Patients seeking dental implants would greatly benefit from a consultation with our surgeons. Under their skillful hands, patients receive implants that prevent bone deterioration and preserve their facial structure for an improved appearance.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a means of placing replacement teeth. Whether the teeth are lost due to poor oral hygiene or trauma, dental implants can help fill in gaps in the mouth to restore a person’s smile, as well as improve their ability to eat and speak. There are two main kinds of dental implants—traditional and Teeth-in-a-Day.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Patients who are debating whether or not dental implants are right for them should consider the many benefits granted by implants. Implants are a highly successful solution for a wide variety of people, lasting longer, and producing more natural-looking results than many other tooth-replacement procedures.

Improved Appearance

For many patients, having a mouth filled with missing teeth is detrimental to their self-esteem. They might be more reticent to smile and might even avoid having their picture taken. What’s more, after not having teeth for some time, the jawbone can start to deteriorate, creating a sagging appearance in the chin and mouth. Having dental implants placed is a surefire way to tackle these issues.

Patients will be fitted with straight, beautiful teeth that match the fit and shape of their mouth. No longer will patients laugh with a hand over their mouths; instead, they can smile and be proud of how they look.

Extreme Durability

Other tooth-replacement solutions last for a few years and must be replaced or repaired. Dental implants, on the other hand, are a long-term solution that patients can enjoy for many years. As long as patients commit to oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing on a regular basis, dental implants can last for several decades. While they may cost more upfront, implants are an investment on which patients will easily see a good return.

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Eat and Speak Naturally

With missing teeth, it becomes extremely hard to pronounce words correctly or bite and chew certain foods. Patients may develop a lisp or other speech impediments while also being reduced to a soft foods diet. While dentures or tooth-supported bridges can help with these issues, they’re also prone to breakage or slippage, meaning they’re not a perfect solution.

Dental implants are as perfect a solution as possible. They fill the void of natural teeth in a way that allows patients to eat, speak, drink, or laugh without fear.

Preserve Facial Structure

As previously mentioned, when a person loses a tooth, the jaw in that area starts to deteriorate. While there are other options to replace that tooth, dental implants are the best because they will preserve the jaw in that area. The sooner patients get dental implants after losing a tooth the less bone loss will occur, meaning their faces won’t sag or droop.

What’s more, because dental implants are simply placed on an abutment post, there’s no need to grind down teeth adjacent to the replacement tooth. The tooth just needs to be screwed into place, so it won’t negatively affect surrounding teeth.

Tooth REPLACEMENT options

Patients have several tooth replacement options depending on how many missing teeth they have and the timeline for restoration they desire.

Traditional Implants

With traditional implants, patients will undergo a procedure in which titanium posts are placed into their jawbone. These implants are placed right where the teeth used to be, taking the place of the old tooth root. As the bone begins to heal from the procedure, it starts to bond with the titanium, creating a solid and secure root that’s almost as strong as a natural tooth root.

Once this post has completely healed and bonded with the jawbone, artificial teeth can be placed on the posts. Because of the stability of the post, patients can use these teeth to chew and bite much like they would with their normal teeth. All artificial teeth are matched to the look and feel of the existing teeth for a seamless appearance.

Teeth-in-a-day Implants

Traditional implants require a separate implant for each missing tooth. This can be both costly and intimidating if a patient is suffering from multiple missing teeth. One solution for this problem is Teeth-in-a-Day implants. Rather than placing individual implants, this system works by relying on only four implants per arch. Once these implants are placed, a full-arch fixed bridge will be placed on top, providing a perfect smile that will last for years. Many patients choose this solution for their top row of teeth, bottom row of teeth, or both.

The biggest benefit of the Teeth-in-a-Day procedure is that most patients can have their new smile in just one day. Rather than wait for each individual implant to heal, our surgeons can simply place the fixed bridge on the implants right away, meaning patients will walk out of his Norman office with a drastically improved appearance. Most bridges are made from either acrylic or zirconia teeth for long-lasting durability and beauty.

What’s more, Teeth-in-a-Day implants also eliminate the sagging and drooping that many people experience when they don’t have teeth. This occurs because the jawbone is not being stimulated by anything, causing the bone to deteriorate and reabsorb into the body.

Because the procedure is basically a replacement for an entire arch of teeth, it’s best performed on patients who have lost all their teeth or currently wear dentures. If any teeth remain, they will have to be pulled before the procedure can be performed.

What Is the Dental Implant Process Like?

The dental implant process varies slightly depending on whether patients are receiving traditional implants or the Teeth-in-a-Day procedure. However, all patients seeking dental implants will start on the same step—the initial consultation.

During the consultation, our surgeons will thoroughly examine the mouths of patients to determine whether or not dental implants are the right choice. This includes taking X-rays and 3D images to get a closer look at any remaining teeth, as well as the jawbone.

In some cases, especially if patients have had missing teeth for a while, there may not be enough bone left to support the implants. This doesn’t mean implants aren’t an option, however. It could just mean the patient will have to undergo bone grafting before implants can be surgically placed.

Teeth-in-a-Day Procedure Process

In the Teeth-in-a-Day procedure, the next step is placement of the dental implants. To ease comfort levels and help our patients have a pain-free experience, our surgeons use either local anesthesia or IV sedation during the surgery. The posts will be placed in the jaw, and after everything is secure, the full bridge set will be placed on top.

After the patient leaves, they may experience some swelling, bleeding, or bruising. However, this is a small price to pay for having a brand new set of teeth in just one day.

Traditional Implants Procedure Process

The traditional implant procedure, while just as effective, does have a few more steps involved. While the implant placement process is generally the same, the teeth will not be placed on the implants that same day. Rather, patients must wait for osseointegration to occur, which is when the bone grows around and secures the implants.

Once the implants are secured, our surgeons will place an abutment in the implant. This is the post onto which the artificial teeth connect. The next step is to take an impression of the patient’s gums so that artificial teeth can be custom-created in a lab. Depending on how many teeth are missing, as well as the patient’s budget, the artificial teeth may be a full or partial bridge or individual crowns.

Finally, the last step is placing these new teeth. While the process takes a bit longer than the Teeth-in-a-Day system, it produces just as stunning results for the patient. From start to finish, patients can expect to show off their brand new smile a few months after the initial consultation.

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What Are Some Common Concerns With Dental Implants?

Some patients fear the dental implant procedure because they think it will hurt or is unsafe. Under the skilled hands of our surgeons, neither of these fears are true. They use the best sedation techniques for all of their patients to ensure they feel no pain during the procedure. While there may be some slight soreness afterward, this can easily be lessened with the help of over-the-counter pain medication. Patients can return to work or school the very next day.

As for the safety of the procedure, dental implants have a very low risk of side effects. While it’s possible the implant can fail if the bone around it doesn’t hold the implant in place, this is very unlikely. Our surgeons will do everything they can to ensure each and every patient has the least amount of complications as possible.

“Dr. Brooks and his staff were professional and comforting. I felt confident in their ability and surgery went well, I recovered quickly.”
-Alexandra S.

Are Dental Implants Better Than Dentures or Tooth-Supported Bridges?

While dentures and tooth-supported bridges can provide an aesthetic improvement in patients missing teeth, overall, dental implants are the better option for a number of reasons.

Dentures vs. Dental Implants

One of the biggest challenges of having dentures is that the jawbone does not get any stimulation. These pieces sit on top of the gums, so the jawbone isn’t involved in chewing or biting. Over time, this causes the bone to deteriorate and the face to sag. Many people eventually complain that their dentures don’t fit them after a few years, and bone deterioration is often the culprit. When dentures don’t fit right, patients can suffer from problems with swallowing, mouth pain, and many other troublesome symptoms.

Dental implants solve this problem, as the jawbone will receive direct stimulation every time a patient eats or chews. With the implants secured and in place, this prevents the bone from reabsorbing, preserving the patient’s facial structure so they can maintain a youthful look for longer. Because they are a long-term solution, implants should never loosen or cause pain.

Also, patients never have to take out their dental implants to clean them. Instead, they can simply practice their usual oral hygiene routine, paying particular attention to flossing and brushing their new teeth. While the teeth won’t decay like normal teeth, these habits are still crucial for protecting the surrounding gums and other oral structures. This is far easier than going toothless while disinfecting dentures.

Finally, if patients break their dentures, they can’t wear them, resulting in a toothless and gummy smile that can be extremely embarrassing. If a dental implant breaks, the rest of the teeth will still be in the mouth, allowing patients to still eat, drink, and smile relatively normally until they can schedule an appointment with our surgeons for a repair.

Video: Watch Dr. Brooks explain how dental implants work.

Tooth-Supported Bridges vs. Dental Implants

While the Teeth-in-a-Day implant system does rely on a bridge to produce results, this bridge is supported by implants. Tooth-supported bridges, on the other hand, are supported by any remaining teeth. Unfortunately, to get this bridge to fit over the teeth, the teeth must be ground down to remove the enamel. This permanently damages the teeth, meaning that if the bridge were to be removed, the teeth would not be healthy enough to stand on their own.

What’s more, tooth-supported bridges make it extremely difficult to clean the teeth underneath. Over time, food particles and bacteria can make their way underneath the bridge and to the teeth. Because patients are unable to floss or brush under the bridge, decay can run rampant, eventually requiring the remaining teeth to be pulled. This gives tooth-supported bridges a far lesser lifespan than implants.

Choose our surgeons for Dental Implants

Patients should strongly consider scheduling their dental implant consultation appointment with our surgeons.

They are an expert in the field of oral surgery and have helped numerous patients achieve the smiles of their dreams. To learn more and schedule a free consultation with CBCT and digital impressions call Oklahoma Dental Implants and Oral Surgery today at (405) 329-3500.

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