Las Vegas Dentist Serving Summerlin, Spring Valley And Nearby Nevada Locations
Missing teeth not only detract from your smile, but they can affect your overall oral health as well. If you are missing one or more teeth, it may cause issues with speaking, eating, and self confidence. In addition, missing teeth can cause surrounding teeth to weaken and shift, which may cause bite problems and may lead to the loss of more teeth.
While different options exist to replace missing teeth, including dental bridges and dentures, the best option is widely considered to be dental implants. Implants are the only type of missing tooth restoration that actually replace the tooth root, which helps keep the entire jaw healthy and strong. Plus, dental implants are the longest-lasting solution.
If you are missing teeth, please don't hesitate to contact Dr. Jorge Paez at Nevada Dental Esthetics by calling 702-737-3553 today. He will be happy to examine you and let you know if dental implants are the right choice for your situation.
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a titanium post implanted into the jaw in order to replace a missing tooth root. An artificial tooth, bridge, or denture can then be attached to the implant to restore your smile and bite.
Unlike typical bridges or dentures, implants are actually placed into the jaw where your tooth root used to be. The implant then fuses with your jaw bone in a process called osseointegration. This allows your jaw bone to remain strong and prevents bone loss from occurring.
Dental implants are safe, effective, and can last a lifetime in the right candidate. They are the most comprehensive solution for missing teeth, as they can replace both the tooth root and the crown of the tooth.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
The main benefit of dental implants is that they can prevent bone loss and jaw collapse through replacing missing tooth roots. The roots of your teeth play an integral role in keeping your jaw strong. When one or more go missing, your jaw bone lacks proper support in that area and will start to resorb. This can lead to jaw collapse, which can often be seen in elderly people with full adhesive dentures.
In addition to replacing the tooth root, dental implant benefits include:
- Greater security and durability
- Improved speech and eating ability
- Greater comfort
- No need to file down neighboring teeth
- Can last a lifetime with proper care
Adhesive dentures can be difficult to get accustomed to, and may interfere with your ability to speak properly or eat certain foods. In addition, they can be uncomfortable, and can cause embarrassment if they become loose in public. Dentures that secure onto implants are much more stable and can take more biting pressure. Plus, they attach more securely, so you don't have to worry about them falling out in social situations.
What is the Difference Between a Dental Bridge and a Dental Implant?
Many people are not sure whether a bridge or an implant is the best choice for them. While both of these procedures can effectively replace missing teeth and prevent problems that can arise from leaving a gap in the mouth, only a dental implant can address the tooth root.
Benefits of dental bridges include:
- Less expensive
- May be covered by insurance
- Prevents shifting and loosening of neighboring teeth
- Helps with speaking and chewing
However, the downside of a dental bridge is that since it doesn't replace the tooth root, you will be at risk for bone loss in the jaw. In addition, dental bridges require that neighboring teeth be filed down and fitted with crowns that serve as the anchor points for the false tooth. With a dental implant, neighboring teeth do not need to be touched at all.
If you are unsure of whether a dental bridge or a dental implant would be better for you, discuss your concerns and goals with Dr. Paez during your consultation. He can recommend the procedure best for your unique situation.
Are You A Candidate for Dental Implants?
The only way to know for sure if you would benefit from dental implants is to visit Dr. Paez for an in-person consultation. However, there are some common attributes that most dental implant candidates share. You may be a good candidate if:
- You are missing one or more teeth
- You are concerned about jaw collapse or being able to speak and eat properly
- You do not smoke
- You are in good general health
- You do not have significant tooth decay or gum disease
- You are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene habits
- You do not grind your teeth excessively (bruxism)
If you have tooth decay or gum disease, these conditions will need to be addressed before you can consider implants. In addition, if you are a smoker, you may not be a good candidate. Smoking greatly increases the chances of implant failure. Teeth grinding also increases the risk of failure, due to the excessive forces placed on the implant.
If you have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, you may still be a candidate for dental implants. Be sure to discuss your condition with Dr. Paez, and get clearance to undergo implant surgery from your primary medical doctor if necessary.
After having dental implants placed, it is of the utmost importance to maintain great oral hygiene in order to reduce the risk of implant failure and keep your mouth healthy. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, and visit Dr. Paez every 6 months for a dental checkup and cleaning.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Placing dental implants is a minor surgical procedure. The surgery is an outpatient procedure that requires minimal recovery time. We will provide prescription medication to help with any pain or discomfort after the procedure, and most patients find recovery very tolerable. You will most likely not need to take any time off of work.
After the implants are placed, we will wait approximately 4 to 6 months for the implant to fuse to your jaw bone. Once it has successfully fused, a crown, bridge, or denture can be placed, depending on your needs.
We are able to custom-create your artificial teeth in order to match your existing teeth. The result is a seamless and beautiful complete smile. If you need any other dental work done, this will be completed before your implant surgery.
Dental implants can be part of a smile makeover, which is when multiple dental procedures are done in order to create a healthy and attractive smile. Other common procedures in a smile makeover can include:
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Dental implants are admittedly more expensive than other tooth replacement options. However, most patients find that implants are well worth the cost. Although they require a large upfront investment, dental implants can last a lifetime and provide benefits that other missing tooth treatments can't.
The cost of your dental implants will vary depending on your individual needs. Factors that go into dental implant costs include:
- Number of implants needed
- Whether or not you need a bone graft
- Complexity of surgery
- Level of detail on custom-made crowns, bridges, or dentures
- Type of abutment used to attach prosthetic tooth or teeth
Unfortunately, dental implants are not often covered by insurance. However, we do offer dental implant financing options, including CareCredit. CareCredit offers 0% or low APR plans so that you can pay off your procedure at your own pace. This option is great for our patients who want the best quality dental care but may not be comfortable paying the entire cost upfront.
Are Dental Implants Permanent?
With proper care and good oral hygiene, dental implants can be a permanent option for replacing missing teeth. It is important to make sure that you are a good candidate and that you can take good care of your teeth in order to ensure that your implants last.
Dental implants may fail because of:
- Failed osseointegration
- Trauma to the jaw
- Smoking or teeth grinding
Infection is the most common reason for dental implant failure. Infection can occur because of poor oral hygiene habits, so it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene and health if you have implants placed. Smokers, patients with insufficient gum tissue, and patients with uncontrolled diabetes are also at higher risk of infection and implant failure.
Failed osseointegration occurs when the implant does not fuse properly with the jaw bone. This can occur if you do not have enough existing bone density, or if the implant was not placed properly. Bone grafts are essential for patients with insufficient bone density, and choosing a dentist with experience in placing dental implants is also very important.
Dental implants can also fail if they are damaged in some way. While the titanium posts used are very strong, there is a possibility that they could be damaged if you sustain injury to your jaw.