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Dental implants are an amazing way to replace missing teeth. Let’s talk about how implants work, what the best ways to maintain them are, and what happens if you don’t. Please feel free to contact our Houston, TX dental office if you have any additional questions or concerns.

At Antoine Dental Center, we offer a variety of dental implant options designed to help you achieve a healthy, functional smile after losing some or all of your natural teeth. Regardless of your needs, we work hard to help you find the option that is right for you. If you currently have one or more dental implants or even if you don’t, this article may help you determine if dental implants are a good choice for your dental health care habits.

What is a dental implant?

If you are unfamiliar with how dental implants works, dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth. They are crafted to act as prosthetic tooth roots. These “tooth roots” are usually made of titanium and are inserted directly into your gum. Here, they are left to heal and fuse to the jaw bone. This creates a strong, secure foundation for the dental restoration that will be placed upon the implant. The restoration can come in the form of a single crown or a full-arch denture depending on your specific needs.

This set-up is a very natural and reliable way to replace missing teeth. Implants in fact are the best solution to simulate the look, feel, and function of natural teeth. They do so much more than just replace missing teeth. They help maintain the surrounding bone structure allowing you to chew healthy foods and smile with confidence.

Why are dental implants needed?

Once a tooth is lost, there are a few things that happen that may not be immediately noticeable. Just because these effects are not noticeable does not mean they are not important. A single lost tooth can create a domino effect and change the whole dynamic within your mouth. Bone loss compromises the integrity of surrounding tooth roots and may reduce tooth stability. So by not replacing a missing tooth with an implant, you may be increasing the likelihood of losing more teeth. This loss in bone also contributes to the “sunken” look you may have seen in people that have lost several or all of their teeth. Placing a dental implant can help generate bone in the area through a process known as osseointegration.

dental implants bone volume after tooth loss

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

There are many advantages to dental implants, including:

  • Improved appearance. Dental implants are designed to look and feel like your own teeth. To make things better, the dental implant fuses with bone for a permanent tooth replacement solution.
  • Improved speech. With missing teeth or poor-fitting dentures, speech is impaired. Dental implants allow you to speak clearly.
  • Improved comfort. Dental implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
  • Easier eating. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
  • Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
  • Improved oral health. Tooth supported dental bridges require reducing other teeth. With dental implants, nearby teeth are not altered for support, more of your own teeth are left intact which improves long-term oral health. Dental implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
  • Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
  • Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

For these reasons, dental implants are now considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are an important investment in your smile. We want to help you preserve them. You can reach us by calling 713-691-8880 to schedule a consultation.

 Chew Good. Look Good. Feel Good.

If your missing teeth are near the front of your mouth or they leave a noticeable gap in your cheeks, then implants will not only help restore your confidence and happiness in your appearance but help you eat the foods you enjoy. Implants seamlessly replace your missing teeth and due to great advances in the look of prosthetics in recent years, no one will be able to tell that they aren’t the real deal.

Sign up for a dental implant consultation!

 

Who would benefit from dental implants?

Dental implants are beneficial when you have missing teeth, but either cannot or do not want to get dentures, bridges or crowns. No matter which tooth replacement option is best for your situation, it is important to find one that works to prevent the negative oral effects.

Who is eligible for dental implants?

All of our patients begin with a dental implants consultation to determine if dental implants are a suitable treatment option and to determine if the patient is a suitable candidate. In most cases, if you are healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery, you may be a candidate for a dental implant. Patients should also have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant in place after the procedure. After the dental implant is placed, the patient must also be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Patients that smoke or have diabetes or heart disease may be at higher risk and will be evaluated on an individual basis.

What is the alternative to dental implants?

As mentioned above, dental implants are a great technology and a quality solution to tooth replacement. However, they are not right for everyone. Here are a few alternative treatment options if you are missing teeth and traditional dental implants are not the best option for you:

  1. Mini implants – Mini implants are very similar to traditional dental implants but have a narrower diameter for a more minimally invasive surgery.
  2. All-on-4 – All-on-4 consists of fixing a complete upper or lower set of replacement teeth in place. 4 (sometimes 6) implants are placed into the jawbone near the front of the mouth and used as the base to attach and stabilize a set of replacement teeth (denture). The biggest benefit of All-on-4 is that it utilizes what bone the patient does have – allowing some patients who have lower bone density to avoid bone grafting
  3. Tooth supported fixed bridge – A fixed bridge the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are reduced and crowns are placed in order to hold the replacement tooth in position. This replacement option requires that the supporting teeth are in full health to support the replacement tooth. A tooth supported fixed bridge also places more stress on surrounding teeth and the bone where the missing tooth is replaced is not stimulated as with a traditional implant.
  4. Removable partial denture – A partial denture is a removable dental appliance that can be held in place by the adjacent teeth or with clasps that fit around existing teeth. A partial denture is less invasive and less expensive, but it will not provide the same aesthetic results or functionality compared to an implant-supported tooth. Bone loss in the jaw can affect the stability of the partial denture, and the adjacent teeth.
  5. Removable complete denture – A removable complete denture rests on the gums of the mouth but complete dentures can often be uncomfortable and unstable. They can affect your ability to taste and chew foods properly. Because they are removable, they tend to move even while smiling or yawning.
  6. Do nothing – If you choose to do nothing or wish to delay treatment to replace missing teeth, it’s worth considering the consequences. As mentioned above, the result of doing nothing with a missing tooth can be very serious.

How successful are dental implants?

Success rates of dental implants vary depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed and the prior oral history but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime so you can enjoy the investment in your oral health and appearance for years to come.

Dental implants do require regular maintenance. A dental implant is a large responsibility and investment in your smile. Fortunately, dental implants are fairly easy to take care of and often offer very few problems for the patient.

What is the best way to maintain my implant?

Maintaining a dental implant is fairly easy. Let’s talk about the four major ways you can help to make sure your implant stay strong and secure:

  1. Brush twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head.
  2. Floss between each and every tooth.
  3. Avoid sugary snacks. Sugary substances feed the bacteria that cause gum disease!
  4. Visit the dentist for regular cleanings and exams. We recommend visiting our office at least once every six months.

You may notice that these four things are the same things that you need to do to prevent gum disease and decay in natural teeth! That’s right! To properly maintain implants, simply care for them like they are your own real teeth. If there is anything special you need to do for your implant, your dentist will let you know after placement.

What happens if I don’t take proper care of my implant?

If you DON’T follow the steps above and allow gum disease to take hold, you will run into some serious problems with your implants. Just like natural teeth, implants can fall out due to deteriorated jaw bone. Periodontal disease is the major culprit of jaw bone deterioration and can wreak some serious chaos in your mouth. Again, to prevent this, follow the steps above.

We want your implant investment to last for as long as possible — hopefully for the rest of your life! Do make that happen, please take proper care of your smile. We don’t want you to lose any more teeth … and certainly not your implant! If you have any concerns about losing your implant, please contact our office right away.

 

How can I schedule a dental implants consultation?

If you are due for your bi-annual cleaning and checkup, have a question, or are otherwise concerned about your dental implant, please contact our office as soon as possible. We would be happy to help you in whatever way we can. You can reach us by calling 713-691-8880.

Dental implants are an important investment in your smile. We want to help you preserve them. If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. Our friendly, helpful team would be delighted to assist you in caring for your smile.

 Chew Good. Look Good. Feel Good.

If your missing teeth are near the front of your mouth or they leave a noticeable gap in your cheeks, then implants will not only help restore your confidence and happiness in your appearance but help you eat the foods you enjoy. Implants seamlessly replace your missing teeth and due to great advances in the look of prosthetics in recent years, no one will be able to tell that they aren’t the real deal.

Sign up for a dental implant consultation!

 
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