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 720.239.1916.
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.
Dental Implant Recovery Interview
It is day five post-op from my dental implant surgery, which was on the 15th. And yeah, the reason why I haven’t came back in within the last five days is because I’ve been recovering. This video is not gonna be long because it hurts to really talk. But if you guys can see, you see these? The bottom, these are the temporary teeth there at the bottom. They’re the four at the bottom, four incisors at the middle. So one, two, three, four, those four. Let me get a close up so you guys can really see.
So yeah, they did a really good job. These are the temporary ones. These are not even my permanent teeth. These are just the temporary ones that I’m gonna keep in my mouth while I’m healing, while the implants underneath all of that, and underneath all of here is healing. Just to give you guys the rundown about some things, I’ve had some questions about the process, and I’ve also had some questions about the cost and the price. So let me just take care of the price first about how much this cost. Now, it’s going to depend on the individual basis, depending on who you are. Going to the dentist, the plan is geared towards you as an individual. They actually do have to take X-rays, and they take these 3D X-rays, and they also take impressions of your teeth to see what you need best.
All this goes on during the consultation, and then you talk with someone to see what’s the best fit for you, and then they price it according to what you need. ‘Cause, if you just need one tooth, or you just need one crown or something like that, then it’s not gonna be as much as someone that might need a full set, like someone who might need their whole top, all the teeth in their mouth pretty much replaced. It’s not gonna be as much as that. So for me personally, I had to get the bottom four teeth extracted and then replaced with implants, so I got two implants, two actual implants, and I got a bridge. So I got two actual implants, one drilled in over here, one drilled in over here, and then they fitted me with a bridge, a four tooth bridge.
Now, do they have a payment plan? Yes. Well, sort of. Yes and no. What it is is that they do financing, so you would do financing through them. They do not take insurance. Some dentists do not take insurance. Don’t ask me why. This is their situation. This is what they choose to do. They don’t take any kind of insurance, no Medicaid, no Blue Cross Blue Shield, no Kaiser, no nothing. They strictly want you to pay either out of pocket, or they want you to do the financing with different finance companies that they find that you can apply for them. If your credit is really good or decent, you have really good decent credit, and then you’ll be able to get financing through them, which I was able to do. Because of that, I pay a monthly bill until I pay my teeth off, basically. Which, I’ll be paying for these suckers for a while, depending on how much money I have or whatever, or how much I wanna give them. I’ll be paying for these teeth for a while.
As you guys can see, there is some gaping up there that I cannot fix with braces. It just wouldn’t be good for me to do that right now, especially at my age. I’m 43 years old, so it’d be best to just completely replace the teeth. I just wanted to do one at a time. I wanted to do the bottom because those were the ones that needed the help the most.
The first consultation is free. You can go in there, talk to someone, find out what you wanna do, see if you’re approved for financing, and then they can get the ball rolling ’cause it really didn’t take that long for my process to start. I just had this consultation I think last month, I think in May or something like that, and then my procedure was in June. So it didn’t take that long to get the ball rolling. I think I just received my first bill in the mail for my payment for my teeth, so they ain’t gonna send you a bill until after you’ve gotten everything done, at least the beginning part, ’till you had your surgery done. In about a couple months, I’ll be going to get my permanent set that’s gonna be down here for good.
That takes care of cost. What else? Pain, let’s talk about pain. Let me just show you what I’m taking. First, I’m taking oxycodone. I’m taking oxycodone. There is approximately maybe four or five of these left in here, and this bottle was full. So yes, you will be in pain. If you decide to have something like this done, prepare to be in pain because I have been taking these regularly, and I’m still sore. This is the pain that I’m having now. I was never in pain to the point where I was screaming, except when I was actually in surgery, ’til my anesthesia was wearing off, my numbing was wearing off. That’s when I felt like I was about to die, and then they numbed it again. But once you have these, you’ll be okay.
Ibuprofen, 600 milligrams. I take these. I take one of these every six hours. This is for inflammation as well as pain as well, so I take this and this together, and that pretty much helps with the pain. I just took one recently, that’s why I’m in a little pain right now, but I wanted to get this video done. This is the amoxicillin. This is the antibiotic. Now, the antibiotic, I had to take two of these before my procedure, before they even done anything. An hour before the procedure, I had to take two of these. And then, I take four of these a day. One of these, four times a day, that’s what I take. I also take a mouthwash, but that’s in the bathroom. I ain’t gotta show you that, but I take a medicated mouthwash that they gave me, that I have to gargle with, swish around, four times a day, I guess until it’s all gone.
I go for my post-op appointment on Thursday, this coming Thursday. Today is Tuesday. My appointment is Thursday about 3:45, so I’m gonna have to leave work, directly after work and go straight out there. Other than the fact that they did do a good procedure, they did do really good when it came to making me feel comfortable, they did do a good job when it came to giving me numbing pain medication and all that when I needed it. That was good as well. I’m very happy with the end results and the way my bottom teeth do look. I’m very happy with the way they matched the color. And these are just the temporary ones. These aren’t even the permanent ones. I’m really happy with that.
What I am not happy with, and this will continue to be one of my pet peeves with this situation, is the fact that they did not keep my teeth like I asked them to. I told them that I wanted my teeth, and they did not give them to me. And I know some people are like, “Well that’s nit picky.” It ain’t really nit picky because you never know. What if it’s a situation where you need someone’s DNA or anything like that, and all you have is their teeth? Your teeth has your DNA in it. I keep teeth. I keep my kids’ teeth, I keep my own teeth, my husband’s teeth. If any teeth fall out or anything is pulled out, I would like to keep those things. You never know when you may need them for some reason. Some people keep stuff like that for sentimental reasons. I do too. But it’s still a reason why some people would like to keep their teeth.
I don’t think it’s just me. I know there are other people around here that want to keep their teeth. I asked them to keep them for me before they started the procedure, said they would, and then at the end of the day, I didn’t have my teeth. They didn’t know what was going on. Everybody had went home, and I was very frustrated with that situation. Other than that, they did a good job. I give credit where credit is due, but I’m also gonna tell you about yourself if you mess up somewhere. Because for the next person, stick around and ask them if they want their teeth. You know what I’m saying? Make sure they have it. And if they ask for them, soon as you pull them out, put them in something so you can give them to them.
Okay, what else? How do they feel? Okay, how do these teeth feel? Right now, as far as the teeth themselves, they feel like regular teeth to me. They do feel different than my other teeth. They feel a little bigger. They’re spacing out. They feel even, all this feels even, which is a great feeling. I will have to get used to them as far as talking with them. I know you probably can hear a little slurring when I talk because I’m trying to get my tongue to rest in the teeth okay, and try to talk with them, and be comfortable in them. It’s going to take a minute.
Eating, eating, there we go. I am strictly on soft foods for a while, guys. I’m not even sure how long. I think it’s a couple months, I’m sure. I think it’s gonna be a couple … I don’t even know how long that I have to be on soft foods, because these are not the permanent teeth, so I have to eat soft foods, puddings, grits, soup, and tuna. Just things that are really, really soft. I can’t eat anything crunchy. No chips, no biting into anything, no sandwiches, no apples, anything that I have to bite into. Anything that I have to use these teeth to bite into, it ain’t happening. Because right now, they hurt anyway, so I don’t wanna eat anything. I’m not supposed to drink through … Well, I wasn’t supposed to drink through a straw, I think my first 24 hours, but it’s okay for me to do that now.
The bleeding had stopped, I think the first day, so I don’t have any bleeding or anything like that. You guys know that I have anemia, and I like to eat ice a lot. I haven’t been able to really eat ice the way I want to. I can put it in my mouth, and I can let it melt and things like that. And, it really does help with the pain and the swelling, and things like that, so I do apply ice to my mouth. It helps and it feels really good in my mouth, but I can’t crunch ice the way I used to. I don’t know if there’s anything else that I can tell you guys, what’s going on with my teeth. You guys can see, I do believe that they do look better. They definitely do look better than my other teeth. It just feels like something foreign in my mouth. That’s pretty much it. It just feels like something foreign right now, and my body has to get used to them.
I feel like a Robocop, I feel like a cyborg or something because I know I have these screws and metal things inside of my chin, and my gum and all of that. If you guys do have any other questions for me, you can put them down in the comments section. If you guys wanna ask me any questions, I’ll try to come back in another video after that, and answer all the questions that you guys have. I really am uncomfortable right now, and I have to go back to work tomorrow. I’ve been off of work for a whole entire week, and I don’t think that was enough time, personally. And I think that’s just maybe because I don’t wanna go back to work. Still, my job means that I have to talk to people all the time. I have to talk to people every five minutes, and it kinda hurts to continuously keep moving my mouth up and down. It is kinda painful, so I don’t know how I’m gonna work with that.
Hopefully, they will give me some more medication because I think these pills are getting ready to run out. Hopefully, they will get me some more, or I could get some from my primary care physician. And if that’s the case, then I’ll be able to cope with it at cope.
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.