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Why Choose A Periodontist For Dental Implants In Houston, TX?

Repairing your missing smile has never been easier with a dental implants periodontist on your side.

By Jennifer
Photography by Pete

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Dental implants can be a wonderful way for our Houston patients at Nu Dentistry to beautifully restore their missing teeth after an extraction. There’s no need to worry about a gap in your smile, and they prevent the gradual bone loss that occurs even with other tooth replacement options. What are dental implants? Dental implants are the only dental prosthetics which function exactly like real teeth do, root and all. They are made of three components:

Implant: a metal post or screw surgically implanted into the jaw where your tooth had been. This implant post functions as the root of a natural tooth, keeping your replacement firmly in place and promoting bone growth and regeneration. Abutment: a metal cap that fits over the implant to anchor the final implant piece. In certain cases, the abutment can be attached at the same time as the implant, allowing the total length of the procedure to shorten by a few weeks. Crown: the final part of the implant, which connects to the abutment and replaces the natural crown of a tooth. For patients who need to restore more than one tooth, this crown can be replaced by other restoration pieces like bridges and dentures.

However, not every Tom, Dick, and Dentist is qualified to perform a dental implant procedure. Most implants are inserted directly into the gum and bone where your missing tooth would be. Only a specialist with unmatched experience with the sensitive and critical aspects of your mouth can be counted on to ensure your treatment goes smoothly. Otherwise, what would normally be an incredible smile transformation can become a tragedy. So just who should you go to when you need a dental implant?

Dentist vs Periodontist

General dentists have a broad knowledge of dentistry but usually focus on preventive care and non-surgical restorative dental work. Typical dentist treatments include dental cleanings, exams, dental fillings and crowns, cosmetic dentistry, and non-emergency extractions. For procedures of a more intense and invasive nature, particularly oral surgeries, your general dentist will most likely refer their patient to a specialist. Dental implants are no exception, as they often require three or four surgeries throughout the process.

What is a periodontist? A periodontist receives years more training than a standard dentist to make them experts on the gums, particularly when it comes to gum disease and dental implants. These specialized dentists understand the structures keeping your teeth deeply rooted and secure in your mouth. You can rely on your periodontist to insert your implant into your jaw with a level of professional experience that guarantees you’ll love your replacement tooth.

Just as you wouldn’t trust anyone but a locksmith to fix your lock, you should trust a periodontist to take care of your dental implant surgery. General dentists lack the experience to know what to do if your situation is more complex than expected or if complications occur. A botched implant procedure can lead to intense and lasting tooth and jaw pain, red and swollen gum inflammation, and damage to your nearby teeth and bones. An implant inserted too deeply into the bone or too close to a nerve, often leading to permanent tingling or numbness around the gums, tongue, lips, and face.

Even without the significant potential health risks involved, a dentist without a specialized understanding of a periodontist can cause the implant procedure to fail. Sometimes a candidate without enough supporting bone support is chosen. The implant might not be stable as small micro-movements cause it to loosen or not integrate with the jaw. No one wants to lose out on hard-won progress and have their new tooth removed. With a highly-skilled and talented dental implants periodontist, however, these risks drastically drop and can become nearly non-existent. You want to be sure that the dental professional in charge of transforming your smile does an excellent job.

Who Is A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?

Your periodontist will need to ensure that you are an excellent candidate for dental implants. Too often have we heard horror stories of patients who’ve gotten implants without the proper consultations and comprehensive exams to ensure that their procedure will succeed. When you come in to see us at our Houston office, we’ll be thorough in ensuring your transition to your new smile is smooth sailing. Generally, candidates should have healthy bone and gum tissue as well as be in good overall health. Patients with gum disease should see our periodontist for proper treatment before beginning the implant process.

Your mouth should also have enough underlying jawbone to support the implant. Patients who wait too long after having a tooth pulled to replace it with an implant might have a problem with this. Without a tooth rooted in the bone, the jaw doesn’t receive enough stimulation to keep itself strong. The bone will gradually deteriorate, which can cause problems for your mouth, such as shifting teeth, facial sagging, and gum disease. Though they can stop your remaining teeth from moving into the growing cavity left behind, even bridges and partial dentures can’t stop this eventual bone loss.

If you don’t have enough jaw structure for a successful implant, there’s no need to worry. A bone graft can be used to replace any missing tissue. It can also help your mouth regenerate some lost bone as the graft integrates with the rest of your mouth. The grafting process usually takes about three to four months total, accounting for healing. Once we’re sure your mouth is healthy enough, we’ll be able to move forward and start your dental implant journey.

Types of Dental Implants

There is more than one kind of dental implant that our periodontist can give you. Which one you need often depends on how many missing teeth you want to replace.

Single Tooth Implant

Traditional implants use a standard implant-abutment-crown combination to replace a single missing tooth. We may instead recommend mini dental implants for patients who don’t have enough jawbone structure for a conventional implant. By using smaller implant posts, less bone support without requiring a bone graft.

Implant-Supported Bridge

For patients who need to restore more than one tooth, we recommend you get an implant-supported bridge. Standard bridges replace a single tooth by placing two crowns on the teeth on either side of the gap while a connected false tooth fills the space between them. Implant bridges instead root these crowns on two implant posts, allowing you to replace at least three teeth without affecting nearby ones.

Permanent Dentures

If you want full mouth dental implants, then a permanent denture may be what you need. These dentures secure themselves on dental implants inserted at strategic points around the mouth, giving patients a more stable bite. While most implant-supported dentures are removable, All-on-4 dental implants fix a complete arch of false teeth on four dental implants. They are screwed in, so you never have to worry about taking them falling out.

Does A Missing Tooth Need To Be Replaced?

Except in the case of wisdom teeth, it is always recommended that you replace a missing tooth. Leaving a tooth gap alone can lead to uncomfortable and even painful problems:

Bone loss Change in bite Facial sagging Gum disease Further tooth loss

A dental implant isn’t the only way to restore a single missing tooth. While it can’t stop the eventual bone deterioration, a dental bridge can maintain the fit and look of your smile for up to 15 years before needing to be replaced. If you need help deciding the dental bridge vs implants dilemma, please don’t hesitate to call our Houston office at (NUMBER).

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

There’s no single price when it comes to dental implants. There are a variety of factors that impact the cost of your new teeth:

Type of implant Number of teeth to be replaced Whether a bone graft is needed Cost of extraction, if applicable If dental sedation is needed Location

Some patients try to lower their dental implant cost by seeing a general dentist rather than a periodontist. In most cases, these are one of those “too good to be true” scenarios. Patients who want these cheap implants often walk away with a burning hole in their wallet from additional fees hidden in small print. Plus, they have to deal with the material and emotional price of a potential failed implant.

If you need assistance ensuring you receive the affordable dental implants you deserve, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Nu Dentistry. From our in-house membership program to our CareCredit Dental acceptance policy, we’re ready to work with you to make your dental implant dreams come true. You can reach out to our incredible and caring dental staff, and we’ll schedule a financial consultation with you today.

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