Dental Implants In Houston
Your teeth affect your whole body. When they are healthy, you are, too. Unfortunately, the opposite is true as well. When you lose teeth, you lose the supporting bone of the jaw. Missing teeth can impact your bite, speech, and eating choices. The remaining teeth are relied on more, increasing the chance they will wear out prematurely, become damaged, or shift out of place.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are anchors that integrate with the jawbone to provide a secure, stable, and long-lasting tooth replacement that restores a patient's comfort, function, and self-confidence. Implants become part of your jaw, allowing you to eat, talk, and smile without worry.
Contact Houston Implant Dentist, Dr. Lubritz
Dr. Kenneth M. Lubritz and his team at Periodontics & Dental Implants specialize in dental implant treatments and provide patients with a world-class level of expertise and care.
Schedule a consultation today, and see how implants are right for you.
Advancements in dental technology have made dental implant treatment more comfortable and efficient than ever. We have equipped our practice with state-of-the-art technology for periodontics, including the latest dental CT scanner to capture 3D, 360º views of the teeth and jaw for precise and efficient implant placement. In many cases, this technology can help us extract teeth, place implants, and add the restorations in one day.
We precisely plan where to place your implants for best bone volume and density, as well as any other treatment that might need to be done to ensure your implant surgery’s success.
Types of Dental Implants
Different types of treatment are available for you depending on your unique oral health needs.
Single Tooth Implants
Benefits of an all-ceramic crown on implant:
When both the tooth and root are damaged, the best permanent replacement is a dental implant in conjunction with a ceramic crown. This solution both looks and functions just like a natural tooth.
In this case, a so-called one-piece implant is used. This means that all components are installed as a single unit, resulting in immediately full functioning teeth, shorter treatment time and minimized pain.
- Immediately functioning teeth
- Excellent esthetic result
- Life long, stable solution
The Treatment Process
This procedure normally includes four visits to the dentist. You should expect to be able to work the day after having the implant installed.
Replacing Multiple Teeth
Benefits with fixed bridge on implants:
In this case, when replacing three teeth in the far back of the mouth, a fixed bridge anchored to dental implants is the only fixed alternative. Traditional dentures can't offer the same stability or function.
Having dental implants replacing your lost back teeth will give you new, unparalleled strength and stability that allows you to eat what you want. It will also preserve your jawbone and facial appearance.
- The only fixed alternative in this situation.
- A stable, secure solution that lets you eat what you want
- Preserves your facial appearance and prevents bone loss
The Treatment Process
After the initial examination, you can expect 4-5 additional visits until the final fixed bridge is permanently attached. It is normal to experience some minor bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissue afterwards. Any discomfort is usually treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.
Full Arch Implants
Benefits of a fixed bridge implants When all teeth are missing
Before dental implants, there were no fixed solution available for people who lost all their teeth. Today, it is possible to replace a full jaw with dental implants and a fixed bridge that results in a permanent, stable and high esthetic solution.
- Lets you eat and function like having natural teeth
- A solid, stable solution that will serve you for life
- Preserves your facial appearance and prevents bone loss
The Treatment Process
The treatment procedure and number of visits is largely dependent on the specific conditions. But all in all, 8-10 visits should be enough to have a fixed bridge installed. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated.
Alternative Treatment Options
Tooth-supported fixed bridge
A traditional bridge involves grinding down adjacent teeth to support the bridge. It is a stable solution with good esthetics and function that is fairly easy to install. However, this alternative has two main disadvantages: continuous bone resorbtion in the edentulous area, and sacrificing healthy teeth on behalf of the bridge.
This alternative has some clear advantages: it is quickly installed, functions well and, since it is made of ceramic, it gives a high esthetic result. Moreover, natural healthy teeth aren't affected. But it is not very permanent. The resin-bonded bridge will eventually come off – probably after just a couple of years – and will then have to be reinstalled.
Removable partial denture
This is not a permanent alternative to a lost tooth. It is unstable and loosely attached, which affects both function and comfort. A removable partial denture is made of plastic – a material that can't create the same esthetic result as a ceramic crown. The benefits are few but do exist: adjacent teeth aren't affected. It is easily and quickly installed and relatively cheap.
An alternative to a fixed bridge is a removable overdenture, which is anchored on implants. The old fashioned denture has many disadvantages and should be avoided if possible.
Removable Full Denture
A denture that is loosely placed on top of the gum to cover the lost teeth. This alternative has no real advantages – except for its low price and easy installation. The disadvantages are many: discomfort in eating, poor esthetics, affected speech, and sore gums from denture movement. Moreover, a full denture placed in the upper jaw severely reduces the sense of taste.
What Can I Expect After Receiving a Dental Implant?
Your teeth require conscientious at-home care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your original teeth and will require the same care. To keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply!
When properly prepared, placed, and looked after, dental implants can last your lifetime. The key to their endurance is the foundation on which they are placed. We make sure that your implants are embedded in healthy bone and gum tissue. Our goal is to provide the best implant dental care for you and your family in a calm, friendly, and comfortable atmosphere.
Our team is prepared to exceed your expectations and provide you with exceptional health care. Contact Kenneth M. Lubritz, DDS Periodontics & Dental Implants in Houston today for a complete evaluation and see how dental implant treatment can improve your quality of life.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
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 biocompatible 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.
Why dental implants?
There are a number of reasons why you should consider a dental implant:
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. Normally, it will serve its owner for many years, perhaps 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%.
- Results based on dental implants and dental bridges remaining and in function over a five-year period.
Who places the dental implants?
Periodontists are specially trained to place dental implants. They are experts in bone and soft tissue augmentation and regeneration. The restoration (the teeth) are planned with the restorative doctor who is responsible for placing the teeth on the implants.
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 a doctor examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best for you. The dentist will consult with the periodontist after the periodontist has examined you. The periodontist will give a surgical fee for placement of the dental implants and the dentist will give you a separate fee for placing the teeth.
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. Your dentist and periodontist are the best people 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. Your periodontist 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.
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 feel much like your own teeth and may 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?
The conventional process can take from three to six months. First, the dentist 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 and periodontist throughout the treatment period. In many cases, the implant can be placed on the same appointment as the extraction of the teeth. If conditions are optimal, the teeth can be placed on that same appointment or shortly thereafter.
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 doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Ask your dentist 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 little to no 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 your dentist, periodontist or dental hygienist. Usually you will see your periodontist and dentist on a three month, alternating schedule.