If you are (or will be) missing a tooth, a dental bridge is an option. But the replacement tooth relies on surrounding teeth for stability. What happens when you’re missing, say, a back tooth? A bridge requires teeth on either side of the gap. No problem. Dolton Dental Implants Treatment recreates the look, feel, and function of natural, healthy teeth. It’s a great option for patients who aren’t candidates for the “old standbys” like traditional dental bridges. Likewise, it’s a great option if you’re tired of dentures slipping at the most unfortunate times. Maybe you need some relief from the headaches and costs of denture adhesives and creams, particularly if you’re among our many patients who have lower dentures? A single implant may be used to replace a tooth, or a few strategically-placed implants may be used to replace many teeth (or a mouthful!). That’s because you should think of the implant as an artificial tooth root.

Natural teeth are stabilized in your mouth by roots. The closer we as dentists can get to designing a tooth that is like the tooth Mother Nature intended, the better. That’s not to say dental implant-retained crowns and dentures are the perfect treatment for each and every patient. No treatment is ideal for everyone. We sit down with you and discuss all sorts of things, from habits that can affect the health of your teeth and gums to what you feel comfortable paying. Whatever option you choose, know this: We don’t cut corners on quality. Your experience with dentures, for instance, depends heavily on fit. Dental appliances are made from quality materials and well-fitted to your mouth. We don’t nickel and dime. Our patients appreciate the value they get from our tooth replacement, be it “conventional” or advanced alternatives like implant dentures and crowns. Fear over the bill should never be a barrier to your getting the healthy and attractive smile that you deserve.

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Getting the most bang for your buck

You’ll often hear dental implants referred to as the “gold standard” in tooth replacement. But can you afford them? Implant-supported teeth can be worth their weight in gold because with no more maintenance than your typical good brushing and flossing, they can keep going as long as you do. They also keep the bone in your jaw strong. Conventional, removable tooth replacement can’t do that. Why is this important? The loss of bone has many devastating consequences. It can make problems with chewing and speaking worse. It can also make you look older. As bone shrinks, your cheeks may appear sunken or hollow. The lower part of your face collapses, reducing overall facial height. The overlying skin and muscle also collapses, which gives rise to or worsens wrinkles and facial sagging.

Over the long term, dental implants more than pay for themselves due to their superior function and durability. Over the short term, it’s important to know that more insurance companies are paying for at least a portion of the implant procedure. Since it’s a multi-step process, 40 to 60% of major treatments are often covered, and traditionally covered major treatments include things like what we handle in the Pleasant Dental® office; for example, the actual restoration of the tooth with a crown. We also partner with the best in the business – an oral surgeon – for the placement of the implant. When properly placed, implants have a predictably high success rate of around 98%.

A Patient getting dental implant done Before the implant is placed, we may need to build up the bone in your jaw. This is a straightforward process that can be done at the same time as implant placement. After the implant is placed:

  • Bone starts to form around the implant. This process is what gives the overlying crown or denture its stability. The implant is truly “rooted” to the jaw.
  • An extension piece is added at the time of implant placement or later.
  • Once healing is complete, your new tooth (crown) is attached to the extension or abutment. Denture alternatives “snap on” to the abutments.

It’s true that teeth made in a lab don’t decay or attract dental disease in the same way as those teeth that developed with you; however, that’s not to say your oral hygiene can go on “cruise control.” Implants can still fail. The most common cause of implant failure is poor hygiene. Gum disease-like inflammation develops around the implant, and can threaten your tooth. Smoking is not a good idea, because it interferes with healing. Blood and nutrients just can’t get to the treatment site as they should. Let’s talk about your specific needs. Call (708) 576-1900 to schedule an implant consultation at Pleasant Dental®.

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