Our dentists at Complete Dentistry For All Ages offer dental implants in our Lexington, KY office for the replacement of missing teeth. We recommend this highly successful option whenever appropriate because of the long-term dental health benefits. Dental implants look and function much like a natural tooth. Dental implants provide a permanent replacement option for one or more missing teeth. A dental implant is also one of the preferred methods of anchoring a dental bridge for a more secure and stable fit.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant functions like a natural tooth, enabling patients to enjoy normal speech and a healthy diet without restrictions. As a permanent and durable treatment option for missing teeth, dental implants support bone regeneration, healthy gums, and overall oral health. A dental implant consists of 3 parts: the implant post, the abutment, and the prosthetic tooth.
The dental implant post is a cylinder-shaped biocompatible titanium screw. Your dentist or oral surgeon will surgically embed it into your jaw bone, below the gum line. Over time, the jaw bone fuses with the implant post and creates a permanent and secure bond. This titanium post will act as the tooth root. In many cases, our dental care team will conduct the surgical placement of the dental implant at our Lexington, KY office. In more severe cases, he will partner with a local oral surgeon or periodontist for the surgical phase of treatment.
An abutment is a small metal part that connects to the implant post. Dr. Freano will connect the abutment to the implant post after it fully fuses to the bone. The implant post heals over a period of 3 to 6 months. After your mouth heals, Dr. Freano will add the abutment to the implant post to support the dental prosthesis.
The prosthetic tooth can be a dental crown for a single missing tooth, a dental bridge, or a denture. A dental crown caps the abutment when replacing a single tooth. For many missing teeth, we will use a dental bridge or denture. These will attach to the abutment by simply snapping them into place. The prosthetic tooth is the part that will look natural. Your dentist will match its color to the rest of your teeth so it blends in seamlessly.
Uses for Dental Implants
The type of dental implant you receive will depend on the number and location of your missing teeth as well as your overall oral health. Our dentist can use dental implants for many concerns.
- A single dental implant can replace a single lost tooth. After your mouth heals over the implant post and it fuses to the jawbone, Dr. Freano attaches an abutment and dental crown that looks like your real tooth. The prosthesis will not stand out and blend very well with your natural smile.
- A dental bridge is a common treatment to replace many consecutively missing teeth. Dentists traditionally secure a bridge using prepared adjacent teeth, but did you know that dental implants can permanently secure them? Dr. Freano usually recommends securing dental bridges with dental implants. Implants provide more structural support for the jaw and your bite. There is less maintenance and dietary restrictions as well.
- Many patients struggle with ill-fitting dentures. Dentures are prone to slipping or falling out, causing embarrassment for patients. However, your dentist can now secure them using strategically placed dental implants. Dental implant-secured dentures allow patients to enjoy a diet without restriction and can help patients feel more confident in their smiles. This is a great permanent option for patients missing all of their teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many cosmetic and dental health benefits of dental implants.
- Reduced Bone Loss: The implant post acts as a tooth root and helps to maintain healthy bone tissue. In turn, this helps the jawbone maintain its shape and integrity. Without teeth to support, the jawbone deteriorates faster than usual over time.
- Natural Look and Function: A dental implant is always custom to your unique mouth. Your dentist will make sure it doesn’t stand out from your real teeth and will only enhance the look of your smile.
- Patients can Eat and Speak Normally: A dental implant fits securely and permanently in the mouth. This allows patients to eat a healthy diet without concerns about fear of an appliance falling out, slippage, pain, or discomfort.
- No Need for Daily Maintenance: One of the most convenient benefits is that you do not need adhesives or special products! You do not have to maintain them like dentures. However, it is still important to brush them regularly and get regular dental check-ups. It is also important to not chew on things like ice, hard candy, and food with very hard particles or bones.
Learn more about the benefits of dental implants.
The Dental Implant Procedure
In many cases, Dr. Chambers or Dr. Freano will be able to surgically place the dental implant at our Lexington, KY, office. We may work with a local oral surgeon or periodontist to coordinate the surgical phase of treatment. Dr. Freano will complete the dental implant procedure by placing the final restoration of either a dental crown, partial or full denture in his Lexington dental office.
If you need a tooth extraction, the dentist will perform it first. Then the dentist can surgically place the dental implant in the jawbone. The implant is a small titanium screw that will fuse with the living bone as it heals, forming a solid structure for the replacement tooth.
Our dentists may be able to immediately complete the dental implant with a dental crown, bridge, or denture. In other instances, he can place a temporary restoration while the mouth heals and integrates with the implant. It typically takes 3 to 6 months for the implant to fully fuse with the jawbone. The dentist will attach the final restoration to the implant post after the healing period.
Learn more about the dental implant process.
Dental Implant FAQs
If you have questions about this innovative treatment, we have answers. Our team of experienced professionals can help you understand the process, discuss your options and provide the best advice for your unique situation.
How long will dental implant treatment take?
This is usually a two-part procedure. The first part of the procedure involves the surgical placement of the implant. In some circumstances, our dentists can restore the dental implant with a dental crown during this visit. Other times, we will place a temporary crown while the implant heals (about 3 – 6 months). Once the implant has integrated with the bone, we will bring you back for the final restoration of the implant.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Patients of any age with sufficient healthy jaw bone can get dental implants. Our team will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for a dental implant. It is important that you have enough bone to support the dental implant. If you do not have enough bone structure, Dr. Freano may coordinate with a specialist to complete bone grafting prior to the dental implant surgery.
Are there any alternatives to implants?
Yes, we offer a variety of treatments for missing teeth including dental bridges and dentures. Dr. Chambers will work with you to determine which choice is best for your dental health and personal goals.
Read more answers to your dental implant questions.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Dr. Chambers and Dr. Freano provide comprehensive dental exams and personalized treatment plans for each patient. We tailor treatments to your unique cosmetic goals, dental health concerns, and budget. If you have one or more missing teeth and are interested in dental implant restorations, call 859-251-3809. Also feel free to request a dental consultation with one of our dentists through our website.
To learn more about our dental implant services, visit: