12208 W 87th St PKWY Suite 160, Lenexa, KS 66215
(913) 888-0403

Improving Lenexa Smiles with Dental Implants

man in suit smilingNo matter how many teeth you have lost, their prompt replacement is crucial for continued health and wellbeing. Missing teeth affect your nutrition and also make it difficult to speak -- not to mention the joy they take out of smiling and laughing. While the traditional crown and bridge or a full/partial denture are effective options following tooth loss, nothing replaces the entire tooth structure like a dental implant. In fact, implant dentistry is widely considered the most effective tooth replacement option available today. Dr. James Craig has the impressive levels of skill and experience needed to restore your new Lenexa dental implants with lifelike restorations.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are small posts made of titanium, a biocompatible material that is able to actually fuse with your bone structure. The process, known as osseointegration, provides unsurpassed stability for the prosthetic tooth that is affixed on top of the dental implant.

Dental implants in Lenexa are completed in two phases: implantation and restoration. First, Dr. Craig will refer you to a trusted oral surgeon, who will surgically implant a predetermined number of implants beneath the gum line in the space where each missing tooth’s root once lived. After a recovery period of four to eight months, depending on the health of your jaw and the location of the dental implant, the post will grow together with your jawbone.

Once the recovery is complete, you return to Dr. Craig’s office to begin the final restoration of your dental implants. A connecting abutment is placed on each dental implant, and after one more brief healing period, the prosthetic tooth will be securely affixed on top.

The result? A tooth replacement that mimics your natural tooth structure so closely, some people call it nature’s tooth rival. Dental implants are sturdy, life-like, and promote better oral and overall health. Unlike non-implant retained options, teeth replaced with dental implants can last for a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants are well-known for their numerous advantages. The primary benefits of dental implants include better oral health, and sturdy, natural-looking teeth that last for a lifetime.

Tooth loss causes the jawbone to slowly diminish, as the minerals once used to keep it healthy sense they are no longer needed and are sent to nourish other areas of the body. Because dental implants actually grow together with the jaw, your mouth has the stimulation it needs to remain healthy and whole. Dental implants help you avoid the sunken, aged look that accompanies tooth loss.

By replacing the stability of a replacement root as well as the visible portion of your tooth, or the crown, your smile looks as great as it did before tooth loss -- or even better. Dentures, on the other hand, can look fake, not to mention the stress and discomfort caused when they start to lose their fit. But dental implants look, fit, and feel just like they should from day one.

Dental implants can be used in just about every case of tooth loss. From replacing a single tooth to taking the place of a complete arch in the upper or lower jaw, dental implants provide the stability you want and need. And if you have an existing denture but are unsatisfied with its fit, it may be possible to secure your ill-fitting prosthetic with dental implants.

Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants

Many patients suffering from tooth loss are eligible for the dental implant procedure. When oral and overall health are strong and certain lifestyle factors are kept in mind, dental implant procedures have a success rate of more than 95 percent.

The only way to know for sure whether or not you can successfully undergo the dental implant procedure is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Craig. He will evaluate the extent of your tooth loss as well as the health of your jawbone to determine your candidacy for implant dentistry.

Patients who have lived without teeth for an extended period of time may have experienced significant bone loss. Sometimes, bone augmentation procedures are necessary for building up bone volume before dental implant procedures.

Patients who are in poor health or who have been diagnosed with diseases affecting the immune system, like HIV/AIDS, advanced-stage cancers, and uncontrolled diabetes, should consider non-implant retained tooth replacement.

Dr. Craig will discuss with you how tobacco use, poor nutrition, and insufficient dental hygiene affect the success of your dental implants.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

While the total cost of dental implants depends on the extent of your tooth loss, how many dental implants you need, as well as your unique treatment plan, you can expect your implants to cost several thousand dollars. If preparatory procedures like bone grafting are needed in advance of dental implants, the total cost will be higher.

To give you a better idea of how to budget for dental implants, each dental implant costs between $2,500 to $5,000. For complete replacement of teeth in the upper or lower jaw, All-on-4 offers a more economical alternative that uses fewer dental implants. This option will run you between $32,000 and $55,000.

While dental implants do come at a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement options, they are without a doubt the best financial investment you can make. Consider the fact that dental implants can be expected to last a lifetime -- while fixed bridges or dentures will need to be replaced as often as every five or seven years.

For patients interested in making the best investment for their smiles and wallets, there is no choice other than dental implants.

Types of Dental Implants

After examining the extent of your tooth loss, Dr. Craig will make a recommendation for the type of dental implant that will serve you best. Today’s dental implants come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and can be made from titanium or zirconium, in special cases.

The length of the procedure for your dental implants may vary, too. Most implantations are two-stage, meaning you visit an oral surgeon for the implant placement, then have the dental implants restored by Dr. Craig. But in some select cases, the dental implants can be restored on the very same day as they are implanted. These one-stage dental implants reduce costs and allow you to enjoy your new teeth immediately.

For tooth loss in the back of the mouth, wide dental implants provide a sturdy foundation. Mini or narrow dental implants are available for those small spaces in the front of the mouth. Most teeth are replaced with standard dental implants.

Types of Dental Implant Restorations

The dental implant restoration is the part that replaces your missing tooth’s crown, or the part you actually see. Dental implants can support a single prosthetic crown, a fixed bridge, or a complete denture.

For individual implants, Dr. Craig and will design and place an all-ceramic dental crown that blends in flawlessly with your existing teeth. This option is ideal because you do not have to sacrifice healthy tooth structure to accommodate the crown like more traditional reconstructive solutions would require.

If your tooth loss is more extensive, restoring each individual tooth with its own crown can become an overly expensive and invasive process. Thankfully, implants are also capable of securing an implant-retained prosthetic. These devices resemble bridges and dentures, but their attachment to your new implants will create a much sturdier, longer-lasting result that you will definitely appreciate. No messy, bothersome adhesive creams are necessary, and the surrounding tissue does not have to bear support when wearing an implant-retained prosthetic. Better yet, both fixed and removable options are available, depending on your personal preference.

Dental implant patients and implant-retained denture patients are able to enjoy renewed quality of life. They can eat the crunchy, hard, and chewy foods that were formerly impossible to handle -- even corn on the cob and fresh apples are possible with dental implants!

Dental Implant Care Tips

While dental implants are the most effective tooth replacement currently available, initially successful implants can fail as a result of a condition known as peri-implantitis.

Peri-implantitis occurs as a result of poor dental hygiene. The hard and soft tissues surrounding dental implants become inflamed due to the presence of bacteria and disease. The dental implants may become loose and eventually fall out.

When dental implant patients neglect their dental hygiene, plaque and bacteria accumulate on and around the prosthetic teeth. This bacteria penetrates into the gum line through the abutment of the dental implant.

Prevent the failure of dental implants and keep your smile healthy by brushing your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day, and flossing daily. Stay on top of your regularly scheduled visits to our office to keep your dental implants healthy and secure. Let Dr. Craig know immediately if you experience an issue, like a loose dental implant or uncomfortable prosthetic tooth.

Let’s Discuss Dental Implants Today!

No one should have to struggle through life with a lacking smile. Turn to Dr. Craig and the rest of our team here in Lenexa, KS for the skilled support and quality solutions you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, or if you’d like to learn more about dental implants.