What is a dental implant?
At Northwestern Dental Group, we offer high quality and affordable dental implants. Dental implants are tooth root replacements that are positioned into your mouth to hold a replacement tooth or a partial bridge. Implants are constructed of three parts: a titanium post that is placed in the jawbone, an abutment that fits over the part of the implant that protrudes from the gum line, and the crown. If you are seeking dental implants, Dr. Larry Mulvaney has years of implant restoration experience.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement solution. Some benefits of single dental implants include:
- Convenience. Dental implants function like natural teeth, so you can eat and talk without worrying about slippage.
- Appearance. Implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
- Better dental health. With implants, you do not have to file down neighboring healthy teeth. Additionally, dental implants help prevent jawbone loss (common in denture wearers).
- Comfortable. Whereas dentures may take a while to get used to, many patients who have received dental implants report that they feel like natural teeth.
- Long-lasting. Dental implants can last for a long time. With proper care, they may even last you a lifetime!
- Better self-image. Implants help you restore your smile and rejuvenate your appearance
How to replace one missing tooth.
In the past, dental bridges were the most common tooth replacement option when a single tooth was missing. Today, the advances in medical and dental technology allow us to replace a single missing tooth with a dental implant. Dental implants are currently the most advanced tooth replacement options. They not only provide the patient with the most natural look, function, and feel, but they also allow you to keep healthy neighboring teeth that otherwise would have been filed down with bridges.
Dental implants also stimulate the surrounding jawbone; therefore, patients are able to maintain bone structure even when their original tooth is missing. Bridges do not penetrate the bone, which may cause the bone to start deteriorating and lead to the additional bone loss. Implants help prevent bone loss in addition to allowing you to maintain a beautiful, radiant smile.
How to replace multiple missing teeth.
When a patient is missing more than one tooth, their teeth can be replaced by implant-supported bridges instead of traditional bridges or removable partials (depending on the location and the number of missing teeth). Implant-supported bridges are permanently fixed to the patient’s jawbone, allowing them to look and feel natural without any inconvenience or pain.
Partial dentures are attached to natural teeth to secure them to the mouth. Besides being hard to clean during the day, patients report pressure and often pain when chewing with partial dentures. Partials may lead to the loss of healthy teeth because they do not stimulate the jawbone. Replacing multiple teeth with dental implants is the wiser option for dental health because they fuse with the bone and function as your natural teeth.
How to replace all missing teeth.
If you are a denture wearer or are missing all your teeth, several options are available to replace your teeth and/or your dentures. After your examination, Dr. Larry Mulvaney will discuss your options and help you decide which one is the most beneficial for you.
With the new implant design and microsurgical approach available today, full mouth restoration will replace all of your teeth with just a few dental implants. During your first consultation with Dr. Larry Mulvaney, he will design a treatment plan that suits your individual needs the best. Dr. Larry Mulvaney will surgically place your dental implants at your second appointment. In most cases, it is possible to place a set of temporary cosmetic teeth on the day of the surgery. You will come in with missing teeth and walk out with a beautiful new smile the same day.
Usually, your full set of replacement teeth can be loaded immediately into your mouth with this special procedure, eliminating the waiting time you would face with traditional implant procedures. Unlike with dentures, you do not have to worry about your dental implants slipping or impairing your ability to speak. With today’s high-quality dental implants, you can chew and talk as you would with your natural teeth. Most patients report that their dental implants feel no different than their original teeth. Whether you need upper, lower, or both sets of teeth replaced, Dr. Larry Mulvaney is a leader in microsurgical implant surgery.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
The ideal dental implants candidate is over 18, in general, good health, and has enough bone to hold the dental implant in place. Dental implants are usually not recommended for children, as the jaw is still growing. Patients who suffer from heart disease or diabetes should undergo evaluation before obtaining dental implants. Although smokers can still get dental implants, they may face a lower success rate if they continue smoking.
Before your implant surgery, Dr. Larry Mulvaney will schedule a consultation with you in which he goes over your medical history, current medications, and a list of questions to determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants.
Will dental implant surgery hurt?
Before installing your implants, Dr. Larry Mulvaney will apply local anesthesia to the affected area. This numbs the gum before implant surgery so you will not feel pain during the procedure. For nervous patients, Dr. Larry Mulvaney also offers IV sedation. IV sedation induces a state of deep relaxation (also called “twilight sleep”) so that you are not worried during surgery. Many patients report that dental implants are actually less painful than wisdom teeth extractions. Swelling and slight discomfort may occur after implant surgery, but those can usually be treated with over-the-counter pain medication.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the success rate for dental implants?
The success rate for dental implants is about 95%, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime if you have good quality bone, are generally healthy, and follow a proper dental hygiene routine. You should brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day as you would with natural teeth. It is recommended that you cease smoking after your dental implant if you are a smoker.
How do I care for my dental implants?
You will need to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day as you would with your natural teeth. You will also visit your dentist every 3-4 months for a professional cleaning and exam. Your dental hygienist should be trained in cleaning dental implants.
How often should I schedule maintenance appointments for my dental implants?
You should visit your dentist every 3-4 months for a professional cleaning and exam. Make sure that your dental hygienist is specifically trained in cleaning dental implants.
How long does it take to recover from implant surgery?
As implant surgery is an outpatient procedure, you will likely be able to go to work the day after surgery. You should refrain from lifting, push, or pulling heavy objects for at least one month. Your oral surgeon will discuss post-operative instructions with you in further detail. If you have any other questions about dental implants, please feel free to email us or give us a call.