Dental Implants: What you need to know! | | Mark L. Stankewitz, DDS
Houston Prosthodontics

915 Gessner Rd # 515

Houston, TX 77024

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DENTAL IMPLANTS

Despite modern preventive dental care, according to epidemiological studies, it is estimated that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.  The main causes of tooth loss, tooth decay and gum disease have plagued man since the dawn of time.  In the past, missing teeth could only be replaced with bridges or dentures, but now we have dental implants. 

Houston Prosthodontist

DENTAL IMPLANTS

Despite modern preventive dental care, according to epidemiological studies, it is estimated that 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.  The main causes of tooth loss, tooth decay and gum disease have plagued man since the dawn of time.  In the past, missing teeth could only be replaced with bridges or dentures, but now we have dental implants.

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What are Dental Implants?

In 1982, Per-Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish orthopedist, introduced a titanium dental implant which would fuse to human bone.  This remarkable discovery has been refined to become the standard of care for replacement of missing teeth. Implant size and length are based on each patient’s bone quality and quantity. Implants are made of titanium and have special coatings that encourage the fusing of human bone. The top of each implant has an internal screw channel so that crowns, bridges, and or dentures can be screwed in place.

What are the advantages of Dental Implants?

Improved looks.  Missing teeth can mar an otherwise beautiful smile.  Dental implants can provide a stable and long lasting tooth-like replacement to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Improved speech.  Dental implants can be used to support Dentures and bridges made in a design that is more abbreviated and without the need for traditional coverage of the roof of the mouth.

Improved comfort.  In many cases,  non-removable prostheses can be fabricated which will allow you to eat and chew food without worry.  You no longer have to wear uncomfortable removable dentures.

Feel better about yourself. There is no doubt that a beautiful smile and better chewing ability will increase your self esteem.

How successful are Dental Implants?

Studies have show that dental implants have a success rate of up to 98% and with proper care can last many years.

Can anyone have Dental Implants?

Age is generally not a factor in getting dental implants.  If a patient is healthy enough to have a bad tooth removed then he or she would likely be healthy enough for dental implants.  Heavy smoking is a known risk factor and can cause premature implant loss.

Does dental insurance cover Dental Implants?

Dental implants are not covered by typical dental insurance plans. Call our office to discuss your particular needs.

What steps are involved in getting Dental Implants?

The first and most important step in getting dental implants is careful diagnosis and planning by an experienced prosthodontist. It is critical that the implant placement be planned with the final prosthesis in mind.  If the implant isn’t exactly the right size, angulation, and position, then the implant may not be able to be used to support the final crown, bridge, or denture.  Your prosthodontist will work closely with the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon to obtain the optimum result. After you implant is placed the implant must remain undisturbed for 4 months to ensure that the bone has time to fuse to the implant.  

How painful are Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery is done under IV sedation.  The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is  trained in advanced anesthesiology and provides a safe and comfortable environment for your surgical experience.  Post operative pain can be expected to be mild and easily controllable with non-narcotic pain medication.

How do I care for my dental implants?

Dental implant crowns and bridges require similar home care techniques as with natural teeth such as brushing and flossing.  Removable implant bridges/dentures are designed to be the easiest full arch solution for patients to clean as they allow unlimited access to the implant components.  Non-removable dentures require special techniques for home-care which your prosthodontist can share with you.  Just like all patients, regular professional cleanings and examinations are necessary to maintain good oral health.

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