A healthy smile is important. If you need teeth extracted, or have missing teeth, you run the risk of experiencing jawbone resorption. This complication occurs when a tooth is missing for an extended period of time. The reason – your natural tooth root stimulates jawbone growth. But if your tooth is extracted or falls out, that jawbone stimulation doesn’t occur, in most cases causing the jawbone to shrink. This can affect the stability of adjacent teeth, and even cause them to fall out or require tooth extraction, too!
Patients who are missing a tooth or teeth – or have been told they need a tooth extracted – often come to Dr. Ivey for dental implants. This tooth restoration option functions like a natural tooth because the titanium implant is placed in and fuses with your jaw, stimulating jawbone growth. Additionally, the implant is covered with a realistic-looking crown.
What Are Dental Implants and How Do They Work?
Dental implants have the same main components as a natural tooth, built with both a root and a crown. The difference is an implant is constructed with strong and durable titanium material. Dr. Ivey will first use an implant to replace the root. After a few months, the bone should be healed and grown around the implant, which is a critical step in successful dental implant procedures. In some cases, it may be possible to place a temporary tooth on the implant so you don’t have to walk around with a missing tooth all the time. After the bone has completely bonded with the titanium implant, your general dentist will place a support post on it, and a replacement tooth, known as the crown. The crown is attached to the top of the support post. Once your dental implants are in place, you can use them and take care of them as you would your normal teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants improve the overall oral health of patients who have loose or missing teeth. Whether you lost one tooth in an accident, or you’ve experienced significant tooth loss over time as a result of age or poor oral care, Dr. Ivey can restore your oral function and preserve the health of your jawbone by placing dental implants.
Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment option for many patients for several reasons, including:
They Are a Strong and Permanent Tooth-Replacement Option
Because of their surgical nature, dental implants permanently bond to the jawbone, providing strength and stability for patients. This permanent bond means that they shouldn’t break or crack or need to be replaced like dentures and bridges.
Dental Implants Fully Restore Oral Function
Because dental implants are secured within the jawbone, they won’t move or shift within the mouth like dentures. Therefore, patients have the freedom to eat, drink, chew, and speak with confidence!
They Have a Natural Appearance
Dental implants are the most natural-looking tooth replacement option on the market today, as they are custom-made to perfectly fit within the mouth and provide patients with beautiful aesthetics.
Dental Implants Are Easy to Care For
Patients are always excited when they find out that dental implants do not require special care. In fact, they only need to be cared for as natural teeth are. Dr. Ivey recommends patients brush twice daily, floss and use antimicrobial mouthwash once a day, and visit their general dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
To find out if dental implants are the best solution for your tooth-replacement needs, the first thing you should do is schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Ivey. During your appointment, he will perform a full oral evaluation of your mouth, take X-rays and other images to determine the health of your underlying bone, talk to you about your treatment options, and develop a plan that will suit your needs.
Dr. Ivey’s patients always come first. In fact, he puts special care into developing and keeping positive relationships with every patient by treating them like family. Because of this, and because he cares about your overall health and well-being, you must qualify for dental implants.
Good candidates for dental implants will:
Be physically and mentally healthy
Have an understanding of what to expect from their final results
Have a healthy jawbone structure
Not have active gum disease
Not smoke or use other tobacco products
Not have health conditions that would affect healing after surgery
Call Dr. Ivey today to schedule your initial consultation and find out how dental implants can change your life for the better!
Tooth Replacement Options
When you choose implants as your tooth restoration option – either for one missing tooth, a whole arch of missing teeth, or an entire mouthful of missing teeth – you’re selecting the most state-of-the-art tooth replacement solution available. Best of yet, unlike dentures that can slip and slide or bridges that can crack, implants allow you to chew or eat anything you want, from sticky taffy to hard and crunchy peanut brittle.
Patients can select from a number of different options to replace their missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.
Replacing Missing Teeth with Dental Implants
Replacing missing teeth is important not only for aesthetics but for your overall oral health. By choosing implants as your tooth restoration solution, you’re protecting yourself from further jawbone loss, which may save your adjacent natural teeth.
Some patients who’ve had a tooth or teeth missing for a while may require a pre-surgery before having implants placed because they’ve already experienced some degree of bone resorption. Known as a bone graft, this pre-implant surgery helps “rebuild” your jawbone so your implants will be able to attach and strongly fuse with it.
Choosing Implants Over Other Tooth Restoration Options
While in the past you may have considered a dental bridge or dentures to replace missing teeth, today, people are choosing implants instead. The reasons include:
- Implants can last a long time when they are properly cared for
- Implants look and function just like natural teeth
- You can eat anything you want with implants, without the risk of dentures slipping and sliding or bridges cracking
Replacing All Upper or Lower Teeth – Or Both
If you need to have a total mouth restoration, or you want to replace your dentures with a more robust tooth restoration option, implants are a great choice. In this case, the All-On-4® treatment concept can be placed on the upper and/or lower jaws. With this option, as little as 4 titanium implants are placed in each jaw arch, and dentures can be firmly secured to give you a smile you can be proud of.
Using Dental Implants for a Bar Attachment Denture
Some residents need to have a bar attachment denture placed. An alternative to All-On-4® implants which also only uses 4 implants per upper or lower jaw, this option:
- Is a cost-effective solution for replacing a full arch or all of your teeth
- In many cases, reduces the need for jawbone grafting surgery
- Allows patients to heal faster because they only have 4 implants placed per jaw
Minimized Surgical Procedures
Dr. Ivey’s goal is to make dental implant surgery as easy as possible for his patients. New advances in surgical techniques allow him to speed up the implant placement process and, depending on a patient’s unique case, even allow the titanium implant to be placed and the permanent crown to be attached at the same appointment.
Cost of Dental Implants
As with any procedure, the cost of dental implants will vary from patient to patient. When you visit with Dr. Ivey for your initial consultation, he will perform a full evaluation and determine the best treatment plan for your needs.
Those who have sufficient bone loss or active gum disease should expect the cost of their dental implant procedure to be higher than that of another patient who is able to immediately have dental implants placed without any pre-surgeries or treatments.
While dental implants are more expensive than other tooth-replacement options up front, they actually save you money over the long run because they are a permanent solution and should not need to be replaced, as long as they are cared for properly. That means you won’t have the cost of replacements through the years as you would with dentures or bridges, which must be replaced frequently as the jawbone deteriorates and changes shape underneath.
Recovery After Dental Implants
When it comes to recovering from dental implant surgery, patients should expect the details of their recovery to be unique to their specific circumstances. Depending on whether or not you required any pre-surgeries prior to your dental implant placement, your entire recovery period could take 3-9 months to complete.
During your recovery period, you should:
- Not disturb the surgical sites by touching them directly, rinsing aggressively, or spitting with force
- Address bleeding by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the wound for 30 minutes
Minimize swelling by applying an ice pack on the cheek as much as possible for the first 36 hours
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a healthy, but soft food diet for the first few days
- Take recommended pain medication as prescribed by Dr. Ivey to minimize discomfort
- Take prescribed antibiotics as directed to prevent infection
- Maintain proper oral hygiene to encourage healing
- Avoid strenuous exercise until Dr. Ivey gives you the okay to resume your normal exercise routine
Throughout your recovery period, Dr. Ivey will work closely with your general dentist to ensure you are cared for completely. Depending on your needs, you may be fitted with a healing cap, temporary partial, or temporary crown until your permanent restoration is placed 3-6 months after your dental implant surgery.
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You’re in Good Hands with Dr. Ivey
Dr. Ivey and his team want to ensure you are comfortable and confident about your dental implant procedure. When you schedule a consultation with us, we’ll show you a brief video to demonstrate how the procedure will work, and then discuss an overall plan of action for you. Pricing, the timeline, and any other concerns will be addressed thoroughly and transparently before the actual procedure is scheduled.
We understand visiting any dental practice can be intimidating, especially when going through a procedure like getting dental implants. Dr. Ivey and his friendly team want to make sure you are comfortable and have all of your questions answered before we work to provide you with a successful outcome.
Ivey Oral & Facial Surgery has successfully completed hundreds of dental implant procedures for patients in the Centennial, CO area. Don’t hesitate to give us a call or text us if you have a missing tooth at (303) 493-1933. Time is critical, so the earlier we can address the issue for you, the better your overall health will be.