Dental Implants in Littleton

What are Dental Implants?

If you have lost one or multiple teeth due to oral trauma, decay, or gum disease, we offer a permanent solution with dental implants. Dental implants look and feel completely natural because they are stabilized in your jaw, and they will not move or shift while you eat or speak. If you’re interested in replacing missing teeth with dental implants, schedule your consultation today!

patient getting dental work

Unique Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants last 30+ years with proper care and cleaning, making them the most long-lasting option for replacing missing teeth
Implants support the strength of your jaw bone and prevent bone resorption, a common issue after tooth loss
Dental implants look and feel completely natural and will never slip or move while you eat, speak, or smile
Implants require no special care besides brushing and flossing regularly

What Is The Implant Placement Process?

At Carlson Family Dentistry, we will work with a qualified implant specialist to place your dental implant at our office. First, you’ll come in for an appointment with Dr. Carlson or Dr. Cade, and they will determine whether an implant is the right option for your needs.

If you’re approved, Dr. Cade and Dr. Carlson will work with an implant specialist to develop your implant placement plan. To begin your treatment, your implant specialist will clean and numb the treatment area. Then, a small opening will be made in the gum and jaw bone. The dental implant (a small, screw-shaped piece of titanium) will be secured into the proper position and your implant specialist will clean and disinfect the area, then suture it shut to promote healing. 

You will be sent home to rest and recover. You may need to come back in for an appointment in a week or two to check your healing and have your sutures removed.

What Can I Expect As I Heal?

For a few days after your implant surgery, you will likely experience some swelling, bruising, and bleeding near the implant site. This is normal and will subside in time. We will give you a comprehensive set of instructions to help you recover as quickly as possible from your implant placement procedure.

You will likely need to eat mostly soft foods for up to 3 days after your procedure, and most patients start eating their normal diet within 3-7 days. After about a week, you should no longer be feeling pain, and after about two weeks, your mouth should feel totally normal. 

However, it does take 3-6 months for the implant to completely bond (osseointegrate) with your jaw bone. Throughout this time, you will come into our office for follow-up appointments so we can track your healing process and create your restoration.

What Is The Restoration Process Like?

You will come back to our office several times in the weeks and months following your implant placement surgery. We will take impressions and images of your mouth and begin building your implant restoration (such as a dental crown) at this time.

Once your mouth has healed completely, you will come in for your final restoration placement appointment. Dr. Carlson or Dr. Cade will check the fit of your implant restoration to ensure that it looks and feels natural. Then, it will be bonded into place permanently, completing the procedure.

how long do dental implants last?

Dental implants will last you for the rest of your life, as long as you take proper care of your mouth by maintaining good at-home oral hygiene and seeing Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson every six months. More than 90% of patients still have their original dental implants after 30 years, making dental implants one of the most long-lasting dental treatments available at dental offices today.

It’s important to note, though, that this refers to the lifespan of the implant itself, meaning the small metal post that’s surgically placed into your jaw and gum tissue. The dental implant restoration, such as a dental crown, will not last forever.

That’s because, unlike the implant itself, the crown will be exposed to wear & tear from biting and chewing. Over time, it could become cracked, damaged, or loose, and will need to be replaced. The good news is that this process is quick, easy, and affordable, and crowns can usually last between 10-20 years, so you won’t need to worry about replacing your implant restoration very often.

does it hurt to get dental implants?

You won’t experience any pain during your implant placement procedure. Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will numb the treatment area thoroughly to make sure you do not feel any discomfort while your implant is being surgically placed into your mouth.

We also offer sedation dentistry at our office with laughing gas. Laughing gas will help you feel less anxious, inhibit any feelings of discomfort, and make you feel happy and euphoric during your treatment, so it’s a great option if you’re nervous about your upcoming dental surgery in Littleton or Columbine.

However, you will experience some pain and discomfort after your procedure. Dental implant surgery is minimally invasive, but you will still feel some pain and experience other issues like swelling, inflammation, bruising, and bleeding near the implant site.

Dr. Cade or Dr. Carlson will provide you with a full set of instructions to follow that will help you heal more quickly, deal with pain, and take care of bleeding and any other discomfort you’re experiencing. Follow these closely for the best possible outcome.

what happens if i don't replace my missing tooth?

First, you may begin to feel self-conscious about your appearance, particularly if you’re missing a front tooth. Missing a tooth can also make it harder to speak clearly, and may impair your ability to enjoy your favorite foods. 

In addition to these lifestyle effects, losing a tooth also has some significant oral health effects. First, when you lose a tooth, your remaining teeth will start to shift toward the now-empty socket. This can ruin your bite alignment and result in a crooked smile.

Beyond that, the jaw bone below your missing tooth will also begin to deteriorate. This is because it’s not being stimulated by the force of biting and chewing. To prevent this, you need to get a dental implant. Other restorative dental treatments like partial dentures or dental bridges will not stimulate the jaw bone, and won’t halt this process.

Only dental implants can stimulate and strengthen your jaw bone, which is one of the reasons that the team at Carlson Family Dentistry almost always recommends dental implants over alternative tooth replacements.

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