Lost teeth throw off the balance of your bite, limit your eating choices, hinder your speech, and allow the jawbone to break down over time. There are a few different options for filling in the new gaps in your smile, but dental implants are unquestionably the one type of restoration said to act just like your natural teeth, staying securely in place while preserving bone structure. Do you want to begin the implant process at Pioneer Periodontics & Implant Dentistry? Call our office today and schedule an appointment with Drs. Rutledge, Le, Bradley, or Killeen for tooth replacement using dental implants in Lincoln, NE.
Natural teeth have two parts: a crown and a root. The crown is the part that you can see and performs all the necessary biting and chewing. Meanwhile, the hidden root underneath is responsible for its stability in the jawbone. Most dental prosthetics such as traditional dentures or dental bridges will only replace the crowns. Since they don’t replace the missing root structure, they leave much to be desired when compared to natural teeth. That is where dental implants come in. These small titanium posts act as tooth root replacements, creating a strong and reliable foundation for the crown, bridge, or denture it supports.
It takes more than one visit to receive dental implants; in fact, for most people, the entire process will take several months or over a year. Our team handles everything in-house, so you won’t have to worry about visiting multiple practices to complete your new smile. Everyone’s dental implant journey looks a little different, but there are four basic steps you can generally expect to follow, as outlined below.
First, we’ll need to determine that implants are the best choice for your smile. At your initial consultation, we’ll use state-of-the-art technology to evaluate your mouth and relevant facial structures. Depending on your oral health, we may find that you need bone grafting, gum disease therapy, and other types of preliminary work before you qualify for dental implant surgery. Once we’ve determined that it’s okay to move forward with the implant process, we’ll put together a treatment timeline for you.
Implant surgery involves making small incisions in your gums so that we can work with your jawbone. Dental implant posts are inserted at predetermined points in the bone at specific angles. The gums are then closed, and a protective cap is placed on each implant post to keep them safe during the healing process.
After the surgery, you’ll need to wait a few months for osseointegration to take place. This is a natural process where the dental implant posts merge with the jawbone, essentially becoming part of your body. Osseointegration typically takes between 3 to 6 months; the exact length of time varies based on the number of implant posts you received as well as your body’s ability to heal.
Once your implant is firmly integrated with your jaw, you’ll be ready for a second, smaller surgery. We’ll attach connector pieces called abutments to your dental implant posts. The abutments are what will anchor your final restoration in place during the final step of the process.
When your mouth has fully healed following abutment placement, we’ll take an impression of your smile in its current state. The impression will be sent to a trusted dental lab, where trained ceramists will create a crown, bridge, or denture out of tooth-colored materials. They’ll work to make your final restoration look as natural as possible so that the average observer won’t be able to tell the difference between it and your natural teeth.
Once the restoration is complete, it will be sent to our practice. When it arrives, we’ll reach out to you to schedule one last appointment. During your visit, we may need to make a few adjustments to make sure that your new teeth fit comfortably in your mouth. When everything’s ready, we’ll place it on your implants and use the abutments to secure it. Your new smile will finally be complete!
After the dental implant process is complete, you’ll be able to enjoy a set of comfortable, beautiful new teeth that look and feel just like the ones you lost, if not better! Because implants are designed to fuse with the bone tissue like the roots of a natural tooth, they are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth in every way. They offer unmatched stability, functionality, comfort, and longevity, plus they benefit your oral and overall health in ways that traditional options like dentures and dental bridges simply can’t. Read on as we cover some of the most important ways dental implants can improve your day-to-day life, wellbeing, and quality of life.
Replacing your missing teeth with a reliable solution like dental implants will have a tremendous influence on your daily life. As you go about your day with your newly rebuilt smile, you can expect to enjoy:
Regaining a complete smile is about much more than just looks. Not only will you enjoy a beautiful smile, but dental implants offer health benefits like:
Dental implants are a tooth loss solution you can rely on for decades to come. Some of the long-term benefits you can expect from this state-of-the-art solution include:
The numerous advantages of dental implants make them the preferred choice of dentists and patients, but are they suitable for you? The procedure has a 95% success rate, but it could still fail if you don’t have enough bone in your jaw or suffer from gum disease; these conditions won’t necessarily prevent you from getting implants, but they will add a few preparatory steps to the process. Also, you should bear in mind that the surgery will be different depending on how many teeth have been lost.
You can lose a tooth at any time due to decay or an injury. Before it is removed or shortly after it goes missing, it is recommended to have the area assessed to determine the optimal time for implant replacement. Once the implant surgery has been completed, a process called osseointegration takes place; this basically means that the bone heals around the implant and fuses with it, making it part of the body from that point forward. A customized crown is placed after osseointegration is complete, which usually takes 3 months.
You’ll receive one implant for a single crown, but the number of implants you need isn’t always equal to the number of teeth that are missing. For example, if four adjacent teeth are gone, we can place two implants to support a dental bridge – a special prosthetic made of two crowns and at least one false tooth. Traditional bridges rest on natural teeth, but we can avoid making permanent changes to the existing dental structure if implants are used instead.
With 4 or more implants, we can replace all the teeth on the upper jaw, the lower jaw, or both with comfortable, dazzling implant dentures. Our full arch dental implant restorations are made only out of the finest-quality materials and can last a lifetime with minimal maintenance. You’ll never have to worry about your new teeth slipping out of place, and you won’t have to avoid your favorite foods.Learn More About Implant Dentures
Even if you’re a viable candidate for dental implants, you may be reluctant to ask about the procedure simply because you’re worried at the cost. At Pioneer Periodontics, we don’t want financial concerns to stop you from enjoying a strong, healthy, beautiful smile. If we believe dental implants are your best option, we’ll work with you to figure out the cost of the procedure and what you can do to fit it into your budget. You can call us today to schedule an initial consultation where you can receive an accurate estimate.
Before we can determine the cost, we need to figure out what kind of dental implant treatment you’ll need. Some patients only have a single tooth that needs to be replaced while others have lost entire arches. Dental implants are extremely versatile; with the right number of posts, they can support a single crown, a dental bridge, or even full dentures. It goes without saying that the final cost of the treatment largely depends on these factors; one implant for a crown will not have the same price as four implants for dentures.
Many patients don’t realize that despite having a higher price tag at the onset, dental implants are actually the more cost-effective option compared to other forms of tooth replacement. They can last for decades and sometimes the rest of your life, meaning you won’t have to pay for repairs or replacements as often as you would for a more traditional restoration. Furthermore, implants help preserve the bone in your jaw, thus helping prevent additional tooth loss and other oral health problems. For these reasons, dental implants are often considered a long-term investment that’s definitely worthwhile.
That depends on what insurance you have. Many companies consider the implants themselves to fall under the category of cosmetic treatment and thus won’t help pay for them; that said, they’ll often help pay for bone grafts or other treatments related to the implant process. If you schedule a consultation, we can help you figure out what percentage of the treatment your insurance will help pay for.
Dental implants are far from new; they were first used in 1969, and since then a lot of research has been dedicated to perfecting them. As a result, several procedures have been developed to help more patients enjoy them. Has your jaw started to deteriorate or shrink away since you’ve lost your teeth? Do you still have a tooth that needs to be removed? At Pioneer Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, Drs. Rutledge, Le, and Bradley have the modern solutions you need. Call us today to set up a consultation and learn about advanced dental implant procedures in Lincoln, NE.
Some implant placements are more complex than others. The post needs to be inserted into the bone in just the right spot in the jaw to avoid nerve damage or other issues. Oftentimes the margin for error is very small, which is why 3D imaging is often an invaluable tool. Using a special cone beam X-ray machine, we can closely examine the mouth, teeth, and jaw, giving us a complete understanding of your anatomy to aid in successful diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
There’s no need to wait until a tooth falls out due to decay or trauma. If we decide that you’d be better off with an implant-supported prosthetic, we can perform one or more tooth extractions before the implant surgery. This is often necessary if you need implant dentures, as there could still be multiple teeth left in the arch in question. We may be able to immediately place an implant following an extraction in specific situations.
While we can try and restore lost density to the jaw, the implant process will be much easier if bone loss never occurs in the first place. Ridge preservation lets us reduce the degeneration that occurs after an extraction so that there will still be plenty of bone height and width available when you’re ready for implant surgery. A bone graft is placed into the socket of the tooth that was taken out so that it can help preserve the bone and tissue.
Once a tooth is lost, the area of the jaw where it was located will no longer receive the benefits of biting and chewing. This signals to the rest of the body that the bone in this area isn’t needed anymore, which is why it breaks down. However, your body can produce new bone tissue under the right circumstances. A bone regeneration procedure is meant to encourage bone growth of the degenerated area by placing a bone graft at the site and stimulating cells to regrow bone in the area.
A bone grafting procedure takes donor bone from either another part of your body, a cadaver, or an animal and surgically inserts it into your mouth, where it eventually becomes part of the rest of the jaw. Not only can this help reverse bone loss, but it can also be used to build up a ridge that’s simply too thin to support implants. A type of bone graft called a sinus lift can be used to move the sinus cavity away from a potential implant site near the back of the upper jaw.
In the upper jaw where the maxillary sinus may impose a height limitation for implant placement, a sinus lift can be completed to increase the height of the bone. Instruments are used to lift the sinus membrane and a bone graft is placed into the area to increase the bone height. The bone placed will over time become your own bone. This can be completed simultaneously with implant placement or may need to be done before implant surgery depending on how much bone height there is initially.
We will naturally do everything we can to ensure the success of your dental implants, but we’re also prepared to help if anything goes wrong with your newly rebuilt smile. If you have any reason to think that your dental implants may have failed (such as a post that has come loose), call us immediately to schedule an appointment. Our team can help you figure out what the problem is and devise an appropriate treatment plan.
After dental implant surgery comes the recovery process. Our team will give you detailed instructions for taking care of your mouth during this time so that everything goes as expected. Below are some general instructions that can give you an idea of what you’ll need to do after your surgery; we may give you more specific directions depending on your unique needs.
You should plan on resting at home for a few days (three or four on average) after your implant surgery. During the initial recovery period, you need to focus on protecting the blood clot that has formed around the surgery site. This blood clot plays an important role in the healing process, and if it becomes dislodged it can cause significant discomfort. Keep your blood clot safe by:
Gradual and intermittent bleeding, swelling, and general discomfort are all perfectly normal symptoms after dental implant surgery. They should gradually disappear on their own; please call us immediately if they grow worse or last longer than normal. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to control your side effects:
You should only eat soft foods while your mouth is still recovering from implant surgery. Pasta, scrambled eggs, pudding, ice cream, yogurt, and mashed potatoes are all good choices for a soft food diet. Stay away from hot and spicy foods, though; they can irritate the surgery site and delay the healing process.
You can eat solid foods again after your discomfort has faded, but you’ll need to take care not to chew directly on the surgery site. Your implant still needs time to fuse with the jawbone, and exposing it to too much pressure could prevent it from doing so.
You need to keep your mouth clean during your recovery to minimize the risk of infection. You may brush after the day of your surgery, but be careful not to disturb the implant site in the process. We also recommend rinsing with salt water or a prescription mouth rinse after every meal to wash away food debris and harmful bacteria. Make sure that you do not use any kind of mouthwash that has alcohol in it.
Once your mouth has healed and your implants have bonded with your jawbone, the last step is to attach the final prosthetic to the implant post(s). Your gums may be somewhat sensitive afterward, but you should be able to manage it with ibuprofen or another kind of pain medication. Call us immediately if you notice swelling or bleeding; those types of symptoms should not be occurring at this stage.
When it comes to dental implant care in Lincoln, you’ll want to make sure that you understand the ins and outs of maintaining these custom prosthetics so that they will remain in the best shape year after year. Dental implants are an investment, not only in your money but also your time, so ensuring that they do not fail is a priority. You can accomplish this by keeping these following tips in mind.
Dental implants may not suffer decay like regular teeth, but they can be affected should natural pearly whites become diseased. It is also possible for gum disease to negatively impact these artificial teeth; especially should the bone break down so much that it causes teeth to loosen. To keep these common oral health problems from becoming a reality, you’ll need to make oral hygiene a priority. This means brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing to eliminate bad oral bacteria.
Sugars and starches may make up some of the most delicious foods you eat, but you’ll need to expand your pallet and save these foods as treats. The reason is that they can cause gum disease and dental decay if you’re not careful – putting your dental implants at risk. Instead, you’ll want to incorporate healthier food options such as leafy greens, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy options.
Unhealthy habits can be hard to break, but if you want to reduce the chances of damaging your new teeth, you’ll need to give up things like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, biting your fingernails, chewing on inanimate objects like pens and pencils, or eating ice. These are all potentially harmful problems that can lead to damaged teeth and implants, resulting in a trip to the emergency dentist’s office.
Protecting dental implants means wearing a proper mouthguard if you decide to engage in any kind of sports. While on the field or court, you may suffer an accidental fall or hit that can cause your pricey implant(s) to break or be knocked out. The same can also be said if you grind your teeth at night. A customized nightguard can serve as a barrier to protect your natural teeth and custom prosthetics from becoming damaged as a result of teeth grinding and clenching.
Continuing to see a qualified implant dentist is one of the most pivotal things you can do while wearing dental implants. Every six months, you should expect to see your dentist for regular checkups and teeth cleanings, as these visits not only serve to protect your natural teeth but also give your dental team a chance to examine your existing implants and determine if anything needs to be addressed with treatment.
Do you have questions about the dental implant process? Our team at Pioneer Periodontics is happy to address your concerns and equip you with the information necessary to make the best decisions for your oral health. Below, we’ve compiled some of the most common questions that we get about dental implants in Lincoln, along with our answers.
Many patients come to us wanting to restore their smile with dental implants, but they’re concerned about the procedure because they’ve never had an oral surgery before. Even though it may sound daunting, dental implant placement isn’t as painful as it may seem. Our periodontists will use a local anesthetic in the area that they’ll be treating before they begin the surgery, which will numb it completely, so you won’t feel an ounce of pain. Additionally, we offer sedation options to help even the most nervous or sensitive patients feel relaxed and at-ease while we rebuild their smile.
The dental implant treatment boasts an impressive 98 percent success rate. However, dental implant failure does happen if patients aren’t careful. When it does happen, it typically occurs when there’s an issue between the implant and the jawbone. If an infection develops, known as peri-implantitis, it could keep them from completing this process. To keep this from happening, we recommend that patients who are considering getting dental implants quit smoking and consuming alcohol leading up to their treatment. We also ask that you inform us of any autoimmune disorders that you may have that could affect your healing process after the surgery.
Periodontists are experts in saving smiles affected by oral health problems like gum disease. This makes them the ideal specialists to receive dental implants from. Not only are they able to provide you with a keen eye for detail throughout the process, but they’re also able to conduct the dental implant placement themselves, along with other advanced preparatory procedures like tooth extractions and bone grafting.
A general dentist may not have the advanced training or skills necessary to complete the entire treatment process under one roof, making you travel to a specialist and then back to their practice.