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Dental Implant Overview

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dental implantsAs the restorative dentist, Dr. Mahlin will any assess functional and esthetic implant concerns. As the restorative dentist, Dr. Mahlin will act as the co-ordinator of your dental implant team. That team consists of you, the patient, the implant surgeon, and Dr. Mahlin, the restorative dentist.  Dr. Mahlin believes strongly that a dental implant specialist should place dental implants.  Specialists have many more implant placement experiences than any general dentist.  Dr. Mahlin has restored hundreds of dental implants in the St. Louis area over a 25 year period and he can refer you to the finest implant surgeons in Chesterfield, St. Louis and the surrounding communities.  Dr. Mahlin says his implant patients are a very happy group of people due to the lack of discomfort, esthetic results, strength, and predictability of dental implants and their restorations.  Dr. Mahlin will also examine you on a regular basis following completion of implant treatment to ensure your oral health is properly maintained.

 

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Due to the bio-compatible properties of titanium, a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes a good anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used in solutions for replacing single or multiple missing teeth.  The original dental implant technique was developed in Sweden in 1952. Dental implants were first placed in humans in 1965, and the procedure was introduced to North America in 1984. Dental implants have had FDA and American Dental Association approval for over 25 years.

 

Why dental implants?

  • There are a number of reasons why you should consider a dental implant:

Over the 50+ years dental implants have been in use, they have proven to be extremely reliable and long lasting.

Implants are free-standing; they do not depend on neighboring natural teeth for support.

Implant restorations CANNOT get decay. Let me repeat that - DENTAL IMPLANTS CANNOT GET DECAY!!

Dental implants are NOT like orthopedic implants (artificial hips and knees) in that patients say they are virtually pain-free during and after their placement.

Without the root structure of a natural tooth present, the jawbone can shrink. This shrinkage will make your face look older than it is.

There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is needed after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for decades, possible a lifetime.

 
Are dental implants successful?

With more than three decades of clinical experience and over a million patients treated, statistics confirm a success rate of nearly 95 percent for individual Nobel Biocare dental implants*, and even higher for the bridges they support.

* Results based on dental implants and dental bridges remaining and in function over a five-year period.

Who places the dental implants?

Dr. Mahlin believes strongly that a specialist should place dental implants.  Specialist have hundreds of more implant placement experiences than any general, restorative dentist. Typically, a Periodontist (Gum Specialist) or Oral Surgeon will place the dental implant(s).  Dr. Mahlin is the person responsible for the restoration of the implant(s).  Dr. Mahlin has restored hundreds of dental implants.  He says his implant patients are a very happy group of people due to the lack of discomfort, esthetic results, strength, and predictability of dental implants and their restorations.

How much do dental implants cost?

The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have Dr. Mahlin examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, Dr. Mahlin will recommend the treatment that is best for you.

Who is a Candidate?

Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. The determining factor is the amount of available bone. Dr. Mahlin is the best person to evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you.

Is old age a problem?

Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Dr. Mahlin will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and health history.

What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?

Improved appearance: When you lose the entire tooth - crown and root - shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge doesn’t.

Preserve natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.

Permanent solution: There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is need after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.

Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose. But most importantly, dental implants often improve quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.

Will my new teeth look natural?

When dental implants are used in combination with modern restorative dentistry, their appearance, comfort and function are very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.

Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure I use with my natural teeth?

Yes. Following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity is comparable to that of natural teeth.

How much time is required for a dental implant placement?

Today, state-of-the-art guided surgical techniques are convenient alternatives to place dental implants and allow you to have the dental implant placed in a single session using keyhole surgery. This new method has significantly simplified the procedure, for both patients and dentists. The major advantage of the guided surgical technique is the minimal amount of manipulation of the soft tissue due to keyhole surgery. This significantly reduces the healing time and the discomfort normally associated with traditional dental implant surgical techniques.

The conventional process can take from three to six months. First, the surgeon places the dental implant, which is left for three to six months to heal and integrate with the jawbone. During the healing period, your are given a temporary prosthesis until the permanent crown is put in place.

The procedure chosen depends on several factors, such as your dental health, the number of teeth involved and which teeth are replaced. These factors will also determine the total number of visits to the dentist throughout the treatment period.

Is the treatment painful?

With any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Placing one implant normally causes less discomfort then placing several. Anesthesia and patient sedation are commonly administered to help reduce any discomfort during the dental implant process. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Your surgeon will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Ask Dr. Mahlin to recommend another patient who has already had tooth replacement therapy to assess their personal experience.

How will I feel after the treatment?

It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. But usually the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.

How will I care for my dental implants?

Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss as recommended by Dr. Mahlin or your dental hygienist at Clarkson Dental Group. See Dr. Mahlin every six months, or more frequently if so advised.

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