Missing teeth lowers your self-esteem, influences your dietary selection, and can even change the way you speak.
If you have a missing tooth or missing teeth, dental implants are a reliable, aesthetically appealing, and long-lasting replacement option. At Shank Dentistry, we provide dental implants in our Indianapolis, IN dental office regularly and our patients are very happy with their results.
Dental implants are not new. In fact, these restorations have been around for years. However, the materials used and the aesthetics are better today than in the past. Today’s dental implants are so similar to natural teeth that they have grown in popularity and are probably the most common choice for patients who are looking to restore a tooth or teeth.
A dental implant today is simply the best tooth replacement option in the world. Everything from the look, feel, and fit are nearly identical to natural teeth.
If you’re considering tooth replacement, contact Shank Dentistry today at (317) 350-1534. Our caring team is standing by to schedule your dental implant assessment with our cosmetic dentist.
Why do dentists suggest a dental implant?
At Shank Dentistry, our Perry Township cosmetic dentist, Dr. Shank, wants the very best for his patients, and a dental implant represents the best in tooth restoration.
Dental implants not only restore your smile, but they contribute to your overall oral health in a positive way.
The oral health benefits of dental implants include:
- Less wear on your remaining teeth
- An aesthetically appealing way to keep remaining teeth from drifting or shifting toward your empty tooth socket
- Stopping bone loss in your jaw—this happens when you lose a tooth
Our top cosmetic dentist is thinking about giving you the smile you want, but also considering what is best for your oral health. This is the reason Dr. Shank often suggests a dental implant.
Am I a good candidate for a dental implant?
Our Indianapolis implant dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums and look at your oral and physical health history before making a determination.
Generally, if you’re in good physical health, you are a good candidate for dental implants.
However, if you have significant bone loss, you might need bone grafting to create a solid foundation for your dental implant.
An evaluation by Dr. Shank is the best course when considering any cosmetic procedure. During your evaluation, you can also ask questions and discuss in further detail your cosmetic dental options.
What is bone grafting?
When you lose teeth, you also lose jawbone. The bone shrinks, in other words, without the support of a tooth root. If you lose bone, bone grafts help rebuild this bone. This makes dental implants possible.
Dr. Shank uses bone grafts to help his patients maintain their jawbone structure.
Bone grafting may require donor bone, bone from your body, or bone created in a lab. Unlike other types of transplants, donor bone fuses with your bone and promotes real bone growth.
Bone grafting is a fantastic solution if you suffer from bone loss.
What exactly is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium post. Our dentist surgically implants this post in your jaw, and it takes the place of your natural tooth root.
Dentists use titanium because it is strong and durable, and the body readily accepts titanium. It has been used in surgery for decades with great results.
The implant post is the foundation that holds your restoration tooth.
How does the dentist place a dental implant?
Dental implant placement starts with a thorough evaluation by our Indianapolis dentist. If dental implants are the right option for you, he will schedule dental implant surgery to place your titanium implant post.
After several months, your implant post will fuse with your jawbone and this will be your replacement root.
When your post fully bonds with your jawbone, our dentist places your restoration tooth right here in our Perry Township dental office.
Do dental implants hurt?
Any time you think of someone poking around in your mouth, fears of pain may come to mind. After all, those tissues are so delicate! Some patients have bad memories from childhood experiences that may hold them back from their necessary dental care. Modern dental procedures and anesthetic, however, truly do make dentistry a pain-free experience when managed by an experienced dentist.
Dental implants require surgery, but there is no reason you should feel pain. Dr. Shank is extremely gentle and makes patient comfort a top priority. He effectively applies adequate anesthetic to keep you comfortable during your procedure.
If you are a patient who has difficulty getting and staying numb, you are not alone! Anxiety can make achieving the full effects of anesthetic difficult for some people. By calming your anxiety with sedation dentistry, you can enjoy the full effects of anesthetic and experience pain-free dentistry.
While the idea of having a foreign object placed into the bone sounds incredibly painful, someone who is experienced in placing implants can complete the procedure with no pain during the appointment and only minor post-operative soreness in the days following the procedure.
Most of our patients say that their dental implant experience was much easier than they anticipated. They do not have pain during treatment, and any discomfort following treatment can typically be treated effectively with over-the-counter pain medication.
Don’t let fear keep you from having the healthy, beautiful smile you have always wanted. If you have concerns about pain, let us know so that we can address your concerns and be sure you don’t feel a thing.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants are very safe, and Dr. Shank always makes sure that you’re a good candidate for dental implants before your procedure.
Remember, the titanium used in dental implants has been utilized safely in surgeries all over the world for generations. The body readily accepts it, and it is solid enough to last a lifetime.
However, maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home and visiting our dentist regularly is important following dental implant placement. When you follow these guidelines, put forward by the American Dental Association, you stay safe by taking proactive steps to lower your risk for periodontal disease or dental infections that can cause your implant to fail.
How can dental implants help if all my teeth are missing?
If all your teeth are missing, Dr. Shank is able to place an implant-supported denture.
This means that a few surgically implanted titanium posts will support an affixed denture.
Often our patients prefer implant-supported dentures as opposed to removable dentures because they are locked in. With implant-supported dentures, you don’t have to worry about slippage, adhesives, or realignments.
Sometimes our Indianapolis dentist can retrofit your existing denture, too, which means you don’t have to get a new denture to make implant-supported dentures possible.
How do I take care of my dental implant?
The best way to care for your dental implant is to treat it like a natural tooth.
Brush and floss at least twice per day and visit our Perry Township dental office every six months for dental cleanings. It’s also important to visit our dentist regularly so he can monitor your dental implant.
Remember that gum infections still occur in the dental implant area. You are still susceptible to periodontal disease. This is true even if you undergo full-mouth restorations.
How long does a dental implant last?
With proper care, your dental implant should last a lifetime. The titanium post that is your dental implant is located below the gumline; this means caring for your gums is critical to maintain this post. You don’t want your implant to fail because of periodontal disease or a major infection.
When you have your teeth cleaned every six months and visit our dentist regularly, you are taking the right steps to ensure a lasting dental implant.
Your restoration tooth, however, will likely need replacing at some point in the future. Dr. Shank can provide recommendations and tips to help you maintain your restoration tooth for years to come.