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Dental Implants – Crown Point, IN

Replace Missing Teeth for Life

Dental Implants

gray-haired woman smiling with dental implants in Crown Point

In today’s modern world, Dr. Ornelas strongly recommends dental implants for patients who have lost one or more natural teeth. This reconstructive service stands above the rest because of its comprehensive structure, unmatched stability, and incredible longevity – the new, finished “tooth” is virtually indistinguishable from the one that came before it in every way! If you’d like to explore your options for tooth replacement in greater detail, please contact us today to schedule a consultation for dental implants in Crown Point, IN.

Why Choose Ornelas Family Dentistry for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

dental implant in Crown Point next to a natural tooth

A dental implant is a surgical-grade titanium post that takes the place of a missing tooth root. The implant is completed with a dental crown that’s made of a strong material, such as porcelain or ceramic, and matched to the existing shade of your smile to look very natural. After the implant itself is placed, it usually takes three to six months to fuse with the surrounding jawbone before the crown can be attached. This fusion process, called osseointegration, is what makes dental implants so reliable, durable, and natural-feeling. Multiple dental implant posts can also be placed in order to support a custom-made dental bridge or denture.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

dentist showing a patient a model of how dental implants work

Dental implant-supported tooth replacement is a multi-phase process that can take months or even years from start to finish, but the end result is a repaired smile that will last for decades. Dr. Ornelas partners with periodontists, oral surgeons, and other specialists in the Crown Point community to ensure you receive the highest possible quality of care. Every person’s tooth replacement plan will be unique, but the dental implant process usually includes these four steps:

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

dentist showing a patient their dental X-rays

To get started, we’ll schedule your tooth replacement consultation. During this first visit, we’ll discuss all of your treatment options, not just dental implants, so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about the best tooth replacement method for your unique situation. If we determine that dental implants are the best option, we may need to perform a number of preparatory treatments like tooth extractions and bone or soft tissue grafts. Then, we’ll begin the process to surgically position your dental implant posts.

Dental Implant Surgery

dentist examining a patient’s mouth

Following your treatment planning and preparation services, one of our partnered specialists surgically places the dental implant posts. This process is actually more conservative than many patients assume. A small incision is made in the soft tissue. Then, the implant post is precisely positioned into the jawbone.

Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment

X-ray of a patient with a dental implant

Once the implants are in place, it can take three to six months for the implant posts to fuse with the gum line. This process, known as osseointegration, is how the implant posts mimic the lost roots of missing teeth and recreate your smile. Following the osseointegration process, we attach connector pieces called abutments that affix the replacement teeth to the dental implants. When the abutments are in place, we’ll capture bite impressions and design your replacement teeth.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

dental implant, abutment, and crown being placed in the lower jaw

When we receive the replacement tooth or teeth from our lab, you’ll come into our dental office in Crown Point for the final stage in your tooth replacement process. We’ll affix your dental crown, bridge, or denture to the implant posts, recreating your healthy, beautiful smile.

Benefits of Dental Implants

close-up of a woman with a dental implant smiling

Your natural tooth has two components. There’s the white crown that everyone’s familiar with, and then there’s a tooth root that’s well-hidden inside the jawbone. Traditional tooth replacement services only bother with the crown, replenishing aesthetics; unfortunately, the bone tissue suffers from a lack of stimulation when a root is missing, which can lead to noticeable deterioration and higher risks for infection and additional tooth loss. Dental implants rise to the occasion by faithfully replicating every part of the tooth, starting with the stable root. This greatly improves the patient’s oral health while also creating a brand-new smile addition that is virtually indistinguishable from the original tooth.

Additional benefits of implants include:

Who Dental Implants Can Help

couple pointing to their smiles

Have you lost one natural tooth? Are you struggling with several gaps throughout your smile? Dental implants can be successful for patients with a wide spectrum of reconstructive needs, and Dr. Ornelas will be sure to pair the ideal, custom-made restoration with your specific situation and preferences.

Missing One Tooth

An all-ceramic dental crown is the perfect fit for individual dental implants. Its placement will fit right in alongside natural teeth and won’t require any damaging alterations like a traditional bridge would.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Implant-supported dental bridges can replenish multiple teeth in a row. Instead of relying on the support of dental crowns, two implants will be inserted into the jaw on either side of the affected gap to serve as “anchors,” securing the new teeth safely and sturdily in place.

Missing All Teeth

Implant dentures can be effectively used to replace several or even all of your teeth at once. Several options are available, including removable “overdentures,” hybrid dentures that are fixed permanently, and All-On-4, where a new, full arch is anchored with just four strategic implants.

Learn More About All-on-4

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

man in a dark blue suit smiling

Determining the cost of dental implants is a more complicated question than most patients first realize. There are several components to this transformative procedure, including:

While dental implants may initially seem like a significant investment, they’re designed to last for decades with very minimal maintenance in most cases. This means that their overall cost is often less than traditional dentures and bridges in the long run, which are much more likely to require expensive replacements and repairs every few years.

Types of Dental Implants

dental implant post lying on top of a stack of hundred-dollar bills

When it comes to restoring your smile, you don’t have to worry about looking at alternative methods, no matter how many teeth are missing.

  • Single Tooth Implant – Combining a titanium implant (post), metal abutment, and custom dental crown, a single tooth implant can restore your smile even if only one tooth is missing. This will likely be the cheapest option when it comes to implants.
  • Implant Bridge – If two or more teeth are missing consecutively, an implant bridge can be placed. Using two implants, two metal abutments and a custom bridge prosthetic, you can see a fully restored smile.
  • Implant Denture – Considered the most expensive of the three types, implant dentures are designed to replace an entire row of teeth using between four and six implants and a fully customized denture. However, when comparing the cost to traditional dentures over time, those that are secured with implants are actually more cost-effective.

What Are the Stages of Dental Implant Treatment?

dental bridge being placed onto two dental implant posts

Each stage of dental implant placement incurs its own fee, so to better understand the process, take a look at the explanations of each phase below:

  • Consultation: Your initial meeting with Dr. Ornelas will allow him to examine your oral cavity and structure to formulate a plan for implant placement. After taking impressions of your smile, you will set up an appointment to have your dental implants in Crown Point placed.
  • Surgical Placement: The surgery itself will require local anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. One of the specialists we work with will surgically place the correct number of implants based on how many teeth are missing.
  • Custom Restoration: The restoration you will receive once you’ve fully healed after three to six months will be customized by dental lab technicians who will match the color, size, and shape to the rest of your smile. This is its own fee as well.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

smiling woman holding an apple

If you’re worried your investment will not go far, don’t be. Dental implants are considered to be far more superior to other methods of tooth replacement. The reasons are that they offer greater stability, functionality, longevity, and a more natural look and feel. But that’s not the greatest part about them. Only with dental implants will your oral health truly be restored. Mimicking the natural tooth root when placed, your jawbone will continue to be stimulated, preventing any possible deterioration or weakening over time.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

person filling out a dental insurance form on a laptop

Depending on your individual plan, your insurance company may or may not cover your implants. While certain aspects of the treatment may be covered (i.e., anesthesia, restoration, consultation), the surgery itself is less likely. However, more and more insurance companies are realizing the need for dental implants instead of the “want,” so if you need assistance in contacting your insurer, let a member of our staff know. They will be happy to work on your behalf to retrieve the information you need to make a confident decision about your dental health.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

elderly woman smiling at her dentist

Dental implant surgery might not be performed right away. If we find that your jaw has lost a significant amount of bone density, the degraded areas will need to be built back up before we can proceed. Most of the time, this requires a procedure called bone grafting, where new bone tissue is transplanted into the jaw in order to encourage healing. If the upper molars were lost, a sinus lift might be required instead. These procedures ultimately give your new smile the foundation it needs to last for decades!  

Bone Grafting

dental implant post in the lower jaw

After a tooth is lost, the jawbone underneath it starts to break down. Of course, your body is perfectly capable of producing new tissue when required, but the problem is that without the stimulation that the tooth provided, the underlying area will be treated as if it’s no longer needed. In order to restore bone density to the areas in the jaw where it was lost, entirely new tissue needs to be transplanted.

During a bone graft for dental implants, we’ll typically use bone taken from elsewhere in your jaw, your hip, or another part of your body. If we need to, we can also apply tissue from a donor or use synthetic material. Whatever is used, the principle is the same: the graft is accepted by the body and encourages it to create new, living bone.

The initial recovery period after the dental implant procedure is about two weeks, but the jaw will typically still need time to create enough bone mass to support implant posts. This normally takes about three to six months, though the type of graft used, your body’s general healing capabilities, and the complexity of the procedure will play a role in determining the exact waiting time. There are cases where you could receive dental implants immediately after grafting, however. Dr. Ornelas will discuss your estimated treatment timeline with you.

Sinus Lifts

dental implant post in the back upper jaw

Because the sinus cavity is so close to the mouth, it often needs to be considered during certain oral procedures. In particular, it might get in the way if you need dental implant posts placed near the back of the upper jaw. It doesn’t help that there generally tends to be less bone quantity in this area. Under these specific circumstances, a sinus lift might be performed.

A sinus lift involves opening the gums and cutting a small circle into the bone so that we can gently lift the sinuses away from your mouth. After that, graft material will be placed in the space left behind. Thus, with one procedure we can raise the sinuses and create new bone that will support your dental implants. As with a normal bone graft, it will typically be some time before the mouth has healed enough to move on to the next phase of implant placement (normally about four months to a year). Your mouth will be numbed during the procedure, so you can expect to feel little to no discomfort.

Dental Implant FAQs

elderly man talking to his dentist

It’s easy to see why dental implants have become the “gold standard” in tooth replacement: They offer a more natural look and feel than anything else and can last a lifetime with proper care. But if you still have questions about dental implants in Crown Point, you’re not alone. Dr. Ornelas has helped many of our patients understand more about this outstanding solution for tooth loss and has put together answers to the questions he hears most often. But you can always contact us at any time with other questions if they arise. We’re here to help!

Is the Dental Implant Procedure Painful?

This is surprising to many people, but implant surgery is not nearly as uncomfortable as you might think. First, we work with outstanding local surgeons who are highly trained to not only make the procedure successful but also as comfortable as possible. The first thing they’ll do is make sure you’re fully numb, and they also have sedation options for any patient who’s especially anxious.

What Is the Dental Implant Recovery Process Like?

Recovering after implant surgery could be compared to the recovery process after an extraction, which typically takes 5-7 days. However, much of your initial discomfort will pass in 2-3 days, so we recommend that you take a few days off work or school to rest afterward.

It’s important to note that this is different from the osseointegration process in which the implant slowly integrates with the surrounding jawbone. This process usually takes 3-6 months, after which your implant (or implants) will be completed with a dental crown, bridge, or denture.

Will My Dental Implant Be Successful?

As a dentist in Crown Point with your best interests at heart, Dr. Ornelas feels great about recommending implants because of their high success rate. In non-smokers, it’s around 98%, but since that drops to 85% in smokers, we recommend that you quit smoking before having the procedure done.

What’s the Best Way to Take Care of My Dental Implants?

Fortunately, maintaining your dental implants is easy to do, not to mention well worth it! With a few good habits, you can look forward to a lifetime of enjoying your replacement teeth.

  • It’s still important to keep your implants clean because, although they can’t get cavities, they can develop gum disease. They need strong, healthy gum tissue around them to keep them stable and in place, so good brushing and flossing is crucial.
  • Continue seeing us for regular checkups. If any problems develop, we can catch them and treat them as early as possible.
  • If you clench and grind, talk to us about wearing a nightguard. It won’t stop you from doing it, but it can prevent the force from clenching and grinding from damaging to your implant.
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