Many adults struggle with missing teeth, damaged teeth, or teeth that are beyond the point of repair. A dental implant is a popular tooth replacement option because they are versatile, healthy, and have the potential to last a lifetime. Dr. Heiner, our board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, specializes in implant dentistry and helping more patients qualify for implants. If you are looking for a solution for missing or damaged teeth, contact Oral & Facial Surgery of New Mexico in Las Cruces, NM, to schedule a consultation.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a complete tooth restoration that consists of a post, an abutment, and a crown. The post is an artificial tooth root that acts just like a natural tooth. It is embedded into the jaw bone and stimulates the jaw during chewing, keeping the bone strong. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that prevents bone loss.
The abutment connects the post to the crown, which is custom-made to blend in with your other teeth. The results are natural, and your replacement tooth will look and feel just like a healthy adult tooth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Many patients who seek a long-term alternative to removable dentures or bridges turn to implants. Learn more about the differences between dental implants and dentures. There are numerous benefits to choosing dental implants, including:
- Prevent jaw bone loss
- Can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance
- Maintain good oral hygiene by not having to clean around oral appliances
- Your treatment plan is customized to fit your needs
- Prevent dental shifting
- Eat your favorite foods without discomfort or moving parts
- Implants do not cause oral sores like dentures
- Many patients qualify, even those with gum disease
When you visit our office in Las Cruces, NM, Dr. Heiner can determine if you qualify for dental implant placement. We will discuss your oral health needs and map out the specifics of your tooth restoration journey.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Thanks to advancements in the field of dentistry, many people can qualify for dental implants. As long as there is enough jaw bone, you are likely a candidate for a dental implant. Jaw bone atrophy is a result of tooth loss. When too much of the jaw bone has weakened, it does not have the strength needed to support an implant. Dr. Heiner uses bone grafting techniques to rebuild bone in weakened areas. Once the bone graft has healed, there will be a sturdy foundation for dental implants.
Patients with advanced periodontal disease, compromised immune systems, or who habitually clench and grind their teeth may not be good candidates. To see if dental implants are right for you, schedule an appointment with our board-certified oral surgeon at Oral & Facial Surgery of New Mexico.
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants are widely known for their versatility. Dr. Heiner will evaluate your oral health needs and goals and determine the right type of dental implants for you. The types of implants available include:
- Single Dental Implants. Wherever you are missing a tooth, Dr. Heiner can place a dental implant as long as there is enough healthy jaw bone. You can receive a single implant or multiple implants depending on your needs.
- Implant-Supported Bridges. A dental implant can support a bridge for multiple teeth missing next to each other in the dental arch. This prevents the need to grind down the natural teeth on either side of the gap to hold the bridge.
- Same-Day Dental Implants. If you are having a tooth extracted, Dr. Heiner can insert an implant post into the empty socket for immediate restoration. This saves you time, money, prevents the need for multiple procedures, and you can leave our office with a complete smile.
- Full-Arch Restoration. This treatment is life-changing for those in need of a smile makeover. Dr. Heiner will extract the remaining teeth, insert several dental implant posts, and attach a fixed denture. You will eat, speak, and brush your teeth like normal and regain confidence in your smile.
Dental Implant Surgery
At the consultation appointment, we will take 3D scans of your mouth to plan the details of your procedure. We will also discuss your options for anesthesia. Many patients undergo IV sedation for dental implant placement.
During the first treatment, the screw is inserted into the jaw bone where your original tooth used to be, creating a foundation for your prosthetic or artificial tooth. After a couple of months of healing, you will return for your second appointment to have the abutment attached to the titanium screw.
Once the screw has healed sufficiently and the abutment is in place, the crown will be attached. The dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that will completely cover the other pieces. After the crown is connected, the restoration is complete.
What is The Cost of Dental Implants in Las Cruces, NM?
The cost of dental implant treatment varies. At Oral & Facial Surgery of New Mexico, we offer implant-based tooth restoration at competitive prices for the Las Cruces area. To configure the cost for your dental implants, we consider how many implants you need, the type of implants, your choice of anesthesia or sedation, your insurance, and if you require other oral surgery services like bone grafts or tooth extractions.
We discuss these items with you and provide a cost estimate at the consultation appointment. To schedule your visit with us and find out how much dental implants will cost for you, please contact us in Las Cruces, New Mexico, today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if you don’t have enough bone for dental implants?
Jaw bone can deteriorate as a result of tooth loss, oral disease, injury, or genetics. Bone grafting techniques help regrow bone by stimulating bone regeneration around the graft. Once healed, there will be sturdy bone able to support replacement teeth.
Can you get an implant years after extraction?
As long as there is enough jaw bone, you can receive a dental implant at any time, at any age. Younger patients can receive implants after the jaw bone has finished developing, or during the late teen years.
What do I do if my teeth are rotting?
Severe infection or damage can sometimes become so advanced, that the natural tooth is unable to save. You can visit your general dentist to see if the infection or damage can be treated with root canal therapy or fillings. If the tooth cannot be saved, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Heiner to see if a dental implant can replace the tooth.
How long is recovery after dental implants?
Many patients resume normal activities a day or two following dental implant surgery. It will take a few weeks for the surgical site to heal, and a few months for the implant post to fuse to the jaw bone.