Dental Implants — Alexandria, IN
The Answer to Comprehensive Tooth Replacement
Replacing missing teeth is incredibly important to your long-term oral health, but did you know that the way in which you replace teeth matters as well? Dentures and bridges can effectively fill the gap that’s leftover in your smile, but that doesn’t mean they replace your missing tooth entirely. The only solutions that replace the entire tooth are dental implants, and for that reason, we recommend this option to many patients suffering from tooth loss. To learn if dental implants in Alexandria, IN are right for you, feel free to give our dental office a call!
Why Choose Martinez Dentistry for Dental Implants?
- Dental Implant Placement and Restoration Performed In-House
- I-Cat CT/Cone Beam Scanner for Enhanced Treatment Planning
- Implant Dental Crowns Created via CEREC Technology
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are unlike any other tooth-replacement solution on the market. While they are known for the amazing benefits they come with, many people aren’t familiar with them until they see a dentist to replace a tooth. They consist of a titanium post that integrates with the jaw, a restoration (either a crown, bridge, or denture) that attaches to the top, and an abutment (or connector) that provides the restoration stability. Once placed, you can expect a long-term solution for your tooth loss as well as multiple oral and overall health benefits that aren’t possible with other treatments.
The Dental Implant Process
When it comes to tooth replacements, dental implants are considered to be the superior, state-of-the-art solution. After all, they are widely praised for their lifelike appearance, unmatched durability, and ability to recreate the entire tooth from root to crown. With that said, many patients are unaware of the process itself, which is a very important component in deciding whether dental implants are right for you. Read on to learn about how dental implants work or contact our office to schedule your appointment!
Your journey to a full, healthy, and complete smile will begin at your initial consultation. During this appointment, our team will get to know you a bit better, discuss your medical history, and conduct a thorough dental exam. This will allow us to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Don’t worry though – if you initially don’t meet the requirements (due to a complication like gum disease or extensive bone loss), we can work the appropriate restorative care into your treatment plan so you can safely achieve your smile goals.
Many dentists will require their patients to travel to offsite dental offices for implant placement because they don’t have the expertise to perform the surgical portion of treatment. This can make the whole process of receiving dental implants more time-consuming and less convenient. When you visit Martinez Dentistry, you can have every step of your treatment performed all in one location. We believe this makes the overall process easier and improves communication between doctor and patient.
Dental Implant Surgery
Once we’ve determined that you are a good candidate, it’s time to schedule your implant placement surgery! To ensure you are completely comfortable during the entire process, we will use sedation or anesthesia before beginning. When you are completely relaxed, we will open your gum tissue to access your jaw. From there, small holes will be created in specific locations in your bone, the titanium posts will be inserted, and the gum tissue will be stitched closed again.
Immediate Dental Implant Placement
Do you need to have a tooth extracted? The good news is you do not have to go without your missing tooth for very long. Since bone tissue can begin to deteriorate as soon as a tooth is extracted, we want to do everything possible to retain that material. By performing immediate implant placement following an extraction, we can help you maintain your biting force, blood flow, and your smile’s appearance all at the same time.
Osseointegration & Abutment Placement
Following your procedure, priority number one is healing. During this time, the dental implant posts and your jawbone will fuse together in a process called osseointegration. This is the secret to the stable foundation and unmatched durability dental implants are known for. Once this process is complete, special fixtures (called abutments) will be placed onto your posts through a second minor procedure.
Delivery of Final Restoration
When the abutments are securely anchored in place, your gum tissue will be left alone to heal before the final step: attaching the restoration. To make the process as seamless as possible, your dental crown, bridge, or denture will be meticulously crafted to your exact specifications as you recover. Once you are healed, it will be attached to the post and your smile, bite, and speech will be restored!
Want to learn more about the process of getting dental implants? Ready to schedule your appointment? Either way, our team is here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact our office today!
Benefits of Dental Implants
By filling those spaces in your smile with dental implants, you can rebuild your smile with the next best thing to your natural pearly whites. Unlike any other option for replacing missing teeth, implants recreate the entire structure of a lost tooth, offering countless advantages over alternative treatments. Below, we’ve outlined just a few of the numerous benefits of dental implants.
Replacement Teeth That Look and Feel Natural
The implant posts are made of titanium, a highly biocompatible material. Once they’ve been placed, they actually fuse to your jawbone, creating a sturdy bond that feels natural and prevents slipping or irritation. It also restores the majority of your chewing power, allowing you to enjoy a diet of healthy crunchy foods like apples.
Your implants will be topped with a restoration, whether that be a crown, bridge, or denture. Each restoration is custom-made to resemble the teeth you were born with. Besides our dental team, no one should be able to tell the difference between your implants and your natural teeth!
High Long-Term Success Rate
Because of the powerful bond created by osseointegration, dental implants have a success rate of over 95 percent. With the right aftercare, they can even last for decades. Maintenance is actually fairly easy; simply brush, floss, and attend dental checkups and cleanings as you normally would.
While traditional bridges and dentures may have a lower initial cost, dental implants can actually save you money in the long run. Other options must be repaired or replaced every 5-10 years. Since dental implants can last a lifetime, you’ll save quite a bit of money (and time) by not needing frequent replacements.
Improved Oral Health
Missing even one tooth can jeopardize your oral health. It puts you at an increased risk for cavities, gum disease, and further tooth loss. Not to mention, your surrounding teeth might drift out of place. Dental implants eliminate these risks and keep your teeth in their proper positions.
When teeth are lost, the roots are no longer there to stimulate your jawbone, causing the bone to shrink over time. As a result, it can no longer adequately support your facial muscles, leading to premature dropping and wrinkling. Dental implants stimulate your jawbone in exactly the same way that natural tooth roots do. They’ll keep your bone strong enough to help you look younger for years to come.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Dental implants are one of the most versatile forms of tooth replacement available to date because of their ability to replace varying amounts of missing teeth. Below, you’ll learn exactly how Dr. Martinez makes it happen!
Missing One Tooth
To replace a single tooth, one implant is placed inside of the jaw and given time to heal. Once fully integrated, we’ll restore the implant with a porcelain crown. The crown is attached via an abutment, which is a connector that keeps the restoration stable. All implant restorations are made with porcelain to ensure natural esthetics and durability.
Missing Multiple Teeth
Instead of removing tooth enamel to accommodate a dental bridge, we can easily use a pair of dental implants to hold a bridge customized to attach to implants. If you want to retain as much natural tooth structure as possible while replacing one to two teeth, implant bridges are likely for you.
Missing All Teeth
If you are missing all the teeth in your arch or several teeth on opposing sides of your mouth, you can receive a denture that is anchored into place over dental implants. That means you no longer have to worry about using denture adhesive and you can eat the foods you enjoy without any concern about your denture shifting out of place.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Are you on the fence about investing in dental implants in Alexandria to rebuild your smile and improve your oral health? Even though this advanced restorative procedure may have a higher up-front cost, they’re an investment that has the potential to last a lifetime with the proper care, unlike traditional bridges and dentures. The price of this treatment depends on a variety of factors, which is why it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation to get any concerns or questions you have answered. After a thorough oral examination, we’ll be able to walk you through your treatment plan and potential financing options available to you.
Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery
There are several stages of dental implant treatment that can take place over the course of weeks or months, depending on your needs. This means you’ll pay for different phases of your care over a longer period of time, making treatment more affordable. Keep in mind that preparatory treatments may be needed beforehand, including gum disease therapy and tooth extractions, increasing your overall cost.
Furthermore, the cost of your surgery and anesthesia will vary depending on the complexity of your needs. We keep the entire process in-house, so you can expect fees that are more compact and easy to understand.
The Parts of Your Dental Implant
During your consultation, we’ll inspect your mouth and determine what type of dental implant will best address your needs. Whether you need a single tooth replaced or an entire arch, dental implants can accommodate several restorations, making them an incredibly effective treatment. Just remember that the more teeth you intend to replace, the more materials we’ll need to create your titanium posts. We’re happy to go over the implant models we use and why we believe they are the best option for replacing your tooth roots.
Final Dental Implant Restoration
The more complex your restoration is, the more expensive it will be overall. This means if you’re only receiving a dental crown, you’ll pay significantly less compared to an implant denture that replaces the entire arch. This is simply because more materials, time and labor are necessary to ensure your restoration fits properly, looks natural, and feels comfortable to use.
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
While most dental insurance plans don’t cover the cost of the entire procedure, depending on your individual plan, your insurance company may cover certain portions of the process, such as:
- Anesthesia or sedation
- Custom restoration
- Initial consultation
The best way to learn whether your dental insurance will help cover the cost of the procedure is to contact them directly. At Martinez Dentistry, we also offer additional financing through CareCredit to help improve the health of your smile.
Making Dental Implants Affordable
Even if you don’t have dental insurance at this time, there are other options available to you that can make your tooth replacement more affordable. This includes CareCredit, a third-party financing option that allows you to enroll into a dental payment plan with little to no interest attached. That way, you can manage some of the most expensive dental services on a monthly budget. Our front desk will be happy to discuss all your financing options with you directly.
Dental Implant Technology
Here at Martinez Dentistry, we pride ourselves on offering the latest and greatest in dental technology. When it comes to advanced procedures like dental implant placement, these leading-edge instruments allow Dr. Martinez to ensure safe, comfortable, and precise treatment. Dental implants already have an incredibly high success rate, but here are some examples of how we maximize the chances of healthy, long-lasting replacement teeth with dental implant technology in Alexandria.
3D Cone Beam Imaging/3D CT Scanning
Dental implant placement must be extremely precise in order to be successful, and traditional X-rays don’t give us an accurate enough image of your mouth and jaw. That’s where our I-CAT CT/Cone Beam scanner comes in. This device captures a fully panoramic view of all of your oral structures, including the nerve pathways and sinuses. It then creates a three-dimensional model that lets us expertly plan your procedure to take advantage of the densest areas of the jawbone while avoiding delicate nerve tissues.
Guided Dental Implant Surgery
The cone beams scans also prove invaluable during the surgery itself. Using these scans, our computer software generates a surgical guide that ensures we insert the implant in exactly the right location and angle. Compared to free-handing dental implant surgery, our computer guides are much more precise and usually require smaller incisions. Therefore, you can expect less post-op bleeding, swelling, and discomfort as well as a generally faster healing process.
Soft Tissue Laser
Instead of scalpels and other traditional surgical instruments, Dr. Martinez can use a soft tissue laser as part of your dental implant surgery. This device emits a highly concentrated beam of light energy in order to create incisions in the gums and position the implants into your jawbone. Not only does the laser give Dr. Martinez greater control over the depth and extent of the incisions, but it also sterilizes the cauterizes the area being treated. As a result, you’ll have a lower risk of infection after your procedure and an overall smoother recovery.
Digital Impression System
To design the crown, bridge, or denture that goes on top of your implants, we’ll need to take impressions of your mouth. This used to involve the dentist pressing a tray filled with uncomfortable putty into your mouth and holding it there for some time. Thanks to our digital impression system, that is no longer necessary! Instead, we maneuver a small, pen-like device into your mouth, which captures highly detailed images within seconds. Additionally, digital impressions tend to be more accurate, meaning they look and feel almost exactly like your natural pearly whites.
Dental Implant FAQs
As you have likely figured out already, dental implants are a huge investment in the future of your smile. You should be as informed as possible before making the decision to replace your missing teeth in this manner. To help you out, we have gathered some of the dental implant questions that we receive most often and answered them below for your convenience. If you have a question about implants that you don’t see here, feel free to contact our office and ask.
Why do I need a bone graft?
When you’ve been missing teeth for quite some time, your jawbone gradually begins to shrink due to it no longer receiving stimulation from the roots of your teeth through biting and chewing. As a result, your jawbone is not strong enough to support implants. To remedy this, we can graft artificial bone tissue onto your jawbone. Then, over a few months, this material will fuse with your jawbone until it can adequately support as many dental implants as you need to restore your smile.
I smoke. Can I get a dental implant?
It’s possible, but there are also more risks involved than in nonsmokers. For example, smokers are more than twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop gum disease, which compromises the success of your implants. Additionally, tobacco use severely hinders your oral healing abilities. Osseointegration, the process by which your implant becomes one with your jawbone, is less likely to successfully occur. This may cause your body to reject the implant. If you’re considering getting dental implants, we highly suggest you quit smoking before doing so.
I’m diabetic. Can I get a dental implant?
Yes, but like with smoking, there are some risks involved, especially if your diabetes is poorly managed. Uncontrolled diabetes can impair your body’s ability to fight off infections. It also increases your chances of developing gum disease. Both of these factors can contribute to dental implant failure. If you’re thinking of getting dental implants, we recommend first talking to your primary care physician or endocrinologist about getting your blood sugar levels under tight control.
Can I return to work after implant surgery?
The answer to this question depends on the complexity of your implant situation. If you’re only getting one implant placed and only undergoing nitrous oxide sedation, you may be able to resume your day as normal after your procedure. However, if you’re receiving several implants at once and undergoing a more severe form of sedation, we suggest taking at least two or three days afterwards to rest.
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
Dental implants offer countless benefits, but one of the most valuable ones is that they can last for several decades with the proper care and maintenance. That allows them to be an incredibly cost-effective tooth replacement solution compared to traditional restorations, such as dentures, that typically last an average of seven to 10 years. The best way to get the most out of your investment in your restored smile is to practice good dental implant aftercare.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Even though your artificial teeth won’t be able to get cavities, it’s still important to practice great at-home dental hygiene to keep your oral tissues healthy. Your gums support the implants that provide a strong and stable foundation for your replacement teeth, which is why it’s important to make sure that they don’t become infected or damaged. When you regularly brush and floss, you’ll be able to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. These substances house harmful oral bacteria that feed off of food particles and release waste in the form of toxins that cause inflammation and swelling, which are the early signs of gum disease.
To avoid infections and ensure the stability of your implants, you’ll need to brush your teeth at least twice each day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. It’s also important to floss at least once every day. If you have a difficult time reaching the back of your mouth, you can also use a water flosser or flossing picks to make the job easier.
Protect Your Dental Implants
Just like with natural teeth, it’s important to protect your dental implants if you participate in contact sports or activities or grind your teeth while you sleep. Without a mouthguard, these can drastically increase your risk of breaking, chipping, or cracking one of your replacement teeth or cause implant failure. In order to keep your mouth looking as good as new, be sure to schedule a consultation about a nightguard for bruxism or a sports mouthguard before your implant is placed.
Schedule Regular Preventive Visits
Keeping up with your routine checkups and cleanings is always a priority when it comes to maintaining the health of your implants and new replacement teeth. During your visits, we’ll closely examine your mouth to make sure that your implants are healthy and functioning properly. If there is an issue lingering beneath the surface, with routine examinations, we’ll be able to diagnose and treat it before it has a chance to become more serious.