Dental Implant Services

Dental Implants
When teeth are lost or congenitally missing, adjacent teeth may shift affecting the overall bite and proper function of the jaws. With the advancements in dentistry, replacement of one or multiple teeth can be achieved with dental implants. Whether it is a single tooth or several teeth, dental implants can restore the appearance and function of a normal and healthy mouth. In instances of trauma or injury, even front teeth can be replaced to give you that pleasing smile you deserve.

Dental implants serve as tooth replacements that function just like natural teeth that are “rooted” in the bone of the jaws. An implant looks much like a screw, but it is specially coated with a sterile bone stimulating substance that after placement becomes osseointegrated with the bone. It will take approximately 3-6 months for the implant to become fully osseointegrated – a mechanical and biological process where the bone and implant become rigidly attached. Dr. Helfrich will then fabricate a crown that will attach to the body of the implant that now lies hidden beneath the gums. Upon completion, the dental implant will look, function, and feel much like your natural teeth.

If you recently lost a tooth, Dr. Helfrich will discuss your options for tooth replacement. However if you are reluctant to have a tooth replaced immediately, the extraction space must be maintained until a definitive treatment decision has been made. When a tooth is extracted, the bone in that area will tend to resorb and decrease over time. Adjacent and opposing teeth may shift and complicate future tooth replacement. This can also affect the way you bite and chew. Whether you decide now or later to replace an extracted tooth, sufficient space for the placement of a dental implant must be maintained.

Before dental implants, congenitally missing teeth were replaced by dental bridges or by a removable partial denture commonly known as a “flipper.” Today when permanent teeth are congenitally absent, dental implants become great options for tooth replacement. Dr. Helfrich will work with you to develop a detailed plan to replace these missing teeth. Younger patients unfortunately are not recommended to receive dental implants until after they are done growing. Although considerable variation exists, growth tends to be complete between the ages of 18-21 years. In instances of congenitally missing teeth, braces are often indicated to move adjacent teeth in order to create sufficient space for a dental implant. Dr. Helfrich will work with your orthodontist to develop a plan that will result in a beautiful smile and an ideal bite.

Implant-supported dentures
Even a mouth with few or no teeth can be rebuilt with dental implants! Implant-supported dentures can be fabricated to attach directly to implants to replace complete sets of teeth and be more functional and comfortable than conventional dentures. Feel free to schedule a consultation to find out more information about how dental implants can restore your smile and bite.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?
The best candidates for dental implants are healthy individuals; however, a health issue does not necessarily disqualify you. If you have a medical condition, please let us know so we can properly plan your treatment to meet your overall health needs.

How do I take care of my dental implants?
Dental implants require very little difference in home care in comparison to natural teeth. Brushing twice each day, flossing regularly, and routine professional examinations and cleanings are our recommendations for all patients – whether you have a dental implant or not.

How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants varies based on the type of implant, the location in the mouth, and the complexity. Every individual is unique, and each treatment plan is thoughtfully arranged in consideration of the most ideal and affordable options possible.

Do I need to replace just one tooth?
While you may have lost or be missing only a single tooth, the adjacent and opposing teeth will tend to shift over time to fill this void, and this may lead to a significant change in your overall bite and jaw function. In order to avoid these consequences, a single dental implant will not only replace a tooth, but promote proper function, stability, and appearance of your entire mouth.