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# Dental Implants
Rockwall Oral Surgery can help you to find the best possible solution to your missing tooth needs. If that so happens to be a dental implant, know that you are in the best possible hands for the procedure. We can not only reassure you that our years of experience have made us masters of our trade, but reassure you that you will be informed and comfortable every step of the way. If you have questions about an upcoming procedure or wish to set up an appointment to see what we can do for you, call us today.
What is a Dental Implant?
When you have a missing or extracted tooth, it is important that you find a way to fill in the gap. Getting a dental implant is one way of doing just that. With dental implants, a small titanium post is installed in your jaw that acts as the root of a false tooth which will be installed on top. There are different varieties of appliances that can be attached to an implant, making it a versatile and strong option. You can get a crown, a bridge, or even a full set of permanent dentures.
How to find us? We are located in the heart of Rockwall
If you have suffered an oral injury, it is imperative that you seek dental assistance, even if the injury does not seem that severe. Contact Rockwall Oral Surgery today!
Dental Implants can Replace Missing Teeth
Unfortunately, tooth loss affects millions of Americans every year. If you are one of them, you may be wondering what to do next. At Rockwall Oral Surgery, we offer dental implants to effectively treat tooth loss. Dental implants can restore your ability to properly chew and speak, prevent future complications, and give you back a bright, beautiful smile!
The Effects of Tooth Loss
Many patients think of tooth loss as the worst possible thing that can happen to your smile. However, the effects of tooth loss echo far beyond aesthetics, leading to severe oral health complications later down the line. Bones act very similarly to the muscles in your body. When a muscle is exercised, it remains strong and functional. When a muscle loses that stimulation, it can become weak and atrophy. The same can be said for your bones. Your teeth provide the physical stimulation your jawbone needs to remain strong and avoid deterioration. After you lose a tooth, your bone loses this stimulation. Over time, your jawbone will atrophy, leading to a saggy facial appearance and an inability to support future restorations. Luckily, we have dental implants.
The Dental Implant Process
Dental implants are tiny titanium screws that are surgically implanted below the gum tissue and into the jawbone. After the implant is placed, Dr. Kevin Pollock will give you a set of post-operative instructions. For the next several months, your implant and bone will fuse together through the process of osseointegration. Once the implant and bone have properly healed, we can place the abutment. An abutment is a support structure that links the implant to a restoration. Implants can be used to support a single crown, fixed bridge, or an entire arch of prosthetic teeth. Talk with Dr. Kevin Pollock to see which restoration is right for you!
Healing & Osseointegration
Osseointegration is largely responsible for the many benefits of dental implants. Because the implant fuses to the bone, your jaw receives the necessary stimulation it needs to remain healthy. This eliminates the future complications of bone deterioration. It also provides the sturdy foundation that has help dental implants become the ideal restoration for tooth replacement. Implants are so durable that they can support even the strongest bite forces. This means you can treat your implants just like your natural teeth. You will be able to eat, speak, and smile with confidence and comfort. Implant-supported restorations also offer superior esthetics. In short, dental implants are the next best thing to your natural teeth!
Candidates for Dental Implants
Most patients who are in relatively good oral and overall health will qualify for dental implants. To receive a dental implant, you must have an adequate amount of bone in the jaw. Osseointegration will fail if the bone is too thin or too soft to support an implant, which is why it is important to treat tooth loss as soon as possible. If tooth loss is left untreated for an extended period, you may not have a sufficient amount of bone. To determine if you are a suitable candidate, Dr. Kevin Pollock will perform a comprehensive exam and take a series of X-rays, photos, and CBCT scans. For patients with bone deterioration, a grafting procedure may be necessary.
How to find us? We are located in the heart of Rockwall
If you have suffered an oral injury, it is imperative that you seek dental assistance, even if the injury does not seem that severe. Contact Rockwall Oral Surgery today!
Are Dental Implants Better Than Dentures?
Temporary options like dentures or removable bridges can cause an assortment of problems.
Dentures are uncomfortable to wear
The discomfort dentures cause can create damage in the mouth and irritation to the gums. They also move and slide around frequently. This can be embarrassing and also quite uncomfortable. Tooth replacement options that sit on the gums’ surface rather than in the bone actually cause bone loss over time.
Dentures require special maintenance
With strict cleaning solutions and guidelines for patients to follow, dentures require much more care. When compared to temporary tooth-replacement options, implant-based options are an absolute improvement. They are a natural looking option that is very comfortable, will not shift or slide, and act in just the same way as a real tooth. Additionally, Their permanence means that they can last a lifetime if properly cared for.
Dental implants are easy and comfortable
This option is much easier to clean as you can care for them in much the same way as you would the teeth you have now. Finally, because they sit within your jawbone rather than on the surface of your gums, they stimulate your jaw to keep growing and to remain strong just as a natural tooth root would, eliminating bone loss!
What if I Don't Have Enough Bone for Dental Implants?
A ridge deficiency can prevent a patient from receiving a dental implant. Ridge deficiencies may be caused by developmental defects, lack of preservation, trauma to the face, denture use, or periodontal disease. The loss of bone will leave your jaw in a condition which may be inadequate for the placement of dental implants, dentures, or bridges.
A ridge deficiency can prevent a patient from receiving a dental implant. Ridge deficiencies may be caused by developmental defects, lack of preservation, trauma to the face, denture use, or periodontal disease. The loss of bone will leave your jaw in a condition which may be inadequate for the placement of dental implants, dentures, or bridges. At Rockwall Oral Surgery, we perform a surgical procedure, known as a ridge augmentation, to improve the shape and size of the alveolar ridge. A ridge augmentation is an excellent way to halt the process of bone deterioration and prepare a patient for dental implant surgery.
What is Ridge Augmentation?
Socket preservation, also known as localized alveolar ridge augmentation, is performed following the extraction of a tooth. The alveolar ridge is the bone that surrounds the roots of your teeth. After a tooth is removed, the empty socket will fill in with other bone and tissue. However, the walls of a socket are thin and tend to break during an extraction. This may prevent the socket from healing to the proper width and height. Over time, this area will continue to lose bone, because there is no tooth to provide physical stimulation. Without stimulation, the bone with resorbing into the bloodstream.
Rebuilding the width and height of a socket is not critical to your overall health, but it is critical if you would like to receive a dental implant. An adequate amount of bone provides a sturdy foundation and ensures the success of your implant surgery. Most socket preservations are performed under local anesthetic. For patients with fears or anxieties related to oral surgery, we also offer several forms of sedation. During the procedure, our dentists will place graft material into the newly empty socket. Then, we will position the gum tissue over the socket and suture the area. Once your socket has fully healed, we can begin with implant treatment.
Full Ridge Augmentation
In some cases, the entire ridge may need to be augmented to receive one or more dental implants. If this is the case, we will use the same basic technique of socket preservation, only over a more extensive area. Patients that have advanced tooth loss, or did not preserve the bone immediately after an extraction, may need a more extensive augmentation. If your tooth lost remains untreated for an extended period, it is likely you will need a larger graft.
After a Ridge Augmentation
After your ridge augmentation, you will be given a set of post-operative instructions. Following the instructions is critical to the success of the procedure, and your overall comfort. Be sure to limit your physical activity for the first day or two to minimize potential complications. Typically, we prescribe pain medication and antibiotics, to reduce any pain and the risk of infection. You may be given a temporary restoration to use during your recovery. We may also suggest a soft foods diet to protect the surgical site, and prevent any unnecessary strain.
At Rockwall Oral Surgery, we focus on providing the very best service for our patients. From start to finish, we use the latest technology and techniques to deliver a cutting-edge experience and outstanding results. During the process, we may use a 3D Cone Beam scan to get an incredibly detailed look at your tissue and bone. We may use an intraoral camera to create a digital and impeccable model of your mouth. Moreover, we may use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to drastically accelerate your healing rate.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but it is quickly becoming a valuable tool for any oral surgeon. The substance is a concentrate of platelet plasma protein, which is extracted from whole blood using a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the whole blood until the plasma is separated from the red blood cells. By removing the red blood cells, we create a greater concentration of growth factors, which after application, encourage a faster healing response from your body. Until recently, the use of platelet-rich plasma was limited to the hospital setting due to the high cost. Now, new technology permits us to harvest and produce a sufficient number of platelets from a minimal amount of blood.
During the normal healing process, your body sends cells of all varieties to the wound, one of those cells being platelets. Platelets help form blood clots and release growth factors into the wound. These growth factors stimulate stem cells to generate new tissue and help your body repair itself. Platelet-rich plasma allows your body to take advantage of the normal healing pathways, just at a more accelerated rate.
Clinical Applications of Platelet-Rich Plasma
In the field of oral surgery, platelet-rich plasma has many applications. For example, the application of platelet-rich plasma to a bone graft site can greatly increase the rate at which new bone grows. Bone grafts help provide a sturdy foundation for dental implants. With platelet-rich plasma, our dentists can help you grow bone at an implant site with more predictability and speed than ever before.
Platelet-rich plasma can also be used for:
- Sinus lifts
- Inlays and onlay grafts
- Cleft palate and cleft lip repair
- Ridge augmentation
- Fistula repair in mouth or sinuses
- Restoring bone after the removal of a cyst
- Restoring bone after the removal of a tooth
Unfortunately, not every case of grafting can be helped with platelet-rich plasma. During your appointment, Dr. Kevin Pollock will be able to determine if you are a suitable candidate.
Dental implants are, without a doubt, the best way to restore missing teeth. Implant-supported restorations provide unmatched stability, durability, and comfort. Many of these benefits are a direct result of a biological process, known as osseointegration. During osseointegration, the implant screw and your jawbone fuse together to create a powerful bond. It is also the reason implants have a 95-98% success rate. However, for an implant to be successful, there must be an adequate bone quality and quantity. At Rockwall Oral Surgery, our mission is to provide safe and effective solutions to all of our patients. If your bone is too thin or too soft to keep an implant in place, we will typically recommend bone grafting. Bone grafting is an excellent way to foster bone growth and establish a strong foundation for a dental implant.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafts come from four possible sources: you, another human being, an animal (typically a cow), or synthetic materials. The dentist will determine the type of material you receive, depending on your circumstance. Bone grafting is a term that encompasses several different procedures. The particular approach we take will depend on location in the mouth, the amount of bone loss, and the length of time after tooth loss. In the case of a recently lost or extracted tooth, we may pack the socket with graft material to preserve the bone and structure. If the tooth was lost or removed years ago, we might need to perform a larger graft. Patients with advanced tooth loss, or those that already wear dentures, may need to receive an even more extensive bone graft.
The Bone Grafting Procedure
A bone graft procedure will go something like this:
- Step one—We will administer a local anesthetic to numb the area and eliminate pain. Other sedation options are also available for patients uncomfortable with the surgical process.
- Step two—The dentist will make a small incision into the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone.
- Step three—The dentist will place the graft material onto the affected area.
- Step four—The dentist will suture the incision.
You will then have to wait, typically for several months, while new bone begins to grow. By the end of this process, the graft material will be completely absorbed into the new bone. Once the new bone had fully developed, we can continue with the rest of the implant process. In some cases, if the graft is minor enough, we may be able to place the implant immediately following the procedure. You may experience some minor swelling, bleeding, and soreness in the days after your graft. This can usually be managed with an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen. We may also prescribe antibiotics to reduce the chances of infection.
Bone Grafting for Dental Implants
Besides restoring deteriorated bone, or halting the process, grafting allows you to receive the best possible tooth restoration on the market. Dental implants offer not only superior esthetics, comfort, durability, and longevity but also prevent future bone deterioration. You will find that dental implants vastly improve your life!
What is the Dental Implant Procedure?
Permanent teeth are meant to last a lifetime, but unfortunately for some us that is not the case. If you have lost one or more teeth, you may be wondering what to do. Until somewhat recently, most patients had to choose between a bridge or some removable restoration. These appliances can be inconvenient, unreliable, and even detrimental to the future of your oral health. Luckily, we now have dental implants! A dental implant is a small titanium screw that mimics the root of a tooth. Most screws attach to an abutment, or support structure, which links the restoration to the implant. Dental implants can be used for a single crown, a bridge, or an entire arch of prosthetic teeth. The process is relatively simple and can change your smile, and life, for the better. Rockwall Oral Surgery will walk you through the Implant placement process!
The process starts with a consultation appointment. Dr. Kevin Pollock or Dr. Pollock will perform a series of examinations to determine if you are a suitable candidate. We may have to take dental X-rays, impressions, and 3D CBCT scans to create a precise treatment plan. We will also ask about any medical conditions and medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs and prescriptions. There are a few factors that we must take into account to ensure the success of your implant. For one, you must have a healthy jaw. If your bone is too thin or not dense enough, you may have to receive a bone graft—another service Rockwall Oral Surgery will provide. We will also have to address the presence of periodontal disease and tooth decay, if necessary.
To place the implant, we will make a small incision in the gum tissue and expose the underlying bone. Next, we drill a tiny hole into the jaw so the implant can be deeply embedded in the bone. Once the implant screw is in place, we suture the incision and wait for bone growth. For the next several months, the implant and your bone will fuse together, during the process of osseointegration. The jawbone will grow into and unite with the surface of the implant. Osseointegration replicates the relationship between your jaw and teeth, only with an implant! After osseointegration, we perform a second minor surgery to expose the implant and place the abutment. We then take an impression of the area and use it to fabricate your final restoration. In some cases, an abutment can be placed at the same time as your dental implant.
Once your final restoration is complete, you can walk out of our office with a brand-new smile. Most implant-supported restorations require no special treatment. Because they become a part of your anatomy, they will look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. With daily brushing and flossing, you can keep your restoration in pristine condition for decades. With the right care and maintenance, your implant may even last a lifetime! Also, be sure to schedule regular check-ups and professional cleanings.
After the first few days, your recovery will become much easier. Depending on your particular situation, your implants may be “loaded” with a temporary restoration immediately after placement. A temporary restoration is made from a soft material that allows you to maintain chewing function while shielding the implant from the pressures of your bite. Despite your temporary, you may be asked to stick to a soft foods diet for the first few weeks.
Once the final restoration is in place, you will be able to experience all the wonderful benefits of dental implants. Most implant-supported restorations can be treated like your natural teeth, with regular brushing, flossing, and professional checkups. You will be able to eat, speak, and smile with a new sense of confidence and comfort!
What Types of Dental Implants are Available?
There are many reasons why you might lose one or more teeth. You may have suffered from gum disease or you could have experienced a serious facial injury. Whatever the reason, your quality of life can be seriously impacted. Eating becomes a challenge, and your health can suffer due to malnutrition. Depending upon the location of your missing teeth, your speech may suffer. You become more likely to develop gum disease. Your jawbone weakens and changes shape. Replacing missing teeth is essential to restoring your smile, your oral health, and the functions of your mouth, and there are a number of dental implant options available.
Single Tooth Implant
A single tooth replacement is made to replace one missing tooth. It consists of three parts, the implant, a titanium rod that is surgically implanted into your jawbone, the abutment, and the crown. The success of your replacement relies heavily upon the fusion of your jawbone to the rod. When healed, the rod becomes almost like a tooth root, holding your new tooth securely in place. The implant offers several benefits. It preserves the form of the adjacent teeth, eliminating the need to remove perfectly healthy enamel. It also preserves the integrity of your jawbone, keeping it strong and stable. This is possible because of the implant in your jawbone, which stimulates your jaw, much like the root of a natural tooth would do.
Multiple Tooth Implants
Utilizing multiple dental implants allows you to customize the kind of restoration you want, whether that is multiple dental implants, a fixed implant bridge, or an implant-secured denture. We will work with you to determine the best solution for your situation. The exact number of implants depends on several factors, including the health of your jaw and the number of missing teeth. The process to get your final replacement teeth can take several weeks, as your bone heals around the implants. You are provided with a temporary restoration in the meantime, which provides you with some restored abilities of your mouth. Once you have fully healed, abutments are placed on the exposed ends of the implants. Molds are taken of your mouth and used to fabricate your permanent restoration. The teeth can be finished and polished to perfectly imitate your natural teeth.
All-on-4® (One Day Smile)
Typically, with dental implants, when you are missing all of your teeth in a single arch (or both of them), 6 to 8 implants are inserted per jaw. However, if your jawbone lacks sufficient mass, it cannot successfully support this many implants. Moreover, if one implant fails, the integrity of your replacement teeth is put at risk. This is where the All on 4® treatment concept comes into play. Instead of the usual six to eight implants used, the All-on-4® Treatment Concept utilizes only four implants per jaw. The implants are placed strategically to maximize strength and support. Two implants are placed at the front of the jaw, inserted straight upward. The other two implants are placed toward the back of either side of the jaw and inserted at a 45-degree angle. Once you have healed from surgery, your permanent teeth are affixed to the implants, and you are left with a full, beautiful, natural smile.
Why Titanium is Use For Dental Implants
A big part of why dental implants work is the implant posts, which are generally made of titanium. This is one of the metals that has the special property of being biocompatible.
Titanium is a biocompatible material
When we say that titanium is biocompatible, what are we talking about? .When something is said to be biocompatible, it means that it is not harmful to living tissue, in this case, to the human body. In the 1950’s, titanium was found to be a biocompatible material, that was readily accepted by the human body. Normally, when a foreign substance enters or is placed in the human body, the body responds by trying to remove the foreign material. Take a sliver, one of the more common examples of foreign objects finding their way into the body when you are handling wood without gloves. When you get a splinter, the site will often become red, swollen and irritated. The body does this to encourage the expulsion of the splinter. If this fails, eventually the body will begin producing pus, and a small infection will form around the splinter. The body will try to break down and remove any material that it does not recognize – unless it’s a biocompatible material.
The role of osseointegration in healing
Osseointegration is the reason that dental implants are successful in replacing missing teeth. Osseointegration describes the process of the bone in your jaw healing around the dental implant post. We will surgically place the dental implant post into your jaw bone, and give it some time, usually several months, to recover and heal. During this time the bone in your jaw will grow around the titanium post. As the bone grows around the post, it will begin to make contact with all of the crevices and footholds in the threading of the post, which will eventually make the post mechanically connected to the bone in your jaw. The result is a tooth replacement that is quite stable and reliable.
Dental implants are often made of titanium, because it is a biocompatible material.
Ready to Schedule Your Implant Appointment?
Rockwall Oral Surgery can help you to find the perfect solution and get you back on your feet with a beautiful smile in no time! Your confidence and oral health can be restored, and we can do so in a way that makes you comfortable and keep you well-informed every step of the way. Dental implants can be intimidating, but we have enough experience to assure you that you are in perfectly safe and capable hands, and no one is more dedicated to their patients than we are. Call us today at (469)757-4433!
History of Dental Implants
Dental implants are considered the most advanced solution for missing teeth on the market today! In recent years, the popularity of implants has sky-rocketed thanks to ready availability, improved esthetics, high-quality materials, and new techniques. While we tend to think of dental implants as a modern marvel, they have a rich and extended history that spans thousands of years. At Rockwall Oral Surgery, we believe that patient education is an important part of dentistry. The following information is designed to give you some insight on the history of dental implants.
The Original Dental Implants
There is archeological evidence that humans have been attempting to replace missing teeth with implants since ancient China, dating back about 4000 years! Archeologists found remains with carved bamboo pegs, positioned into the jawbone, to replace missing teeth. In Egypt, 2000-year-old remains have been found with similar pegs made out of precious metals, like copper. Believe it or not, some mummies have even been found with transplanted human teeth, and in other cases, teeth made from ivory. While the copper pegs may have been placed after death, they serve as the first recorded case of metal root replacements.
There is also evidence from 2000 years ago that people would often try to replace missing teeth with teeth bought from other people, or animal ones. Replacement teeth from another living subject are likely to become infected and rejected by the host. Implants received from an animal are classified as a heteroplastic, and those from another human are known as homoplastic. In 1931, an explorer named Wilson Popenoe, and his wife, found the remains of a young Mayan woman at an archeological site in Honduras. In the lower mandible jaw, they found three pieces of shell, shaped to resemble teeth, which filled the space of missing incisors. The shells not only had bone growth around the roots, but there was also calculus formations. These are indicators that the shells were both esthetically-pleasing and functional!
Major Developments with Dental Implants
In the 1950s, researchers at Cambridge University devised a method of successfully embedding titanium into soft tissue. In 1952, Swedish orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark used this research to test his theories on bone regeneration. During his research, Brånemark observed that titanium had unique properties that allowed the living bone to effectively adhere to the metal. Today, the process of fusion between a titanium implant and bone is known as osseointegration. In 1965, Brånemark placed his first titanium dental implant into a human subject. This was a pivotal moment in dental history. Over the next several years, Brånemark’s published studies and performed experiments to further prove his theories. By the 1980s, dental implants had become a well-known solution for tooth replacement treatment.
Today’s Dental Implants
Today’s dental implants consist of a titanium screw (similar to a tooth root), an abutment (support structure), and a restoration (prosthetic tooth). New technologies and techniques have led to the advent of implant-supported crowns, bridges, and full mouth restorations. The latter has essentially made dentures obsolete. With a success rate of nearly 98%, it’s no wonder why dental implants have become the industry standard for tooth replacement!
To learn more about why to choose dental implants, visit The Dental Implant Guide.