IMPROVE YOUR SMILE WITH DENTAL IMPLANTS
Over the course of your life, you might lose a tooth, or a few, or a lot of your teeth due to an accident, decay, natural aging, or other reasons. It used to be that if you lost a tooth or teeth, you could only replace them with a bridge or removable dentures. But with all the advances in modern dentistry, you now have the option of replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Designed to look natural and function just like real teeth, dental implants can restore your smile if you're missing one tooth, several, or all of your teeth. If you're interested in a long-lasting, attractive dental restoration, ask your dentist in Austin, TX about dental implants. At Meadows Dental Care, we offer high-quality dental implants for patients who need a crown (one tooth), a dental bridge (a few teeth), partial dentures (most of the teeth), or full dentures (all of the teeth on one or both arches). If you've been ignoring your missing teeth or you're frustrated with removable dentures, you may be a good candidate for dental implants.
WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is screwed through the gums into the jawbone. Once the implant(s) has integrated with the jawbone and gums, it will be strong enough to attach to a custom restoration. At Meadows Dental Care, we perform implant surgery with sedation dentistry to keep patients calm and comfortable during the procedure. We also provide high-quality restorations (crowns, bridges, and dentures) for natural-looking results. Depending on which restoration is needed, one or multiple implants may be used to ensure your new restoration is strong and stable. Our staff at Meadows Dental Care will provide you with wonderful care and knowledge when we restore your smile with dental implants.
WHAT MAKES DENTAL IMPLANTS THE RIGHT CHOICE?
When a tooth or teeth are missing, it can lead to multiple problems. The gap left by a missing tooth can allow the surrounding teeth to move and shift out of alignment. A dental malocclusion can lead to problems, like temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Additionally, when there's no tooth root to stimulate the gum tissue and jawbone, atrophy can lead to other dental problems and eventually, deformity in your facial structure. Unlike traditional removable dentures or a crown and bridge that is adhered in place, an implant-supported restoration keeps your gums and jawbone healthy. Another major reason Austin, TX patients prefer implanted restorations is how natural they look and how they function like natural teeth. Dental implants integrate with your mouth so the attached restoration is stable enough to eat most foods and it requires no special care. Once the restoration is in place, your teeth should be brushed and flossed twice a day, plus you should schedule professional cleanings and oral health exams at your dentist in Austin, TX. Compared to traditional crowns, bridges, and dentures, implant-supported restorations last longer with proper care.
TYPES OF IMPLANTS
Depending on how many teeth you are missing, you may need an implant-supported crown, bridge, or dentures:
- IMPLANTED DENTAL CROWN
An implant-supported crown replaces one tooth. Once the dental implant has integrated with your jawbone and gums, a custom crown will be attached. The crown will be shaped and shaded to blend with your other teeth for a seamless result.
- IMPLANTED DENTAL BRIDGE
For additional stability, an implant can be attached to a dental bridge. An implant-supported bridge uses one implant that is attached to one false tooth, which is connected to crowns that are placed over the surrounding teeth.
- IMPLANTED PARTIAL DENTURES
To replace many, but not all of the teeth on a dental arch, implanted partial dentures can be used. Dental implants will be placed at strategic points and then attached to the custom-made partial dentures.
- IMPLANTED FULL DENTURES
If you are missing all of your teeth on your upper and/or lower arch, implant-supported full dentures are available. After multiple implants are placed and have integrated with your jawbone and gums, custom dentures will be attached.
THE IMPLANT PROCESS
Once you and your Austin, TX dentist have determined that an implant-supported restoration is right for you, your implant placement surgery will be scheduled. Before your surgery, your dentist will use digital x-rays and other advanced imaging to help create a chart of the best location for your implant(s). On the day of your appointment, you will need to follow any pre-procedure instructions given by your dentist. At Meadows Dental Care, we offer many different levels of sedation to keep you comfortable during implant surgery. Once you are relaxed and your mouth has been prepped, your dentist will make an incision in your gums and place the implant. This process will be repeated if multiple implants are needed. Once the post(s) is in place, the incision(s) in your gums will be closed. The visible portion of the implant post(s) can be covered with a temporary restoration for protection while your gums and jawbone heal. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics, pain medication, and/or anti-inflammatories to help during your recovery. You should plan to rest as much as possible after implant surgery and stick to a liquid or soft foods diet. You will need to schedule a follow-up appointment 7 –10 days after surgery to have your stitches removed and so your dentist can check your recovery progress.
It will take about 3 – 6 months for osseointegration (the process of the implants integrating with your natural bone and tissue). During this time, you may need to schedule follow-up appointments at your dentist in Austin, TX so they can check your healing progress and estimate how long it will be before your custom restoration can be attached. Once your implant(s) is strong enough, your dentist will schedule an appointment to complete the process. While your final appointment should be fairly easy and cause minimal discomfort, local anesthesia along with nitrous-oxide gas or an oral-conscious sedation method may be used to keep you relaxed. After your temporary restoration has been removed, your dentist will attach your custom restoration to the implant(s) and make small adjustments as needed to improve the fit and appearance. Before you go, your dentist will go over care instructions for your implant-supported restoration.
CARING FOR YOUR IMPLANT-SUPPORTED RESTORATIONS
One of the main benefits of implant-supported restorations is that they can be treated just like your natural teeth. You can eat corn on the cob, caramel, and your other favorite foods without worrying about your teeth coming out. However, it is important to take care of your teeth with a good home oral care routine. You should brush and floss your restoration and natural teeth at least twice a day. If you need help with your brushing and flossing technique, our team at Meadows Dental Care is happy to demonstrate and give you tips during your exam and cleaning. You should continue to schedule and attend your annual oral health exam and bi-annual cleanings with your dentist in Austin, TX. In some cases, your dentist may recommend coming in more often for exams or cleanings. While implant-supported restorations are long-lasting, you may need to have them replaced at some point. During your annual exam, your dentist will check the wear of your restoration and health of your implant(s) so they can let you know if you need a replacement.
GET READY FOR IMPLANTS
Dental implants can restore not only your smile, but also your life. They improve the aesthetics of your smile and get you back to daily activities such as eating, laughing, or talking with others without the worry of a gap in your smile or a loose restoration. Whether you want to replace a single tooth or several missing teeth, dental implants can bring back your confidence. To learn more, contact our office in Austin, TX and schedule a dental implant consultation.