A Patient’s Guide to Dental Implants

In addition to being today’s ideal tooth replacement method, dental implants help maintain the density and shape of the jawbone by supporting the soft tissues and facial structure of the cheeks, gums, and lips. An added bonus? Dental implants allow you to chew, eat, and smile naturally and without constraint.

Dental implants can:

  • Replace a complete arch of missing teeth, using bridges or dentures.
  • Replace multiple missing teeth in conjunction with a bridge.
  • Replace a single missing tooth.

What is a single tooth implant?

A single tooth implant includes three pieces: the implant itself (a titanium screw that we place in the jawbone), the abutment (a connector between the implant and crown), and the crown (the part that is visible and looks like a tooth). Our doctors place the implant and the abutment, and the crown is completed by your general dentist.

The benefits of replacing missing teeth with full mouth implants

Cost: Since this treatment requires just four implants per arch, it is much more affordable than an entire row.

Bone Graft-Free: Two of the four implants are placed at special angles in the back of the jaw to make the best use of available jawbone. This often eliminates the need for bone grafting.

Healing: This treatment requires less time in the chair and less time healing than that of traditional implant procedures.

How dental implants work

The dental implants are placed—root replacements made of titanium—in the jawbone, below the gum line. The titanium integrates with the bone through a process called osseointegration. When it comes to tooth replacement options, the ability that bone has to fuse with an artificial material ensures an unmatched stability. Once the implant is carefully placed, we fix a crown, bridge, or denture to the abutment that has been attached to the screw.

Are dental implants a good option for me?

The ideal candidate for this procedure depends on a variety of factors. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may benefit from dental implants.

  • Do you have fillings or crowns that do not stay in place?
  • Do you have a tooth that has significant decay?
  • Do you have cracked or broken teeth?
  • Do you have a partial denture or full dentures?

The dental implant process

The first step in the dental implant process is scheduling a consultation. During this initial phase of the process, we gather imaging and medical and dental histories so that we have a clear picture of your current health. Your doctor will then explore treatment options with you and make a plan to meet both your oral health goals and budgetary needs.

  1. Tooth Extraction—We remove the broken or cracked tooth to provide a space for the implant.
  2. Bone Grafting—If there is insufficient jawbone density and structure, we will perform a bone graft.
  3. Dental Implant Placement—We secure the implant to your jawbone, beneath your gums.
  4. Abutment Placement—This connecting piece attaches the crown to the implant.
  5. Crown Placement—After the appropriate healing time, we will place your final crown restoration.

At Prosthodontics of Texas, we are proud to offer a safe, comfortable and affordable dental implant experience. We use cutting-edge technology and latest techniques to ensure you get the treatment you deserve. For more information regarding our dental implants and to schedule a consultation, call our Austin office today!