Millions of Americas suffer tooth loss despite improvements in dental care. This is mostly due to tooth decay, gingivitis or injury. For many years treatment was limited but today, dental implants are available.
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Due to the biocompatible properties of titanium, a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes a good anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be a solution for replacing single or multiple missing teeth. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permant) replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.
There are a number of reasons why you should consider a dental implant:
- Without the root structure of a natural tooth present, the jawbone can shrink. This shrinkage will make your face look older than it is.
- There are no loose parts to worry about. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is needed after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
- They look and feel like your own teeth giving you back your smile
With more than three decades of clinical experience and over a million patients treated, statistics confirm a success rate of nearly 95 percent for individual Nobel Biocare dental implants*, and even higher for the bridges they support.
* Results based on dental implants and dental bridges remaining and in function over a five-year period.
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders — such as diabetes or heart disease — or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis.
In many cases, Dr. Cowden will place your dental implant. However, there are cases in which he may recommend an oral surgeon or periodontist to place the implant and you will then return to Dr. Cowden for follow up visits.
The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have Dr. Cowden examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, he will recommend the treatment that is best for you.
Coverage under your medical plan may be possible, depending on the insurance plan and/or cause of tooth loss. Detailed questions about your individual needs and how they relate to insurance should be discussed with Dr. Cowden and your insurance provider.
- Preserve natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.
- Permanent solution: There are no loose parts to worry about. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is need after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose. But most importantly, dental implants often improve quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.
When dental implants are used in combination with modern restorative dentistry, their appearance, comfort and function are very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.
Yes. Following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity is comparable to that of natural teeth.
The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan.
Next, the tooth root implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from six to 12 weeks.
Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post — called an abutment — is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment. Dr. Cowden also will match the color of the new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.
With any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Placing one implant normally causes less discomfort then placing several. Anesthesia is commonly administered to help reduce any discomfort during the dental implant process. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Dr. Cowden will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur.
It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. But usually the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.
Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss and visit the office as recommended by Dr. Cowden
Call (505) 867-3999 for your free consultation today to find out if Dental Implants are right for you!