Drs. Horsley and Walker place dental implants using the latest technology in 3D imaging.  Every potential implant patient will have this scan done in our office.  We use this image to determine if an implant can be placed in the proposed location.  If the location can support an implant we then use this image to choose the proper size and exact position of the implant.  Our dentists believe in only using the best products the dental market can provide. We have found that many dental implant products do not live up to the high standards we demand.  After much research, we have decided to use Astra implants and Atlantis dental implant components.  These products have great results and are the products we would use for our own friends and family.

After the dental implant in Farmersville and Van Alstyne, Texas, is placed and has adequate time to integrate (attach and heal) into the jawbone, we will restore them with crowns, bridges, and dentures.

What is a dental implant?
In many cases, when a person is missing a tooth, a dental implant can replace it. There are three parts that make up a restored dental implant tooth. First is the dental implant, which is a titanium screw placed in your jawbone that replaces the missing tooth’s root.  Next is the abutment, which is a connecting component between the implant and the crown.  Finally there is the crown, which is the “tooth” part of your final restoration.

Why would I need a dental implant?
Patients have teeth extracted for a wide variety of reasons, including deep decay, trauma, or gum disease.  When these teeth are removed, many problems can occur.  The remaining teeth may shift or rotate and become crooked.  These crooked teeth may cause your bite to change, which makes it harder to chew food.  Spaces and gaps between your teeth develop after extractions, which may cause embarrassment over your appearance or problems with speech.  Another consequence of extractions is that on either side of the extraction site, the gums and bone of the surrounding (adjacent) teeth will start to recede.  This recession exposes the roots of these adjacent teeth, which can cause a great deal of sensitivity and a less attractive smile.  Dental implants placed soon after an extraction can eliminate most of these problems.  Patients who have missing teeth replaced with dental implants report an improved ability to chew food, a renewed confidence when speaking and smiling, and better self-esteem.

What are the steps of a dental implant procedure? 

  • First, the dentist will carefully review your medical file to see if you have any conditions or medications that may prevent dental implant placement.  Some major contraindications include patients with uncontrolled diabetes or who have taken intravenous bisphosphonates.
  • Next, dental imaging and a thorough oral evaluation are done at Harvest Dental to determine whether an implant is right for you.
  • If you are found to be a suitable candidate, the implant can then be placed into the jaw at the desired location.  It is covered with a healing cap, or healing abutment.  If the tooth is in an aesthetic area (the smile zone), a temporary tooth, or temporary acrylic partial denture can be placed.  This is an out-patient procedure.  Most patients are surprised by how easy the process is and report very little discomfort afterward.  Many patients go about their regular routine the next day.  At this point, the implant is left to integrate (fuse) with the bone, which usually takes four to six months.
  • After the bone and implant have successfully integrated together, the next step can be taken.  This involves removing the healing cap or healing abutment and placing a restorative abutment into the implant.  This abutment protrudes from the gum line and connects the implant to the crown.
  • Finally, a crown is placed over the restorative abutment.  Implant crowns can be glued on like traditional crowns or retained by a screw.  For the crown to look and feel like a real tooth, we use the highest quality implants, abutments, and crowns.  Once placed, your new and beautiful implant-retained tooth can be flossed and brushed like any natural tooth.

How long will my dental implant last?
A healthy and compliant dental patient greatly reduces the likelihood of implant failure.  Failure of a dental implant is dependent on many factors, including the overall health of the patient, medications the patient is taking or may have taken, the health of the patient’s hard and soft tissue, the patient’s home care. Other factors include tobacco use and the amount of stress that will be put on the implant and crown during normal function.  As you can see, selecting a proper implant candidate greatly reduces the number of failures, and it’s the most important step in getting long term results.

Despite selecting a proper dental implant patient, there are some complications that can occur after surgery.  Infections can occur soon after an implant is placed, this can cause the implant to fail to osseointegrate, or fuse to the bone.  Compliancy is priority, and patients must follow through with pre- and post-operative instructions. This includes taking the prescribed medications.  Another complication that can happen months or years later is peri-implantitis.  This is an infection that usually starts from poor home care in conjunction to lack of professional care.  Peri-implantitis is similar to periodontitis in the types of bacteria that are present and in the way that it causes these structures to fail.  Proper home care, and regular exams, and cleanings are critical to maintaining a dental implant.

The simply answer to the long-term success rate of dental implants is that dental implants can fail. Fortunately, that happens very infrequently.  Failure rates vary depending on the site in the mouth, whether the implants are placed in natural or grafted bone, and whether the patient smokes. The overall success rates in natural bone is 95%, though this falls to between 85-90% in grafted bone.  If a patient smokes, they are statistically two and a half times more likely to have an implant fail than a non-smoker.

So, undoubtedly, the best step to avoid encountering ailing or failing dental implants is to brush and floss your teeth, and to see your dentist every six months for your routine cleanings and exams. We invite you to call our office at 469-812-7100 to arrange your visit with us soon!