Today's dental implants provide an attractive and comfortable replacement for teeth that are lost to gum disease, cavities, birth defects, trauma or infection. Whether you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants or dentures may be an option for you. With Scholes Periodontics and Implants services, countless patients now smile with confidence.
Dental Implants – What Are They?
Dental implants are titanium screws that are placed in the jawbone to replace the root of a missing tooth. They can be used to replace one or more teeth, and they can dramatically increase the retention and stability of dentures. Titanium metal is the most biologically compatible material which allows your bone to fuse to the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
Benefits of Dental Implants
|Restore chewing power
|Restore natural tooth appearance
|Minimize erosion of the jawbone
|Maintain natural facial contours
|Reduce Bone loss
|Eliminate partials, dentures
|Preserve remaining natural teeth
Implant Treatment Process
After your Implant Evaluation with Dr. Scholes our team will communicate with your restorative dentist — together they will collaborate on the best treatment options for you. All implant surgeries are done in the comfort of our dental office under local anesthetic.
Once your implant or implants are surgically placed in the jawbone, they will be allowed to heal for several months, during which time we will monitor your healing. Upon healing of your dental implants, you will be referred to your restorative dentist to complete your new teeth.
Dental Implant Options
A single dental implant can be used to replace one missing tooth, whether the tooth came out on it's own or if you have had a tooth extraction. An implant bridge can replace two or more missing teeth and may require fewer implants to stabilize an area.
Dental implants can also be used to replace an entire arch of teeth or to stabilize a partial or denture.
We utilize the newest technology to determine how many implants will be needed and to assist in locating an ideal area to place them in. At your implant evaluation, Dr. Scholes will be able to examine your mouth and explain in detail what options are available to you.
Dr. Scholes has been placing and maintaining dental implants since 1992. He has received extensive training in dental implant procedures and regularly attends continuing education courses to stay up to date on the latest technology. His international training includes completing a clinical residency program on the world's best implant surgical techniques at the Malo Clinic in Lisbon, Portugal.
Materials Used to Craft Dental Implants
The variety of materials we used to craft dental implants depend on where the implant is placed in your mouth. For the front (anterior) teeth, we use material that closely mimics the aesthetic of real teeth. Since molars and pre-molars do all of the chewing, we use highly durable materials that can withstand a strong bite force. Let's take a look at the different materials that we use to craft your restorations.
Porcelain offers a close aesthetic match to natural teeth because of the way that light plays through it. For this reason, we frequently use porcelain to restore teeth that are prominently featured in your smile. As porcelain is not quite as durable as other materials at our disposal, we do not use it to restore molars or pre-molars. Sometimes with prominent pre-molars, we fuse porcelain to a strong base material, like metal, to keep the natural aesthetic while retaining bite strength.
Ceramics have come a long way in the last couple decades, and they offer a very robust profile when it comes to tooth restorations. Not only are ceramics (like zirconia) very strong and able to last an extremely long time, they can be made to look quite similar to a natural tooth. For this reason, ceramic materials are used the most frequently to restore chewing teeth like molars.
When it comes to the materials we use to restore teeth, ceramics are among the highest in durability and strength.
Historically, gold is one of the most common tooth restoration materials in the world. In more recent history (the last few decades) it has largely been replaced by ceramics because of their ability to match the look of natural teeth. This doesn’t mean that gold is no longer a valuable tooth restoration option, it simply means that people tend to want their new restorations to look like their natural teeth. Gold boasts impressive qualities of being able to last a patient a lifetime because of its great durability. It also feels the most like a natural tooth to the patient. Many people find gold restorations to be beautiful, and for this reason, they are still popular.
As mentioned above, metal is often used as a strong base for other restoration materials. Because metal is so robust and dependable, it is a good option for a long lasting dental restoration that is meant to last a long time. We can fuse porcelain or ceramic materials to the surface of a metal restoration to give it a more beautiful aesthetic.
If you or a loved one is in or near Chandler, AZ and want more information on dental implants, or would like to learn more about what options are available to you, we recommend that you call our office at (602) 900-1609 to schedule an implant evaluation. At your initial visit, Dr. Scholes will discuss treatment options available to you in detail, as well as answer any questions you may have.
Digital radiographs (X-Rays) will be taken and will serve to help us evaluate the quality and quantity of existing bone. This information is valuable in that it assists us in determining the number and placement of implants.
Should additional medical information or adjunctive procedures/diagnostics be needed before implant placement, our recommendations will be made at that time. We consistently receive compliments from our patients about our friendly, welcoming and informative team. Read our patient reviews.
We accept many dental insurance plans, and we offer several financing options. Our experts will assist you in understanding your dental insurance benefits.
Your comfort is our highest priority at Scholes Periodontics & Implants! For this reason, we offer some sedation options to help keep you comfortable. Local anesthesia is administered to prevent you from feeling any discomfort in the areas that we are working on. Local anesthetics work by numbing the procedure site nerves, so you won't be able to feel a thing.
We also offer nitrous oxide, which is a great way to calm your nerves. General anesthetic sedation offers a much deeper level of sedation that will help to make the surgery go by in a flash. When coming out of any anesthesia, it is important to rehydrate and watch out for nausea. Most people do not experience nausea after anesthesia, but it can come on quickly and be disorienting, so it's best to always exercise caution.
Post Operative Instructions
Following dental implant surgery, it is important that you follow a few basic instructions to ensure the long-term success of your new implants. The best thing you can do following dental implant surgery (aside from daily oral hygiene) is leaving the site alone for at least two weeks.
It is extremely common to feel a strong urge to probe the site with your tongue, which is a normal urge when things change in your mouth. It is imperative that you fight this urge as continued probing of the sites can easily lead to inflammation and even infection of the sites. Infection can lead to a failure of the implant. It is also important to stick to softer foods for the first 10-12 week integration phase.
Minor bleeding is to be expected for the first day or two following surgery. The best way to deal with bleeding is to place a piece of gauze over the implant site and bite with gentle pressure for a half hour or so.
Resting for the first two days after surgery is important to allow the site to heal properly. Increased activity means increased blood flow, which can lead to excessive bleeding. There will be sutures over the surgery site, and they should be left alone. Sutures will dissolve naturally over the course of a week. You will have a follow-up appointment where we will remove sutures as we see fit.
Swelling around a surgery site is a good indication that the body is healing properly and should be expected. Swelling probably won’t be apparent until 24 hours after surgery. To mitigate swelling apply a cold compress or ice pack to the site, making sure to place a towel or cloth between your skin and the pack to ensure there is no tissue damage due to cold. Swelling will reach it’s most severe around the 2-3 day mark and may continue for up to a week.
It is normal to experience some degree of pain of discomfort following any form or surgery. Before taking medications of any variety, always make sure to consult with your physician. If you have known allergies to medications, please make us aware of these allergies.
Minor pain or discomfort can easily be treated with OTC painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. When serious pain becomes a serious issue consider taking the prescription painkillers that we prescribe to you following surgery. As with all medications, make sure to follow the instructions on the label and never take too large a dose.
Following general anesthesia, there is a good chance that you will be dehydrated. If you do not feel dizzy or nauseous, sip on water and feel free to eat very soft foods like gelatin or pudding. Numbness of the mouth is often an issue, so be mindful while eating and drinking if your mouth is numb at all. Soft foods are encouraged for over a week following dental implant surgery.
Infection is the number one danger that dental implants face after surgery, for this reason, it is critical that you keep your mouth as clean as possible while the surgery site heals. The day of surgery it is important to leave your mouth alone.
The day following dental implant surgery you can start cleaning your mouth after every meal. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and avoid the surgery site as best you can. Floss at least once a day and keep an eye on the surgical site regularly for signs of bleeding. If you find that the site bleeds following brushing, just apply a piece of gauze and gently bite on it until bleeding subsides.
It is important to curb your physical activity almost entirely for the first two days following dental implant surgery. An elevated heart rate can cause excessive bleeding at the surgery site and risks the success of the dental implants.
Bad breath is frequently reported by those who are recovering from oral surgery but have no fear; these symptoms will go away as the site heals. The days following the surgery may bring a buildup of white colored, hard tissue around the implant sites. This white tissue is normal and is an indicator that healing is taking place, which is good news. It’s also totally normal to see some silver around the implant site; this is just the implant.
If you are prescribed an antibiotic, make sure you follow the directions exactly. Anytime you are prescribed an antibiotic it is critical that you finish the prescription entirely. If at any point while taking antibiotics you notice a rash or other unfavorable reactions, cease taking the antibiotic and call our office at (602) 900-1609 immediately.