What is a Dental Implant and What Constitutes Complete Implant Treatment?
Essentially a Dental Implant is an artificial Tooth Root (it lies in the bone beneath the gum tissue) and is a small, precision sized, titanium screw that serves as a "root anchor" (foundation). Since one can't chew on a "root anchor" alone it must be connected in some way to what is called an Abutment and then to what is termed a Restoration (Crown, Bridge, Partial or Denture). The combination of the implant, abutment and restoration is what is known as "Complete Implant Treatment".
Complete Implant Treatment ... not just the root anchor ... is, obviously, what matters most to patients. With this in mind ... It's easiest to think of Complete Implant Treatment as being comprised of 3 parts ...
- Implant = this is the aforementioned "root anchor"
- Abutment = this connects Part 1 w Part 2 and serves as "substructure" to the Restoration
- Restoration = can be either FIXED or REMOVABLE; and can replace single or multiple teeth
Why Dental Implants?
There are numerous reasons one might consider Complete Implant Treatment ...
- When Natural Roots are Removed (with an Extraction), the jawbone will shrink and become more fragile.
- This shrinkage makes for ILL-Fitting Dentures and Partials; with plenty of discomfort and pain
- The Ill-Fitting Dentures and Partials lead to a very ineffective chew-ability.
- Jaw Shrinkage will also cause your face to "cave in" ... and make you look much older than your actually are.
- The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is needed after placement.
- Normally, Dental Implants will serve its owner for many, many years ...
- Dr. Schlotz and Plaza Health Dentistry actually ASSURE Conventional Dental Implants for 10+ years !
What About FEES for Dental Implants?
Certainly an "appropos" question - one we don't shy away from here at PHD. First of All ... please, please understand this => Implants are a "technique sensitive" treatment and they can, if placed improperly in any way ... can, will and do FAIL! Thus "Operator Error" is the most likely reason for Implant Failure. Patients should be very aware of this and try their best to ensure that Implants are placed and restored by a very experienced, leading Dentist in the field of Implant Dentistry -- otherwise the Fee really doesn't matter, does it?
Unfortunately, and even in the realm of Implant treatment, SPEED DENTISTRY exists.
At Plaza Health Dentistry we have seen many patients with "failed" implant cases. We can tell you that "Retreatment of Dental Implants" is more difficult -- more costly -- and is less successful than "initial" Dental Implant Treatment. Dental Patients, then, with "failed dental implants" have to undergo the surgical procedure twice (and pay the fee twice) to get the Treatment performed correctly.
However, with the above said -- Plaza Health Dentistry takes pride in a professional, efficient and very Cost Sensitive Dental Implant Experience. Click here for Dental Implant Fees at PHD.
Who is a Candidate?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. The determining factor is the amount of available bone. Your dentist is the best person to evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you.
Is old age a problem?
Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and health history.
What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?
Improved appearance: When you lose the entire tooth - crown and root - shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge doesn’t.
Preserve natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.
Permanent solution: There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is need after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
How will dental implants affect my life?
Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose. But most importantly, dental implants often improve quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.
Will my new teeth look natural?
When dental implants are used in combination with modern restorative dentistry, their appearance, comfort and function are very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.
Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure I use with my natural teeth?
Yes. Following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity is comparable to that of natural teeth.
How much time is required for a dental implant placement?
Today, state-of-the-art guided surgical techniques are convenient alternatives to place dental implants and allow you to have the dental implant placed in a single session using keyhole surgery. This minimally-invasive, 3-D computer guided method is rather new and has significantly simplified the procedure, for both patients and dentists. The major advantage of the guided surgical technique is the minimal amount of manipulation of the soft tissue due to keyhole surgery. This significantly reduces the healing time and the discomfort normally associated with traditional dental implant surgical techniques.
For conventional (non-mini) implants, Dr. Schlotz firmly believes in respecting long term (10 yr) scientific studies that show a 90% success rate. These studies show a significant benefit to waiting 4-6 months for the titanium surface of the implants to fuse (osseo-integrate) to its surrounding bone. When left un-loaded a titanium-coated implant will integrate with the jawbone. During the healing period, patients are offered an interim prosthesis.
The type of restorative procedure (crown, bridge, overdenture, etc) chosen depends on several factors, such as your dental health, the number of teeth involved and which teeth are replaced. These factors will also determine the total number of visits to PHD throughout the treatment period.
Is the treatment painful?
With any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Placing one implant normally causes less discomfort then placing several. Anesthesia and patient sedation are commonly administered to help reduce any discomfort during the dental implant process. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Ask Dr. Schlotz to recommend another patient who has already had tooth replacement therapy to assess their personal experience.
How will I feel after the treatment?
It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. But usually the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.
How will I care for my dental implants?
Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss as recommended by Dr. Schlotz and the Team at PHD. Be sure to see us for maintenance at PHD every 3 months to maintain the PHD Assurance.
Titanium has been used for years in joint replacement surgery - the reason being - is that it is a highly biocompatible material. Bone loves Titanium and races to FUSE to the titanium when placed in proximal contact. Due to the biocompatible properties of titanium, a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes a good anchor for Replacement Tooth/Teeth; and Dentures & Partials. Dental implants can be used in solutions for replacing single or multiple missing teeth.
Are you missing teeth?
Plaza Health Dentistry offers Dental Implants in St. Louis, MO.
Call our office at 314-843-0500 to learn more today!