Dental Implant Procedures
This presentation is designed to provide a better understanding of dental implants by addressing the most commonly asked questions of this oral facial procedure. Watch it now.
“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”
For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.
If you’ve experienced tooth loss and want to restore your smile, you’ve come to the right place. Drs. Buck and Phillips utilize the most modern dental procedures and technology available today. We want to get you to a place where you’re comfortable going out with a smile on your face. That’s why we’ve made a considerable amount of information available here to help get you started. But nothing beats talking with us directly about your teeth. So we highly recommend making an appointment today.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). And both have a root that holds the tooth securely anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium. This is the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints.
In the tooth replacement process, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant. Then time is allowed for the bone to heal and grow around the implant. Next, the bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. Headquartered in Birmingham, Drs. Buck or Phillips will perform the implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting (if necessary). Then your dentist will fit and make the permanent prosthesis.
Implants are often placed several months after extraction. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve a little more risk, but it simplifies the process; you won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant. However, when infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement is not the best treatment.
In many cases, a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatments are available to support the replacement teeth. Scroll down to learn more about those options.
THE DENTAL IMPLANT SURGICAL PROCEDURE
AFTER IMPLANT PLACEMENT
HEALING AFTER DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY
Healing time can vary from person to person, depending on the quality and quantity of bone available. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing.
WHAT CAN I USE FOR TEETH WHILE MY IMPLANTS HEAL?
If you need a replacement tooth while the implants are healing, temporary removable teeth or a temporary bridge can be made. If all of your teeth are missing, we can usually modify your present complete denture or make you a new temporary one. If you would prefer non-removable teeth during the healing phase, temporary transitional implants usually can be placed along with the permanent implants, and temporary teeth may be made and inserted the same day.
WILL I HAVE PAIN AFTER DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY?
Although it is natural to be concerned about the pain that may be caused by these procedures, most patients do not experience severe or significant postoperative pain. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed to you to make your recovery as easy as possible.
HOW MANY YEARS WILL THE IMPLANTS LAST?
Implants are usually long-lasting. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent, which compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies (more than 30 years) show an 80 to 90 percent success rate.
CONSIDERING THE COST OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
HOW MUCH DOES DENTAL IMPLANT TREATMENT COST?
You may be asking, what is the average cost of dental implants in Birmingham, Alabama? Or what is the lowest cost available for dental implants in Alabama? Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to discuss every option and every contingency for treatment outcome here on our website. The information here is intended to help you understand the general treatment options available. If your specific treatment options are not clear, please contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your dental work.
Before treatment begins, every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of all the expenses involved in the implant process and making your replacement teeth. We will try to assist you in estimating your actual payments after we evaluate your insurance coverage or other third-party payments. Also, you should consider your personal financial investment in each treatment option as some insurance companies provide limited or no coverage.
FINANCING FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
First, check with your dental insurance carrier to see what portion, if any, of dental implants they cover. There are health care credit companies that offer no-interest and low-interest loans for medical procedures including dental implants.
COMPARING DENTAL IMPLANT QUOTES
There are often multiple professionals involved in oral-facial procedures such as these. When comparing quotes, make sure it is “apples to apples.” We highly recommend that you factor in the cost of each of these steps:
- Exams/office visits
- Tooth/root extraction
- Bone Grafting
- Placement of the titanium root (dental implant)
- Placement of the crown
- X-rays, pre/post operative care
JAW BONE HEALTH AND APPEARANCE
When a tooth is missing, it results in bone loss. The jaw bone deteriorates over time. So while a denture or bridge may seem to function similarly to a tooth, underneath the surface, damage is being done to the jaw bone and ultimately to the facial structure. This can alter the shape of a person’s face, leading to additional cosmetic costs down the road.
THINK ABOUT THE LONG TERM
While dentures and bridges are initially less expensive, their affordability can be short-lived. Because these older methods require repair and replacement every five to ten years, they are often more expensive over time. By contrast, dental implants, when properly placed and cared for, can last a lifetime.
REPLACING MISSING TEETH
No one wants their appearance and health to deteriorate. But bone loss is the natural consequence of missing teeth—the jaw literally melts away. Generally, people will lose 25% of their supporting jawbone structure within the first year after tooth loss. It will continue to increase over many years. Dental implants are more easily placed when teeth are first extracted because bone replacement becomes more complex as time passes.
IMPLANT SUPPORTED OVERDENTURE
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
An Implant Supported Overdenture is a restoration that has revolutionized the way surgeons and dentists think of replacing a full set of teeth. Most often, standard dentures are painful, inconvenient, and unstable. This can make chewing foods difficult, limiting the foods that you once enjoyed. Thankfully, Drs. Buck and Phillips can help with implant-supported dentures.
The Implant Supported Overdenture treatment replaces your missing teeth with a full dental bridge supported by dental implants. Fewer implants are needed and overall treatment time and cost is reduced. This solution also ensures greater stability in the bone, reducing the need for bone graft surgery to increase bone volume.
Implant-supported overdentures stay connected with bar and clip attachment methods, or use a variety of abutment-based attachments (ball, magnets, and resilient stud attachments such as locators). The most appropriate attachment system for your individual needs relates to a variety of factors that is determined early in the treatment.
Typically, a temporary set of teeth can be placed on the same day of surgery. The temporary teeth allow you to lead a normal life immediately after surgery. After a short healing period, your dentist will place the final bridge. And you can start enjoying your favorite foods again with renewed confidence.
MISSING ALL LOWER TEETH
Although many patients have no problem wearing an upper denture, some people find it difficult to wear and eat with lower dentures. Several implant-supported replacement options are available if you are missing all of your lower teeth.
Ball Attachment Denture
Two implants are placed in the lower jaw and a denture is made that snaps onto these implants.
Bar Attachment Denture
Four to six implants are placed in the lower jaw and connected with a custom-made support bar. The denture is made with special internal retention clips that attach onto the support bar, enabling it to snap firmly into place. This is called an “overdenture.”
Screw Retained Denture
Five or more implants in your jaw and attaching a permanent denture.
The denture is held in place by screws or clasps that secure it to the support posts or bar. It doesn’t touch the gum tissue, which allows you to clean under the denture without removing it.
The final option is to have all your teeth individually replaced so that they will appear to be growing out of your gum tissue and will most closely resemble the appearance of your natural teeth. This option usually requires eight or more implants. Separate abutments or support posts for each one of these implants will be made and crowns for each missing tooth will be placed.
MISSING ALL UPPER TEETH
A similar range of treatment options is also available for your upper jaw. However, because the bone is not as hard as the lower jaw, people often need more implants to support their new replacements.
Depending upon the number of implants to be placed, it may be possible to eliminate the need for covering the roof of your mouth with a full arch complete denture. This option allows you to fully taste your food and gives you a better sense of its temperature. It will feel more natural and it will still be removable. Which makes cleaning the support bar and denture much easier.
If you want a restoration that is similar to your natural teeth and therefore not removable, you probably will need eight to ten individual implants placed. This is followed, after healing, by the placement of the abutments and new replacement crowns.
Drs. Buck and Phillips are experts in dental implants. If you’re considering tooth replacement, please give us a call at 205-933-1331 to schedule your consultation. We’re here to help you improve both your oral health and well being. We love our patients!
SCHEDULE YOUR CONSULTATION
The only way to receive an accurate price quote is to call us and come in for a consultation, and we can give you a specific price for your case. Please call our staff, at our Birmingham Southside Office (205-933-1331), to schedule your consultation.