Dental Implants – Owasso, OK

Sturdy Artificial Roots for Replacement Teeth

Traditional bridges and dentures only replace the top parts of your missing teeth. Meanwhile, dental implants go a step further: they can act as new tooth roots. As such, many dentists highly recommend dental implants for patients who want to re-complete their smiles in a way that looks and feels natural. Here at Life Smiles of Owasso, Dr. Lim is able to provide in-office dental implant placement, and he even offers All-on-4 for patients who are missing all of the teeth in their upper or lower jaws. Reach out today if you’re ready to schedule a consultation for dental implants in Owasso.

Why Choose Life Smiles of Owasso for Dental Implants?

  • Start-to-Finish Dental Implant Treatment
  • Highly Qualified and Trained Dentist
  • Focus on Patient Safety and Comfort

What Are Dental Implants?

Illustrated dental implant in Owasso replacing a missing tooth

By itself, a dental implant post could be mistaken for a screw. It is made out of titanium, a metal known for being biocompatible. When dental implants are inserted into your jaw, they can form a lasting bond with the surrounding bone thanks to osseointegration. By combining the right number of dental implants with a crown, bridge, or denture, our team is able to replace any number of teeth in your smile from the roots up.

What Is Facial Collapse?

Smiling senior man with no teeth

Your teeth give your smile its height. Losing most of your teeth will cause your nose and chin to meet closer together when you bite down. Wrinkles and sagging skin will also quickly form around your mouth when there is no framework of teeth to support your facial tissues. This is the first stage of facial collapse.

Bone loss is the next stage. When a permanent adult tooth is lost, there is no need for the bone tissue that once surrounded the roots of your natural tooth. Your body will dissolve that bone tissue in a natural and painless process so that the minerals it contains can be used elsewhere in the body.

The bone resorption process shrinks the area where your tooth used to be, creating a cratered appearance. If you are missing all or many of the teeth on the lower half of your mouth, then, over a period of 10 or 20 years, your entire jawbone will gradually shrink in height. As your smile height collapses, facial wrinkles will deepen, and your profile will look aged. You may experience this even if you’ve replaced your teeth with dentures.

While dentures are a great option for many people, not everyone can wear them long-term due to the impact on their facial profile. Dentures concentrate the bite pressure on your gums and the top of your jawbone when your bite pressure is supposed to be concentrated in your jawbone. This excess pressure actually speeds up the process of facial collapse, causing many people to ditch the dentures and replace them with dental implants. You can regain some of the facial height you lost by doing so!

When you replace lost teeth with dental implants, the implant posts act like natural tooth roots and stimulate your jawbone to prevent shrinking. This makes dental implants the superior tooth replacement option compared to removable dentures, which merely rest on top of your gums.

The 5-Step Dental Implant Process

Illustrated dental implant being placed in the lower jaw

Here is what you can expect from your dental implant treatment at Life Smiles of Owasso.

Step 1. Evaluation

Dentist showing a dental implant model to a patient

Dr. Lim will perform a thorough examination of your dental health and bite to determine whether dental implants are right for you. You will have X-rays, photographs, and even a CT scan taken in order to capture a comprehensive picture of the structures in and around your mouth. Dr. Lim will let you know if he recommends dental implants in your case, then review with you a suggested treatment plan that has been customized to your needs and preferences.

Step 2. Implant Placement

Close up of person pointing to their mouth with a missing tooth

In a brief procedure, Dr. Lim will administer local anesthetic to the treatment site and then carefully create an opening in your gums and bone. He will place the implant screw in the site and then close up the gum tissue around it to allow the area to heal undisturbed. If you have a tooth extracted prior to getting a dental implant, Dr. Lim may recommend building up the bone tissue in the socket to ensure a strong foundation for the post. If you are nervous about the procedure, conscious sedation is available for your comfort.

Step 3. Healing

Senior man in dental chair admiring his smile in hand mirror

It takes several months for a dental implant to create a tight bond with the surrounding bone tissue in a process called “osseointegration.” A dental implant can only bear the forces of biting and chewing once it has integrated with the bone. It may take three to six months for the area around your implant to fully heal. In the meantime, Dr. Lim will carefully monitor your progress. But don’t worry; your Owasso implant dentist will give you a temporary restoration while you wait for your jaw to heal.

Step 4. Abutment Placement

Close up of smile with visible abutment for one tooth

The abutment is a small piece that connects your restoration to your dental implant screw. In most cases, the abutment is placed after the implant has successfully integrated with the bone tissue.

Step 5. Restoration

Close up of smiling man with short beard

Dr. Lim will begin designing your restoration at the start of your dental implant journey. You will be fitted for your restoration once the area around your implant has healed. Dr. Lim makes dental implant crowns out of zirconia, a ceramic material that looks like natural tooth enamel but is as strong as metal.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Close up of smiling senior woman touching her face
  • Boost your confidence – Dental implants can help you feel better about the appearance of your smile because they fill in unsightly gaps. Additionally, the stability that implants provide to restorations like bridges and dentures will give you confidence that your restoration won’t fall out.
  • Enjoy improved nutrition – Dental implants are just as strong as natural tooth roots. You can chew all kinds of foods easily and comfortably with dental implants. This opens up more possibilities when it comes to choosing a healthy diet.
  • Avoid facial collapse – Dental implants prevent bone resorption and preserve the height of your smile. A denture can temporarily improve your profile, but it cannot stop the gradual loss of bone in your jaw.
  • Natural look and feel – When implant placement and restoration are done well, no one will ever be able to tell that your dental implant is not a real tooth. Implants also feel and function like natural teeth so that you can speak and eat normally.
  • Long-lasting – Unlike dentures and other tooth replacements, dental implants have the potential to last you a lifetime, provided you take good care of them.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Senior man and woman laughing together

As long as you’re an adult with an overall healthy mouth, there’s a very good chance that you’re a viable candidate for dental implants. Note that you may need to have bone grafting and other preparatory treatments performed in order to ensure successful dental implant surgery.

One advantage of dental implants is that they can be used to rebuild your smile no matter how many teeth are missing. Here’s a look at the different tooth loss situations that dental implants can address:

Missing One Tooth

Illustrated dental crown being placed onto a dental implant

The traditional way to replace a single missing tooth is with a dental bridge. However, if you don’t want to have any enamel taken off your remaining teeth so that a bridge can be placed, you can instead have a single dental implant post inserted into the gap. Once osseointegration is complete, a beautiful, personalized dental crown can be attached to the post.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Illustrated dental bridge being placed onto two dental implants

Have you lost several teeth in a row? Don’t worry; oftentimes it will only take two dental implant posts and a dental bridge to replace them all. By completely filling in the empty space with an implant bridge, you can ensure that your remaining teeth won’t drift out of place and cause alignment issues.

Missing All of Your Teeth

Illustrated full denture being placed onto six dental implants

A full denture can be supported by a number of strategically placed dental implant posts. This allows you to replace all of your teeth without having to worry about a prosthesis that might slip out of place at unwanted moments. With the All-on-4 procedure, only four dental implants are required to secure your prosthesis to your jaw.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Man smiling at dental office receptionist

Some patients only need to pay for one dental implant and crown. Others might need to fit multiple implant posts and a denture into their budget. And of course, it may also be necessary to account for the cost of bone grafting and any other additional treatments that may or may not be needed depending on the circumstances. When reviewing your dental implant treatment plan with you, we’ll be sure to give you an idea of what the final price will look like.