A dental implant is a tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post that the dentist surgically positions into the jaw to replace the root of the lost tooth. Once in place and the bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a crown, which serves as a replacement tooth is attached to the implant post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support. This means they do not weaken the remaining teeth the way a bridge can. Implants effectively keep a one tooth problem a one tooth problem, rather than involving additional teeth the way a bridge does. To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Unfortunately, modern advances in dental care have not entirely stemmed the tide of tooth loss. Millions of people are missing at least one tooth due to an injury, decay, or a gum disease like gingivitis. If you have one or more missing teeth, the Aurora implant dentistry team at Pioneer Hills Dental can show you how dental implants can solve your problem permanently. For tooth replacement, a custom-designed dental implant offers you the best natural, durable solution available today.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:
- Single Tooth Replacement
- Anterior Replacement
- Posterior Replacement
- Full Upper Replacement
If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, the dentist may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice or option.
How Does A Dental Implant Work?
The implant begins with a titanium screw, which becomes the anchoring base for your replacement tooth or teeth. This piece of metal takes the place of a natural tooth’s root. When installed properly, the metal is capable of fusing completely with the bone of your jaw. Unlike a bridge, the dental implant is firmly rooted and will not wiggle or work its way loose. The dental implants team at Pioneer Hills Dental can replace a single tooth, or fill in a gap where multiple teeth are missing.
Why Should I Choose Dental Implants?
Dental implants can benefit you by:
- Renewing your confidence from a beautiful, healthy smile
- Providing a result that looks and feels like your other teeth
- Offering you convenience–you can treat implants like you treat your other teeth
- Giving you a solution that is permanent and doesn’t have to be removed (or misplaced)
- Allowing your neighboring teeth to be left alone–the implant stands alone with its own root
- Preventing your jawbone from shrinking–a common result when a tooth is missing for years
- Improving your ability to speak and chew
How Successful Are Dental Implant Procedures?
The success rates of dental implants relies on a variety of factors (such as where in the jaw the implants are placed) but, overall, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. Patients that properly care for their implants post procedure can enjoy their implants for a lifetime.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
The installation of dental implants is a minor surgical procedure and is an available treatment option for anyone with good health, healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. You will need to commit to a daily oral health routine and prompt cleanings to ensure the gum around the implants stays healthy. If you are a heavy smoker, or if you suffer from a chronic condition (such as diabetes or heart disease) you will need to be evaluated by Dr. Wolbaum to determine your candidacy for dental implants.
How Are The Implants Installed?
Placement of a dental implant is a relatively conservative and painless procedure. Compared to a tooth extraction, it is significantly less invasive and traumatic in nature. Most patients may return to work or school the next day and take only mild pain medications or sometimes none at all. The exact amount of time it takes to place an implant varies depending on the location of the implant and the complexity of the case–some cases could take as little as 15 minutes, others an hour.
Before your appointment, you and Dr. Wolbaum can discuss your treatment plan and decide whether local anesthesia, nitrous oxide or IV sedation is best for optimal comfort.
The implant procedure involves a small incision, following by placement of a surgical guide to help the surgeon align the implant perfectly. Following this, Dr. Wolbaum will gently prepare the site with a series of bone drills. The implant is then placed and covered with a cover screw or a healing extension. A simple suture may be necessary. In some situations, a temporary crown may be placed on the same day. You will then be sent home with an appointment to return in a few months–when the implant has fully healed–so the final crown or prosthesis can be placed.
How Much Will They Cost?
After a full examination, Dr. Wolbaum will better be able to ascertain the estimate of costs for your dental implant treatment. She may discover other issues that need to be fixed before you receive the installation of dental implants. Gum diseases usually need to be resolved before even minor surgeries begin. Preparing your mouth and jaw for the implant will improve the outcome of your dental implant experience. Dr. Wolbaum will provide you with an accurate estimate all of the related fees after giving you a full diagnostic exam.
Dental care is something that all Aurora and Denver, Colorado, residents should have access to. At Pioneer Hills Dental, we feel that community members of all ages and backgrounds should receive the best possible services and quality care available. When it comes to the health of your mouth, the cost of dental care shouldn’t stand in your way which is why we are happy to offer a variety of payment options for you to choose from.
Will My Insurance Cover The Costs?
Many insurance plans have coverage for appliances like dental implants, especially if they could protect the health of your jaw. The cause of the tooth loss may affect your chances of being covered for it. Talk to your insurance provider to determine what they will pay for and what costs remain out of pocket.
Will My Routine Be Affected By Implants?
When a replacement tooth is installed over a titanium anchor, it acts and feels just like a real tooth. The dental implant is fused to the bone and is very strong. There are no limitations on what you can drink or eat, aside from materials that would damage your natural teeth. You will not have to worry about dentures that slip or bridges that wiggle when you eat sticky candies. The implant will blend right in because Dr. Wolbaum will ensure that the implant blends with the color of your other teeth.
What Does The Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
The dental implant procedure begins with a custom treatment plan that is created around your specific dental health needs. Once other conditions are resolved, the procedure begins with the tooth root installation. An opening is made to fit the titanium post into the socket in the bone where the original tooth rooted. The jaw and gum heal around the post for about 12 weeks. When Dr. Wolbaum affirms that the anchor is fully bonded, a post is attached that will connect the replacement tooth to the root. This piece holds the crown, or replacement tooth, in place permanently.
How Much Pain Is Associated With The Procedure?
As with all types of surgery, there is some amount of discomfort caused by the insertion of the post. Scheduling the addition of multiple implants for individual treatments is usually the best way to minimize soreness. We administer anesthesia to most patients to help them have a painless experience during installation. The majority of our patients are surprised at how comfortable the procedure was compared to what they expected. You will also receive a prescription for medications to solve any lingering discomfort. Minor bruising is expected in the gum and cheek, but this heals quickly and rarely disrupts the routine of a patient.
How Can I Take Care Of My Dental Implants?
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when you have received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. We advise you to visit Pioneer Hills Dental at least twice a year to ensure the health of your teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care. Dr. Wolbaum will provide you with a checkup and cleaning schedule that will allow him to catch minor issues before they affect the implant.
Call for a Dental Implant Consultation
The dental implants team at Pioneer Hills Dental has many years of training and real-world experience with dental implants. When you meet with Dr. Wolbaum, he will take the time to explain the implant process and answer any questions you may have about the procedure. She will also discuss with you all possible alternative treatments, such as partial dentures, full dentures, and dental bridges.
Dr. Wolbaum is highly skilled and trained to provide a variety of dental services. Our office is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure you receive the best possible care. We believe nothing exudes beauty and confidence like a bright, vibrant smile, and that everyone deserves to experience the life-altering benefits of a radiant, healthy smile. Dr. Wolbaum is a family dentist in Aurora, Colorado, with convenient access to the communities of Highlands Ranch, Aurora, Castle Rock and Lone Tree. Pioneer Hills Dental offers state-of-the-art family dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. Call (303) 766-8811 to schedule your appointment today!