Dental Implants in St. Paul, MN
Replacing missing teeth with dental implants provides our patients with the most stable solution available. They fill the gap in your smile and restore function to your bite. Dental implants also prevent bone loss, which is common when you lose teeth, and prevent your remaining teeth from shifting. Dental implants integrate with your bone, just like a natural tooth, and become part of your dental system, making it possible to enjoy an unrestricted diet. Implants can replace one, several, or even all of your natural teeth. There doesn’t need to be one implant for each missing tooth. A full dental arch of teeth that don’t come out, like natural teeth, can be placed on as few as four dental implants.
How Dental Implants Work
Dental implants require precise treatment planning and several steps to complete. Dr. Terry O’Neill will begin with an evaluation of your oral health and bone density, verifying that you are a good candidate for dental implant placement. If you do not have enough healthy bone to support a dental implant, bone grafting is available, so that you can still have the smile you deserve.
Dental Implant Surgery
Digital imaging is used to identify the ideal location for your dental implant then, the implant is surgically placed. Patients tolerate this treatment well and report very little discomfort, which is usually manageable with an over-the-counter pain reliever. If you have anxiety about your appointment, we offer sedation dentistry to help you relax.
Integration and Healing
Waiting is sometimes the hardest part! It’s natural to feel excitement about your new smile, but waiting a sufficient amount of time for your bone and your dental implant to heal is an essential part of the treatment process. This usually takes between 3-6 months. During this period of healing, it is usually possible to make a temporary replacement for your missing teeth. So, you are not without teeth. Full integration results in higher success rates because your dental implant will be able to withstand the force of chewing.
Dental Implant Restoration
The final part of the dental implant process is designing your implant crown, bridge, or full arch replacement. Dr. Terry O’Neill expertly plans the size, shape, and color of your dental implant restoration in order to achieve a perfect fit and natural appearance. The porcelain we use is both durable and esthetic. Your dental implant will match your surrounding teeth, blending in with your smile. No one will ever notice that it is not your natural tooth.
Caring for Your Dental Implant
One of the most convenient features of dental implants is that you can treat them as you would your natural teeth. Single dental implants require only regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings to ensure that you avoid conditions such as periodontal disease, which can cause your dental implant to fail. You can eat normally, avoiding the same hard substances that can damage your natural teeth – like chewing ice and hard candy. If you grind your teeth, we may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth and implant from damage. Dr. O’Neill will monitor the health of your dental implant at your regular dental exams, making sure that it provides many years of reliable service.
Whether you are anxious to get started or you still have questions about dental implants, we welcome you to call our St. Paul dental office for a free consultation. Our Highgrove Dental Care team looks forward to hearing from you.