Dental Implant Services: Your Smile Restored For Life
Are you tired of living with missing teeth? Are you self-conscious about your smile or struggling to chew your food properly? If so, dental implants might be the solution for you. Austin, TX implant dentist, Dr. Michelle Hedgecock and her team of professionals are here to provide you with the best dental implant services available. Keep reading to learn more about dental implants including the different types of restorations for dental implants, their benefits, implant candidacy, and the process of having implants installed.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots used to support one or more replacement teeth. They’re made of biocompatible materials such as titanium, which means they are compatible with the body and can fuse with the jawbone over time. This process, known as osseointegration, allows the implant to become a permanent part of the jawbone, providing a stable and strong foundation for replacement teeth.
Dental implants are made of three main parts:
Implant: The implant is the foundation of the dental implant and is a small, screw-shaped post that is made of biocompatible materials. It is surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as a replacement for the tooth root.
Abutment: The abutment is a connector piece that attaches to the implant and protrudes above the gumline. It is usually made of metal or ceramic and serves as a support for the restoration.
Restoration: The restoration is the visible part of the dental implant and is custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of the surrounding teeth. It can be a crown, bridge, or denture that attaches to the abutment and provides a natural-looking and functional replacement for the missing tooth or teeth.
Types of Restorations for Dental Implants
Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. There are three main types of restorations for dental implants, including the following:
- Crowns: Crowns are the most common type of restoration for dental implants. They are custom-made to match the color and shape of your natural teeth, creating a seamless and natural-looking smile.
- Bridges: Dental bridges are used to replace multiple missing teeth. They are made up of two or more crowns, with an artificial tooth or teeth in between, and are anchored by dental implants.
- Dentures: Dentures are a removable option for those who have lost all of their teeth. Implant-supported dentures provide stability and security, allowing for comfortable and confident eating and speaking.
Benefits of Dental Implant Solutions
Dental implants continue to be hailed as the most effective smile restoration treatment for many reasons, some of which include the following:
- Improved Appearance: Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, helping restore your smile and improve your appearance.
- Enhanced Comfort: Implants are anchored directly into the jawbone, which means they’re more comfortable and secure than traditional dentures or bridges.
- Improved Speech: Dental implants can help improve your speech and pronunciation, as they function just like natural teeth.
- Better Oral Health: Implants help to prevent bone loss in the jaw, which can occur when teeth are missing. This helps maintain the structure of the jaw and prevent further tooth loss.
- Long-Term Solution: Dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth loss and can last for 25 years to a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
- Improved Eating Ability: Implants function just like natural teeth, which means you can eat your favorite foods without any discomfort or restrictions.
Candidacy for Dental Implant Services
You may be a good candidate for dental implants if the following apply to you:
- You have one or more missing teeth and are in good overall health.
- You have enough bone density and volume in the jaw necessary to support the implant. If there is not enough bone, a bone graft may be required.
- You don’t have chronic illnesses such as diabetes. If you do, you may need to get your condition under control before undergoing implant surgery.
- You’re not a smoker. Smoking can increase the risk of implant failure, so patients who smoke may be advised to quit before undergoing the procedure.
- You’re committed to maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.
- Your jaw is fully developed. Age is not a determining factor for implant candidacy, but young people whose jawbones have not fully developed may need to wait until their bone growth is complete.
The Dental Implant Process
The dental implant process is a multi-step procedure that involves careful planning, precision, and expertise. Here’s a breakdown of the three main steps:
The first step in the dental implant process is a consultation with your Austin implant dentist. During this appointment, your dentist will examine your oral health and discuss your options for dental implants. They may take X-rays or other imaging tests to assess the condition of your jawbone and determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. Your consultation is a great time to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.
Design and Manufacturing
Once your Austin implant dentist has determined you’re a good candidate for dental implants, the next step is to design and manufacture the implant. This involves creating a custom implant tailored to fit your unique needs. Your dentist may take impressions of your teeth and gums to create a 3D model of your mouth, which will be used to design the implant.
The final step in the dental implant process is the placement of the implant. This is done under local anesthesia to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. We can also offer sedation dentistry options to keep you calm and pain-free.
Your dentist will make a small incision in your gums and carefully place the implant into your jawbone. The implant will then be left to heal and integrate with your jawbone over the next few months.
Once the implant has fully healed and integrated with your jawbone, the restoration process can begin. This typically involves attaching an abutment to the implant and placing a custom-made dental crown or bridge on top. The result is a natural-looking, permanent replacement for your missing teeth.
Dental Implant Maintenance
Once you have received your dental implants, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene to ensure their longevity. Here are some tips for maintaining your dental implants:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily to remove any food particles and plaque buildup that can cause gum disease and potentially lead to implant failure.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help control bacteria in your mouth and reduce the risk of infection.
- Avoid hard or sticky foods that can damage or dislodge your implants.
- Visit your implant dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups to ensure the health of your gums and implants.
- If you grind or clench your teeth, ask your implant dentist about a mouthguard to protect your implants and prevent damage.
- If you experience any pain, swelling, or redness around your implants, contact your implant dentist right away as these could be signs of infection or implant failure.
By following these tips and maintaining good oral hygiene, your dental implants can last a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions
The length of the dental implant process can vary depending on the individual case but typically involves a series of appointments over a few months. The implant placement surgery itself usually takes only a few hours, but the healing process can take several months before the final restoration can be placed.
While the implant placement procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, some patients may experience mild discomfort during the healing process. However, this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
While dental implants have a very high success rate, there is a small risk of implant failure. Factors that can contribute to implant failure include poor oral hygiene, smoking, and certain medical conditions. It’s important to follow proper oral hygiene practices and attend regular dental checkups to ensure the longevity of your dental implants.
While dental implant coverage varies depending on your insurance plan, many dental insurance plans do offer coverage for dental implants. It’s important to check with your insurance provider to determine your coverage options.
Call Our Austin Dental Office For a Smile That Lasts
Interested in learning more about the many benefits of dental implants? Schedule a consultation with Austin, TX implant dentist Dr. Hedgecock by dialing (512) 501-2385 or clicking the button below to discuss your options and determine if dental implants are right for you. We’re here to provide lasting dental implant solutions to new and returning patients from Austin and surrounding areas such as Elgin, Leander, and Sunset Valley, TX.