A dental implant is a long-lasting tooth replacement option that looks and functions just like a natural tooth. Dental implants are embedded in the bone just like natural teeth, have a 95% success rate, and are backed by nearly 50 years of clinical research.
Whether you are missing a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants can be an excellent restorative solution. As opposed to other replacement options like a partial or a bridge, dental implants offer a secure, long term replacement solution. Working with your restorative dentist, dental implants are designed to restore the appearance and function of your teeth. Our oral surgeons in Savage, Shakopee, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota can place a titanium post in your mouth which replaces the root of the missing tooth. You will be able to smile with confidence knowing your smile has been restored with new teeth that are healthy and function like natural teeth. Dr. Hueler, Dr, Lyu, and Dr.Voegele are trusted experts in dental implant placement.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the foundation of the solution to replace your missing teeth in a way that appears and functions like a natural tooth. The dental implant consists of 3 parts: Dental implant (post), abutment, and crown (tooth). Unlike bridges or partial dentures, dental implants are secure and cannot be removed. They function and can be taken care of just like a natural tooth. Dental implants become secure in the bone through a process called osseointegration. During this process, the dental implant fuses to the bone becoming strong enough to eat any food you enjoy.
3 Parts of a dental implant restoration:
- Dental Implant- The dental implant is the foundation of tooth replacement. Dental implants or sometimes referred to as “posts” and are made of medical-grade titanium which during the process of osseointegration fuses to the bone of your upper or lower jaw. The dental implant replaces the root of your missing tooth below the level of gums.
- Abutment- The abutment is usually supplied by your restorative dentist. This is the connector or adapter that allows a crown or tooth to be securely placed on your dental implant.
- Crown- The crown or “cap” is fabricated by your restorative dentist to be securely attached to your dental implant in order to replace your missing tooth. The crown is custom designed to your mouth and smile to appear and function just like a natural tooth.
In some cases, working with your restorative dentist dental implants can support a bridge to replace several missing teeth or securely hold in your denture.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants
The majority of patients are candidates for dental implants. The process is a collaboration between your oral surgeon and your restorative dentist. The initial consultation consists of a thorough review of your medical history, a clinical examination, and any necessary x-rays. Many times a Cone Beam CT or 3-D x-ray is needed to determine if you have enough bone for your dental implant. If more bone is needed our oral surgeons are experts in bone grafting procedures that can replace missing bone for your dental implant.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Compared to other treatment options like bridges or dentures, dental implants offer several advantages.
- A one tooth solution to a one tooth problem- One of the main advantages of a dental implant is that it only replaces your teeth in the area you are missing teeth. With a bridge, your dentist has to grind down sometimes otherwise healthy teeth in front and behind your missing tooth to permanently attach the bridge. Then 3 teeth would be connected and you can no longer floss between your teeth. With a dental implant, you can brush and floss your teeth like a natural tooth.
- Stability- During the healing process, the dental implant fuses to the bone with a process called osseointegration. Once healed your dental implant allows you to eat the foods you enjoy with confidence knowing that your tooth is secure. Other replacement options like a denture can be loose and need to be removed daily for cleaning.
- Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Loss- Once a tooth is lost, the bone is no longer stimulated which can lead to progressive bone loss. Once a dental implant is placed in the bone, while chewing the bone is continually stimulated which prevents further bone loss.
- Dental Implants Can Help Prevent Gum Disease and Enhance Oral Health- The gap from a missing tooth can cause food to become stuck and attract bacteria which can cause gum disease. With a dental implant replacement tooth, you can brush and floss the implant just like a natural tooth.
- Dental Implant Keep Adjacent Teeth Stable- When a tooth is missing, the tooth behind the gap overtime can tip into the space. This can pull your teeth out of your bite and affect chewing. When a dental implant is placed to replace a missing tooth, it will prevent the tooth behind the space from tipping forward and the upper tooth from growing down into the space.
Dental Implants in Savage, Eden Prairie, and Shakopee Minnesota.
Our skilled oral surgeons are experts in dental implant surgery and place hundreds of dental implants a month. We believe that all patients who are missing teeth deserve the best in tooth replacement options, dental implants. We look forward to meeting you and finding a dental implant solution to restore a beautiful smile and allow you to eat all the foods you enjoy with confidence. Please contact our office today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your dental implant solution.
The Cost of Dental Implants: Making an Investment in Your Oral Health
At Midwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, PA we believe all patients deserve the best solution to replace missing teeth, dental implants. We offer competitive pricing to make dental implants an option available to as many patients as possible at a fair price. There are many factors that affect the cost of dental implants. It can depend on how many dental implants need to be placed, if any additional procedures are required like bone grafting as part of the dental implant placement process, and how much of the procedure will be covered by your dental insurance. Dr. Hueler, Dr. Lyu, and Dr. Voegele are experts in dental implants and are best qualified to perform a thorough exam and provide you an accurate estimate for your dental implant needs.
While the cost factors may seem daunting, it is important to note that as a long term solution to missing teeth, dental implants offer incredible value as a potential life long solution. Teeth supported by a dental implant will never get cavities, can be brushed and flossed like real teeth, and when properly cared for can last for many years. The cost of dental implants reflects the significant value they add to patients’ lives. Our team at Midwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is here to help you navigate the process to find the dental implant replacement options that are right for you.
Placing Dental Implants: The Procedure
Placing the dental implant or screw into the jaw bone is only part of the process of replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant. Here at Midwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Hueler, Dr. Lyu, and Dr. Voegele believe in a team approach to restore your oral health with a dental implant. We work closely with your restorative dentist to develop a plan that addresses your specific needs to replace missing teeth. If you don’t have a dentist you routinely see or are new to the area we can help you find one of our trusted partner restorative dentists. The process typically takes 2 to 3 visits at our office over a course of a few weeks to a few months.
The usual steps to placing a dental implant are as follows:
- Consultation: Your consultation will be your first visit to our office. First, you will meet your oral surgeon. We will perform a complete review of your medical history, evaluate the current condition of your oral health, and obtain any necessary x-rays which likely will include a 3-D x-ray called a cone beam CT or CBCT. This CBCT allows your oral surgeon to evaluate the bone in the area of potential dental implant placement to ensure that adequate bone is present and to plan to avoid adjacent anatomic structures during the dental implant placement such as your sinus, adjacent teeth, and nerves. Using the 3-D x-ray your oral surgeon can also create a custom surgical guide for your procedure. After your oral surgeon has obtained all the necessary information they will review your treatment options and formulate a specific treatment plan that addresses your individual needs. Your oral surgeon may also recommend additional procedures to prepare your mouth for dental implants such as bone grafting or tissue grafting procedures.
- Dental Implant Placement: This appointment will be the surgical procedure of placing your dental implant. For your comfort, this can be performed with local anesthesia, nitrous sedation or laughing gas, or IV sedation which would allow you to comfortably sleep during the placement of your dental implant. At this appointment, your dental implant or post is placed below the level of the gums to replace the root of your missing tooth. A custom, 3-D printed surgical guide may also be used to place your dental implant in the optimal position. After the dental implant is placed stitches will be placed while the surgical site heals.
- Healing time: After the dental implant is placed during the next 3-4 months, a process called osseointegration occurs. Your jaw bone will fuse to your dental implant to make the dental implant strong enough to chew the foods you enjoy. There might be some discomfort immediately after dental implant placement, but after about a week most patients are back to eating their normal diet during the remainder of the healing process. Your restorative dentist may also make you a temporary tooth to wear during the healing process.
- Placement of a Tooth or Crown on Top of Your Dental Implant: Once adequate healing time has occurred your oral surgeon will evaluate the dental implant to ensure the implant healing process is complete and your implant is strong enough to chew foods. An abutment will be placed by either your oral surgeon or your restorative dentist. Then a crown or replacement tooth will be attached to your new dental implant. You’re now ready to enjoy your new natural-appearing, fully functional tooth!
Dr. Hueler, Dr. Lyu, and Dr. Voegele are excited to have you visit our Midwest Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, PA office for your consultation to discuss how dental implants can help you regain your smile and confidence and not worry about missing teeth! Please contact our office today to schedule your consultation visit with one of our oral surgeons.
Bone Graft and Soft Tissue Grafting Procedures:
Our patients’ jawbones, gums, and sinuses come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. No two patients are exactly the same. The amount of bone or gum tissue available for dental implant placement may also be affected due to tooth loss, periodontal disease,or other factors. During your consultation your oral surgeon may determine you are missing bone or gum tissue that is vital to a dental implant’s long term success.
There are a variety of different bone and soft tissue grafting procedures available depending on your specific needs.
- Site Preservation: Immediately after extraction of your tooth your oral surgeon may recommend placing a bone graft at the time of the extraction to maintain bone and build a foundation for future dental implant placement. If done at the time of your extraction, in many situations it can prevent the need for future bone grafting procedures at the time of dental implant placement.
- Ridge Augmentation: This type of bone or soft tissue grafting is necessary in patients who many times have been missing a tooth for a long time or for other reasons have lost a significant amount of bone where they desire a dental implant. The procedure can be done to increase the height, width, or both the height and width of the bone where an dental implant will be placed.
- Sinus Lift: When placing a posterior implant in the upper jaw, in some patients there is not enough bone near the sinus areas to hold your dental implant. As part of your dental implant placement process your oral surgeon may recommend sinus grafting with bone either during or before your dental implant placement to create enough bone to hold and maintain the implant. In cases of severe bone loss your oral surgeon may recommend a procedure where the sinus lining is gently lifted and bone graft is placed prior to dental implant placement. After several months of healing, the bone grafting will naturally integrate with your jaw bone and be ready for dental implant placement.
- Soft Tissue Grafts: Due to chronic gum disease or other abnormalities, placement of gum tissue grafts may be required as part of the placement of your dental implant. Adequate gum tissue around a dental implant is crucial in maintaining the long term health of an implant.
If you are considering tooth replacement with dental implants, bone or soft tissue grafting may be required as part of your treatment to ensure your implants are successful and long-lasting. Dr. Hueler, Dr. Lyu, and Dr. Voegele are specialists in a variety of bone and soft tissue grafting procedures. They would be happy to meet with you to develop a treatment plan to meet your needs and restore your oral health.
Am I candidate?
Most patients are candidates. If you are healthy enough to undergo a minor dental procedure, like a tooth extraction, then you are likely a candidate. There are very few contraindications to dental implant placement. If you are looking for a long-lasting tooth replacement option that looks and functions just like a natural tooth to restore your oral health a dental implant will be an excellent option for you.
What is the success rate of a dental implant?
It varies from individual to individual and depends on your overall health and other habits, but overall dental implants are very successful. For a healthy patient with good oral hygiene dental implant success rates have been reported from 94-98%.
Are dental implants removable like dentures or do they stay in your mouth?
No, dental implants are fixed solidly in the jawbone and allow teeth to be replaced in a manner that is the closest to natural teeth. The tooth/teeth would no longer be removed from your mouth.
How long is the recovery period?
Every patient’s healing after dental implant placement will vary based on the exact procedure that was performed and their body’s overall health. In general it takes about 3-4 months for a dental implant to fuse to the jawbone well enough to be used for chewing. The incision takes about a week to heal and most patients are back to their normal daily routine in a few days. A soft diet will be required immediately after placement. See below for most in-depth post-operative instructions.
Is there pain associated with the dental implant procedure?
During the procedure your oral surgeon will provide local anesthesia, nitrous oxide sedation, or IV general anesthesia to make you comfortable during the procedure. Most patients report back to our oral surgeons that to their surprise their discomfort is minimal during and after dental implant placement. Your oral surgeon will also provide you with pain medication to help with any discomfort over the first few days after dental implant placement.
Please call our office and we’d be happy to answer any additional questions you have about dental implants.
Post Operative Instructions
Antibiotics may have been prescribed by your surgeon. Take these as directed. Report any side effects, such as a rash or diarrhea, to your surgeon. Infection is rare following dental implant surgery, but occasionally infection can occur. If fever, persistent swelling, pain, or pus develops following surgery, contact your surgeon.
Expect some minor bleeding on the day of surgery. Please report excessive bleeding to your surgeon immediately!
You may experience some discomfort once the local anesthetic or “Novocaine” wears off. Over-the-counter Ibuprofen or Advil® 3-200 mg tablets (600 mg total) every 6 hours for discomfort and to prevent swelling is recommended if not contraindicated.
Expect some swelling in the area of dental implant placement for up to 72 hours following the procedure. Ice packs may be used during the first 24 hours to help reduce swelling. Ice packs should be utilized in 20 minutes on – 20 minutes off fashion.
Occasionally bruising develops in areas close to the surgical site and may even extend along the neck to your collar bone. Any discoloration from bruising should disappear within a few days following surgery. If bruising continues to increase beyond the first 24-48 hours after surgery, call your doctor.
CLEANING YOUR MOUTH:
You may use warm salt water rinses three times a day, starting the day after surgery. Your surgeon may have prescribed a mouth rinse called Peridex (chlorhexidine). If so, you should use this mouth rinse two times a day, starting the day after surgery.
If you have natural teeth remaining in your mouth, you should resume normal hygiene habits beginning the day after surgery. One should be gentle around surgical sites; a small amount of blood on your toothbrush is normal.
WEARING YOUR DENTURE:
If you wore a denture before surgery, your surgeon may request that you leave it out until your follow-up appointment. Contact your surgeon, restorative dentist, or prosthodontist before wearing your denture or if you have questions regarding wearing it.
If you had dental implants placed in the back upper jaw sinus complications may occur. Any sinus symptoms such as stuffiness, pain, or nasal regurgitation should be reported to your surgeon.
Loss or alteration of sensation in the lower lip, tongue, cheek, chin, gums or teeth can occur if dental implants are placed near a nerve. Usually this is temporary, but in rare cases can be permanent. Please report any lingering numbness to your surgeon.
If you had your dental implants placed under general anesthesia or IV sedation, you may experience nausea and vomiting for a few hours after surgery. If this persists or becomes severe, contact your surgeon.
If you notice an dental implant is exposed through your gums, notify your surgeon. This is not necessarily a sign of implant failure, but your surgeon may want to see you before a scheduled follow-up. Continue recommended hygiene as stated previously.
Your surgeon may have placed sutures that will dissolve in 10-14 days. If not, you may be required to return for suture removal.
Trismus or stiffness of the jaw muscles may be caused by swelling following surgery. As the swelling decreases, trismus should subside. If it persists, call your doctor.