The oral and maxillofacial surgeons of OKC-OMS are experts in dental implant placement and its related treatments, and we conduct these procedures daily. Oklahoma City patients can benefit from our years of experience in surgical practice, contributions to the body of research on dental implants, and residency training focused on the procedure.
Beyond the expertise we offer, our community-based practice invests in building relationships with our Oklahoma City patients. Our doctors will take the time to get to know you and your goals, and we will take steps to improve your comfort and confidence throughout your treatment.
What Are Dental Implants?
Healthy, natural teeth do not always last forever. Sometimes, whether due to tooth decay or traumatic injury, teeth can fall out or become damaged beyond repair. Dental implants represent one of the best ways to once again enjoy a healthy and confident smile; through the dental implant process, a skilled oral surgeon provides patients with a way to go on with their normal activities, without any need to worry about the stability of their teeth.
Specifically, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root, generally resembling the shape of a screw. These are surgically implanted along the jawbone, and provide ample support for one or more artificial teeth, or crowns.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Tooth loss is surprisingly common among adults, and while there are a number of options to address the problem, we believe dental implants are uniquely advantageous.
Prevent Bone Loss and Deterioration
One of the most dangerous consequences of tooth loss is that, with nothing there to stimulate the jaw, the jawbone itself can begin to deteriorate. In fact, if no implant is placed within the first year of the tooth loss, the underlying bone area may lose a quarter of its volume. Dental implants can help avoid this.
Look and Function Like Natural Teeth
The ultimate goal of dental implants is to replace lost teeth with artificial ones that look and function just as well as the natural ones. Not only do custom-made crowns look indistinguishable from your natural teeth, but implants hold them securely enough to make chewing and other activities feel perfectly normal.
Long-Lasting and Reliable
Another significant advantage to getting dental implants in Oklahoma City is that they are intended to last a long time. While bridges may sometimes last for just a decade, implants are made to last a lifetime. Implants are biocompatible, which means they work harmoniously with the body, rather than being rejected by it.
Improved Ability to Chew
When you have one missing tooth, it can cause the surrounding teeth to become crooked. Over time, this can actually impede your ability to chew, leading to some discomfort while you are eating. Dental implants bring stability to your teeth, helping you to avoid long-term problems that could affect your jaw or your bite.
Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants
While dental implants offer many advantages, it is always important to consult with a provider to ensure you are a good candidate. At OKC-OMS, we are always happy to meet with patients and to provide them with our guidance as to how they can best address their lost teeth.
Generally, we recommend dental implants to patients who meet the following criteria:
- You have one or more teeth in need of replacement.
- Your gums and oral tissues are in good, healthy shape.
- You have sufficient bone matter in your jaw or are eligible for a bone graft.
- You either dislike clip-on dentures or are unable to wear them.
- You are not a smoker.
- You do not have any underlying medical conditions that could impede your ability to heal.
- You maintain oral hygiene and are consistent in your dental check-ups and cleanings.
We welcome you to make an appointment at our Oklahoma City office to find out more about your qualifications for dental implants.
How do Dental Implants work?
The first step in the process is simply ensuring that the implants themselves are secured to the jawline; once that work is done, the surgeon will add an abutment, which is a kind of connector. The abutment is placed on top of the dental implant and is designed to hold the crown securely in place.
Crowns themselves are custom-made for each patient. They are designed to match the look of the other, natural teeth and also to fit properly within the mouth.
Dental implants represent the strongest and most durable way to support crowns, and to replace lost or extracted teeth with something that looks and feels completely natural.
Implant Placement Options
At OKC-OMS, we provide our Oklahoma City patients with a number of options for dental implant placement. Different patients have different needs, depending on how many teeth must be replaced.
A Single Crown or Multiple Adjacent Crowns
Some patients come to us after losing a single tooth. For these patients, a single crown implant is all that is required. For Oklahoma City patients who have lost multiple teeth, as is often the case in traumatic facial accidents, several individual crown implants can be placed beside each other. Using a single crown implant or multiple adjacent crowns can be advantageous because it allows for missing teeth to be replaced without risking damage to the other surrounding teeth, which may remain perfectly healthy.
Implant Retained Dentures
For those who need to replace all of their teeth (or at least an entire row of their teeth, either top or bottom), dentures have long been the standard solution. While snap-on dentures are easily obtainable, many patients prefer the security that comes from mounting dentures to a series of dental implants. Implant retained dentures are more permanent than the snap-on or temporary varieties, and they also offer greater ease and comfort for eating and talking.
Full Arch of Fixed Teeth
At OKC-OMS, we recommend that many of our patients get a full arch of fixed teeth, specifically through All-on-4 dental implants. This advanced treatment option gets its name because it allows us to secure an entire row of teeth with just four implants. In other words, All-on-4 allows patients to have all of their missing or broken teeth replaced, but it does not require them to get an implant for each tooth. Titanium implants actually fuse to the jawbone, providing a peerlessly strong and supportive foundation for the replacement teeth.
Planning Your Care
As part of your initial consultation, your OKC-OMS doctor will talk with you about your needs and examine your teeth and their supporting structures. The doctor may also take radiographs or 3D X-rays to help in planning your treatment.
During the visit, you will also meet with our implant coordinator and insurance coordinator. These team members will help you understand the process of getting dental implants, discuss potential costs, and look at how insurance can help.
OKC-OMS uses a two-pronged approach to dental implant restoration:
- Our specialists in oral surgery will plan, prepare for, and place the dental implants.
- Separately, a restorative doctor will focus on creating attractive new teeth to connect to the implants.
Working with experts in each area will help you achieve the strongest and most aesthetically appealing result. The OKC-OMS implant coordinator will work with you and your restorative dentist to schedule your care.
Your Experience with Dental Implants
Effective Treatment. Improved Function. Better Aesthetics.
OKC-OMS surgeons use a high degree of care and precision in conducting procedures. Our Oklahoma City patients describe the recovery from dental implants as more comfortable than other dental procedures they have had.
Partly, this is due to our ability to use a wide variety of anesthetic options. Depending on your preferences and treatment plan, we can do anything from profoundly numbing a single tooth to allowing you to sleep through the entire procedure. Our surgeons are licensed in IV general anesthesia and our staff maintains a high level of training to ensure safety during this aspect of your care. After procedures in our office, we will have you return one week later for a checkup to make sure you are healing comfortably.
The Dental Implant Placement Process
While the specifics of the dental implant process can vary according to patient need, the typical steps in the dental implant process are as follows.
Consultation and Examination
Your provider will first need to perform a comprehensive evaluation. This may involve X-rays and dental impressions. Additionally, we will match the color of your teeth, ensuring your new implants and crowns look as close to your natural teeth as possible. We will take a look at the number of teeth you need replaced and determine the best form of implants to address your needs.
What happens if you have a tooth in your mouth that is cracked or deteriorating, and needs to be replaced? We will extract any such teeth at the same time we perform the implant placement. Anesthesia will be used to ensure a comfortable experience. Unless the tooth is fractured, extraction is usually a very quick step in the process.
Following tooth extraction, we will insert the implant. In some cases, this step in the process may also require a bone graft. In cases that require bone grafting, the bone will need some time to heal before the implant can be placed. The implant will become part of the natural gum line over the course of a few months.
Once the implant is sufficiently stable, an abutment is added. This is the piece that connects your implant to the crown. Abutment placement is usually quick and comes with minimal discomfort. The crown is then added, sometimes with cement and sometimes by being screwed into the abutment. This completes the restoration of your smile.
Average Cost of Dental Implants
One of the most common questions about getting dental implants is how much the process costs. The overall price of dental implants in Oklahoma City can vary from patient to patient, based on a number of factors. On average, patients can expect the cost to be anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 per tooth.
Several factors can influence this price range, with the number of implants being the most significant factor. The type of restoration can also affect price. Also note that there are a number of ancillary and related fees, which can vary from one practice to the next. These include the surgeon’s fees as well as the costs associated with anesthesia, medications, sedation, and any additional processes needed.
The best way to determine your expected cost is to join us at OKC-OMS in Oklahoma City for an individualized consultation and estimate. We welcome you to make an appointment with us at your convenience.