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Meredith G. Davis, DDS logo

Missing teeth can make your days harder in both little and big ways. Perhaps they make you smile differently so the gaps won’t show, or maybe you’re not able to eat your favorite foods simply because you can’t chew them. Missing teeth can be a major nuisance, and over time, they can actually drastically impact your overall health. Thankfully, Dr. Meredith Davis and our team can offer you a permanent solution so that you’ll be able to laugh, talk, and eat with ease again: dental implants. If you want to learn more about dental implants, call to schedule your tooth replacement consultation with the caring dentistry team in our Richardson dental office.

How Dental Implants Work

Older woman eating a green appleA dental implant is actually a small titanium post that is placed into your jawbone to recreate the root of your tooth. No other restorative procedure can accomplish this, and this is why implants have the strongest, most secure hold of any tooth replacement method available today. These posts also support your jawbone just like natural teeth, which will help preserve both your oral health and the shape of your face. To place them, you will undergo a minor surgical procedure where the implants will be placed into your mouth via a small incision in your gums. Afterward, you’ll be given 4-6 months to heal, during which time the implants will actually bond to the surrounding bone, providing an even better hold. Then, you’ll return to our office to receive your replacement teeth.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Animation of implant supported dental crownBefore beginning an advanced dentistry plan like dental implant supported tooth replacement, we will recommend that you take all the time you need to gather information and feel confident this is the right option for you. Some of the benefits that make dental implant supported tooth replacement the ideal solution for patients include:

  • Self-supporting – unlike other tooth replacement options that utilize other teeth and oral structures to provide support for replacement teeth, a dental implant-retained restoration is completely self-supported. The implant posts mimic the roots of teeth, and they offer improved stability for any number of replacement teeth.
  • Natural – the close-to-nature results, replacing both the roots and crowns of missing teeth, mean that your recreated teeth will look, feel, and function as well (if not better!) than the healthy smile you were born with.
  • Long-lasting – traditional bridges and dentures need to be replaced every five to ten years. An implant-retained crown, bridge, or denture will last twenty years, three decades, or even longer.
  • Improved oral health – because the dental implant posts replace lost tooth roots, your gums and bone tissue will continue to receive the stimulus necessary to ensure you maintain healthy soft tissue volume and jawbone density for better overall oral health.

Indications for Dental Implants

X-rays of dental implant supported restorations

Depending on the number and location of missing teeth, we can use dental implants to support a variety of replacement teeth, including a single tooth dental crown, fixed bridge, partial, and full dentures. Keep reading to learn more about dental implant indications and treatment plans.

Missing Single Tooth

To replace one tooth, we will simply need to surgically place one implant post. Then, we custom craft a tooth-colored dental crown and permanently affix the crown to the implant post, recreating the complete natural tooth structure.

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Missing Multiple Teeth

Following the loss of several teeth, replacing each tooth and root individually becomes extremely cost-prohibitive and increases risk for implant failure. For these reasons, we will likely recommend a tooth replacement prosthetic like a dental bridge or partial denture. To replace two or more consecutive teeth, we will fuse together a row of replacement teeth. Then, anchor the fixed bridge to two dental implants, one at each end. A partial denture can also be crafted to fill in the gaps left by numerous consecutive and nonconsecutive missing teeth. A gum colored base is molded to fit between remaining teeth, and we can usually support the partial with just two to four implant posts.

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Missing All Your Teeth

A full row of missing teeth will be replaced with an implant supported denture. Like partials, full dentures use a gum colored base to support the row of replacement teeth. Then, between four and six dental implants are positioned. Once in place, your implant supported denture will look and feel just like a healthy smile.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

The costs of dental implants vary dramatically depending on your individual situation. In order to provide an accurate estimate of the out of pocket costs of dental implant supported tooth replacement, you need to visit our dental office for a tooth replacement consultation. During this appointment, we’ll walk you through each part of your dental implant tooth replacement plan and the costs associated with every step of the process. Some factors that impact the cost of your treatment plan include:

  • The number and location of missing teeth
  • The number of dental implants used and material they’re crafted from
  • The type of dental restoration, crown, bridge, partial, or full denture
  • The need for preparatory oral health care treatments like soft tissue or bone grafts, tooth extractions, and gum disease treatments
  • The use of dental sedation to ensure comfort
  • The availability of dental insurance benefits – typically they do not cover the implant posts but will cover replacement teeth and other services

Looking for Answers?

Woman thinkingDo you still have questions about dental implants or the process of receiving them? Because dental implants are a newer technology compared to alternatives like dentures, many people still have questions that hold them back from receiving this life-changing tooth replacement. That’s why we’ve developed some frequently asked questions, and their answers of course, so you can get the information you need before even stepping foot into our office.

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