As children grow, it is common for them to lose their primary, or baby, teeth. However, the teeth that come in after those are permanent. Still, tooth loss is a common problem among adults in the United States. Several things could cause missing teeth, including:
Many patients wonder why they should bother replacing missing teeth. However, according to dental professionals, missing teeth could lead to a variety of issues, including:
If you are missing one or more teeth, schedule your consultation with Dr. Matha and the team at Normandale Dental. For patients missing one tooth, we offer single implants and for patients who are missing most or all of their teeth, All-on-4 dental implants are recommended.
For patients who are missing teeth or have teeth that need to be extracted, dental implants are the perfect solution. Implants are titanium screws that are inserted into the jawbone and act as replacement tooth roots. They can be used to replace a single tooth or as a support for multiple tooth replacements such as dentures and bridges. With proper care, permanent dentures will last longer than traditional dentures.
The American Dental Association states that implants are one of the best advancements in the dental industry in the last 4 decades. They are a strong, effective alternative to conventional dentures.
All-on-4 is a full-mouth restoration option, using four dental implants. Two implants are placed toward the front of the jaw and two are placed in the back, at a 45° angle. This is especially helpful for patients who have bone loss toward the back of the jaw.
Dr. Matha and the team will work with you to determine which option is best for you and your needs.
Every patient is different. That is why at Normandale Dental, we start with a consultation to determine your needs and the most appropriate treatment option.
For most patients, All-on-4 is a safe, effective tooth replacement solution. Here’s is what you can expect before, during, and following the procedure:
The first step is to schedule a consultation. At this time, you will ask questions and bring up any concerns you might have, including your goals and budget. Dr. Matha will do a comprehensive exam and take x-rays of your mouth to determine your candidacy.
If you have anxiety about undergoing dental procedures, please let us know at this time so we can discuss our sedation options. If you are a smoker or you drink alcohol frequently, you should stop prior to surgery, as these can impact your healing.
While the process usually takes several appointments, some patients qualify for “same-day implants”. If this is the case, the entire procedure will be done in one visit. Dr. Matha will help you understand your options and what to expect. In most cases, patients will be provided with a temporary denture until the permanent one is ready.
The procedure itself will go like this:
After the implants are placed, you will be given specific aftercare instructions which will help with the healing process. First of all, it’s important to stick to a soft diet to begin with so that you don’t put too much pressure on the implants while they heal.
You should also limit citrus drinks, as the acid can irritate the surgical site and damage the implants. Carbonated beverages should be avoided for a few weeks, as they can impact the healing process.
You will also be given antibiotics to prevent infection and facilitate healing. Make sure that you are taking them as directed.
Once the permanent dentures have been placed, you can go back to your regular diet. If you need to avoid certain foods/beverages, Dr. Matha will let you know.
While implants cannot get cavities like natural teeth, it’s still important to practice proper oral hygiene habits. You can still develop gum disease and these habits will help you maintain healthy gums and mouth.
The cost of All-on-4 dental implants varies based on several factors. However, the average cost ranges from $12,000 to $25,000. In some cases, dental insurance will cover at least a portion of this tooth replacement solution. Our office staff will work with your insurance provider to determine coverage.
In addition to accepting a variety of dental insurances, we do have financing options as well: CareCredit, Proceed Finance, and GreenSky. These will allow you to pay for your treatment up front and then make smaller, more manageable payments to the finance company.
Patients who are missing teeth due to:
All-on-4 is a suitable solution for patients who are missing most of their teeth because any remaining teeth will need to be extracted. If the following applies to you, All-on-4 may not be the best solution:
Single implants offer a variety of benefits:
Sometimes, your tooth replacement options are limited based on the number of teeth you are missing. A single implant can be used for a variety of replacements. It can be used to replace one tooth or can be used as a support for multiple teeth. Dr. Matha and the team will work with you to create a treatment plan based on your needs.
Dental implants can improve your current and future oral health. When you have gaps left from missing teeth, neighboring teeth may begin to shift to fill in the gap. This will cause teeth to look crooked and will also increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Your jawbone needs stimulation from tooth roots to remain healthy. When you are missing teeth, that stimulation is gone- which can cause the jawbone to deteriorate. A single implant acts as a tooth root, giving your jawbone the stimulation it needs.
Some tooth replacement options are uncomfortable and bulky. Implants are inserted into the jawbone and become a part of your body. Once the artificial tooth is placed, the replacement looks, feels, and functions like your natural tooth.
Since single implants are more stable than other options, you won’t have dietary restrictions. You should be able to eat anything you want, which will give you more confidence about eating in public.
Single implants are easy to take care of. In fact, you don’t have to do anything special for them. Simply brush and floss like your normally would and visit Dr. Matha and the team every 6 months for an exam and cleaning.
Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. If you don’t want someone to know that you have artificial teeth, they won’t. Some of the other tooth replacement options stand out, so it’s obvious they are fake.
Research shows that 70% of people are ashamed of their teeth and 25% have received a negative comment from a loved one about their teeth. Single implants can fill in the gaps left behind by missing teeth, giving you a natural smile and improving your confidence.
While most of the other tooth replacement options will need to be replaced in a few years, dental implants will last a lifetime. The prosthetic tooth may need to be replaced due to wear and tear, but the implant itself will last forever.
At first glance, implants are one of the most expensive tooth replacement options, costing around $3,000+. However, when you consider that implants last a lifetime while other options will need to be replaced, the cost really doesn’t seem all that high.
Many dental insurance companies will cover at least a portion of the cost. At Normandale Dental, we accept many dental insurances. Our office staff will work with your provider to determine coverage. In addition, we offer financing through CareCredit, Green Sky, and Proceed Finance.
At Normandale Dental, many of our patients have questions about All-on-4 dental implants. Some of the most common questions we are asked include:
All-on-4 dental implants supports an entire arch- usually 10 to 14 teeth.
With proper care and maintenance, All-on-4 dental implants will last a lifetime. Even if the prosthesis is broken, the implants will not need to be replaced. Dental implants have a 95% success rate with proper care.
Most patients report only minor discomfort following the procedure, which can be expected with any dental surgery. However, during the procedure, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area so you shouldn’t feel anything but pressure. If you request sedation, you won’t know what is happening until it’s over. If you do have significant pain following the procedure, contact the office so we can determine what is going on and take care of it.
A dental implant is designed to replace the root of a missing tooth. It is a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone. Once the screw is in place and the jawbone has fused with it, replacement teeth can be mounted. A single implant can be used to replace a single tooth or can be used as a support to replace multiple teeth, with dental bridges or dentures.
Following implant surgery, your new teeth will look, feel, and function like your natural teeth.
During surgery, Dr. Matha will place the implant in the jawbone. Over the next several months, the bone will fuse to the implant, creating a stable base for the replacement tooth.
Once the bone has fused with the implant, a second surgery will be done to attach a healing cap. This will guide the gums to heal around it to make room for the replacement tooth. After about two weeks, the healing cap will come off and an abutment will be attached. This will be what attaches the crown to the implant.
Single implants are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth- so it’s easy to forget that you have an artificial tooth.
Every patient is different, so the entire process of getting a single implant can take several months to a year or more. For example, if your jawbone isn’t sturdy enough for an implant, bone grafting may be required, which involves taking bone from another source and adding it to the jaw. Most patients require 4 to 12 months to heal from this before an implant can be placed.
In order to qualify for single implants, you will need:
Dr. Matha will conduct a comprehensive exam and review of your medical and dental history to determine if a single implant is appropriate for you. There are a few things that could prevent a patient from being able to get implants:
As long as you practice proper oral hygiene and visit the dentist for cleanings/exams every 6 months, your dental implants should last a lifetime.
Typically, a single implant is used to replace a single tooth. However, when used with other implants, more teeth can be supported. One single implant can support up to three teeth.
In some cases, implants can be placed on the same day as the extractions. In other cases, you may need to wait for several months. Dr. Matha will evaluate your situation and your oral and overall health to determine which is best for you.
You will be given anesthesia prior to the procedure, so the surgery itself is not painful. Some patients do report minor discomfort following the procedure as they get adjusted to the implants. However, this should subside within a few days. If you have significant pain or the pain does not subside, contact the office and we will get you in so that we can see what is happening.