Dental Implants in St. Paul, MN
If you have missing teeth, you know how frustrating this situation can be. You might have trouble chewing your favorite foods. You may feel uncomfortable smiling or laughing. Speaking clearly can be difficult. Missing teeth often take a toll on a person’s self-esteem and can even cost you a promotion or a new relationship. Additionally, missing teeth can promote future fractures, jaw deterioration, and enamel wear.
Over the years, many different methods for replacing missing teeth have been developed. Dentures, partials, and bridges all work to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth, but dental implants in St. Paul, MN offer something that none of these options can: a permanent and maintenance-free solution to tooth loss.
If you’re considering dental implants, or if you have questions, call our dental office today. Also, read through the frequently asked questions below to learn more about our dental implant options. We can’t wait to help you enjoy a comfortable and natural-looking smile!
- What is a dental implant?
- Are dental implants a good fit for me?
- What are implant-supported dentures in St. Paul?
- What makes implant-dentistry special?
- Is the dental implant process painful?
- How do I maintain my dental implant?
- How can I prevent future tooth loss?
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a complete system that replaces each missing tooth with a customized lookalike—root and crown! The titanium post that is the actual “implant” part is surgically placed into your jawbone and functions similarly to the root of your natural teeth. Your dentist relies on 3-D cone beam imaging for precise placement.
Once the implant has been placed and allowed to integrate with your bone (a process called osseointegration), it can be restored with a crown, a bridge, or even dentures, depending on how many teeth you are missing. Once the tooth has been restored, most people will never be able to tell your implant from your other teeth because we customize your replacement tooth to look natural, and it is always shaped like your other teeth.
Are dental implants a good fit for me?
Your dentist in St. Paul has a lot of experience placing dental implants and restoring smiles. The first step to dental implants is a comprehensive evaluation in our dental office. Your dentist provides an exam, takes x-rays, and then talks to you about your dental implant options.
If dental implants are not a good fit, your dentist will explain why. In some cases, it may be a matter of pretreatments like a simple bone graft that brings you into candidacy.
At Brimhall Dentistry, we also offer various tooth replacement options aside from dental implants, including bridges, dentures, and partial dentures.
What are implant-supported dentures in St. Paul?
If you have lost all your teeth or only have a few remaining, you can opt for extractions, and your Saint Paul, MN dentist can provide you with an implant-supported denture. It typically takes only four to six dental implants to secure your denture.
In some cases, we also provide implant-supported bridges and partials as well. A dental bridge is a restoration tooth or teeth suspended between dental crowns that fit over adjacent teeth. A dental implant can provide added stability.
A partial denture is a prosthetic fitted with teeth that close the gaps in your smile. Rather than clips and adjacent teeth for support, your dentist can secure your partial with a few dental implants.
Dental implants prevent prosthetic slippage, and with an implant-supported restoration, you will not have to worry about relines or using adhesives to secure your smile.
Many denture wearers decide to upgrade to implant-supported dentures to feel more at ease when smiling, laughing, and eating.
What makes implant dentistry special?
The dental implant's unique part that makes it stand out from other replacement options is the titanium post. Titanium is a biocompatible metal. This means that your body will accept it as a part of itself, and you don’t have to worry about rejection. Titanium is also strong—recall, four to six implants made from this material can support an entire denture!
Restoring the root is important to the long-term health of your teeth and their supporting structures. The roots of your teeth and your dental bone have a dependent relationship with each other. The bone holds the tooth securely in place, and the roots stimulate the bone to maintain itself. When you lose a tooth, this relationship ends. Without a root, the bone structure diminishes and resorbs. Surrounding teeth will tip toward the gap and become loose and, without a strong bone in the area to support them, are likely to be lost, as well.
Additionally, bone loss can age your profile in the chin area, giving you a sunken look.
The implant works like your natural root and restores the relationship so that the bone will continue maintaining itself. This helps to prevent further tooth loss and bone disintegration.
Is the dental implant process painful?
Our gentle dentist in St. Paul, MN makes sure the treatment location is anesthetized before starting treatment. We also make sure you’re relaxed. During implant placement, you may feel mild pressure, but the procedure should not cause you pain.
After your anesthesia wears off, you may notice light swelling and discomfort. Your dentist or physician can recommend a store-bought pain reliever if needed. Typically, symptoms clear up in a few days.
Your dentist provides aftercare instructions to promote healing. Following treatment, if you have any questions, we are always here to chat with you as well.
How do I maintain my dental implant?
Dental implants are often called the gold standard in tooth replacement for several reasons. They are the only choice if you want to replace your tooth and your root. They behave more like natural teeth compared with other options, and they do not require maintenance other than brushing and flossing.
Of course, it is still important to visit your dentist regularly for exams and teeth cleanings. These steps help lower your risks for infections and gum disease that can threaten your teeth and dental implant. After all, your gum health is critical to your smile's longevity—whether you have natural teeth or implants.
How can I prevent future tooth loss?
With dental implants, you follow the same advice your dentist provides for natural teeth. Brush and floss at least twice per day. Visit your dentist at least twice per year. And never use your teeth or your implant as a tool to twist off a cap or a similar unintended purpose.
If you play sports or work around dangerous machinery, consider a mouthguard. And if you have bruxism (grinding and clenching), talk to your dentist about a nightguard to protect your implant and your teeth.
Getting Dental Implants at Our St. Paul, MN Office
If you are considering dental implants, you have come to the right place. Dr. Schulte has extensive experience in tooth replacement with dental implants, and we have advanced technology that allows us to place your implants with incredible precision for greater success.
We place your implants right here in our office using a guided technique. Plus, we can use our CEREC system to mill your new restorations right here in our office.
Call today to schedule a consultation and evaluation to discuss whether dental implants are the right option for you.