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What is a Dental Implant?

Illustration showing a dental implant.At our state-of-the-art practice in Carrollton, dental implants are one of our most popular treatments. In the past, the only options you had for replacing a missing tooth were with a fixed bridge or partial denture. Technology has advanced to where dental implants have become the go-to option for replacing one or more missing teeth. Dental Implants are made of medical grade titanium. The implant is a post that heals with your bone.

Dental Implants have three main parts

The first part is the implant body. The dental implant is placed in the jaw bone and allowed to heal for 4-6 months. The implant serves as an anchor to hold the porcelain crown which will be placed at a later date. The implant can be compared to the root of the tooth which holds the crown in place.

The second part is an abutment made of either porcelain, gold or titanium. The material will be selected by Dr. Bhandaru based on your esthetic needs and the location of the implant.

The third part is Porcelain crown which is attached to the abutment. At Carrollton Smiles, Dr. Bhandaru uses the most esthetic and durable porcelain to make your implant crown look natural and life like in appearance!

Why are Dental Implants necessary?

Implants are ideal for replacing one or more missing teeth, Dental implants are not necessary, but they a great option to replace missing teeth in addition to removable dentures and bridges.

  • When missing teeth are not replaced, the bone resorbs as a result of tooth loss. The bone loss will cause shifting of adjacent and opposing teeth. This shifting makes the teeth have spaces. Food will get caught in these places and make you prone to cavities and gum disease.
  • Another complication of missing multiple teeth is decreased chewing efficiency. Decreased chewing capacity makes people avoid certain greens and hard to chew foods. This is a cause for concern as this may result in inability to get adequate nutrition. The decreased chewing capability may result in deficiency of required vitamins and minerals.
  • Loss of tooth will cause reduction in support to facial muscles giving a much older appearance to the face.
  • Loss of teeth will make it difficult to speak clearly.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants have numerous advantages. The following are a few of the advantages of dental implant procedure offered by Dr. Bhandaru at our state of the art facility at Carrollton Smiles.

  • Dental Implants behave like natural teeth.
  • Dental implants won’t suffer from dental decay.
  • Dental implants are strong, long-lasting, and prevent bone loss.
  • Patients increase their bite strength after getting dental implants.
  • Dental implants are hygienic compared to other dental restorations like bridges and removable dentures.
  • Dental Implants can prevent facial sagging and premature aging.
  • Dental implants are fixed and do not need to be removed and they will not fall out in a social situation.
  • Dental implants improve your confidence by improving your smile.
  • Dental implants will not negatively affect your speech as they are very similar to your natural teeth.
  • Dental implants increase the chewing efficiency as they don’t shift and rub on your gums while eating.

Who are the Best Candidates for Dental Implants?

Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth for most people. Since the introduction of dental implants, there have been a lot of advances made in implantology and medicine making dental implants a solution to missing teeth.

If you lost a tooth due to extensive dental decay, dental implants can be used to replace the missing tooth.

Other situations that dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth are:

  • Congenitally missing teeth.
  • Teeth lost due to a motor vehicle accident.
  • Teeth removed due to extensive dental cavities.
  • Teeth removed due to failing root canal treatment.
  • Teeth lost due to gum disease/Periodontal disease.
  • Teeth removed due to failing fillings and crowns.
  • Patients unable to tolerate removable dentures due excessive gagging reflex.

People with disabilities such as impaired vision, Parkinson’s disease, tremors and reduced motor function, Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty with oral hygiene and ability to brush and floss effectively. Some people with these conditions have difficulty locating their removable dentures and using them. They may also have difficulty flossing under a fixed bridge. Dental implants or implant supported dentures will be an optimal choice for them.

How long do Dental Implants take to heal?

On average, dental implants take 4 to 6 months to heal. The expected recovery time for dental implants also depends on the position of the implant. The time required for implants to heal depends on your general health and the quality of bone. Depending on the technique and adjunctive procedures required, it may be approximately 4-6 months before you get the “new tooth.” However sometimes Dr. B may choose to place a “temporary new tooth” during the healing period. For example, the lower posterior implant may need less time to integrate with the bone compared to the upper posterior implants, but there are many steps prior to placing the final tooth/crown.

If the tooth has extensive infection with bone loss, Dr. Bhandaru may delay the placement of the implant and wait for the infection to resolve. If the implants are placed in soft bone, either due to osteoporosis, diabetes, or other health conditions, it may be prudent to wait for a longer healing period.

If you are having implants placed for complete dentures, the process may differ compared to getting a single implant and a crown.

The duration of healing period for the implant is directly related to:

  1. Your general health.
  2. Difficulty of the tooth removal.
  3. How soon after the dental extraction the implant is placed.
  4. The length of healing period after tooth removal.
  5. The quality of the bone at the site of implant placement.

How many steps are in the entire process of implant treatment to replace missing teeth?

Dr. Bhandaru prefers a multistage approach for implant placement. This increases the success and give you a better outcome.

There are steps 6 in the implant process:

  • Step 1 – Removal of damaged teeth/tooth along with bone graft to preserve the extraction site.
  • Step 2 – Four month post extraction evaluation with a 3D image/CBCT to check the quality and quality of bone at healed extraction site.
  • Step 3 – Placement of the implant
  • Step 4 – Second procedure after 4-6 months of healing to expose the healed implant.
  • Step 5 – Impression/ mold is made at 2 weeks after the second procedure.
  • Step 6 – placement of the final crown.

What is a One Stage Implant Placement?

Single stage or one step implant placement, is a process when the damaged tooth is removed and the implant is placed the same day, there may be a metal post visible through the gum and this prevents the need for another surgical procedure.

What is a Two Stage / Multistage implant process?

In the multi-step implant surgery process, the damaged tooth is first removed and the area is preserved and prepared with bone graft. Your dentist will evaluate the quality and quantity of bone at the healed site with the help of a 3D image at 3-6 months post tooth removal. The Implant is surgically placed after Dr. B confirms that the quality and quality of bone are acceptable. The Implant is completely covered by your gum. The implant heals for 4-6 months and a second surgery is performed to uncover the implant. A mold is made and a custom fabricated crown is manufactured to fit your mouth.

What are the complications of Dental Implants?

Implants have a very high success. Uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune disorders and poor general health may decrease the success rate of implants. It is not uncommon for the screw holding the crown to the implant to loosen and the dentist may need to tighten it. It is important to keep up with your dental check ups and take care if the implant like rest of your teeth. Failure to do so may cause bone loss and a condition called peri-implantitis. Very rarely, implants can get infected or rejected by the body as it is a foreign body.

Is Dental Implant surgery painful?

Placement of dental implants is a type of surgery. As with any surgery, some pain and discomfort should be expected after the procedure.

Dr. Bhandaru will prescribe you pain medications to help with pain and swelling. Your pain should be manageable by day 2 after surgery. If you had multiple dental implants placed, the gum may be sore for up to 2 weeks. But if you are experiencing severe pain even after 2 weeks please contact Dr. Bhandaru right away.

How can I get started with the dental implant process?

The first step to getting dental implants in Carrollton, TX is to schedule a consultation.

What happens during the Consultation at Carrollton Smiles with Dr. Bhandaru

  • Comprehensive health information is obtained from you.
  • Comprehensive oral exam is conducted with review of dental x-rays.
  • A 3D image of your head and neck will be taken to evaluate your oral health and the quality of bone at the missing tooth site is evaluated.
  • If you are a candidate for a dental implant, we will take the molds of your upper and lower teeth.
  • Dr. Bhandaru will have a 3D guide manufactured for a guided surgery to increase the chances of success for the procedure.
  • We will make every attempt to have your dental insurance reimburse for the surgery. In some instances dental insurances have LEAP clause or a missing tooth clause. What this means to you as a patient is that even though your insurance benefits cover for dental implants, the insurance company may deny or pay for a least expensive alternate procedure.
  • At Carrollton Smiles Dr. Bhandaru offers third party financing (Lending club, Care Credit) to help with payments.
  • At Carrollton Smiles we offer laughing gas to reduce your anxiety, general sedation may be an option for nervous patients.

How are Dental Implants placed?

Dental implants are usually placed as an outpatient procedure. The area of implant placement is numbed with local anesthetic and implant is placed. If you are anxious, Nitrous oxide commonly known as laughing gas can be used to make the surgery more comfortable to you. If multiple implants are being placed or a full mouth implant surgery is being done, general sedation is maybe an option.

Post surgery care instructions

  • Do not brush, rinse or spit vigorously for 72 hours following the surgery.
  • Use Ice packs/ cold compresses as recommended.
  • Use all the prescribed medication.
  • Avoid lifting weights/strength training /vigorous aerobic exercises for 72 hours post surgery.
  • It is not uncommon to have a low grade fever immediately after the procedure. If you develop a fever of over 102 or chills please call Dr. B or go to the nearest emergency room.
  • Keep all your follow up appointments.

How do I take care of my Implants?

It is very important to take care of your implants as you would take care of your natural teeth. Even though the implants are not prone to decay, they are prone to peri-implantitis which is comparable to gum/periodontal disease of natural teeth. Brushing, flossing and use of water-pik are necessary to take care of the implant. Your hygienist will clean your implants with implant specific tools and Dr. Bhandaru will take x-rays and evaluate the health of the implants.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost in Carrollton, Texas?

The cost of dental implants in Carrollton will vary on a number of factors. To get the most accurate cost, please schedule a consultation. During your appointment, we’ll be able to answer questions and provide you with a full breakdown of the costs.

What can you expect during the procedure for a Dental Implant?

The Dental Implant placement surgery is a relatively painless procedure. At your consultation appointment, our team at Carrollton Smiles will answer all of your questions about the procedure and financial aspects of the surgery.

The anesthetic is administered by Dr. Bhandaru. A slight incision is made through the gums and the implant body is then placed in the bone. The gums will then be sutured and you will be provided with aftercare instructions important for your recovery. Over the course of several months, the implant’s post will fully fuse with the surrounding bone and you will come back in for a crown, bridge or denture to be made for that area.

If you would like to learn more about Dental Implants, contact us today and we can schedule an appointment for you to come in for a consultation. Carrollton Smiles services the Greater DFW Metro.

Why Choose Us?

Dr. Bhandaru has a passion for dentistry and helping her patients achieve the smile of their dreams! She’s a proud member of the Texas Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the American Orthodontic Society. Dr. B prioritizes patient safety and prides herself on patient satisfaction.


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