Tooth loss is a common affliction, much more so than you might think. At The Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center of South Louisiana, we see patients who have lost teeth to disease, decay, and even traumatic accidents. The good news is that teeth can be replaced, allowing you to maintain the form and function of your smile. One of the most popular options for tooth restoration is dental implant surgery, and we are pleased to offer this treatment to our patients in Covington, LA and the surrounding areas.
What are Dental Implants?
To understand how dental implants work, just imagine a small titanium post is inserted into your jawbone, which over time fuses with the surrounding tissue until it is stable and secure. This implant will then serve as an artificial tooth root, replacing the root of your missing tooth.
Once the implant is firmly in place, your dentist can place prosthetic teeth on top, including crowns, bridges, or full dental arches. These artificial teeth are custom-made to look and feel just like your naturally growing teeth.
Patients who get dental implants tend to love them, as they provide a comfortable and long-lasting answer to missing or extracted teeth. Once the implants have fully healed, they allow you to continue enjoying your favorite foods without worry that your teeth might “slip” (as is common with dentures).
At The OMS Center of South Louisiana, we love having the chance to talk with our patients about their oral health needs and to recommend the specific type of implant that is right for them.
The Benefits of Getting Dental Implants
When you join us for your initial consultation, Dr. Brandner will spend a few minutes evaluating your teeth and jaw and discussing your goals. Based on this information, he will educate you about your different options for tooth replacement. While dental implants may not be suitable for every patient, they generally offer a wide range of advantages. Some examples include:
Once healed into place, dental implants behave just like natural teeth, allowing you to eat, chew, and speak as normal
Dental implants stimulate the underlying tissue, helping to prevent bone loss.
Dental implants also help keep the surrounding teeth stable, preventing further dental issues down the road.
When properly maintained, dental implants can last a lifetime.
The artificial teeth we use are custom-made to resemble your natural teeth, ensuring seamless and natural-looking results.
- Once healed into place, dental implants behave just like natural teeth, allowing you to eat, chew, and speak as normal.
- Dental implants stimulate the underlying tissue, helping to prevent bone loss.
- Dental implants also help keep the surrounding teeth stable, preventing further dental issues down the road.
- When properly maintained, dental implants can last a lifetime.
- The artificial teeth we use are custom-made to resemble your natural teeth, ensuring seamless and natural-looking results.
With any additional questions about the benefits of dental implants, contact our office; we are always happy to talk with our patients.
How We Determine Candidates for Dental Implant Surgery
During your initial consultation, Dr. Brandner will take some images and scans to better assess your overall oral health. This is an essential step in the process that allows us to verify you are a good candidate for a safe and successful dental implant procedure. Generally speaking, the best candidates for dental implants:
- Are either missing teeth or anticipate the need to have some teeth extracted
- Do not have any untreated periodontal disease
- Have adequate bone tissue to anchor the dental implants, or are eligible for a bone graft
- Are in good health overall and do not have any underlying conditions that would prevent proper healing
- Have talked with their oral surgeon and have a clear understanding of the options available, plus the expectations they should have for the process itself
When you meet with Dr. Brandner, he will spend ample time chatting with you and ensuring dental implants represent the best, safest, and most cost-effective way for you to restore your smile.
Restore Your Smile with Long-Lasting Dental Implants
With dental implants, you can replace missing teeth without compromising your lifestyle or your smile. Find out more about this secure, long-lasting approach to tooth loss.
Supporting Treatments for Dental Implants
In order to ensure that your dental implants will work the way they are supposed to, providing you with long-lasting dental health and functionality, we will need to take stock of your overall oral health. This includes carefully assessing the teeth, gums, and surrounding anatomy. In some situations, additional procedures may be necessary to make you an ideal candidate for implants.
Tooth loss is often accompanied by bone loss. When left untreated, tooth loss may result in significant degradation of your jawbone, which in turn leaves nowhere for the implants to be anchored in place. For patients with inadequate jawbone, a bone graft may be the answer, enabling us to grow new bone tissue where it is needed the most.
All-on-4 Dental Implants
Tooth loss is often All-on-4 is one of the most popular implant techniques because it gives patients the ability to restore their entire smile with just four implants strategically placed across the mouth. While we do not recommend it for every patient, it can be the most effective solution for patients who are missing a significant number of teeth.
What are the Costs Involved with Getting Dental Implants?
One of the most common questions we hear from patients is how much their dental implants will cost. It is impossible to give a single, straightforward answer to this question simply because there are many variables to consider. The cost of dental implants may vary substantially from one patient to the next.
One of the primary factors to think about is the total number of implants necessary. And, for patients who require supporting procedures before they get their implants, the cost will naturally be higher. For example, the implant process will be more extensive when patients need bone grafting, tooth extraction, or other forms of supplemental treatment.
Dr. Brandner will spend as much time as you need talking with you about the options, helping you weigh not just the clinical impact but also the financial impact. Our practice is committed to transparency about costs and to helping patients arrive at the most cost-effective solution.
The Dental Implant Process
Using dental implants to replace missing teeth can result in a smile restoration that will last a lifetime. The process itself typically requires a handful of appointments, spread over the course of multiple weeks. While the specifics of the dental implant process can vary a bit from patient to patient, here is a general outline of what you can expect. If you have any questions about the dental implant process, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Brandner, who is always happy to walk patients through their oral healthcare options.
How Long are the Procedures and How Many Sessions Can Be Expected?
The timeline for dental implants can be anywhere from several weeks to several months. Most of this time is simply letting your implants heal, fusing into place with the surrounding bone tissue. Additionally, note that patients who need extensive bone grafting will require a longer recovery timeline.
The actual implant placement surgery will take a few hours, typically about an hour per implant. While more sessions may be needed for supporting treatments, most patients’ treatments will involve at least three sessions, including an initial assessment, the implant placement, and the placement of the prostheses.
Initial Appointments, Scan, and Custom Treatment Planning
The first appointment with Dr. Brandner is all about assessing your oral health and ensuring you are a good candidate for a safe and successful procedure. Dr. Brandner will take images, perform a physical examination, and spend plenty of time talking with you and answering your questions. Together, you can arrive at an individualized plan for your dental treatment.
The Surgical Placement of Implants
The dental implant surgery itself will take place under proper sedation so that you are completely safe and comfortable throughout the process. This procedure will consist of the implants being carefully inserted into the jawbone, where they must then fuse into place to create a steady foundation for artificial teeth.
The Placement of the Tooth Prosthetic
Your implants will be secure within several weeks, meaning they are ready to be topped with replacement teeth. This is usually done with an abutment, a connective piece used to hold the artificial tooth snugly in place. Remember, your replacement teeth will be custom-made to replicate the look and feel of your natural teeth.
Recovery from Dental Implant Surgery
While it can take several weeks for the implants to fully heal, most patients feel more or less back to normal within a week to 10 days.
Before your procedure, Dr. Brandner will offer all the information you need about aftercare, ensuring that you feel confident in your recovery. Specifically, he will tell you about when and what you can eat, how you should maintain oral hygiene, and what to do if there are any complications. Dr. Brandner gives his direct cell number to patients and assures them that they are welcome to contact him with any concerns.
At The OMS Center of South Louisiana, we have very few cases of implant failure, but in the rare event that this happens, we will fully replace the implant at no expense to the patient.
With any additional questions about the dental implant process, including the recovery period, we welcome you to contact our practice here in Covington, LA area at (985) 687-1616.