Dental implants allow people with missing teeth to basically turn back the clock so they can look and feel like their teeth were never missing in the first place. When it comes to aesthetics, strength, and durability, they are practically indistinguishable from real teeth, and you can get them right here at Bridlewood Dental of Flower Mound. Dr. Song has been providing state-of-the-art implant dentistry to Flower Mound for years, and he’ll know exactly how to rebuild your smile so you’ll never have to worry about tooth loss again. To learn more and schedule a consultation to discuss dental implants in Flower Mound, TX, give us a call today.
When dental implants are done well, you can’t actually see them. That’s because dental implants themselves are small titanium posts that are placed directly into the jawbone where a missing tooth used to sit, recreating the absent root. There, it bonds with the surrounding bone tissue, and this provides a strong foundation for a new crown, bridge, or denture. Basically, dental implants have the same structure as real teeth, so they look and feel like real teeth, too!
With dental implants, the procedure can be broken down into four steps: consultation, placement, osteointegration, and restoration. At most other dental offices in Flower Mound, this process is divided up among multiple doctors and practices, causing patients to run all over town and put their smiles in the hands of people they’ve just met. Instead, at Bridlewood Dental of Flower Mound, Dr. Song is able to do everything in-house. From your first consultation all the way until you walk out with your new smile, you’ll be able to work with the same trusted dentist and team.
Before you begin the complex process of replacing your missing teeth with an implant-supported crown, bridge, or denture, Dr. Song will explain every step of the process to you in detail. While everyone’s tooth replacement journey is different, there are four main steps of your treatment you can expect.
The first step to enjoying a complete smile again is a consultation for dental implants in Flower Mound. During this visit, Dr. Song will examine your mouth, go over your tooth replacement options, and develop a personalized plan to renew your smile, including a step-by-step guide of what to expect throughout the dental implant process. At this appointment, we may also recommend one or more preparatory procedures, like bone grafting or gum disease therapy, to ensure your mouth is fully ready for implants.
Once we’ve walked you through your treatment plan and your smile is prepared, we can go ahead and schedule the implant placement procedure. Many general dentists have to refer their patients to an unfamiliar specialist for this procedure, but as an implant dentist in Flower Mound, Dr. Song has the training necessary to perform it right here in our office.
The surgery is fairly straightforward. Dr. Song will make a small incision in your gum tissue, allowing him to access the jawbone and insert the implant posts at precise locations and angles. Your gums are then stitched closed, and the healing process can begin.
For the next three to six months after implant placement, the implants will actually fuse to your jawbone and supportive tissues. This process, known as osseointegration, is what allows dental implants to last for decades.
After osseointegration is complete, we’ll place abutments on top of your implants. Abutments are tiny metal connectors that allow the implant posts to support your restoration. We’ll also take impressions of your mouth and send them to a dental lab, where a team of professionals will design replacement teeth that look just like your original pearly whites.
Once your custom-made crown, bridge, or denture arrives at our office (which should only take a few weeks at the most), you’ll schedule another appointment with us. We’ll attach your restoration to your abutments, and voila! All that’s left to do is walk out of our office with your new and improved smile!
Unlike traditional bridges or dentures, dental implants are completely self-supporting. This means they don’t have any metal or acrylic attachments that cause them to stick out in the smile, so they easily blend with the rest of the teeth. Plus, they do something no other treatment can: they support the jawbone from within and prevent bone loss. And, just by brushing and flossing them, implants have been shown to last at least 30 years (which is multiple times longer than regular bridges and dentures). Dental implants offer a variety of important benefits that you can’t get with traditional tooth loss solutions that can dramatically improve your life. Read on as we cover some of the most popular reasons why our patients love their dental implants!
The ideal candidate for dental implants can have any number of missing teeth, but their gums and jawbone must be healthy enough to support the new roots. Once Dr. Song has confirmed this with an exam (he can help if a patient needs it), he can then use one of the following treatments to complete someone’s smile:
Rather than using your remaining teeth to support a bridge, a single implant and crown can be placed into the smile without disturbing the nearby dental structure. The crown itself will be shaped to fit seamlessly into the mouth and shaded to blend perfectly.
Instead of using one implant to replace one tooth, just two or three implants can provide the base for a bridge or partial denture that brings back several teeth at once. This is not only cost-effective, but these prosthetics are also much more stable than their removable counterparts.
Even patients with complete tooth loss can benefit from dental implants. Four to six posts can be placed into the jawbone and attached to a full denture that can be trusted to never slip or slide out of place. Even better, implant dentures enable a patient to have a much stronger bite compared to removable ones, making it easier to consume a wider variety of foods.
Because dental implants are so versatile, their cost can vary quite a bit from patient to patient depending on how many teeth they are missing and what kind of restoration they need. While implants do tend to be more expensive compared to other treatments up front, they are an investment designed to last for decades, and they don’t have to be replaced nearly as often as regular bridges and dentures. Over time, this often helps patients save thousands.
Dental implants need to be placed in precisely the right spots in your jaw to maximize their chances of success. As such, we need to plan your treatment down to the smallest detail before we even begin the procedure. To do so, we rely on state-of-the-art technology such as a 3D cone beam scanner. Are you curious about our practice’s technological offerings? Here’s a quick look at how we combine dental implants with the latest advancements in dentistry to create sturdy, long-lasting new smiles.
How does our dental team figure out where your dental implant posts need to go? Your first thought might be the same digital X-rays that we use to examine your jaw and tooth roots during your routine dental appointments. But as useful as normal X-rays can be, they don’t quite capture every detail that we need to know to place dental implants. That’s why instead, we use a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanner, which gives us a much more comprehensive picture.
With a CBCT scanner, we can confirm the locations of nerve pathways and blood vessels in your jaw; that way, we can avoid causing any unnecessary damage while placing your dental implants. Additionally, CBCT scans allow us to evaluate the thickness of your jawbone and determine whether it will be capable of supporting your dental implant posts. The more information we’re able to gather, the easier it becomes to avoid complications during the procedure.
You don’t have to be nervous about undergoing a CBCT scan; not only does it not cause any discomfort, but it won’t leave behind any radiation in your body.
Crowns, bridges, and dentures can all be attached to dental implants in order to re-complete your smile. However, they are not “one-size-fits-all”; they need to be carefully personalized to ensure that they’re the right size and are able to blend in with the rest of your smile. Thus, we will need to take an impression of your mouth once your implant is in place. However, there’s no need to make you bite down on foul-tasting putty when we can simply create a highly-precise digital impression.
We’ll perform a quick scan of the area where the final restoration will be placed. Said scan will then be used to design your replacement teeth. Our goal will be to provide you with a crown, bridge, or denture that is so natural-looking that it will appear as though you were never missing any teeth to begin with.
One of the biggest advantages of using digital impressions is that they’re less prone to error than dental putty. You’re more likely to get a restoration that fits properly and blends in seamlessly with the rest of your smile on the first try, meaning you can potentially avoid a lot of inconvenience during the dental implant process.
These days, thanks to the numerous preparations and precautions that expert oral surgeons such as Dr. Song take, dental implants enjoy a success rate of 95% or higher. Needless to say, the procedure is considered very safe, and you can generally expect excellent results over the long term. Despite that, implant failure is always a possibility. If you don’t keep your gums clean, an infection called peri-implantitis could form around the implants, eventually destroying the bone used to support it. In other cases, the implant may not join with the jaw at all due to an injury or a lack of bone density.
No matter what the cause of dental implant failure is, you’ll be able to tell there’s a problem if you experience severe pain or notice symptoms such as swollen gums or a loose implant post. Fortunately, it’s often possible to save the implant – or at the very least treat the underlying issue – if you get in touch with us as quickly as possible.
Dental implants are the best form of tooth replacement that modern dentistry has to offer. However, because investing in them is a big decision, you may have a lot of questions about the treatment and how it works. We are here to help you! Below, we’ve listed some of the questions that our patients frequently ask. If you do not see the information you were hoping for, you are welcome to contact us so we can personally assist you.
One of the most common concerns people have when getting dental implants is whether or not they’ll feel any pain during the surgery. Even though surgical techniques are involved, implant placement will not be nearly as uncomfortable as an extraction. As long as we properly apply a local anesthetic, you shouldn’t feel any pain during the surgery itself, and we may even recommend dental sedation for optimal comfort depending on your specific situation.
Of course, like any other dental procedure, you might feel some soreness and aching in your mouth for the next few days. Bruising of the skin and gums and minor bleeding can also occur. You should take painkillers such as ibuprofen during this time; it can also help to rinse gently with warm salt water multiple times throughout the day. Apply an icepack to reduce any swelling that occurred. Also, after each surgical stage of implant placement, eat only soft foods for about 10 to 14 days.
Dental implants are able to stand up to virtually any food, from crisp apples to juicy steaks and everything in between. Unlike with traditional dentures, you will not even need to take special precautions when you are enjoying your meals.
However, keep in mind that the same foods that are bad for natural teeth are also risky for dental implants. For example, eating too many sugary foods can contribute to gum problems that could affect the implants. Biting on extremely hard foods, such as jawbreaker candies or ice, may damage the implants’ restorations.
Smoking will not automatically disqualify you from getting dental implants. We determine candidacy for implants on a case by case basis, according to each patient’s unique health and circumstances. However, it is worth noting that smoking can drastically increase the risk of dental implant failure. It also slows down the body’s ability to heal following the implant placement surgery. It would be best if you quit smoking altogether. If you choose not to do that, you should at least refrain from tobacco usage for the weeks leading up to and immediately following your procedure.
The jawbone naturally deteriorates after the natural teeth are lost. Eventually, it may shrink to the point where it is no longer able to support dental implants. In such cases, a bone graft is necessary. A bone graft builds up the jawbone, increasing its volume and mass so that it will provide a sturdy base for your restored smile. Not every patient requires a bone graft, but it is a common procedure among individuals who are pursuing dental implant treatment.
Dental implants are constructed out of a titanium alloy. Titanium is considered hypoallergenic and biocompatible (meaning that it works well with the human body). The alloys of it that are used in medicine are free of metals that commonly cause allergic reactions, such as nickel and cobalt. For the vast majority of patients, even those who are sensitive to metals, dental implants are quite safe and do not pose a health risk. However, you should still let our team know if you have any concerns about how your body may react to the implants.
Since dental implants represent a significant investment, you’ll naturally want to help them last as long as possible. This of course means taking care of them as well as you would your natural teeth. At least two times a day, you should clean your implants and nearby area with your toothbrush and dental floss. Make sure to brush gently, and don’t forget to cover every side of the implant. Pay attention to the area around the gum line; bacteria that accumulates here could very easily slip underneath the implant restoration and cause an infection in a place that’s difficult to reach. If you have a hard time using traditional floss, we may recommend an interdental brush or a similar aid to remove plaque between the teeth on either side of your implant. Finally, you should schedule an examination as well as a cleaning with us every 3 to 6 months.
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