Over the last few decades, dental implants have emerged as the go-to treatment to restore smiles because of the wide array of unique benefits that they offer. Compared to traditional restorations, dental implants offer the same type of freedom that you had with your natural teeth—no denture adhesive, no slipping or shifting, no alteration of your dental structure—just a restored smile! To schedule a consultation and learn whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants in Marana, AZ, call our dental office!
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Dental implants themselves are small, titanium posts that are surgically placed below the gumline to restore the root structure of missing teeth. Due to their biocompatible nature, they’re able to fuse with the jawbone and provide the structure with blood flow and stimulation to keep it from deteriorating. Once this process is complete, our team will be able to attach the restoration to finish your smile.
Restoring missing teeth with dental implants involves a much more complex process compared to other restorations like dental crowns or bridges. Unlike these options, you’ll be rebuilding your smile from the roots up. While this may seem overwhelming or time-consuming, you can enjoy results that’ll last a lifetime. At Sweet Smiles Family Dentistry and Orthodontics, our team is happy to explain each step of the process so that you know what to expect from your treatment. Read on or reach out to us today if you wish to learn more about how dental implants work in Tucson!
During your initial consultation, we’ll talk about your tooth replacement goals, assess your oral health, and determine if dental implants are the best option for you. Depending on what we find, you may need preliminary treatments before you can get started with the main procedure. This can include gum disease therapy or bone grafting if your gum tissue isn’t healthy, or you don’t have sufficient jawbone density to support the implants. Once these conditions have been addressed, you’ll have a better chance of successfully restoring your smile.
You’ll undergo minor surgery to place your dental implants in. Our team will refer you to a specialist for this step so that you receive the highest-quality care possible. Your oral surgeon will first numb your mouth, that way you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. They’ll then make a small incision in your gums to reach the jawbone. Your dental implant will be embedded into the bone tissue, and then your gums will be closed off around the metal post. We’ll then provide you with post-op instructions to help care for your implant site while you rest and recover.
Many patients typically take a few days to a week to heal from dental implant surgery. The main goal of your recovery process is to allow your jawbone to undergo osseointegration. This is where your implant bonds directly with your bone tissue, serving as your new permanent root. The process can take anywhere from three to six months to complete. Afterward, you’ll be given abutments or small connector pieces that are fitted atop your metal post. We’ll then take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab to fabricate your restorations.
The final step of your treatment involves us delivering and attaching your restorations to your dental implants. Once we’ve received your personalized crown, bridge, partial, or denture, we’ll call you back so we can place them onto your abutment piece. After your restoration is securely fitted, we’ll discuss basic dental care guidelines and answer questions you have about your new smile. Our team will double-check that your teeth are comfortable and that you’re satisfied with your results before you leave. Then, you can enjoy your fully restored smile for years to come!
Here is a non-exhaustive list of benefits that you’ll be able to enjoy with dental implants:
The best way to learn whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Fitzgerald. Our team will go over the process with you and discuss your needs and any goals that you have. Based on our diagnostic findings and what we’ve talked about, we’ll outline a treatment plan for you and walk you through how we can restore your smile with dental implants.
To restore a single missing tooth, we can place one dental implant below the gumline in the gap of your arch. This will fuse with the jawbone and secure a customized dental crown in place to complete your row of teeth.
For patients who are missing one or more teeth in a row, we can secure a bridge to two dental implants that are placed at either end of the gap in your arch. That way, no alteration of your existing teeth will be necessary.
Traditional dentures can slip and shift in the mouth if they’re not fitted properly, affecting your diet and confidence. For a more permanent and stable solution, we can anchor a denture to anywhere from four to eight dental implants placed along your arch.
The dental implant process is customized to fit each unique patient’s needs, which is why there’s no set price tag attached to it. During your initial consultation, we’ll examine your mouth and determine several factors that can affect the price of treatment, including whether you require a preparatory procedure (like a bone graft or sinus lift), how many dental implants you need, and where your missing teeth are located. Based on these details, we’ll be able to provide you with a precise cost estimation.
You’ve probably heard plenty about how incredible dental implants are, but they’re also one of the most sophisticated treatment in modern dentistry, meaning that there’s always more to learn about them. Everyone on the team here at Sweet Smiles has spent years coming to understand them, and we’re excited to share what we know with you at a consultation.
If you want to hear more about them before then, here are some answers to common questions patients tend to have.
Many kinds of tooth replacement, like dentures, are removable. This can be a double edged sword—it makes certain types of cleaning easier, but needing to remove your dentures to soak them gives you one more thing to keep track of.
Dental implants are surgically placed into the jaw, meaning that they aren’t removable except by a dental professional. That’s something worth considering before you get them.
It’s worth noting that implant dentures are sometimes an exception—the dental implants can’t be removed, but the denture may be able to. We’ll discuss this possibility with you if you’re interested in them.
If you’re worried that you’re too old to get dental implants, there isn’t much to be concerned about. So long as you’re in generally good health, there’s no upper age limit on who can get dental implants.
However, it can be a problem if you’re too young. Most people’s jaws continue growing into young adulthood, and if a dental implant is placed before then, it could impede that bone growth. For that reason, we usually won’t give dental implants to anyone under 18, and may even wait until later if we feel your jaw is still growing.
Any kind of surgery can be tricky for diabetic patients, and dental implants are no exception. If your diabetes is well-managed, your odds of implant success are comparable to those of people without diabetes.
However, if you have uncontrolled diabetes or chronically high blood sugar, that could potentially impede the process of the dental implant healing. This increases your chances of developing an infection, which is already a risk for diabetes patients.
We’ll be happy to work closely with your endocrinologist or primary care doctor to make sure that your dental implant is a success.
The answer is yes, dental implants feel startlingly natural. Once they’ve healed completely and have merged with your jawbone, the metal implant should feel a lot like the roots of your natural teeth. Eating and talking shouldn’t be difficult or uncomfortable.
The only caveat is that the tooth itself won’t have any nerve endings in it. This may slightly alter the nature of sensations you get from that part of the mouth, as they’ll be coming from the teeth and gums surrounding the implant as opposed to the tooth itself.