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 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.

If a tooth has a severe infection or has not been present in an area for a long time, the bone can disappear in an area.  If this is an area where an implant is needed to be placed and there is not sufficient bone, Dr. Schafer will often place a bone graft.  The bone graft helps widen the bone in these areas so that the implant heals better.

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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