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Implants – Replace Missing Teeth

Dental ImplantsIn today’s world, people are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.

An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium (the same material used in many replacement hips and knees), a metal that is well-suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.

The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.

Single or Multiple Implants

Implants are versatile. If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.  Depending on your situation, implants can be customized to fit your need.

Post-Treatment Implant Care

Consider your replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.

Our implant services include:

  • Sinus Lift Augmentation: Often the sinuses will enlarge in size following loss of the upper back teeth. This often will preclude placement of dental implants in the upper back areas of the mouth, since the sinus is an air-filled space and dental implants need to be surrounded by solid bone. A sinus lift augmentation/graft is a surgical procedure that returns the sinus cavity to its original position, and replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes nine to 12 months to heal before the dental implants can be placed into the grafted bone.
  • Autogenous Bone Grafting: Occasionally, the ideal areas for dental implants do not have sufficient bone quantity to support the implants. In these cases, it is often necessary to “borrow” bone from another area of your mouth and graft it into the deficient area. Often, the area of choice is from the chin or in the back of the jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be.
  • Implant Site Development: When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have lost bone around the infected tooth. In these cases, various types of bone grafting can be done at the same time the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at a later date.
  • Computer-Enhanced Treatment Planning: We now have special computer software that allows us to evaluate your dental CT scan in three dimensions for bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location, enabling the best possible placement of your dental implants. This also allows us to ensure an ideal result for your dental implants.
  • Implant Maintenance: Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and infection-free. Dental implants can accumulate plaque and tartar just as teeth can. Whether you have just one tooth replaced by an implant or several, a professional cleaning schedule will be necessary to keep your implants healthy. The time interval for these professional cleanings will be determined by your individual needs.

Cost of Implants

The cost of your treatment will vary depending on your individual needs and treatment plan. We will discuss the cost of your treatment and each of your available payment options with you before we begin, so that you can make the best choice to meet your needs.  Call Cottonwood Dental to make your appointment today. 

Advantages of Implants over Dentures or Bridges

Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, even less with root canals, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.

Dentures & Partial Dentures

Dentures work as replacements for missing teeth as well as the surrounding gum tissue. These removable dental appliances are designed to resemble a patient’s teeth as close as possible, oftentimes enhancing the patient’s smile.  Dentures can be either complete or partial. Complete dentures are necessary when all the teeth are missing; partial dentures, on the other hand, can be used when only some of the natural teeth are missing. Partial dentures are effective not only at filling in the spaces left by other teeth, but they are also good at keeping the other teeth from shifting.

Complete dentures can fall under two categories – conventional and immediate.

Conventional – Conventional dentures are made after the teeth have been removed by Dr. Giaquinto and the gum tissue has healed.

Immediate – Immediate dentures are created before the teeth are removed and are put in right away.  With immediate dentures, the patient does not have to go without teeth, but adjustments will be necessary after the gum tissues heal and shrink.

Dentures are created to last for several years, but they might have to undergo repairs or readjustments. In some cases, they must be remade after time.

Reasons for dentures:

  • Loss of all teeth in an arch (requires a complete denture)
  • Loss of several teeth in an arch (requires a partial denture)
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion

What does getting dentures involve?

Getting dentures is a process that takes several appointments spread out over many weeks. Highly-accurate molds and measurements are necessary to create a well-fitting, custom denture. It might take several appointments to ensure that the dentures are the correct color, shape and fit. Dr. Giaquinto will adjust and place the completed denture at your final visit, giving you a comfortable, natural looking fit.

When first adjusting to new dentures, it is normal to experience some soreness, difficulty in speaking and eating, as well as increased saliva flow. As you get used to the dentures, these issues will resolve themselves.

Proper care of your dentures, along with regular visits to Dr. Giaquinto, are necessary to extend the life of your dentures, and you will be given instructions on how to best care for your new dental appliance.