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Tooth replacement has been practiced for centuries, but in 1965, an entirely new way to restore the smile was born. In the past few decades, dental implants have quickly become the new gold standard for prosthetic teeth, offering a stability and numerous health benefits that you can’t receive from traditional bridges or dentures. Here at Little Rock Family Dental Care, we can handle both the placement and restoration of dental implants; in Little Rock, AR get in touch with us today to set up an initial consultation to determine whether this treatment is right for you.
It’s inaccurate to say that a dental implant itself replaces a tooth; that job actually falls to a crown, a bridge, or a denture that is eventually placed on the implant. The implant itself – which can be cylindrical or shaped like a screw – is closer in function to a tooth root, securing the restoration to the jaw and providing the bone with essential stimulation to prevent it from breaking down. A device called an abutment is used to link the implant and restoration together.
Did you know that one of the great benefits of dental implants in Little Rock is that they have a success rate of 90-95% after 10 years! Did you also know that more than 3 million people already have them and are living fuller, more exciting lives because of the renewed functionality they now have? Dental implants offer an array of benefits that other, more traditional prosthetics do not. Because of their strategic placement within your jawbone, you can enjoy improved oral health and longer-lasting results that will ultimately change your life for the better. If you need help to decide whether dental implants are right for you, here are a few examples of their many great benefits:
Implant surgery is just one of several options for tooth replacement; to decide whether it’s the right choice for you, we need to take X-rays of your mouth and consider your oral health history. As long as you’re not suffering from excessive bone loss or gum disease, you are likely a viable candidate for the procedure. The number of implants placed and the process itself will vary depending on how many teeth you’ve lost.
The implant process requires multiple appointments. Once the placement surgery is performed, you’ll need to wait at home for a few months for the bone to heal around the post. Then, an abutment is placed on top of the implant, and you can be fitted for a crown that matches the nearby teeth in size and color.
While teeth can be replaced one at a time with individual implants and restorations, there’s a better way to fill in the space left by multiple adjacent teeth all at once. A dental bridge made of two crowns and prosthetic teeth can be anchored in place using just two implant posts.
Normally, dentures only rely on the natural suction between their acrylic base and your gums in order to stay in place without slipping. Eventually, though, the shape of your mouth will change, and traditional dentures won’t fit as well as they used to. You can avoid this issue with a full arch of false teeth supported by four or more implants.
It takes as little as four to six implants to support an entire arch of teeth. Limiting the number of posts used tends to simplify the dental implant process and reduces the healing time required. As a result, we can place the permanent dentures much sooner, meaning you won’t have to wait as long for new teeth. Thanks to the unique techniques used for the All-on-4 and All-on-6 procedures, it’s often possible to place temporary dentures on the same day as the surgery.
One of the advantages of having so many specialists at Little Rock Family Dental Care is that we can meet all of your needs under one roof. Instead of referring you to a different dental office to have a stranger perform the implant surgery, you can receive an expertly placed implant post from one of our in-house oral surgeons; after that, we’ll also handle the process of designing the custom-fitted, lifelike dental restoration that fills in for the visible portion of your original tooth.
Before you commit to getting dental implants, it’s important that you fully understand the kind of investment you’re making. Implants have a higher price point than traditional dentures or bridges; however, because of their long lifespan, they can end up saving you money. The overall cost of the procedure will be determined at your consultation; we need to decide how many posts are needed and take any additional procedures that might be necessary into account.
Do you want to know even more about dental implants in Little Rock? We understand that replacing missing teeth is always a big decision. That is why we have collected some of the most common implant treatment questions we hear from patients and answered them below. We hope you find these dental implant FAQs informative and helpful! If you prefer to speak one-on-one with an experienced implant dentist, do not hesitate to schedule an initial consultation at one of our three convenient locations.
The lifespan of dental implants is significantly longer than other restorations. In fact, dental implants can easily last for 30 years or more with proper care! Meanwhile, traditional bridges and dentures typically must be replaced every 7 to 15 years.
To ensure your dental implants stay in great shape for as long as possible, follow these tips:
In general, people’s jaws are not fully developed until young adulthood. For this reason, dental implants are usually not recommended for patients younger than 18 years of age. Placing dental implants before the jaw is finished growing could interfere with future bone development and lead to implant complications. If you are missing teeth at a relatively early age, you may want to consider an alternative restorative treatment for now and revisit dental implants in the future.
If you have lived with diabetes for a while and your condition is under control, dental implants are likely a viable tooth replacement option for you. However, if you experience chronic high blood sugar, you may need to talk to your primary care physician first before setting up a consultation with an implant dentist in Little Rock. Uncontrolled diabetes can slow down the healing process, which makes it harder for an implant to fuse with the jawbone. To ensure your implant treatment is successful, work with your doctor first to get your blood sugar levels under control.
Yes! Many people do not realize this, but the force from biting and chewing spreads through the roots of your teeth and stimulates your jawbone. When teeth go missing, that important stimulation is also lost. As a result, your jawbone may begin to deteriorate over time, leaving your face looking sunken and wrinkled. Fortunately, dental implants in Little Rock replace both missing teeth and the tooth root structure. In fact, implants are the only dental restoration that can keep you looking young by stimulating the jawbone similar to natural teeth.
Most patients who undergo implant treatment only need to take one to two days off to rest and recover. However, your recovery period may depend on your specific job. Heavy physical activity or exercise can divert blood away from an implant and slow down healing. If your job involves physical labor, you may need to request off a few extra days or schedule your implant surgery around a long weekend.