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Dental Implants – The Highlands, CO

A Lifelong Tooth Replacement Solution

Older couple smiling and showing their dental implants in The Highlands, CO

At Altitude Oral and Facial Surgery, we provide advanced oral healthcare options to give our patients the best results and quality of life. That’s why we offer dental implants, the only tooth replacement that restores the entire tooth from the roots up. Dr. Brian Fangman is a skilled oral surgeon in The Highlands who is experienced in placing dental implants. Keep reading to learn more about how implants work and what you can expect during the process!

What is a Dental Implant?

Illustration of a single dental implant in the lower arch

You may have heard about dental implants, but what exactly are they? A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jawbone to mimic your natural tooth root. Titanium is biocompatible, allowing the implant to successfully fuse to the jawbone, creating a strong and sturdy artificial tooth root that is ready to support a beautiful restoration. Unlike other tooth replacements, dental implants help restore the entire tooth, and not just the visible portion for the strongest and healthiest solution.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Brown haired woman walking down street with coffee

Did you know that approximately 5 million dental implants are placed by dental professionals in the U.S. every year? When you understand the many benefits they offer, it’s easy to see why they are so popular. In fact, they offer advantages that other forms of tooth replacement, including dentures and bridges, cannot measure up to. They may have a transformative effect on your health, confidence, and quality of life — they are the next best thing to natural teeth!

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Day-to-Day Benefits

Friends enjoying meal together with help of dental implants

Many denture wearers feel that their prosthetic limits their ability to live life to the fullest. If you feel similarly, the lifestyle benefits of dental implants in Denver may change how you think about tooth replacement. Here are some ways in which they can change your everyday existence:

  • Eat anything. Because dental implants are so sturdy, they can stand up to virtually any food, including fresh veggies and tough meats. Unlike with dentures, you won’t have to take special precautions when eating.
  • Traditional dentures are prone to slip out of place during eating and speaking. And although they can look quite good, onlookers might be able to tell that they aren’t real teeth. Dental implants are different. They won’t slip and slide in your mouth, and their restorations are virtually identical to natural teeth.
  • Easy oral hygiene. In many ways, caring for dental implants is just like caring for natural teeth. Strict oral hygiene and regular visits to your implant dentist in Denver are both essential.

Health Benefits

Senior man with dental implants enjoying good health

Oral health plays an important role in overall health. Dental implants in Denver might improve your overall wellness in a few ways:

  • Jawbone preservation. Traditional forms of tooth replacement sit on top of the gums. Dental implants, on the other hand, bond with the jawbone and prevent the bone deterioration that is a normal consequence of tooth loss.
  • Protection for surrounding teeth. Implants can prevent your natural teeth from drifting out of their proper positions. And unlike a traditional bridge, dental implants rarely require that nearby teeth be modified or extracted.
  • Lower risk of systemic health problems. Tooth loss is associated with a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease and other significant health conditions. Because dental implants are so similar to natural teeth, they might help to mitigate such risks.

Long-Term Benefits

Senior woman enjoying long-term benefits of dental implants

Dental implants will continue to benefit you long after they are placed in your mouth. Some of their long-term advantages include:

  • Monetary value. Because dental implants last for so long (30 years or longer in many cases), they might cost less on a long-term basis than other forms of tooth replacement that have a lower upfront cost but that need frequent replacement.
  • A high success rate. Even 10 years after placement, about 90% of implant cases remain successful.
  • Youthful appearance. Some signs of aging are inevitable, but dental implants can help your face to maintain its natural, youthful appearance for as long as possible.

Would you like to find out how dental implants may benefit you personally? Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

Man leaning back in dental chair and smiling

The process of placing and restoring dental implants takes at least several months and requires multiple treatment stages. While it may seem like a marathon, the end result is worth it! Here at our practice, our doctors focus primarily on the surgical aspects of the procedure, while your general dentist or prosthodontist will be responsible for creating your restorations. This team-based approach contributes to optimal outcomes.

The dental implant process can vary slightly from case to case, but here is a general overview of how it works:

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Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dentist and patient talking about tooth replacement during consultation

During your consultation, we will use advanced imaging equipment to gain an understanding of your oral anatomy and the structure of your jawbone. Then, we can begin to plan your treatment. If you have any questions about how the dental implant process works, be sure to ask! We’ll walk you through what you can expect on the road ahead, including your implant placement surgery and any preliminary treatments, such as bone grafting or extractions, that you might require. Additionally, our team will talk to you about your financial options and help you understand the costs associated with your upcoming treatment.

Dental Implant Surgery

Oral surgeon preparing to place dental implant in patient’s mouth

Our doctors are proud to have extensive training and experience in placing dental implants. You can be sure that your procedure is in skilled hands! During your implant placement surgery, we will numb your mouth and possibly sedate you. Then, your surgeon will create an incision in your gums, carefully insert the implants into your jawbone, and then close the incisions. We’ll give you detailed postoperative instructions before we send you home. Most patients are feeling well enough to return to work within a day or two of their surgery, but if you feel like you need to take it easy for longer, that’s perfectly okay.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

Dental implant with healing cap integrated with surrounding tissue

Following your surgery, osseointegration will begin. This is the biological process through which your implants will fuse to the surrounding bone tissue. Successful osseointegration is a vital part of the implant journey because it enables the dental implants in Denver to serve as sturdy prosthetic tooth roots.

After osseointegration (which usually takes 3 – 4 months), you’ll return to our office. You might need to undergo a second minor surgery, during which we will expose the implants and attach healing caps to them. Later, you will receive abutments. Abutments are small connector pieces that will keep your new teeth in place.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Happy female patient using mirror to admire her implant restorations

The final part of your implant journey is restoration. Your implant dentist in Denver or prosthodontist will take impressions of your mouth and use them as the basis for designing your crown, bridge, or denture. They will ensure that its size, shape, and color are a complement for your facial features and oral structures. A dental laboratory will then fabricate your restoration. Your dentist will attach your restoration to your implants, and then you can go off and enjoy all the benefits of your new smile.

Would you like to learn more about how dental implants work in Denver? Schedule your consultation with our friendly team today! 

Indications for Dental Implants

Many people believe that implants can only be used for very specific cases of tooth loss, but with the right number of posts, we can use them to replace any number of teeth. A consultation will be required at the beginning of the process; we’ll need to check for bone loss, gum disease, and health conditions that could lead to complications if left untreated. Once your viability for implant placement has been confirmed, we can devise a specific solution for your case.

Missing One Tooth

If only one tooth is lost, then we can replace it with one titanium implant post along with an abutment and a dental crown that has been designed to blend in with your other teeth. The main advantage of using a single implant instead of a dental bridge is that there’s no need to permanently alter the healthy teeth next to the gap.

Missing Multiple Teeth

When two or more teeth in a row along the bottom or top arch are missing, you can receive a dental bridge that is supported by a dental implant on either end. This will give your new teeth better stability and functionality than they would have had otherwise. And just as with single implants, there’s no need to alter natural, healthy teeth to place the restoration.

Missing All Teeth

Dentures remain an effective way to replace an entire row of teeth at once, but they can be made stronger and even more reliable once we anchor them to 4 to 8 dental implant posts. Taking care of implant-retained dentures is generally more convenient since they can be brushed and flossed normally.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

In some implant cases, more advanced dental services may be required in order to help our patients achieve the smile of their dreams. One of the key factors in the success of dental implants is having enough jawbone to accommodate implants. We offer services like bone grafting and sinus lifts to add bone mass to the jaw, enabling patients with weaker jawbones to enjoy the benefits of dental implants.

Cost of Dental Implants

If you’re considering dental implants, you’re probably wondering about the cost. Without examining your mouth first, it’s difficult to provide a precise estimate. The best way to get a better idea of the price of your potential treatment is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Fangman. He will carefully examine your smile, the condition of your oral health, and the strength of your jawbone before developing a personalized treatment plan that includes cost.

Dental Implant FAQs

Are you considering getting dental implants to replace your lost teeth? We will be happy to be a part of your journey. However, before you commit to your treatment, you likely still have some questions about the procedures you must undergo. That is why we have compiled this list of frequently asked questions. If you do not see the information you were hoping to find, you are welcome to contact us directly.

Will I Feel Anything During the Implant Placement Surgery?

We offer multiple types of sedation, including oral conscious sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. If you are sedated during your surgery, you will feel little to nothing while we carefully and precisely place the dental implants into your jawbone. Even if you are not sedated, and we just use local anesthesia to numb the area where we will be working, you will remain comfortable during your procedure.

What Is the Recovery Like?

After your anesthesia wears off, some swelling and soreness are normal. We will give you detailed postoperative instructions to help speed up your recovery and minimize the risk that you will face any complications. As long as you get adequate rest, do not eat anything that could irritate the surgical site, and maintain excellent oral hygiene, you can expect a fairly smooth recovery. Most patients are able to return to work within a day or two after their surgery. If you have any questions or concerns while you are healing, give us a call as soon as possible.

How Can I Prepare for Dental Implant Surgery?

Smoking can interfere with your ability to recovery well from dental implant surgery, so we strongly advise all patients to stop smoking for at least one week prior to their procedure. You should also not smoke immediately afterward. It is even better if you can quit smoking altogether.

Other steps you can take to prepare include:

  • Arrange to have a friend or family member drive you to and from your appointment (this is vital if you are going to be sedated)
  • Stock up your kitchen with soft foods, like soup, applesauce, and smoothie ingredients
  • Make sure we have your updated medical information

Why Should I Choose an Oral Surgeon for Dental Implant Procedures?

Some general dentists and other dental specialists offer dental implant placement, bone grafting, and other advanced procedures. However, we believe that visiting an oral surgeon for these services is best because of the extensive training that we have undergone. After dental school, an oral surgeon must complete a years-long residency program that prepares them to successfully address even the most complex oral surgery cases. We have an in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and surgical techniques. We will work closely with your general dentist to make sure you receive the highest level of care during every stage of your treatment journey.