Over the past few decades, dental implants have become increasingly popular as a solution to tooth loss, and once you learn a little more about them, it’s not hard to see why. They are much stronger, last exponentially longer, and even look more natural than conventional dentures and bridges. At South Arlington Smiles, Dr. Talon Davis is your local implant expert, so if you’re ready to permanently rebuild your smile, contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss dental implants in Arlington, TX.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium. It is surgically placed into the jawbone, where it can support a custom-made crown, bridge, or denture, depending on how many teeth you have lost. Just like the roots of your real teeth, implants actually bond to the surrounding bone, which explains their unmatched strength and stability. They also stimulate the jawbone, preventing it from shrinking as it often does after tooth loss.
The benefits of dental implants are far more extensive than you’d think. While you’ll learn from our office exactly why so many patients are choosing them over traditional methods of tooth replacement, we encourage you to read about just a few of the advantages that dental implants have over bridges and dentures ahead of your consultation. Feel free to reach out to us directly to schedule an appointment and learn more about the long-term oral and overall health benefits of choosing dental implants to rebuild your smile!
No matter how many teeth you’re missing, Dr. Davis can use dental implants to rebuild smiles in 99% of patients. After examining your mouth, he can discuss the following restorative options and determine which one is best for you:
A personalized crown can be placed on top of a single implant post that is inserted into the jaw. The neighboring teeth won’t need to be altered in the slightest, and the crown will be meticulously shaped and shaded to blend in with your smile as a whole.
To replace several missing teeth in a row, a dental bridge can be placed on two dental implants at either end of the gap in your grin. This solution is much more stable and durable than a traditional bridge.
Even an entire mouthful of lost teeth can be brought back with dental implants. All it takes is four to eight implant posts placed along the jaw to secure a full denture. An implant-retained denture doesn’t slip around or require messy adhesives or a special cleaning regimen; it will feel as if you had never lost any teeth in the first place!
Many general dentists have to refer patients to an outside specialist, like an oral surgeon, for the implant placement procedure. Fortunately, Dr. Davis can help save you time by being able to perform every step of the dental implant process right here in our Arlington dental office. From your first consultation to the placement of your final restoration, you can work with the same trusted team and not have to get to know an unfamiliar specialist.
Because of their versatility, dental implant cost can vary quite a bit from patient to patient. Many factors must be considered, such as the number of implants you need, where in the mouth they’ll be located, and whether you’ll require preparatory work (like bone grafting or tooth extractions).
While dental implants admittedly have a higher initial cost than dentures or bridges alone, their longevity actually makes them a better long-term investment. Traditional restorations have to be repaired or replaced every few years, while dental implants can last a lifetime with the right care.
Taking care of your dental implants isn’t much different than taking care of your teeth. In both cases, it’s important to take the initiative in order to prevent small problems from turning into large ones. Doing so will help your dental implants last for decades so that you can continue enjoying the enhanced strength and comfort they provide. If you want to learn more about implant maintenance, we encourage you to read below or to schedule a consultation at our practice.
Your daily oral hygiene routine won’t change much after you receive dental implants. You should continue to brush at least two times every day with an ADA-approved toothpaste. You also need to floss on a regular basis to remove bacteria and food particles from the spaces that a toothbrush can’t reach. These basic steps will help you prevent gum disease, a potentially devastating oral health issue that often results in bone loss. Implants need a healthy jawbone in order to stay anchored in place, so it’s best to avoid gum disease and other oral health issues altogether.
While an occasional sugary snack won’t do your implants any significant harm, you need to be aware of the influence that your diet has on your oral health. Too much sugar and starch can lead to dental issues that may put your implants at risk. Make sure your diet is filled with plenty of nutritious foods instead, including fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin C will help promote a healthy mouth and a strong jaw, thus creating the ideal environment for your implants.
Seemingly harmless oral habits can end up damaging your smile in the long run, and that includes your dental implants. To make sure that your implants and your natural teeth last as long as possible, you need to be gentle with them. Be careful not to chew your nails, pen tips, or anything else that’s hard, and avoid crunching ice, peppermints, or any other kind of hard food. Never use your teeth as tools for opening packages or containers. If you need some help breaking bad oral habits, Dr. Davis can give you some tips during your next appointment.
Some accidents are unavoidable, but if you play sports or participate in some kind of physical activity, then you should know ahead of time when you have an increased risk of getting hit in the mouth. Wearing a mouthguard can help keep your dental implants safe while you’re getting your exercise. You can also have a mouthguard made to keep your dental implants safe at night if you suffer from bruxism.
You should already be visiting Dr. Davis every six months for your biannual dental checkups. These appointments are also a chance for him to make sure your implants are still firmly in place and to check on the state of your customized restoration. This gives us a chance to intervene at the first sign that your implants could be at risk.
Even if you’re still not sure if you believe dental implants are right for you or you just don’t know enough about the treatment itself, South Arlington Smiles is happy to answer your questions to the furthest extent. Dr. Davis has years of experience placing and restoring dental implants and will gladly sit down with you one-on-one to help you feel comfortable about treatment. In the meantime, you can read over a few of the most common questions our practice hears!
Dental implant failure is largely uncommon, but there are reasons it can occur. The two most common reasons include failed osseointegration and peri-implantitis. If the implant does not properly integrate with the jawbone tissue, it can fall out. This is usually the case if the patient already had low bone density, which is something we always consider before surgery. Alternatively, peri-implantitis occurs when brushing and flossing are not performed as much or as well as they should be. This leads to gum disease forming in the gum tissue surrounding the implant. Implants can also fail as a result of tobacco use, chronic teeth grinding, and pre-existing conditions that affect the healing process.
If you have your diabetes well-managed, then your dental implant success rate should be largely comparable to that of a patient who does not have diabetes. Always keep it managed as uncontrolled diabetes or chronic high blood sugar can affect the implant’s healing process. This could negatively impact the implant’s ability to integrate with the bone. Speak with your primary care physician or endocrinologist first if you’re interested in getting dental implants and need help managing your blood sugar levels.
Neither the titanium implant itself nor the restoration that goes on top are capable of developing decay. However, your neighboring teeth as well as the gum tissue that surrounds the implant can still be damaged by bacteria. If the gums become infected, it can cause the implant to fail! For that reason, you should never skip your routine oral hygiene just because you have dental implants.
When the jawbone is healthy enough, you should be able to have your dental implant placed as soon as your tooth is extracted. This is particularly ideal because it allows Dr. Davis to maximize the bone tissue that is present, rather than wait and allow it to start breaking down. As soon as teeth are removed, bone tissue can begin to shrink and deteriorate. However, you’ll need to speak with him first and complete a detailed examination before we can provide a clear answer.
In the event there is not enough bone tissue present inside the open tooth socket, a bone graft can be performed. This treatment involves placing bone material from another part of your body into the socket so a dental implant can begin the integration process. We should know well in advance if a bone graft is needed before you begin your surgery.