Completing Smiles with Dental Implants in Irving & Las Colinas
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are biocompatible metal anchors that are surgically positioned in the jaw beneath the gums to support an artificial crown where natural teeth are missing. Implants are never cemented or connected to remaining teeth the way traditional crowns or dental bridges are.
As a tooth restoration, implants are comprised of two parts: the implant, which is usually made from a metal called titanium that is readily accepted by the body (same thing used in hip and knee replacements). The second part is a porcelain crown that is fabricated in a dental lab and made to look exactly like a natural tooth crown. Alternatively, the implant dentist Irving can attach a bridge, a partial or a full denture to dental implants. Accepted by the American Dental Association, dental implants have been used for many years and hundreds of thousands of them have been placed.
How does an implant stay firmly anchored? There is a phenomenon called osseointegration, meaning that titanium is so compatible that bone actually attaches itself to the implant. The advantages include increased stability of dentures while also reducing long-term bone resorption, the ability to restore a missing tooth without altering the teeth on either side of the space.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
Anyone who is missing teeth and can benefit from better chewing efficiency, as well as improved appearance or speech, is a candidate for implants. Implants can be the solution when it has become difficult or impossible to wear a removable partial or complete denture. Especially patients at high risk for decay, implants are a great option because bacterial decay will no longer be a risk factor with implants.
Eligible candidates must meet the following criteria:
- Have enough jaw bone and bone density to secure the implants
- You do not have a disease or condition that interferes with proper healing post implant surgery (i.e. uncontrolled diabetes, radiation/chemotherapy for treating cancer, or smoking depending on your surgeon's position on this matter, IV bone-building drugs)
Preparing for Your Dental Implants
First, an examination and medical history are conducted with the Irving implant dentist. Your exam may include several types of x-rays to provide essential information about your jaw bone and its anatomy, as well as models of your jaws. If we determine that you are a candidate, then we will connect you with one of our implant surgeons Dr. Jeff Roy, Dr. Ashley Bristow, or Dr. Andrew Barnett and we will work together as a team. Based on the results of each of our examinations, the team will discuss all aspects of your case with you, with Dr. Roy or Dr. Bristow also performing the final restoration atop the implant in the future.
What to Expect During Dental Implant Surgery?
Stage I Surgery: Most likely done in a dental office setting, the first procedure involves placing the implant fixtures in the jaw bone under local anesthesia and a mild sedative, or in some cases IV sedation or general anesthesia will be used (this depends on where your desires weigh heavily). The integration to bone will take place as healing progresses, so the implant fixtures should be firmly anchored to bone within three to six months. Some cases will require bone grafting to ensure that the implant anchor is completely secured in bone.
Stage II Surgery: This only occurs in rare cases. But if so and after healing, the second stage surgery is completed under local anesthesia or sedation if you desire. The implants under the gums are exposed by the surgeon, so within 3 weeks, the restorative dentists can place a crown on them. This is minor surgery if necessary at all.
Immediate Implant and Crown Surgery: In rare cases, the situation may be conducive to receiving your implant and temporary crown on the same day. Again, some of these cases will need some bone grafting for optimal success.
Schedule an Appointment Today
When your gum tissues have completely healed, you are ready to visit 21st Century Dental so we can begin construction of your new crown(s). We will take impressions of your mouth, as well as bite registrations of the way your jaws come together. These impressions are used to reproduce an exact model of your jaws and teeth. This is usually quick and painless, and rarely do we even need local anesthesia for this appointment. Based on these models, your crowns will be fabricated. Depending on the complexity of your case, anywhere from two to several appointments may be necessary to complete the implant procedure with a lifelike crown, but usually only two.