Do you have missing teeth? Do you need to have teeth removed and are worried about the empty space that will be left?
Dental tooth implants are a great alternative if you can’t keep you natural teeth. At Space Age Smiles, we specialize in working with people who want dental implants.
Dental implants are designed to provide you with a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. A person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural. Dr. Darcey is meticulous at her craft and will ensure that your facial contours look the same after your implant procedure. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
The implants we use are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
WHY ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS IMPORTANT?
Missing a tooth doesn’t just look bad; it can be bad for your health as well! Healthy teeth play an important role in the body from head to toe. When you are missing a tooth, your jawbone deteriorates and your self-esteem can suffer. Because you don’t have full function of your teeth and mouth, and maybe experiencing some pain, your diet is likely negatively affected as well.
Dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth and are widely recognized as a great replacement method.
HOW DENTAL IMPLANTS WORK
Our bodies are truly amazing – their ability to coexist with a variety of native and foreign materials means that treatment options are constantly expanding. “Osseointegration” refers to the fusing of bone with an artificial material. Its origins date back to the 1940s, when Swedish physician Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that titanium fuses so well with bone that it is nearly impossible to remove! Since then, the biocompatibility of titanium has proven itself to be amazingly reliable over and over again.
WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
Dental implants are made of titanium. A completed implant includes three pieces:
- The implant itself, a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone.
- The abutment, a connector between the implant and crown.
- The crown, the part that is visible and looks like a tooth.
Dr. Darcey will place the implant and the abutment, and then the crown.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
You may be surprised to hear that your jawbone is a lot like a muscle, in that it must be stimulated regularly in order to maintain its volume. Therefore, when a tooth is extracted or falls out naturally, the jawbone begins to deteriorate almost immediately. In fact, studies show that within a year of tooth loss, there is a 25% decrease in bone width. Thankfully, dental implants can take the place of natural teeth to provide the stimulus needed by the jaw. If done early, this greatly reduces the need for bone grafting down the road.
HOW MUCH DO DENTAL IMPLANTS COST?
While the upfront cost is often more than that of alternatives such as bridges and dentures, dental implants outlast those approaches by several decades. This increased longevity makes implants the more affordable choice in the long run. For more information about costs, contact our office at 281-317-6881.
DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY CLEAR LAKE CITY HOUSTON, TX
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear a temporary appliance and function well during this time. At the same time, your Clear Lake dental implants dentist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
DENTAL IMPLANTS: THE PROCESS
- Consultation and Treatment Plan: During the initial phase of the dental implant process, imaging is gathered along with your medical and dental histories to give us a clear picture of your current health. We will then explore your treatment options with you to formulate a plan that ensures that both your health goals and budgetary needs are met.
- Extraction: The next step is to have the tooth in question extracted. In some cases, we may be able to place the implant at the same time of extraction. In others, bone grafting will be required prior to implant placement (see next step).
- Bone Grafting: It is fairly common for the jawbone to lack the mass needed to accept an implant. In this case, a bone graft will be performed first to strengthen the target area. Bone grafting is typically followed by several months of healing before the implant can be placed.
- Dental Implant Surgery: During the implant procedure itself, a titanium screw is inserted into your jawbone. You will be anesthetized for comfort during the surgery, which takes about 1-2 hours.
- Osseointegration: After placing the implant, we cover it with the surrounding soft tissue and let it sit for 3-6 months in order to fuse with the bone.
- Final Restoration: After osseointegration is complete, an abutment is placed on the implant to connect with the final crown restoration.
WE USE NITROUS OXIDE
Our Clear Lake dental office offers different levels of sedation dentistry based on your needs. Factors like your level of anxiety, the length of your procedure, your health history and personal preferences will help us decide together what level of sedation is best for you. During your procedure, we will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels to ensure you are safe and comfortable the entire time.
READY TO MAKE A CHANGE?
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Heather Darcey at Space Age Smiles today!