We see many patients in our Lake Highlands, TX dental practice who have lost one or more teeth, or need to have teeth extracted. Many of the patients replace their natural teeth with restorations such as dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. These patients tell us about accidentally knocking out their crowns, or how their dentures that wobble, slip and even fall out because they lack stability. Dr. John Hanna and Dr. An Le strive to make life easier for these patients by talking to them about the advantages of dental implants.
If you would like to know more about dental implants and their benefits, call our Lake Highlands dental office today at (214) 348-2320 to schedule your free consultation with one of the doctors.
What Are Dental Implants?
When a patient loses one or more teeth due to decay, facial trauma, or gum disease, the jawbone loses stimulation in that area. The body senses this, and redirects calcium and other nutrients it used to send there to other parts of your body. Without these nutrients, the jawbone begins to shrink, which causes restorations to become uncomfortable and lose their snug fit, and may eventually lead to a facial collapse.
Our doctors surgically place dental implants, tiny posts made of titanium that resemble screws, into the jawbone to replace the roots of missing teeth. The posts stimulate the bone, keeping the nutrients from diverting away from the jaw. The biocompatible implants fuse together with the bone as they heal in a process known as osseointegration, promoting bone growth in the jaw, and providing a sturdy, stable anchor for your restorations.
Placing Dental Implants
The placement of dental implants typically requires two surgeries. When the doctors decide you satisfy the requirements necessary to support dental implants, they will create a custom treatment plan that covers everything from anesthesia to recovery. We will take 3D images of your mouth, which the doctors will use to design your new restoration. Finally, the doctors will perform any necessary extractions and set a date for your first surgery.
When you arrive for your surgery, our welcoming staff will begin the administration of anesthesia. Dr. Hanna or Dr. Le will then surgically place the tiny titanium posts into your jawbone. You may receive anywhere from one implant to support a single crown to, typically, four to six implants to hold a full denture. When the doctor finishes placing the implants, he will provide you with a temporary restoration to wear for the next three to six months as the implants heal, and send you home. While you heal, the doctor will use the images taken of your mouth to design your permanent restoration. He will forward the design to a U.S. based dental lab, where technicians will fabricate your new restoration.
When the implants have healed, you will return to our office for a second surgery. The doctor will expose the implants from under the gums and attach connectors called abutments to the head of each one. He will place your new restoration and check it for proper fit and occlusion. After making any necessary adjustments for an optimal fit, he will send you on your way to show off your newly restored grin.
Dental implants support several types of restorations, from single crowns to full sets of dentures. Depending upon the number of teeth you need replaced, you may receive one of the following:
- Dental Crown – For a single dental crown, you will receive one implant. The doctor will use a strong, but gentle dental adhesive to attach the restoration permanently to the implant.
- Dental Bridge – Traditional bridges require a crown on each side of the restoration, placed over prepared healthy teeth, to hold the restoration in place. The doctor permanently attaches your implant-supported bridge to one or more dental implants, providing a secure restoration and eliminating the need to remove structure from healthy teeth.
- Partial or Complete Dentures – As the most common type of implant-supported dentures, removable dentures snap on and off of your dental implants with ease. Your implants will provide unparalleled support, eliminating wobbling and slipping.
- All-on-4® Dentures – All-on-4® dentures offer a solution to patients who may not qualify for traditional implant-supported dentures because of low bone density. The doctor places four implants in the front of the jaw, where the bone is naturally denser. Rather than snapping the dentures onto the implants, the doctor permanently attaches them. Only a dentist can remove these dentures once the places them. Patients who wear these dentures report that they most closely resemble having a full set of natural teeth.
Call Us for a Consultation
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implants, call our Lake Highlands dental office today at (214) 348-2320 to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Hanna or Dr. Le.