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Dental Implants — Lovell, WY

Rebuild Your Beautiful Smile Today

An older woman viewing her smile in a mirror

If you have teeth missing from your smile, you may find it very difficult to be proud and secure in the way you look. Many people consider a smile a first impression, and if you are not sure of the way you are presenting yourself to people, it could have many negative effects both professionally and personally. You may have considered dentures as a solution, but having a new smile that is more permanent and stable may appeal to you more. Dr. Lance Anderson understands the discomfort and embarrassment his patients go through with having teeth missing, so he wants to be able to give them the full, radiant smile they deserve using dental implants.

Why Choose Lovell Dental for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

Picture of a dental implant next to a patient’s mouth

A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that serves as a synthetic tooth root, which is placed directly into the jaw. Once placed, it can simulate nearly all the same attributes of your previous tooth and remain healthy for decades to come. When you want a tooth replacement that is truly reliable and capable of breaking down all of your favorite foods, you’ll quickly learn why dentists recommend them over more traditional options. On top of that, implants can be used to replace any number of teeth, keep a denture more stable, and prevent numerous oral health problems that can occur following tooth loss.

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

A smiling patient at her dental appointment

The procedure itself requires a minor surgery, but most patients report feeling very little pain both during and afterward. Unlike other dental offices in an around Lovell, Dr. Anderson is actually able to perform this part of the procedure himself, ensuring you’ll be able to rebuild your smile while always working with the same doctor and team you trust.

Initial Consultation

A patient speaking with a dentist and dental assistant

We’ll plan out your tooth replacement process through a detailed consultation. From there, we’ll place bone and tissue grafts and/or remove damaged teeth as necessary in order to prepare your smile for dental implant placement.

Dental Implant Surgery

Two dentists performing oral surgery

The implantation procedure requires our team to make an incision in the gums. Then, we place the implant post into the jawbone and attach a protective cap so it can heal properly.

Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

A model of a series of dental implants

Once the implant is in place, the jawbone will naturally grow around and bond with it to create an extremely sturdy base for the replacement teeth. This bonding process, known as osseointegration, takes place over the course of 3 – 6 months. After the implants fully fuse with your jawbone and gum tissue, we’ll place the abutments (small attachment pieces that connect the implant and replacement teeth) and design your fixed bridge or partial denture.

Delivery of Final Restoration

An older woman pointing at her smile

Once Dr. Anderson feels that you are ready, he’ll invite you back to the office to have your permanent new teeth (restorations) placed. When we receive the bridge or partial from our lab, we’ll complete the last stage of treatment where we connect your replacement teeth to the implant posts.

Benefits of Dental Implants

A diagram of an integrated dental implant

While there are many ways to replace teeth, dental implants offer benefits that truly stand out in the field of dentistry. They are considered to be the most comprehensive tooth replacement solution because they are the only option that replaces the entire tooth. However, many patients don’t actually understand why this distinction is so important. Below, you can learn from Dr. Anderson and Lovell Dental how dental implants can truly change your life. If you’re ready to schedule an appointment and replace your missing tooth, don’t hesitate to give our office a call!

Mimics Your Natural Tooth Almost Exactly

An older man biting into an apple

When you replace the root of teeth and not just the crown, you’re not just restoring the structure of the tooth. In fact, you’re effectively restoring all the functions that were present with your previous tooth. This includes your biting force, your natural jaw shape, and blood flow. Improved blood flow allows nutrients to properly travel to your gums and facial tissue, keeping your oral structures healthy.

A Long-Term Solution for Tooth Loss

A person with a missing tooth

In comparison to other forms of tooth replacement, including dental bridges and dentures, dental implants maintain the best longevity. This is in large part due to the integration with existing bone tissue. On average, dental implants last between 25 years and a lifetime, while dental bridges typically only last for 10 to 15 years and dentures generally need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years.

The Best Aesthetics Available to Date

An older woman examining her smile

As mentioned, dental implants allow for proper blood flow to occur to your gums and facial tissue. This also means that your face will maintain its natural elasticity and your cheeks will no longer hollow out, a side effect that’s very common following tooth loss. Dentures and dental bridges do not address the bone underneath the gums, which means premature signs of aging can still occur. Dental implants combine comprehensive integration and lifelike materials (porcelain) to provide the best esthetics possible.

High Success Rates and Predictability

An older couple smiling and hugging outside

When placed by a professional like Dr. Anderson, dental implants maintain an average success rate of 98 percent. It is crucial to choose a dentist who is experienced in placing dental implants because it ensures the most successful treatment possible. However, thanks to advanced technologies like the 3D cone beam scanner, we can perform the most predictable procedure possible and improve treatment outcomes across the board.

Eat the Foods you Want Without Worry

A chef pouring sauce over a steak dinner

If you’ve had a denture before, you know that eating certain foods is completely out of the question. For example, steaks and apples become so difficult to enjoy that you may avoid them (as well as similar foods) altogether. Since dental implants stimulate your jawbone as you chew, it keeps your overall biting force strong. Eating the foods you enjoy, regardless of how tough or chewy they may be, is simple, straightforward and seamless.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

An older man smiling

Whether you are missing one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth, dental implants may be the ideal treatment for you. Keep reading below to learn more about the ways in which we can bring back your smile’s full function.

Missing One Tooth

An implant crown is what we can use to restore a single missing tooth. It consists of three parts: the implant itself, an all-porcelain crown, and an abutment. The crown replaces the tooth above the gum line and is connected to the implant via the abutment. Once the crown is in place, it should be virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth. We’ll shade it to blend in with the rest of your smile, and it will also be just as strong so you can eat all of your favorite foods without a second thought.

Missing Multiple Teeth

In the case of a few missing teeth in a row, we can use implants to form a bridge. Two implants will be placed on either side of the gap in the mouth, and a bridge will be attached to the implants to close it. This will not only restore the appearance of the smile, but it will also prevent the remaining teeth from drifting into the gap.

Missing All Teeth

If you’re sick and tired of your uncomfortable, unreliable dentures, dental implants can offer you a solution as well. Using just a few implants placed at strategic locations throughout the jaw, we can replace an entire arch of teeth. Implant dentures are superior to their traditional counterparts in a number of ways:

  • Better Fit: Because implant dentures are anchored directly into the jawbone as opposed to just sitting on the gums, they have a much stronger and secure fit, meaning they are less likely to slip, slide, pop, or click unexpectedly.
  • More Consistent: Traditional dentures typically lose their fit after just a few years because they don’t prevent the bone and gum loss that occurs naturally after tooth loss. Dental implants, however, do, so this means implant dentures will fit just like they do on day one for much, much longer.
  • Stronger Bite: Implant dentures enable a patient to have a bite much stronger than regular ones, allowing you to enjoy a healthier and more varied diet with ease.

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Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

A person holding a pen and using a calculator

One of the things patients find most intimidating about dental implants is the cost. While this procedure is one of the priciest services we offer, the Lovell Dental team is here to help you fit the costs of these implant supported tooth replacement plans into almost any budget.

Before we begin your treatment plan, we’ll walk you through the out of pocket costs of each part of the process. If you have questions or want to get started with your implant supported tooth replacement plan, give our team a call today.

The Parts & Type of Your Dental Implant

A diagram highlighting the parts of a dental implant

The largest portion of the cost of implant supported tooth replacement plans is the price of the implant posts themselves. Depending on the size, type of implant post, and material used, a single dental implant can cost anywhere from $500 to $2000 or more. That’s before the costs of placing the implant post and attaching the replacement tooth or teeth.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

A dentist showing an older patient an X-ray

In addition to the price of each implant post, there are also a variety of other factors that can impact the cost of implant supported tooth replacement. In addition to the surgical placement of one or more dental implant posts, there are a number of other procedures involved in the implant supported tooth replacement process, and each of these can impact the price of your overall treatment plan. Some of those treatments include:

  • Tooth extraction
  • Bone and soft tissue grafting
  • Sedation dentistry
  • The replacement tooth or teeth

Making Dental Implants Affordable

A patient smiling at her dentist

Before we get started, our knowledgeable dentists and team members will review the entire process related to your unique tooth replacement plan. You’ll need to visit us for multiple treatment appointments over the course of several months. To help you budget for treatment, we ask that you remit payment at the time of each service rather than paying for the entire tooth replacement plan up front.

While dental insurance doesn’t typically cover implant posts or their surgical placement, other aspects of the procedure are covered, and our team will do their utmost to maximize dental benefits. Your preparatory treatments like tooth extraction and bone or soft tissue grading typically receive some insurance benefits. Sedation dentistry options may also be partially covered. Your replacement crown, bridge, or dentures typically receive the same coverage as their traditional versions.

For those who would like to further break down the costs of their dental care, we’re happy to work with CareCredit. This third party financier offers qualified patients a range of low and no interest payment plan options. You can apply for prequalification online, or you should feel free to talk to our team about CareCredit during your treatment planning appointment.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

dentist showing a patient their X-rays

Although most generally healthy patients can be candidates for dental implants, it’s not uncommon to need one or more preparatory procedures beforehand to address any untreated oral health issues. These may be relatively simple, like gum disease therapy. However, if you have lost bone density in your jaw since your teeth have gone missing, you might require a more complex procedure before dental implants can safely be placed. Here are a couple of examples of the advanced treatments we offer that can help your dental implant procedure in Lovell proceed without a hitch!

Bone Grafting

jawbone before and after bone grafting in Lovell

The roots of natural teeth stimulate blood flow to the area every time you bite or chew. When the tooth roots are lost, that area of the jawbone begins to deteriorate from a lack of stimulation. Eventually, it may become too weak to support dental implants. That’s where dental bone grafting in Lovell comes in.

Bone grafting refers to any procedure aimed at replacing missing bone in the body, but it’s commonly performed to strengthen a part of the jaw before dental implant placement. It involves attaching bone mass – which can come from elsewhere on your body, a donor, or even synthetic material – to the section of the jawbone that has been lost. Following the procedure, the grafted material begins to bond with the natural bone in the area until it is strong enough to support the dental implant posts. Keep in mind that even though this may seem like a long time to wait, it’s ultimately worth it to have a strong, healthy foundation for your new pearly whites.

Ridge Expansion

side view of a dental implant in the lower jaw

In some cases, a patient’s jaw may not quite be wide enough to support dental implants for whatever reason. We would then recommend an advanced procedure called a ridge expansion.

During a ridge expansion, the ridge of the jawbone is carefully divided into two sections. The inner and outer halves are wedged apart, creating a space in between them that can be filled with bone grafting material. Once the area is filled and your gum tissue is stitched closed again, you’ll wait for a few months until a thicker and more durable foundation is created for your dental implants in Lovell. However, it’s also possible to place the implants at the same time that the ridge expansion is performed; it depends on your specific circumstances.

Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions

Woman resting after dental implant surgery in Lovell

Your entire dental implant process takes place in-house! After your procedure, you will be given specific post-op instructions to help you recover as smoothly and quickly as possible. In the meantime, here is what you can expect after your surgery as well as a sneak peak of the post-op instructions that will help you to get back on your feet.

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

Woman drinking water after dental implant surgery in Lovell

You may not be looking forward to the procedure itself, but when you take all the right steps, you can make the healing process quick and tolerable. Your biggest priority should be to leave the forming blood clot untouched so the healing will occur smoothly. Be sure that you:

  • Avoid spitting. Instead, use tissues or swallow your saliva.
  • Don’t use straws to drink.
  • Keep your tongue (and fingers) away from the surgical site.

Common Side-Effect When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

Woman with sore mouth after dental implant surgery in Lovell

It is normal to experience some side-effects in the first few days of getting your dental implants, but they are generally pretty mild. Here are some common ones that patients often experience.

  • Bleeding: Intermittent bleeding is normal after surgery. This can be lessened with gauze and light pressure. This will subside after a few days pass.
  • Inflammation: Swelling is often persistent for the first 72 hours after surgery, but sometimes it can last for over a week. Cold compresses can help with this in the meantime.
  • Soreness: It’s normal to feel soreness in the area for a few days. This can be managed by taking pain relievers as directed.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

Scrambled eggs

It’s important that you are mindful of what you are eating after your procedure. Here are some soft foods that you should stock up on ahead of time:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Pudding
  • Soup
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Pasta

Once discomfort subsides, you can switch back to your normal diet. Just remember that you should avoid chewing directly on the implant site. You want to give your implant the best possible chance of success.

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

Woman brushing teeth after getting dental implants in Lovell

It is crucial that you keep your smile clean after your surgery. This way, the implants will be better able to integrate with your jawbone. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Brush your teeth the day after surgery but be especially careful near the surgical site.
  • Rinse your mouth with saltwater.
  • Use prescription mouth rinse if you were provided with one.
  • Stay away from mouthwashes that contain high levels of alcohol.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

Man smiling after getting dental implants in Lovell

Once your smile has finished healing and your dental implants have fused to your jaw, you have finished the difficult part. When your dental crown, bridge, or denture is attached to the implant(s), you may experience sensitivity, but this is easy to control with over-the-counter pain relievers, and it is temporary. You shouldn’t have any bleeding, inflammation, or extensive recovery.

Dental Implant FAQs

Illustration of dental implant in Lovell

Dental implants are a preferred tooth replacement option because of their numerous benefits. However, they are quite an investment, so it pays to be well-informed about the procedure. We’re here to help. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about dental implants in Lovell. If you don’t see the information that you’re looking for below, don’t worry. Give us a call and we’d be happy to answer your questions and get you started with an initial consultation.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The lifespan of dental implants typically depends on the health and lifestyle choices of the patient. To ensure that they last, be sure to brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash on a daily basis. Attend regular dental cleanings and checkups, and avoid chewing on anything particularly hard or sticky. With proper maintenance, dental implants can last up to 30 years or even longer. This is several times longer than traditional bridges or dentures.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

The jawbone does not have very many nerve endings, and your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure begins. You will also most likely be sedated, lowering your body’s ability to register pain. Even though you shouldn’t feel pain during the surgery, your mouth may be sore for a few days afterwards. Take recommended over-the-counter and prescribed pain relievers as directed. Cold compresses can also help. If discomfort worsens instead of improving after two or three days, give us a call.

Will I Have to Take Off Work for Dental Implant Surgery?

Most patients only need to take one or two days off work to get dental implants. If you have a job that’s physically demanding, you should probably take at least three or four days off, as heavy exercise can divert blood from the implant site and delay healing. However, every case is different. During your consultation with us, we’ll be able to give you a more specific recommendation to meet your needs.

Will People Be Able to Tell That I Have Dental Implants?

Dr. Anderson will take impressions of your mouth that are used to design your personalized restorations. Once your implants and replacement teeth are placed, people shouldn’t be able to differentiate them from your natural teeth. Implants are placed in the jaw like tooth roots, so you won’t have to worry about them shifting around or being uncomfortable like ill-fitting dentures can be.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

woman smiling brightly outdoors

After your dental implant treatment is complete, you can expect your new teeth to last for quite a while. In fact, the average lifespan of a dental implant is 30 years. However, to make sure you get the most out of your dental implants and enjoy them for as long as possible, you’ll need to practice proper dental implant care in Lovell. Following these five basic steps can keep your dental implants in great condition for years or even decades to come!

Prioritize Your Oral Hygiene

man flossing

While your implants won’t get cavities, the tissue surrounding them can fall victim to peri-implantitis, a form of gum disease. Without treatment, peri-implantitis can damage the gum and bone holding your implants in place, causing dental implant failure. To avoid infections like these, you should brush and floss your implants every day, just as you would with natural teeth.

Eat a Nutritious Diet

woman eating a salad

With dental implants, there’s essentially no limit to the foods you can eat. That said, overindulging in sweets and starchy foods gives the bad bacteria in your mouth ample fuel to cause infections and decay in any natural teeth you have left. Treat yourself to items like these in moderation, and make sure your diet consists of plenty of nutritious fruits and vegetables.

Quit Harmful Habits

person breaking a cigarette in half

Tobacco use is a major risk factor for dental implant failure; we recommend that you quit smoking for several weeks before your dental implant surgery. Ask our team for help in finding resources that can make it easier to quit. Additionally, try to break habits that could physically damage your implants or restorations. These include opening packaging with your teeth, chewing on pens or pencils, and crunching on ice cubes. Start carrying sugar-free gum on your person and pop a piece in your mouth whenever you feel the urge to chew something inedible.

Protect Your Pearly Whites

person wearing a yellow mouthguard

As strong as dental implants (and natural teeth) are, they can still break from sudden impact or long-term exposure to pressure. If you play any kind of sport or clench and grind your teeth at night, a mouthguard is essential to protect the investment you made by replacing your teeth. An athletic mouthguard cushions the impact of sports-related blows to the face, mouth, and jaw, greatly reducing the risk that your implants will be permanently damaged. For patients who suffer from bruxism and chronically grind their teeth while sleeping, a nightguard creates a comfortable yet durable barrier between your upper and lower arches, minimizing wear on your implants.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

dental hygienist cleaning a patient’s teeth

Even with the best at-home care, you’ll still need to visit our office at least twice a year for a routine dental checkup. Often, problems with dental implants go unnoticed until they’ve caused serious damage. When you let Dr. Anderson examine your mouth every six months, he can detect whether there are any issues developing and treat them right away, preventing them from wreaking havoc on your smile.

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