Making a Decision about Dental Implants

For many years, your only choice for replacing missing teeth was dentures or bridges. Now dental implants offer an impressive alternative. Don’t rule them out just because you don’t know what they are, what the process is, who makes a good candidate, or what the benefits include. Learn more about implants so you can make an educated decision whether they’re right for you.

Teeth can be lost or severely damaged for many reasons such as gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Dental implants provide a solution by surgically placing a titanium root directly into your jawbone. A post connects the implant to an artificial tooth that is placed on top during a second surgery. Usually there is a delay between the first and second surgeries to allow for proper healing so that the implant is successful.

Implants offer lots of benefits. They look and feel like your real teeth, and there’s no slipping or speech problems as with other restorations. They have a very high success rate and can last a lifetime with good care. Your oral hygiene tasks are the same as with real teeth. Your self-esteem will increase with your fully restored and functional smile.

Although many people are good candidates for implants, your dentist will let you know if there are risks for you. Healthy gums are very important, so those with periodontal disease may not be suitable. There also must be sufficient jaw bone support for implants to attach successfully, or you might be able to have bone grafting done to achieve more jaw strength before implants.

Dental implants are often the ideal solution for people who are missing teeth. Even though you might be nervous about the procedure, implants provide a great way to restore your smile comfortably and naturally.

Dental Implants Shreveport

Tooth Replacement Options

It’s more common that you might think for adults to lose one or more teeth due to injury or oral diseases. Missing teeth can make chewing and speaking difficult, not to mention lowering a person’s self esteem. That’s why it’s smart to ask your dentist about tooth replacement options, to see if one of them might be right for you.

Dental implants
When artificial tooth roots are inserted into your jaw to replace lost teeth, it’s called dental implants. It involves surgically placing a metal post into the bone under your gums. Then a crown is attached to the post, creating a natural-looking replacement tooth. Dental implants do not affect adjacent teeth, and they look and feel like natural teeth. They are also more secure than other tooth replacement options. However, to be considered for dental implants, you must be healthy overall, have a secure and strong jawbone, and have healthy gums.

Dental bridges
Also called a fixed partial denture, the purpose of a dental bridge is to “bridge” or close the gap between your missing tooth or teeth and your surrounding teeth. Your dentist bonds the bridge onto the teeth adjacent to your gap. This is called a fixed bridge. There are also removable bridges, which you are able to remove, clean, and replace yourself. Another type of dental bridge is called an implant bridge, which attaches to a dental implant. The various types of dental bridge are made from materials like gold, alloys, and porcelain.

Dentures
When you need a tooth replacement option for all or most of your teeth, dentures may be the best choice. Complete dentures are used when you have no teeth left, or the remaining teeth must be removed. These cover both your upper and lower gums. Overdentures are removable and may be used if you have some natural teeth remaining, or have dental implants. These are only an option if your remaining teeth or implants can provide enough support for the overdentures.

If you need a dentist in Shreveport contact us today

Recommended Diet Following Dental Implant Surgery

To improve the success of your dental implant surgery, there are a few guidelines you can follow during your recovery process. Diet is one of the most important factors to consider to ensure your implants heal properly.

Initially, you should not eat or drink hot foods for 24 hours after surgery as the heat could open the wound and cause an increase in bleeding. Avoid foods that may cause trauma to the gums or disrupt the implant, including the following:

  • Hard foods such as candies, pretzels, nuts, and crunchy vegetables
  • Chewy foods that require more than a couple of rounds of chewing such as rolls, gummies, hard fruit, and gum
  • Foods that could stick in teeth or leave particles behind such as popcorn, seeds, and chips
  • Foods or drinks that contain citric acid, such as oranges or grapefruit

Carbonated beverages

A soft diet is recommended for approximately two weeks after implant surgery to allow the gum tissue to heal. It is especially important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, although you should strictly avoid the use of a straw for at least 48 hours post-surgery. Suggestions of ideal food and drinks after implant surgery would be:

  • Cooked cereals such as cream of wheat or oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Broth, bouillon, or soups
  • Ground beef, baked or broiled fish, or baked or stewed chicken
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Baked or mashed potatoes
  • Soft bread
  • Puddings, milkshakes or ice cream
  • Water, milk, coffee or tea

Patients who maintain a healthy diet of soft foods feel better and heal faster after dental implant surgery. Following these guidelines will help to ensure the quickest and most successful recovery from your implant surgery.

Contact our Shreveport dental office today to learn more about dental implants options.

Improving Your Smile with Dental Implants

Losing teeth for one reason or another is not as uncommon as you might think. Injuries and severe tooth decay are only a couple of the causes for smiles to have holes in them from missing teeth. The good news is that you don’t have to go through life with an incomplete smile. Dental implants provide one solution for replacing lost teeth.

Popularity
These restorations that involve a titanium root with an artificial tooth on top have become increasingly popular. Instead of using bridges or dentures that are known to have some hassles with them, implants are a permanent and secure solution. Once the area has healed, you can go back to your normal habits without any concerns related to the implant. They look very natural, preserve neighboring teeth, improve speech, restore the mouth’s function, and help maintain your facial features.

Candidates
Good candidates for implants have strong enough jaw bones to be able to support the implant. Patients with significant bone loss may not be able to successfully maintain implants. Good oral health is helpful, as is good general health since surgery is required. Smokers and those with certain health conditions may not be recommended for dental implants.

Procedure
Once you’ve been identified as a good candidate, the first step is having the titanium rod inserted into your jaw bone. It can take up to three months for it to completely fuse with your bones. Then your dentist will make an abutment to hold the implant, and a mold will be taken of your mouth so that the crown can be created. Until it is ready, a temporary crown will be placed. Finally, your crown will be placed and adjustments will be made if needed.

Maintenance
After you implant is complete, you can resume your regular lifestyle. Your normal dental hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and checkups should be maintained for the best results.

 

We offer dental implants at our Shreveport dental office.

Why Some Implants Fail Repeatedly

Dental implants are the best restorative choice for replacing a tooth that is missing. Whether the tooth has come out due to some kind of facial trauma or an infection or other issue, dental implants are the solution. The real difference in quality between a dental implant and other restorations such as bridges lies in the fact that the dental implant is placed directly into the patient’s jawbone, eventually fusing there through a process known as ossification.

Over time, ossification provides the kind of tooth base that is only seen elsewhere in natural teeth. When a dental implant is successful, it is as secure and as natural looking as a patient’s own original teeth; however, in some cases, dental implants fail. Sometimes they fail repeatedly. What’s causing these dental implant failures? Here are some potential causes.

Sometimes the implant doesn’t fuse with the bone and the bone shrinks away from the implant, leading to implant mobility or even the implant falling out. Patients who have weak bones due to age, osteoporosis, years of being edentulous (toothless) or another medical condition will find dental implants more challenging. If you’ve been having issues with failure to ossify, your dentist might recommend a bone graft to rebuild the jawbone to a healthy level so that dental implants can properly fuse.

In other cases, persistent infection may result in repeated implant failure. Signs of infection are continuous bleeding, swelling at the implant site or acute inflammation of the gum tissue at the implant site. Pus may be evident, or a bubble might appear on the gumline. Some health issues such as diabetes, auto-immune disorders or treatments like cancer therapies can weaken the immune system and leave the implant site vulnerable to infection. Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics or recommend you see an endodontist for a root canal treatment.

If you’re concerned about your dental implant, talk to Shreveport dentist Dr. Michael Woolbert & Dr. William Hall right away. Find out what steps you need to take to ensure that your dental implants are successful.

We look forward to seeing you in our Shreveport dental office

Why Choose a Dental Implant

Tooth loss is a common occurrence – millions of people suffer tooth loss – primarily as a result of gum disease, tooth decay or facial trauma. For years, the only treatment options available to those missing a tooth were partial dentures or bridges. Today, dental implants are available as an alternative. If you have lost a tooth, you may wonder why you should choose a dental implant over a bridge or partial denture.

Following are some of the advantages of dental implants:

  • Dental implants prevent bone loss. Without the tooth root, the bone of the jaw begins to shrink, or resorb, causing problems with remaining teeth and changing the shape of the face. Dental implants serve as replacement roots for the tooth, and continue to stimulate and preserve the bone. When an implant is used, the jawbone fuses to the metal implant in a process known as osseointegration, reducing bone shrinkage significantly.
  • Dental implants look better. They feel, look and function like your own natural teeth. Because they fuse directly with your bone, they become permanent, and with proper care, never need to be replaced.
  • Dental implants fit better. They are more comfortable and are easier to clean. Because they are so secure, you will speak more clearly and eat with greater confidence and comfort.
  • Dental implants will improve your oral health. Implants don’t affect the surrounding teeth the way a bridge does. Your natural teeth remain intact, allowing for easier greater health and cleaning around each tooth.
  • Dental implants are convenient. They never have to be removed to clean under them, nor do they need adhesives or wire to stay in place.
  • Dental implant surgery has a very high success rate. They are durable and can last a lifetime if you care for them properly.

If you are healthy enough to undergo an extraction of your tooth, you can generally be considered for dental implant surgery. You must have enough healthy bone and soft tissue to hold the implant. Talk to your dentist today if you have questions regarding dental implants and whether they are a right choice for you.

We treat patients from Shreveport and the surrounding area