Dental Implants – Questions & Answers

Dental Implants – Questions & Answers

Dental implants are human-made replacements for the root of a tooth. If a patient has broken or missing teeth due to injury, periodontal disease, decay, or congenital defects, a dental implant can replace a single tooth, several teeth, or the entire upper or lower jawline.

Most modern dental implants are made of titanium and look similar in size and shape to the natural root of a tooth. Titanium is very strong and durable, and this material can fuse to the cells within the bone of your jaw over time. The fusing process is called osseointegration, which makes the implant even stronger.

Details of the Procedure

When your Indianapolis Implant Dentist Dr. Falender place an implant in the upper or lower jaw, they often take CT scans, or three-dimensional images of the jaw, to find existing bone and its depth along with locations of nerves and sinuses. This process helps the dentist make sure that the implant is placed properly without causing unnecessary pain or complications. When placing the implant, modern technology allows for exact positioning and safety during the surgical procedure, such as surgical guides and computer-assisted dental planning software – ensuring that the implant is placed safely and correctly.

If your jawline doesn’t contain enough bone, your dentist may need to add bone grafting material to ensure that the implant has something to hold on to, keeping it firmly in place. Bone loss can occur as the result of previous dental work, infection, or other health conditions. Bone grafting materials are made of freeze-dried, mineralized bone that transforms into new bone as it heals. If your sinus area needs bone grafting, the procedure is called sinus augmentation.

Healing Time

The healing time for a dental implant procedure is typically at least three weeks. Some patients’ implant procedures will take months to heal, although this is less common and usually caused by an underlying medical condition or tobacco use. Total healing time also depends on the condition of the bone in your jaw. Sinus or jaw augmentation procedures require additional healing time, so it could take longer before you have the crown or bridge placed in your mouth.

After the implant has healed and shows signs of osseointegration, your dentist can attach an abutment. An abutment is a connector built into or placed on top of the implant, providing something for the crown or bridge to attach to within your mouth. After attaching the abutment, your dentist will be able to take additional imprints and imaging to create and place the permanent tooth.

Some dentists are now offering implants as Teeth-in-a-Day. Depending on the nature of the tooth being replaced, it’s now possible to place an implant along with the abutment and crown in a single sitting. There are some constraints to this procedure, as the implant wouldn’t be able to withstand strong chewing force for several weeks or longer, but for many people, this is an ideal option.

Importance of Preventing Bone Loss

Bone loss can occur in patients with osteoporosis, poor circulation, or other health factors that impact healing. But one of the most common reasons is from the loss of a tooth. When a tooth is no longer present and receiving contact and use from your bite and chewing, the bone where the tooth had been begins to recede. An implant can halt and even reverse bone loss by stimulating the bone by re-involving the formerly missing tooth in your bite and chewing. If you’re already missing a tooth, you’re probably already experiencing bone loss. In many cases this can be overcome, but the longer you wait to install an implant, the greater the bone loss and the greater the likelihood that an implant may no longer be viable.

You could also experience bone loss if the gums and other tissue become infected from poor dental hygiene and care. Regular visits to your dentist and adequate brushing can reduce the risk of infection.

Success Rate

Titanium has a 95 percent success rate for bone fusing and a healthy, functioning implant for at least 10 years. In most cases, implants will last much longer and most dentists expect them to last for the lifetime of the patient.

As with most things, success is dependent on care and maintenance. Regular dental check ups are just as important for implants as they are for your natural teeth. Your Indianapolis Dental Implant Team will inspect your whole mouth, including implants, because if your crown isn’t adjusted to your bite properly, the force could lead to bone loss and damage to the implant. On a maladjusted implant, heavy force can bend or shift the implant sideways through constant chewing, and even the strongest metal can’t withstand the force from the strength of your jaw. So, while implants are permanent, they don’t mean you can stop visiting the dentist.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants come with a number of benefits. They are the next best thing to natural teeth, offering strength and stability that restores a lost or damaged tooth. When placed correctly, the implant will fuse with your bone and create a tooth that fits, feels, and looks like a natural tooth. With proper care, a dental implant can last for many years without failing or causing other issues. In fact, your implant could last for your entire lifetime. It may require some periodic adjustments but typically won’t need replacement.

A dental implant can also protect the healthy bone within your jaw. Leaving spaces due to tooth loss or decay can lead to additional health concerns, such as additional bone loss, but a dental implant procedure can actually preserve and stimulate your bone to keep growing, preventing loss over time. When you don’t have enough teeth in your mouth, your face might look sunken and unnatural, and adding a dental implant can restore the shape of your face and mouth.

Alternatives to dental implants include bridges and dentures, although these aren’t as comfortable for most patients. People often complain about the fit of dentures, which make it harder to eat, speak, or even smile naturally.

Expected Cost of Dental Implants

In recent years, the average cost of a dental implant procedure is between $3,000 and $4,500 for an implant and crown. But here near Indianapolis, advances in technology are making implants more affordable by helping to bring dental implant costs down significantly at some providers.

Some dental insurance companies also offer coverage for a dental implant or a portion of the implant procedure, although it depends on your plan and policy.

About Your Indianapolis, IN Oral Surgeon

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office welcomes patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.

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Wisdom Teeth Removal During The Holiday Season in Indianapolis

Wisdom Teeth Removal During The Holiday Season in Indianapolis

As the holidays approach we are all getting excited for what they bring. Family gatherings, turkey dinners, the year’s first snowfall and general cheer and merriment.

For us they also indicate the arrival of another season. The wisdom tooth removal season. Winter break presents a great opportunity for teenagers and young adults to have their 3rd molars examined by qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeons. The welcome break from cramming and exams is also a great time to have your wisdom teeth removed, should they require removal, and not miss any class due to the recovery time, short though it may be.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled, “Changing Wisdom About Pulling Teens’ Teeth.” This article was spurred by a new statement on the American Association of Oral and Maxillfacial Surgeons (AAOMS) website.

Evidence Based Wisdom Tooth Management

“The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and its members do not advocate the performance of unnecessary surgical procedures, including the prophylactic or unwarranted removal of third molar teeth. We do, however, support the surgical management of erupted and impacted third molar teeth for which there is the presence of pathology or a reasonable potential that pathology may occur in relation to, or as a result of, these teeth.”

In other words, The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends surgeons offer young adults options “ranging from removal to a monitored retention plan.”

At Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center we support AAOMS and our policy of evidence based third molar extraction mirrors the statement above.

We believe that while not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted, all of them need to be managed. As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, we provide our patients the best advice based on a careful oral examination, appropriate imaging and tests, and honest discussions with the patient and caregivers. If a decision is made to keep the wisdom teeth, we advise the patient to keep the area immaculately clean and recommend an annual examination to assess any changes in the teeth or gum tissues.

Resources To Help You Manage Your 3rd Molars

In order to help you or your child decide if and when to have wisdom teeth removal surgery please see these articles on the subject:

Winter break and the holiday season are the perfect time to consult with a qualified Oral Surgeon and develop a personalized management plan for your 3rd molars. In order to facilitate the proper management of 3rd molars for our patients Dr. Lawrence Falender is offering consultations to anyone considering wisdom tooth extraction or anyone seeking a qualified 2nd opinion.

In order to set up your consult please provide the following:

  • Please bring the radiograph (X-Ray) from your dentist.*
  • Please let us know your dental insurance provider.
  • To set up your consultation with Dr. Falender we ask that all patients fill out a form or Call our office at (317) 790-2555

We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. And if you or a loved one need to have your wisdom teeth extracted we will do everything we can to make that as painless and hassle free as possible.

Call Your Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center Today!

If you think that you may need a tooth extraction, contact Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center and speak with our experienced and skilled Oral And Maxillofacial Surgeon to learn what options may be right for you. Dr. Falender and his skilled staff are all here to help answer any questions you may have about tooth extraction and your complete oral health. Together, we can help you maintain a healthy mouth that will result in a happier, healthier you!

About Your Indianapolis, IN Oral Surgeon

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office welcomes patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.

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Top 10 Reasons Why Dental Implants Are The Perfect Solution to Tooth Loss

Top 10 Reasons Why Dental Implants Are The Perfect Solution to Tooth Loss

If you are someone that has considered dental implants, but are still unsure about the benefits of the treatment, here are ten good reasons why implants are the best available solution to tooth loss…

#1. They Have A Natural Appearance

Dental implants are simply the closest replacement to natural teeth. The crown (or prosthetic tooth) sits in exactly the same position to the gum line as a tooth, and therefore most people are unable to tell the difference between natural teeth and an implant. At Indianapolis Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, Indianapolis, IN we strive to achieve the best possible results in terms of the colour of our implant crowns, to guarantee that the restoration looks 100% natural.

#2. They Behave Like A Normal Tooth

Dental implants function like a natural tooth does allowing you to eat the foods you choose. An implant consists of a small titanium screw which is inserted into a tiny hole in the jaw bone. Because the material is titanium, it naturally fuses with the bone, creating a superbly strong artificial root.

#3. No Damage Is Done to Other Teeth

Dental implants replace a single tooth with a single implant, without any unnecessary damage to other teeth. However, conventional bridges on the other hand, reduce the two healthy teeth adjacent to a gap to support the structure. Unlike a traditional bridge, an implant has no effect on adjacent teeth and can be easily cleaned and flossed, just as a natural tooth can be.

#4. They Can be Cost Effective

The ADA recently stated that ‘over the longer term, implants are usually a more cost-effective and satisfactory option.’ The life expectancy of a bridge is around 10 years, but when you consider that an implant is a permanent solution that will not decay or cause any complications to surrounding teeth, it is clearly more cost effective in the long run.

#5. They Can Last a Lifetime

The longevity of a dental implant is generally very high with an average success rate of 95% after 10 years. In our experience, dental implants provide a highly predictable solution to replace missing teeth. Like natural teeth, if you follow appropriate homecare advice, attend regular dental appointments and maintain a healthy lifestyle, dental implants should last you a lifetime. Unlike other dental procedures, implants are a one-time investment that can be a long-term solution.

#6 You Can Eat Whatever You Like!

Having dentures, or loose, failing or missing teeth, can mean that people are forced to avoid any foods which are crunchy or chewy, which can be very frustrating. Many of our patients talk about how frustrating it is to avoid such foods and miss out on the joys of chewing a juicy steak, or crunching on a crispy apple. However, the strength and stability of implants means all these foods needn’t be avoided.

#7You Can Be Confident About Your Smile

48% of the population in the USA are unhappy with their smile and consequently they miss out on all of the natural benefits smiling brings. Smiling can reduce stress, make you more attractive, calm you down, lift a bad mood- you can even make another person happy with a smile! Restoring your smile or replacing missing teeth, with the most natural solution available, will allow you to confidently smile again.

#8. People Won’t Know You Have Implants

Many of our patients say, that when they meet people for the first time, they are entirely unaware that they have implants. Many others choose not to reveal the fact that they have implants. This invisibility and reliability of implants means that people no longer feel self-conscious about their smile. Unlike dentures, implants do not need to be routinely removed as implants are easily maintained and cleaned like natural teeth, allowing you to get on with your life without any embarrassment or discomfort.

#9. They Will Prevent Aging

The reduction in jaw bone tissue that bridges or dentures cause, can often result in the aging of a patient’s face. Implants however, prevent this bone loss, thus helping to retain the natural shape of the jaw.

#10. They Will Restore Your Self-esteem And Enhance Your Lifestyle

Because implants are invisible, discreet, reliable, stable and aesthetically natural- it goes without saying that they will inevitably enhance your self-confidence, increase self-esteem and improve appearance, resulting in a more enjoyable lifestyle.

About Your Indianapolis, IN Oral Surgeon

We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office welcomes patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.

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