

Our unique and innovative dental implant system, Dentsply Astra , makes planning, placing, and restoring dental implants a breeze. These customized implant posts and surgical placement system offer increased success rates and more natural looking and feeling results. The key is in the crown-first design. Rather than molding your restoration to fit the implant post, a dental implant is crafted to fit your flawless restoration.

Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Although dental implants typically boast a success rate of 95% or more and can last a lifetime with proper care, it doesn’t mean they’re completely immune to complications. In rare cases, for various reasons, these metal posts can end up failing if you aren’t aware of the warning signs ahead of time. Should you start to experience loose or sensitive implants, or the gum tissue surrounding them is swollen or sore, then you might require dental implant salvage treatment to preserve your new pearly whites.

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Dental Implant FAQs

Dental implants are the most traditional method of replacing lost teeth. As a lifelong commitment, it's normal to have several concerns before you are ready to move forward. Your dentist will explain everything during your consultation for dental implants in Greendale. In the meantime, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions to ease any apprehensions.

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Can I Take Dental Implants Out?

A dental implant is unlike any other treatment because it recreates both the root and the crown. A titanium post is surgically placed into the jawbone to mimic a root. Your bone will fuse to the post through a process called osseointegration. Therefore, only a trained dental professional can take it out, such as in cases of failure. However, some implant dentures are removable to make them easier to clean.


Am I Too Old for Dental Implants?

You are never too old to replace your lost teeth with dental implants, but your dentist may take a few precautions. With age comes certain health conditions and medications that can affect your body’s ability to heal and fight infections, so your dentist may recommend a few additional steps to ensure the success of your procedure. Not to mention, you may need a little prep work before your placement surgery, like bone grafting or periodontal therapy. Although your treatment plan may have a few more steps, it is time well-spent to ensure your new smile thrives for decades. Your implant dentist in Greendale will examine your mouth and learn more about your medical history to create the personalized strategy you need to enjoy a complete smile again.


How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants have over a 95% success rate and are proven to last for 30 years or more with the right care. Various things affect the lifespan of a dental implant, like your oral hygiene, lifestyle habits, and regular care from a dentist.


What Are the Signs of Implant Failure?

The risk of dental implant failure is less than 5% but it's important to watch for any signs of a problem, like red, swollen, or bleeding gums. A preventable infection called peri-implantitis is the biggest threat to their long-term success. A good oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist every 6 months can keep the infection at bay. If you develop any signs of an infection, contact our office right away for an appointment. Quick detection and treatment can prevent dental implant failure to get the most from your investment.


What Should I Do If My Implant Feels Loose?

After your jaw has fused with the implant, it should never feel loose. Any instability or pain near the implant can be a sign of a big problem, like dental implant failure. However, it can also be a minor issue, like a loose restoration. It is best to contact our office immediately for an appointment. If you wait too long, it may be too late to save your smile.


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