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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Dental Implants

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Having questions when choosing a dentist is natural! After all, your oral health is an important part of your overall health. Here is a list of some of the most common questions we receive. If you do not see yours listed below, please give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dental Implants

Dental implants in 70056 are a tooth replacement option involving surgical placement of an artificial tooth root into your jawbone. A major part of the implant process is a healing period, where your implanted root fuses into your bone structure, which may take between several weeks to a couple of months. Therefore a dental implant cannot be done in one day but in three to four separate appointments.

The tooth implant process begins with an assessment where Dr. Schafer takes precision 3D imagery of your mouth and bone structure to plan your implant’s placement. Your next appointment involves the actual surgical implantation of the titanium root based on the digital plan from your earlier visit. Finally, our team will follow up with you to determine how well you’re healing before finishing the procedure with a dental crown restoration for a single implant or an implant-supported denture for multiple teeth replacement.

Next-Day Dentures for Replacement Teeth in One Day

Dentures that we may complete in a single day are digitally designed and 3-D printed from a composite material like what we use for dental fillings. They are then polished, cured, and personalized to ensure they fit well. Your dentist in Gretna, LA, can adjust while you wait.  

Dr. Schafer will model each jaw and create a digital scan from that model. We then use a precision printer that lays down the material 50 microns at a time for exceptional fit and accuracy.

If you need a tooth replacement in one day, we encourage you to call our office and set up a consultation.

Dental implants in gretna LA Many people are concerned about whether or not to get an implant because they fear the pain. This fear is completely understandable; however, most patients do pretty well with it. Many patients have told us that over the counter pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol has taken care of the pain. Of course for our implant patients, we do prescribe prescription painkillers just in case our patients need it. After the implants have healed and have attached to the bone, they feel natural and most patients do not even realize that they are even there.  

Lower denture | Gretna LA Dentist As mentioned on other pages, lower dentures are generally more difficult to use than upper dentures as there is little to no suction. However, with implants, we can make the lower denture have the same or better suction than the upper. The minimum number of implants for the lower is two, but three or four can make an even better improvement. The best analogy is to think of a stool.  A two-legged stool requires you to balance on it to stay upright; however, a three or four-legged stool does even better to distribute the force.  

The Benefits of Implants for Lower Dentures

The most rewarding part of placing these implants is the look on patient's faces who have worn a lower denture for a long time when the implants are connected to the denture. The eyes light up as they realize that the denture doesn't require the same balancing act with the lips, tongue, and cheeks.  Many of these patients immediately go out and enjoy food that they have not had in a long time.

Patients who lived with tooth loss or struggled with periodontitis (advanced gum disease) may experience bone loss. Since you need enough bone structure to have success supporting a tooth implant, patients with bone loss often weren't considered good candidates for dental implants. But these days, we have other solutions that make dental implants in Gretna accessible to almost every patient.

If you don't have sufficient healthy bone left where we're planning to place an implant, Dr. Schafer will often place a bone graft. The bone graft helps widen and rebuild so that the implant heals better and has less chance of failing.

During bone grafting, Dr. Schafer uses synthetic bone material to rebuild your jawbone that integrates over time with your natural bone. This process takes about three to six months. Once your bone is healed, he will place your dental implant during a surgical procedure and then allow it time to heal and fuse with your bone.

If you've been told in the past that you're not a candidate for dental implants, Dr. Schafer would love to talk with you about bone grafting and your options for tooth replacement. Our dental office proudly serves the communities of Gretna, Timberlane, Belle Chase, Marrero Harvey, Terrytown, and Woodmere.

Guided dental implant surgery is a tool Dr. Schafer uses to help him place dental implants quickly and effectively.  With guided surgery, a lot of the guess work is removed from the dental implant process.  By scanning in models taken of the patient's mouth and merging them using specific implant software, Dr. Schafer can design a surgical guide so that he knows exactly where to place the implant.  This ensures that the patient gets the best placed implant each time predictably.

Dental implants are artificial titanium roots that are placed in the jaw bone beneath the gums.  Standard dental x-rays are useful for seeing bone levels as well as other issues like cavities and gum disease but they are useful for seeing how much bone is present everywhere as they are two dimensional.  A 3D x-ray is needed for the dentist to see the different structure of bone in the area as well as the best way to place the implant so that it heals well and can easily have a tooth placed on top of it.

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