At Chesterfield Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry practice, Jennifer Wheeler DMD provides state-of-the-art dental implants to patients who have suffered from tooth loss. Although some dentists have to refer patients to an oral surgeon for the dental implants procedure, Dr. Wheeler is recognized as a premier cosmetic and restorative Dental authority in St. Louis and vicinity and is knowledgeable with the latest and best dental implants available, as well as the placement of high-quality porcelain crowns.
Dental implants are considered a strong, long-lasting treatment option for patients who have lost a single or several teeth. Below, Dr. Wheeler answers some of the most common patient questions patients in Chesterfield and vicinity may have about restorative dentistry and specifically “dental implants”.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the bone and holds a fake tooth to replace a missing tooth. Implants are an alternative to dentures and dental bridges. Implants replace both the teeth and their missing roots whereas a denture only replaces the tooth. An implant looks like a screw and is made of titanium which is biocompatible and not rejected by the body. The bone grows in closely around the titanium dental implant, making it a part of the bone tissue.
If you need more than one tooth replaced you can have two or more dental implants. Five to six dental implants can hold an entire arch of teeth – upper or lower. Ten to 16 dental implants can hold a mouthful of new teeth.
Are Dental Implants for me?
A dental implant provides a permanent solution to a missing tooth and gives the replacement tooth a very strong foundation in the jawbone, just as a natural root does. If the missing tooth’s root is not replaced the jaw bone sinks in where the tooth used to be and shrinks the bone. This is called bone resorption. This is why people who wear dentures look older, the bone shrinkage changes the entire profile of your face and jaw line.
Typically your dentures can become loose when your jaw bone shrinks. This makes your face look older as your gums slowly recede away from your teeth. Dental implants are permanent and allow you to bite and chew efficiently.
Dental implants are stronger and more durable than their restorative counterparts (bridges and dentures) and they offer a permanent solution to tooth loss. Additionally, implants may be used in conjunction with other restorative procedures for maximum effectiveness. For example, a single implant can serve to support a crown replacing a single missing tooth. Implants can also be used to support a dental bridge for the replacement of multiple missing teeth, and can be used with dentures to increase stability and reduce gum tissue irritation.
If you want to know how effective and impressive dental implants can be and how positively amazing your smile will be transformed after Dr. Wheeler completes them for you, check out this article on 15 Hollywood Stars who’s careers were saved after getting dental implants.
Do Dental Implants restore just one tooth or many teeth?
Dental implants can hold more than one tooth in what we call a dental bridge or hold just one tooth in what we call a dental crown. If you would like to have multiple teeth replaced using dental implants, it can be done in a customized way for you.
Two or three implants can support a dental bridge as it will span over the missing tooth
Five to six implants can support all the teeth in your upper or lower dental arch
10 to 12 implants can replace all of the teeth in your entire mouth
Patients in Chesterfield, St. Louis and vicinity who desire the highest quality dental implants have the option to choose between a fixed dental bridge, and a hybrid dental bridge that snaps onto the implant abutments. These options are all something to discuss with Dr. Hartman in the interest of keeping costs down.
How are dental implants done?
During your consultation with Dr. Wheeler you will decide on the best treatment options for your dental implants. The dental implants procedure can be done in three visits. The titanium implant is perfectly positioned in the correct angle which allows for an easy time when placing the permanent tooth in 3-4 months is the typical healing time but you will be wearing a beautiful provisional tooth at that time.
Osseo-integration occurs during this time which allows the bone to become one with the dental implant.
Once the bone integration has occurred around the implant, the Dentist will screw an abutment or post inside the dental implant so that a dental crown can hold in place over it.
Your new dental crown, which is custom made by our professional in-office laboratory (or outside laboratory), is cemented or screwed to the abutment.
Does the implant procedure hurt?
Believe it or not, there are no nerves in the bone. Single implant dental procedures take one hour to accomplish and most are routine procedures. Many dental implants patients just use local anesthetic. However, Dr. Wheeler does not personally set the implants, but works closely with the most-qualified oral surgeons/specialists so that your procedure will be nothing short of amazing.
The healing period after your implant is very simple in most cases. It’s rare for Dr. Wheeler’s patients who have dental implants to have post-operative pain, as the vast majority experience very minor discomfort. Chesterfield Cosmetic Dentist Jennifer Wheeler DMD will give you printed instructions for how to care for yourself during recovery.
Caring for Dental Implants!
Since the dental implant is hidden under the bone, it requires no care. You take care of the exposed part of the dental implant no different than your natural teeth – daily brushing and flossing to remove bacteria and food particles. If you come for your regular check-ups and professional cleaning, and practice good daily hygiene, your implant will serve you well indefinitely.
Dental implants are a permanent way for Dr. Wheeler’s dental implants patients to restore missing teeth. If you have been living with missing teeth or living with dentures that never quite seem to feel right, implants can give you a new, improved quality of life.
At Midwest Dental in Chesterfield MO we have a friendly, knowledgeable team and comfortable facility. If you would like to schedule a personal dental implants consultation with Dr. Wheeler, or discuss other procedures such as a smile makeover, full mouth reconstruction, teeth whitening treatment or porcelain veneers, please feel free to contact us today by calling (314) 576-3737 or by CLICKING HERE to request an appointment.