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Loss of even just a single permanent tooth can have a substantial impact on someone’s life. From esthetics to chewing, and even speaking, teeth are important, and when a tooth is lost, most patients want it replaced. Luckily, dental implants continue to be the best option to replace missing teeth.

Our dentists utilize computer guided surgery and the innovative Cone Beam X-Ray technology, a digital mapping system that allows us to place dental implants with the most precise and accurate results possible. This precision is what can lead to results that look and feel so much like your natural teeth that it may be tough to tell the difference! Known as durable and strong restorative dental options, dental implants are one of the most successful functional and esthetic dentistry procedures in use today.

Please contact Scottsdale Smile Center for more information on dental implants, or to schedule a consultation.

What Are the Advantages of Implant Dentistry?

Implant dentistry makes it possible for you to enjoy long-lasting replacement for missing teeth with results that look and feel natural. Dental implants can address many of the problems that frequently occur when a single tooth or multiple teeth are missing, ultimately improving one’s ability to speak and chew while enhancing smile aesthetics. Implants are customized tooth replacements designed to mimic the function and appearance of natural teeth in virtually every way. They do not require pastes and adhesives like traditional dentures, and the results should provide stable, secure teeth replacement that can last a lifetime. Additionally, there are no food restrictions necessary with dental implants, and no further maintenance is required other than standard brushing and flossing.

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

The best candidates for dental implants are typically those who:

  • Are missing a single tooth or multiple teeth in specific areas of the mouth
  • Are missing full rows of teeth in the upper and/or lower dental arches
  • Are interested in a more secure and long-lasting alternative to traditional dentures
  • Have the sufficient amount of jawbone density required to successfully accommodate a dental implant
  • Are not currently suffering from certain diseases or conditions that may compromise the healing process once the implants are placed. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes and those who are undergoing radiation and/or chemotherapy may not be the best candidates for dental implants at this time.

For many patients who may not be candidates for a full dental implant procedure, there are a variety of alternatives—including implant supported dentures and dental bridges—that can provide excellent results. Once our dentist has examined you during the initial consultation he can explore your options and help you choose the best treatment for your needs and goals.

What Are My Dental Implant Options?

Dental implants can benefit patients who are missing just one tooth anywhere in the mouth or multiple teeth in several areas. Here are some of the most popular dental implant options:

Single Tooth Implants

Just one missing tooth can be detrimental to dental health and function, even if it is in a less noticeable area of the mouth. A single dental implant can restore a missing tooth, enhance aesthetics, and improve functionality. Replacing a tooth with a dental implant can also reduce the potential for bone loss and the shifting of surrounding teeth.

Multiple Teeth Implants

If you are missing multiple teeth in a particular area of the mouth, or multiple teeth in several distinct regions, dental implants can address these concerns by replacing each missing tooth. They can also replace full rows of teeth on the upper dental arch, the lower dental arch, or both arches for comprehensive teeth restoration. This can ultimately produce genuinely life-changing results for patients who have experienced the severe aesthetic and functional effects of missing all or nearly all of their teeth.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures can be a beneficial option for patients who are missing a full row of teeth or all of their teeth. Instead of using dental implants to replace each individual tooth, an implant-supported denture relies on a select few dental implants to securely anchor a full denture prosthesis. With this method, patients can enjoy the benefits of a complete dental restoration with a denture that feels more like natural teeth and is much less likely to move or slip along the gums.

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Straumann® Dental Implants for High-Quality Results

The Straumann® Dental Implant is a unique and innovative breakthrough in the field of implant dentistry, and it is the implant of choice here at Scottsdale Smile Center. Straumann® implants are composed of exceptionally high-quality materials, including an implant surface designed to optimize conditions for healing so that potential risks and overall healing time are reduced. The special materials used in the creation of these remarkable implants are precisely formulated to enable long-lasting results. Straumann® implants ultimately make it possible for our doctors to produce outcomes that maximize the aesthetic and functional potential of dental implants.

Our practice is proud to offer Straumann® brand implants, one of the most trusted, highest-quality implant brands in the world:

Reliable Implants from a Trusted Company

The reliability of Straumann® implants stems from the meticulous testing and validation processes to which the implants were subjected during pre-clinical and clinical studies over many years. The extraordinarily high standards of scientific integrity and overall quality that have been set by the Straumann® organization have helped dentists all over the world deliver dental implants that have been vigorously tested and have proven to be an effective solution for missing teeth replacement.

Documented Scientific History of Superior Results

In a study conducted through the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (an arm of that nation’s government that can help individuals with financial healthcare needs), thousands of dental implant patients were surveyed to analyze implant failure rates.* While there was not a large number of failed implants overall, the study found that, of the cases where implant failure occurred (either early after implantation or late after implantation), the failed implants were more likely to be certain brands other than Straumann®. This study is in addition to other clinical research published in peer-reviewed journals that has focused on the long-term implant survival rates of these advanced dental implants.**

*J. Derks, J. Håkansson, J.L. Wennström, C. Tomasi, M. Larsson, and T. Berglundh Effectiveness of Implant Therapy Analyzed in a Swedish Population – Early and Late Implant Loss
**Buser D, Janner SF, Wittneben JG, Brägger U, Ramseier CA, Salvi GE. 10-year survival and success rates of 511 titanium implants with a sandblasted and ac- id-etched surface: a retrospective study in 303 partially edentulous patients. Clin Implant Dent Relat Res. 2012 Dec;14(6):839-51. PubMed PMID: 22897683

Rooted In Swiss Engineering

Just as the Swiss Watch is known for its impeccable design and technological elements that emphasize its quality and longevity, Straumann® dental implants offer the benefits that come along with being rooted in Swiss engineering. A Straumann® implant’s innovative SLActive® surface and durable Roxolid® material help form the foundation of quality and precision for which it is known.

Planning for Implants – Cone Beam X-Ray Technology

The field of implant dentistry has been revolutionized by state-of-the-art advances in digital imaging and 3-dimensional treatment planning software. Tools such as cone beam x-ray systems and sophisticated digital planning technology enable our dentists to create a meticulously detailed map of each patient’s anatomical structures. From this precise foundation, we can design dental implant treatment plans that allow for more predictability and accuracy when compared to what can be achieved with 2-dimensional x-rays. Cone beam x-ray images can show us where the nerves are, the density and width of the bone, and other important facets of the oral anatomy. Our imaging and planning methodologies ultimately provide us with an in-depth and thorough guideline for correct placement of the dental implants.

Cone beam x-ray procedures require a painless, 20-second imaging scan. The image is processed right here at Scottsdale Smile Center, resulting in a 3-D recreation of your oral anatomy. Essentially, this enables us to perform “virtual surgery” by helping our dentists identify the proper implant size and the ideal location for its placement. This dramatically increases the chance that the implant will fit, feel, and appear nearly indistinguishable from a natural tooth.

Our advanced dental implant planning technologies allow us to take much of the “guesswork” out of the procedure by producing an incredibly precise blueprint for implant placement. Plus, they provide us with the ability to show you exactly where the implants will be placed. This can give you a better idea about what to expect from the dental implant procedure.

What Does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?

After the initial evaluation and planning stages are complete, the dental implants will be carefully placed in the areas of missing teeth. Each implant will be surgically inserted through the gum and anchored to the jawbone. This can typically be done in a single appointment, depending on each patient’s needs. At this stage, the implants begin a process known as osseointegration, which is the fusion of the implants directly to the bone. Osseointegration essentially allows the implant to become a part of the mouth and serve a function very similar to a natural tooth root. The osseointegration process usually takes about three months, but often occurs in as little as two months. Once our dentists have determined that the area has properly healed, the final step of placing a tooth on the implant can be completed.

What Is the Success Rate of Dental Implants?

Implants have been around for over half a century. Endosseous (in bone) implants have been generally successful since their inception. Over the years, research and development have made implants even better.

While there can never be a full and unqualified guarantee that any procedure will be completely successful, it is important to note that previous studies have revealed a 95% five-year success rate for dental implants placed in the lower jaw, and a 90% five-year success rate for dental implants placed in the upper jaw. The difference between the lower and upper jaw implant success rates is attributed to the fact that bone in the upper jaw is not as dense (solid) as bone of the lower jaw. The higher the density, the better initial stability of the implant at time of placement and the greater the likelihood of success. With precise planning and meticulous execution, most patients can expect a successful result. However, it is important to note that part of this success depends on patients’ commitment to following post-treatment guidelines designed to produce optimal healing and longevity.

Many patients believe implants are forever. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Implants can and do sometimes fail.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dental implants have been available for decades and have helped many patients all over the world safely replace missing teeth with exceptional results. With this in mind, it is important to understand that there is an oral surgery component to the dental implant procedure. All types of surgery involve some degree of risk. Fortunately, our dentists have made advanced dental implant planning a cornerstone of these procedures for our patients. The use of 3-dimensional imaging along with meticulous preparation enables us to create a detailed surgical guide for implant placement. This ultimately makes the process much more precise and accurate. Our goal is to significantly reduce the risk of implant failure and other complications while maximizing the likelihood of successful results. Additionally, by following the post-operative guidelines to the letter, patients can also minimize the potential for complications or undesirable results after the implants have been placed.

Are There Alternatives to Dental Implants?

Dental implants are excellent treatment options for many individuals. However, some patients may not be ideal candidates for dental implants and others may simply want to explore other missing teeth replacement options. Our dentists will be happy to discuss alternative treatments that can address your concerns. Generally speaking, implant options will prove to be superior to non-implant options, such as removable partial dentures. When comparing options, it is important to consider that regardless of age, everybody still needs to be able to eat. Although sometimes older patients may question whether it is “worth it” at their age, our response is: YES! You are worth it! Implants provide quality of life to countless patients who always end up happy they made the decision to finally treat themselves and gain the ability to eat whatever they want.

During your consultation, we can talk more with you about potential alternatives to dental implants that may be right for your needs.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The total cost of dental implants is quite unique to each individual patient due to the customized nature of this procedure. Factors that are taken into account include:

  • The overall complexity of the treatment
  • The number of dental implants being placed
  • Fees for dental materials
  • Laboratory expenses
  • Whether sedation dentistry or additional procedures are included in the dental implant treatment plan

Once your treatment plan is developed, a member of our dental team will calculate an estimate of the cost that includes all elements associated with the procedure and present it to you for review. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

Does insurance cover dental implants?

It may be possible in some cases to receive insurance assistance with dental implants; however, coverage will depend on each specific insurance company’s policies. Once you obtain your individual benefits information from your insurance provider, our knowledgeable team can go over questions and review potential out-of-pocket costs based on your customized treatment plan.

How do I clean dental implants?

Dental implants are designed to fit and feel as close to natural teeth as possible, and as such, they should be cared for in the same way. Daily brushing and flossing combined with routine dental check-ups and professional cleanings and exams should help keep your dental implants adequately clean and healthy for a long time to come.

Do dental implants look natural?

One of the many benefits of dental implants is how naturally they can blend in with the surrounding teeth. The implant posts are placed into the jawbone, serving as an artificial root, onto which a porcelain tooth is meticulously crafted and permanently placed to produce results that look and feel natural.

Does smoking affect dental implants?

Yes. Smoking, vaping, and tobacco use can all negatively affect dental implants for a variety of reasons. During the osseointegration process—when the implant post is fusing with the jawbone—nicotine can impair the flow of blood and oxygen to your jawbone, weaken gum tissues, and increase the risk of infection. All of these factors can prevent successful healing and cause the mouth to reject the implants, leading to “implant failure.” Additionally, the use of tobacco products can contribute to tooth, bone, and gum tissue decay, and it can accelerate jawbone deterioration, among the many other health risks commonly associated with tobacco use. It is imperative for dental implant patients to stop smoking at least one month prior to the initial implantation procedure and refrain from smoking for a minimum of two to three months after the full dental implant process is complete. Ideally, patients should have a plan in place to completely avoid using tobacco products at any point in the future once they decide to have a dental implant procedure.

Do I need to avoid certain foods with dental implants?

While soft foods are recommended for several days following the dental implant procedure, most foods can be eaten once the healing process is complete. Generally, to protect the dental crown/tooth restoration, it is advised to be cautious with overly hard or sticky foods (popcorn, caramel, ice, etc.) and to never use your teeth as a bottle- or box-opener. These measures can help prevent unnecessary wear and tear or damage to the restoration.

Contact Scottsdale Smile Center

For more information on dental implants, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to talk more about this procedure, please contact Scottsdale Smile Center today.