When seeking Dental Implants in Lakewood or the Greater Denver area, reach out to Dr. Brian Levitin of Mile High Smiles today. Dr. Levitin is experienced with assisting those that are looking for full tooth replacement. Having performed hundreds of dental implant surgeries, we are confident we can help you recover your beautiful smile. Contact Mile High Smiles today at 303-232-1830.
When our Lakewood patients lose permanent teeth due to accident, injury, disease or extraction, dental implants are often a secure, functional replacement option.
Dental implants are superior to other choices because they restore comfort and appearance, yet remain functional for the long run. What’s more, they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, so we don’t have to touch otherwise healthy teeth.
Since they are permanently anchored in the jawbone, implants’ stability and permanence restore your ability to speak and eat normally, supply support to facial musculature, and eliminate the inconveniences and discomforts of ill-fitting dentures. Plus, after years of use, they have over a 98% proven success rate in appropriately chosen cases. You can learn more about dentures here.
So what’s a dental implant?
A dental implant is simply a small titanium post that acts like a man-made tooth root. As the bone bonds to the post, it forms a secure foundation on which your restoration, or artificial teeth, are then attached .
The number of teeth you’re missing will determine the best kind of restoration for your case.
One or two missing teeth indicates a simple crown restoration; two or more missing teeth require permanent fixed bridgework; a complete replacement of upper or lower teeth requires choosing between a removable vs. a fixed denture, which in turn determines how many implants per jaw are required.
- The implant will osseointegrate (bond) with the existing bone.
- The new implant will support your teeth firmly and safely without affecting your natural adjacent teeth
- Your new implants are aesthetically pleasing.
- You will no longer have pain during talking or eating.
- The dental implant will prevent progressive bone atrophy.
- Implants have a proven scientific basis.
- Implants cannot get cavities
At Mile High Smiles, we begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical and dental history to make sure you are a good candidate for dental implants. We will do a full clinical examination of the entire mouth and missing tooth area. The clinical exam should also include specific X-rays.
The tooth structure has two main sections, the root and the crown. The root is the section of the tooth that is below the gumline. A dental implant acts as the replacement for the root and acts as an anchor in the jawbone.
The first step of the procedure is placement of the implant. Under regular dental anesthetic the implant is placed into the jaw. There is not significant discomfort with this procedure and most of our patients go on to work the following day with only minor analgesics. This process can take from 1-3 hours depending on the number of implants being placed.
This implant will be left in place for approximately 2 to 4 months. During this time, the bone will grow around the implant in a process called osseointegration.
Once it’s fully healed, the patient returns to the Lakewood office and the final step in the process is to attach an abutment to the implant, then place a crown that will restore your smile and chewing ability.
Recovering From Dental Implants
After dental implant surgery, you will be provided with a list of after-care instructions and required to attend follow-up appointments. The follow-up appointments can ensure that you are recovering properly.
In order to recover safely and efficiently, you will need to adhere to a proper diet and avoid eating any foods that are hot and spicy as they may irritate the incision site. Chewy or sticky foods such as popcorn, crackers, nuts and candy should be avoided as well. They can lead to some pain and discomfort because they require a great deal of chewing. In addition, they may get stuck in the incision site and cause an infection.
After surgery, we recommend foods like applesauce, warm broth-based soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt, and instant oatmeal as they are all easy to eat and great sources of vitamins and minerals.
You will also be asked to avoid consuming alcohol and smoking as these two activities may delay the healing process. While you can brush your teeth after surgery, you’ll need to be careful so that you do not come into contact with the incision sites.
If you are nervous about disturbing them, you can use warm salt water and gently swish it around your mouth for three to five minutes. It’s best to repeat this process a few times a day until we state it’s time for you to resume regular brushing and flossing.
In the event you experience swelling, you can use a cold pack to reduce it. Lastly, avoid strenuous exercises until you have completely healed. If you do wish to exercise after dental implant surgery, stick to walking, yoga, stretching exercises, and light strength training. These types of exercises can improve blood circulation and expedite the healing process.
By following our after-care instructions and attending follow-up appointments, you’ll recover quickly and be back to your old self in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Are dental implants safe?
Yes! Dental implants are incredibly safe. Dentists have used them for decades and they received FDA approval in 2002. Several dental implant systems have also been approved by the American Dental Association.
How painful are dental implants?
Contrary to popular belief, dental implants do not cause pain. Anesthesia is administered during the procedure to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Once it wears off, the discomfort should be minimal and can be eased with an over-the-counter medication. If you do experience severe pain or pain that lasts for more than a few days, contact our office as soon as possible.
Are dental implants strong?
Yes! In fact, they may be even stronger than the decayed or damaged teeth that they are replacing. Fortunately, their strength won’t impact your ability to chew or eat so you can enjoy your favorite foods while sporting a beautiful, healthy smile.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are long-lasting. Believe it or not, they often last a lifetime, especially when patients are 45 or older.
How do you care for dental implants?
Fortunately, you can care for your dental implants just like you care for your natural teeth. You’ll need to brush and floss your teeth every day and visit the dentist every six months or so for routine exams and cleanings.
Keep in mind that while implants won’t ever decay, a lack of good hygiene can lead to gum inflammation or infection and decrease their longevity.
What can I eat after getting dental implants?
Immediately after dental implant surgery, your gums and bone will need some time to heal. Therefore, we suggest soft foods and liquids for a few weeks and foods like oatmeal, soups, yogurt, eggs, and potatoes. This way, you can avoid putting any pressure or movement on your new implants and keep them in good shape.