DENTAL IMPLANTS ARE permanent false teeth to look just like your other teeth. They’re a popular alternative to dentures or bridges, and the American Dental Association considers them to be “one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years.”
How Do They Work?
Unlike dentures and bridges, which don’t feel or look entirely real and must be removed and cleaned outside of your mouth daily, dental implants are surgically placed into your jaw. In place of the roots your natural teeth have, the new tooth is held in place by a surgical screw. The crown shade and shape is carefully selected to match the surrounding teeth, so it blends right in.
There are two basic types of implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are surgically attached directly to the jaw bone with a titanium post, and the entire implant structure (apart from the crown itself) is hidden under the gums and looks and feels just like any other tooth. Subperiosteal implants consist of a metal frame that fits onto the jaw bone rather than screwing into it, and these are a good option if you lack the bone structure necessary for endosteal implants.
Who Are They For?
If you are missing teeth due to injury, disease, or decay, dental implants could restore your smile more effectively than other options. However, not everyone with missing teeth is a candidate. Just as with real teeth, oral health is crucial to successful implants. Before you get an implant, you need good, strong bone and healthy gums to support it, and once it’s in, you have to keep it clean by brushing and flossing. Yearly visits to our office for professional cleanings and checkups are crucial to ensure the implant is successful.
Dental Implant Vs. Dental Bridge
Some patients want to know the difference between a dental implant versus a dental bridge treatment. Although both are great options for replacing a missing tooth, only one is fully permanent. For better quality of life, we suggest a dental implant treatment. The dental implant will not break and will not have to be replaced. A bridge can break, is not completely permanent, and may have enough wear and tear after a long time. This can lead to possible replacement. The implant restoration is a longer process than a bridge but can be worth it in the long run. An implant is more costly than a bridge, but because the process can take 6-9 months a payment plan can make it more affordable. To learn more about payment plan options at Higginbotham Family Dental visit the payment plan page.
How Long Does Dental Implant Procedures Take?
The length of a procedure for dental implant services procedure can vary. When you get a single implant treatment, the initial treatment visit usually takes one to two hours. This depends on if a bone graft is done before we place the implant. Dental implant treatment is not just one visit though, it can be three or more visits. This will all depend on each patient case by case. A patient can get a tooth pulled and an implant placed on the same day within the hour. The last step in the treatment of placing the crown usually takes 30 minutes. If placement for dental implant bridges, partials, or dentures is in the treatment plan, then the time will take longer. It is best to make these appointments first thing in the morning if possible. They can sometimes run up to 3 hours for more extensive cases.
Dental Implant Surgery Timeline
The first appointment in the dental implant process is a full exam, x-rays, and a cleaning to establish bone structure. Not every patient is a candidate for dental implants, so this has to be done first. The doctor will put a treatment plan together for the patient and present it to them. The financial coordinator will go over the treatment again to discuss your estimates of the treatment and getting it scheduled.
The first dental implant treatment appointment will be dependent on bone grafting, tooth extraction, and if healing is needed. Most dental implant surgeries can be anywhere from 3-9 months with multiple visits within those months. Denture implant procedures may take even longer to make sure the look and fit are just right for the entire arch.
Dental Implant Pictures
You can find examples of dental implants on our implant page on our website if you want to see more or learn more about dental implant procedures at Higginbotham Family Dental.
How Painful Is A Dental Implant?
Dental implant surgery is not as painful as you think or even not at all. Like most procedures, patients are numbed where the implant is placed so the patient feels nothing. For more nervous patients, nitrous oxide (gas) is given to keep the patient relaxed and comfortable. During the procedure, at any time if the patient can feel anything, then an additional amount of numbing solution is used. The patient may experience some initial swelling after the procedure or none at all. Any pain or swelling is minimal and post-op care is with acetaminophen and ibuprofen.
Are You Put To Sleep For Dental Implants?
A patient may want to be put to sleep for dental implant surgery. However, adding this to an implant procedure can be quite costly. If you go to a dental implant specialist, they will charge the treatment at the specialist rate as well as charge per hour for deep sedation. At Higginbotham Family Dental, we offer conscious sedation or oral sedation at a much lower cost for patients that have a little more anxiety or fear about the procedure. Being put to sleep during the procedure is not the best option if you are trying to keep the dental implant cost to a minimum and is not always necessary.
How Long After Dental Implants Can I Eat Normally?
After a dental implant service, patients can wait until they are no longer numb or mostly no longer numb. Dental implant care is similar to other dental treatments. Be careful around the area of the dental implant surgery while healing. Eat normally as long as it is comfortable and does not cause any irritation or pain to the dental implant surgery area. Dental implants feel more natural and stable. Dental implants allow you to eat normally confidently. It helps the quality of life by being as close to your natural teeth as possible.
How To Make An Appointment
To schedule an appointment, you can either request an appointment online, or you can call or text your local office. You can find the information for all ten of our locations on our Location Page. We conveniently have dental offices in Jonesboro, Paragould, Blytheville, and West Memphis, Arkansas. We also have offices in Memphis and Bartlett, Tennessee, and Kennett, Missouri. If you are not sure exactly what work you are needing to be done, we do offer a free consultation. At these consultations, you can talk to a dentist about your concerns and your smile goals. After you discuss your goals at your consultation, in order for a doctor to give you the best and most accurate advice and treatment plan, they will need to do a full exam and x-rays.
Which Doctors and Locations Offer Dental Implants?
If you are looking to get dental implants, we offer this service at our two Jonesboro, AR offices on Hilltop and Southwest Drive; Paragould, AR; Blytheville, AR; and Bartlett, TN. If the locations listed are not convenient for you, Dr. Higginbotham does travel to all locations to do dental implant procedures and would love to give you your dream smile. At our Jonesboro offices, Dr. Todd Higginbotham and Dr. Anthony Rusher are your dentists for dental implants, Dr. Rusher also sees patients at our Blytheville office. Dr. Steven White sees dental implant patients at our Jonesboro-Southwest Drive office every Tuesday, but you can mainly find him at our Paragould office. Lastly, Dr. Adam Fitzhugh is located at our Bartlett, TN dental office. Any of these dentists is a great choice in delivering your dental implant services!
Still Have Questions? We Have Answers!
If you would like to learn more, we can answer any questions you have with a free cosmetic consultation. We’re here to help you achieve the smile of your dreams!
The content on this blog is not to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Find a Location Below
Jonesboro, AR- Hilltop
1804 Old Greensboro Rd, Suite D
Jonesboro, AR 72405
Jonesboro, AR- Southwest Drive
321 Southwest Drive
Jonesboro, AR 72401
2200 West Kingshighway
Paragould, AR 72450
3922 East Main St, D
Blytheville, AR 72315
Memphis, TN- Harbor Town
113 Harbor Town Square, Suite 203
Memphis, TN 38103
6630 Summer Knoll Circle, Suite 103
Bartlett, TN 38134
5100 Wheelis Drive, Suite 214
Memphis, TN 38117
West Memphis, AR
255 West Broadway
West Memphis, AR 72301
703 First Street
Kennett, MO 63857