Dental Implants — Houston, TX
State-of-the-Art Solutions for Tooth Loss
When it comes to replacing your missing teeth, dental implants are the next best thing to a natural tooth. They’re the only kind of restoration that completely restores the entire structure of a missing tooth – including the roots that anchor it into your jaw. With the expert oversight from our oral surgeons at Piney Points Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, you’ll soon once again have a strong, natural looking smile to show off to the world. Call us today to schedule your initial consultation to discuss tooth replacement with dental implants in Houston, TX!
Why Choose Piney Point Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery For Dental Implants?
- Relaxing & Safe Sedation & Anesthesia for Maximum Comfort
- Team of Experts with Years of Experience in Implant Dentistry
- Advanced Technology for The Best Possible Results
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are basically substitutes for missing tooth roots. They look like a small screw-shaped post that can be inserted into the jawbone. Once there, they fuse with the bone tissue to form a solid, lifelike foundation. This allows them to perform the same functions as natural teeth, even the stimulation of bone growth in the jaw. On the other hand, traditional tooth replacement options like dentures and dental bridges only restore the crowns of missing teeth, which leaves them far less stable, long-lasting, and functional than dental implants or real teeth.
Dental implants consist of three important parts – the biocompatible titanium post that fuses with the bone, the natural-looking replacement tooth that shows above the gumline, and the abutment that holds the two together. If you look at the smile of someone who has an implant-retained restoration, whether that be a crown, bridge, or denture you probably wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from a natural tooth. The implant itself is completely hidden under the gums while the restoration is supports will be carefully crafted to fit in seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
The 4 Step Dental Implant Process
Many of our dental implant patients are referred to us, and we are happy to partner with local dentists to ensure a smooth treatment. In these cases, we’ll work with your regular dentist to create a custom treatment plan for you. You’ll visit us to have your dental implants placed, then return to your dentist’s office to have the restorations attached to them. However, if you do not have a dentist whom you regularly visit, we can perform your entire treatment right here in office, from consultation to placement of your final restorations.
Continue reading below to learn more about how dental implants work in Houston.
Initial Dental Implant Consultation
Your oral surgeon will strive to learn about you and your oral health. After we use our CT scanner and other advanced technology to examine your mouth, we might determine that you need some preliminary treatments, such as a bone graft or tooth extractions, before you receive dental implants in Houston. We will let you know exactly what is likely to happen throughout your tooth replacement journey, from your implant placement surgery to your final restoration. We will also discuss pricing. Feel free to ask any questions you may have — we want you to commit to your treatment with confidence!
Dental Implant Surgery
As oral surgeons, we pride ourselves on our ability to place dental implants in the best way possible. We often use guided surgical techniques (as opposed to freehand), which helps us to determine the ideal place, depth, and angle for each implant.
The procedure starts when we make sure you are comfortable, using anesthesia and/or sedation. Then, we create incisions in the gums, place the implants, and close the incisions. (Some patients receive an immediate restoration during their surgical appointment, particularly if they are getting All-on-4 or Teeth in an Hour.) The surgery is fairly quick, and most patients are able to return to work within one or two days.
Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement
Osseointegration is the remarkable biological process through which dental implants bond with the bone around them. It is what enables them to provide the strongest base possible for your new teeth. Osseointegration typically takes at least several months. Following it, you might need to undergo another surgery. We will expose the implants and place healing caps on them. Later, after your gums have recovered, you will receive abutments (small connector pieces that will keep your restorations in place). Some patients do not have to have this second surgery because they receive abutments during their initial implant placement procedure.
Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations
To design your restorations, your implant dentist in Houston (whether that is our practice or your general dentist), will take detailed impressions of your mouth and then plan out the details of your new teeth. Their size, shape, and color will all be chosen with your unique oral anatomy and facial characteristics in mind. After a laboratory crafts your restoration, it will be attached to your dental implants, and you’ll receive some tips on how to get used to using it. Then, you can go and begin to enjoy all the remarkable benefits of your renewed smile.
Benefits of Dental Implants
More than 5 million dental implants are placed by dentists in the U.S. each year — and when you understand the many benefits offered by this treatment, it is easy to see why it is so popular. Dental implants in Houston have the potential to improve your everyday quality of life, support your oral and overall health, and provide you with decades of strong, reliable smiles. Continue reading below to learn more about how this type of tooth replacement might be able to benefit you.
The day-to-day benefits of dental implants in Houston include:
- Lifelike tooth replacement.Implant restorations are carefully designed to look as natural as possible. In fact, most people can’t tell the difference between a real tooth and a dental implant. Furthermore, implants feel so comfortable that even you might occasionally forget they’re there!
- Easy maintenance. In many ways, caring for dental implants is just like caring for natural teeth.
- Remarkable chewing power. Dental implants offer a strong bite force. In fact, they are able to handle virtually any food, including raw vegetables, tough meats, and all of your favorite movie-time snacks.
- Clear speech. Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants don’t slip around in the mouth and will not interfere with your pronunciation. After you get used to using them, you should be able to speak with confidence in every situation.
Dental implants can support oral and overall health in numerous ways:
- Prevention of bone loss.Implants make it possible to stop the bone resorption that occurs after tooth loss, keeping the jaw strong and healthy. This allows your face to maintain its natural, youthful shape.
- Protection for natural teeth. Dental implants can prevent your remaining natural teeth from drifting out of place. Plus, unlike a traditional bridge, they don’t usually require that any nearby teeth be modified.
- A balanced diet. By enabling you to eat a wide variety of foods, dental implants can help you enjoy the disease-preventing benefits of good nutrition.
- No gum sores. Because they don’t rely on the gums for support, dental implants are unlikely to cause sores or sensitivity in the gum tissue.
You can start to enjoy the benefits of dental implants as soon as you receive restorations from your implant dentist in Houston, and you can continue to enjoy them for decades. Their long-term benefits include:
- Many years of function. For more than 90% of patients, their implants are still thriving 10 years after placement. With proper care, your implants could even last you an entire lifetime!
- Save money. Although dental implants present a significant upfront cost, their longevity may make them cheaper in the long run than tooth replacement solutions that wear out after just a few years.
- Save time. You won’t have to visit your dentist for denture relines or other significant maintenance. As long as no unexpected problems arise, dental implants require routine professional maintenance a couple times each year.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Dental implants can help practically any healthy adult overcome tooth loss, no matter how many teeth you’re missing. To be eligible for the treatment, you must:
- Have a fully grown jawbone that contains enough bone tissue to secure the implants in place.
- Have a healthy mouth that’s free of gum disease and cavities.
- Be willing to commit several months to completing the implant process.
Even if you’ve suffered from bone loss or have an oral health issue, dental implant placement may be possible after the necessary preparatory procedures have been performed. We’ll then design your treatment around how many teeth you’re missing.
Missing 1 Tooth
There’s never a good time to ignore a missing tooth. No matter where the gap is located, it can lead to dental drift, increase the risk of cavities and gum disease, and compromise your ability to speak and chew. While a bridge can often benefit patients who’ve lost a single tooth or a few teeth in a row, they require cutting down perfectly healthy teeth near the affected area in order to be placed. Bridges also usually need to be replaced multiple times over a person’s lifetime, requiring additional time and effort.
Dental implants, on the other hand, are a conservative treatment in that they preserve the maximum amount of tooth structure. A lone dental implant can be used to replace empty space in your mouth no matter where it’s located. We can design and place a dental crown for you once the implant has fully joined with your mouth through the osseointegration process. In addition, they have much, much higher success rates and can last a person’s entire lifetime if cared for properly.
Missing Multiple Teeth
Of course, tooth loss isn’t always as simple as one individual tooth falling out at a time. In some cases, you’ll have a much larger gap to contend with. Dental bridges are often used to replace multiple teeth at once, but when they’re attached to dental implants, you’ll enjoy all of their benefits without having to make permanent alterations to your natural teeth. It takes two dental implants to support a bridge that replaces at least three consecutive teeth.
Missing All Teeth
Are you tired of your dentures moving when they’re not supposed to? With just four to six dental implants, we can hold an entire arch of teeth in place at all times – no need to rely on natural suction or to apply denture adhesive. Your new smile will look and feel more natural this way, and it will help you recover most of your biting strength, allowing you to once again enjoy a wide variety of foods.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Each stage of the dental implant process comes with its own cost, and the total price depends on how many teeth you need to have replaced as well as other unique circumstances. We can give you a rough estimate of the final cost during your first consultation. Compared to other tooth replacements that have to be done roughly every 10 years, dental implants last for a much longer time, allowing you to save money over the years.
Advanced Dental Implant Procedures
Not everyone can receive dental implants in Houston immediately following their initial consultation — but even if that is the case for you, you may become a candidate after some preparatory treatments. Our wish is to help everyone who wants implants to qualify for them. To that end, we offer advanced treatments that can prepare your mouth to receive implants and make your entire procedure as comfortable and efficient as possible. These procedures include bone grafting in Houston, sinus lifts, and PRP/PRF.
The alveolar ridge is the portion of your jawbone that supports your teeth. Tooth roots stimulate the ridge, helping to keep it strong and whole. Once a tooth goes missing, that stimulation is gone, and the bone begins to be resorbed (the body recycles its raw materials). Eventually, the alveolar ridge may become so thin that it is not able to support dental implants. Even some patients who have recently had their teeth extracted may find that their jawbone is not strong enough to accommodate their new smile.
In such cases, a bone graft using synthetic bone or natural bone from another part of your body can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for 4 – 9 months. After the graft has fused or become integrated with your pre-existing bone, the alveolar ridge will be re-contoured, and the dental implant will be placed. In some instances, patients are even able to receive a dental implant on the same day as their bone graft.
Your sinus cavities are located just above your upper molars. If the bone in your upper jaw is relatively thin, or you have naturally large sinuses, this poses a problem for dental implants. The implants might puncture the sinus membrane and lead to complications. Fortunately, there is a special type of bone graft that is designed to prevent this issue. A "sinus grafting procedure," which is also known as a sinus lift in Houston, can fortify your upper jaw and prepare your mouth for dental implants.
Usually, this treatment is performed in our oral surgery office with local and intravenous anesthesia. During your appointment, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated. Bone will then be added to restore height to the jaw and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure can often be carried out at the time of dental implant placement, but in some cases, patients must go through a healing period of a few months before it is possible to place implants.
Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) are products that are created from a patient’s own blood. The blood is placed into a centrifuge, which separates its components. Then, we can use the platelet-rich part of the blood to encourage wound-healing after your dental implant placement surgery. This advanced dental implant procedure in Houston could speed up your recovery time, lower the risk of postoperative infections, and even reduce your need for pain medication.
Dental Implant Salvage
Dental implants have an impressive success rate of 95% -- but of course, the flipside of that is that failure is still possible. The most common cause of dental implant failure is periodontitis, a form of gum disease that occurs around the implant posts. No matter what the source of the problem is, we’ll do all we can to address it so that the implants can be salvaged. Get in touch with us right away if you notice signs of bone loss or inflammation around the implant.
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