Tooth loss can seriously affect the form and function of your smile, making important tasks like eating, speaking, and smiling difficult.
Dr. James Slaman, at our Albuquerque, NM office can place and restore dental implants, the most stable tooth replacement solution available.
What are the advantages of implant dentistry over conventional restorative techniques?
Choose a True Expert for Complete Dental Implant Treatment
Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Loss
When you lose a permanent tooth, your jawbone almost immediately begins to recede. By acting like natural tooth roots, dental implants can keep your jawbone intact and prevent bone recession.
If you have already experienced some level of bone loss, Dr. Slaman can perform bone grafting or a sinus lift at our practice to give your implants a healthy, stable foundation.
There are three main factors that determine your candidacy for implants...
Not convinced implants are right for you?
Implant Surgery Is Safe & Carefully Planned
Many of our Albuquerque patients hesitate at the thought of dental implants when nonsurgical options like bridges are available. However, implants are not only the gold standard for tooth replacement, but Dr. Slaman also uses the latest technology to plan treatment and reduce the risk of surgical complications. His careful approach can ensure a comfortable restoration and natural-looking smile.
Take a look at how a crown supported by implants works...
Dr. Slaman will use our advanced GALILEOS ComfortPLUS cone beam imaging to capture 3-D images of your jaw. Then he can look for signs of bone recession. If you require a bone graft, he may refer you to a specialist for treatment, or he may perform your procedure here in our Albuquerque office. The 3-D images will also enable him to create a unique treatment plan.
Dental Implant Basics
Candidacy for Dental Implants Are Dental Implants Right For You?
In order to be eligible for dental implants, patients must have a healthy jawbone, be free from periodontal disease, and be willing to commit to healthy lifestyle habits, such as refraining from smoking. Dr. James Slaman will conduct an initial consultation at our Albuquerque, NM, office to assess your oral health and determine your candidacy for dental implants or other restorative dentistry procedures.
Your Initial Consultation
The first step in determining your candidacy for dental implants is to meet with Dr. Slaman for a consultation. He will perform a full assessment of your teeth and gums to make sure you are in good oral health. X-rays and digital scans will be taken so Dr. Slaman can evaluate your jawbone density and assess the areas where your teeth are missing.
Dr. Slaman will discuss your health history with you at length to identify any contraindications for treatment. Most people in good overall health who want a permanent solution for missing teeth are generally excellent candidates for dental implants. However, pregnant women, patients with auto-immune conditions, or smokers may be disqualified.
Health and Lifestyle Can Affect Candidacy
To establish candidacy, it is important to determine your personal goals and desires. Because each patient has different needs, treatment can vary considerably. Dr. Slaman will work with you to design a personalized treatment plan to fit your situation.
When Dr. Slaman performs your comprehensive assessment, he will be looking for a few key factors. These include:
- Lifestyle Habits: Studies consistently show that smoking can impede or prevent proper healing, affecting the long-term success of dental implants. Bruxism (teeth grinding), may also interfere with a patient’s candidacy for implants. However, a custom-made mouth guard can provide necessary protection. Dr. Slaman will determine if this solution will be helpful for you.
- Oral Health: Good candidates for dental implants enjoy optimal oral health. If you have extensive tooth decay or periodontal disease, these issues will need to be addressed before pursuing any implant treatment.
- Overall Health: Certain health conditions may hinder proper healing. Additionally, some medications, such as blood thinners or cancer drugs, may be of concern.
In order to be eligible for dental implants, patients must have a healthy jawbone, be free from periodontal disease, and be willing to commit to healthy lifestyle habits, such as refraining from smoking.
Some patients may require preparatory procedures before they can receive implants. Patients who require this treatment have generally been missing teeth for an extended period of time, resulting in jawbone deterioration. Preparatory procedures typically include bone grafts and sinus lifts, and are treatments that reinforce the jawbone to ensure that your implants have the most stable foundation possible.
Both bone grafting and sinus lift procedures add healing time to your recovery. If you must undergo preparatory procedures, expect to add up to nine months to your treatment timeline.
Your Dental Implant Options
When developing your treatment plan, Dr. Slaman will choose the right type of implants for your needs. Traditional implants may be appropriate if you are going to receive an implant-supported crown and you do not have significant bone loss. If you are going to receive implant-supported dentures, you may benefit from All-on-4® implants. These smaller posts will go in at a slight angle. In this way, they can create a strong base for your denture with reduced impact to your jaw. In many cases, we can also provide immediate placement implants, attaching your restoration on the same day as your surgery. In these cases, Dr. Slaman will collaborate with an oral surgeon or periodontist in Albuquerque or the surrounding area.
Note that we do not offer mini implants. Dr. Slaman believes that traditional implants are much more secure and will provide more durable treatment results.
Placing and Restoring Your Implants
Dr. Slaman typically performs dental implant surgery on an outpatient basis using oral conscious sedation. Though you will technically be awake, you will be very relaxed and unaware of what is going on during your treatment. After the medications take effect, Dr. Slaman will make incisions in your gums and precisely place the implants in your jaw according to his surgical plan.
It will usually take about 4 to 6 months for your bone to fuse around the posts. During this time, Dr. Slaman will send impressions of your gums to our partner lab. Then technicians will create a restoration that fits comfortably and matches the contours of your mouth. We will also provide a provisional restoration. Not only will it fill in the gap in your smile, but it will also train and reshape the surrounding gum tissue so that your final restoration will fit more securely. This is accomplished using a customized impression technique to transfer the information to the dental lab so a technician can replicate the proper tissue. After the implants are securely integrated with your jaw, you will return for a second minor surgery to uncover the implants from your gums. There will be a second, shorter healing period for your gums to close around the implants. Then Dr. Slaman can attach your permanent restoration and complete your treatment.
Why Choose Dr. Slaman for Your Implants Treatment?
Dr. Slaman is committed to continuing education, including classes in dental implants. Four times a year, he meets with the Rio Grande Implants Study Club for hands-on training. Thanks to this experience, he can provide you with effective care and the latest implant techniques at our Albuquerque practice.
Dr. Slaman also has an eye for aesthetics. He will make sure that your restoration has a beautiful, lifelike appearance, particularly if it will be visible when you smile. After supplying your temporary restoration, he will contour your gum line for greater definition and a more realistic effect.
The Unparalleled Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer a wide variety of cosmetic and functional advantages, including increased bite strength, improved appearance, and superior durability. The benefits of dental implants are unmatched when compared to traditional teeth replacement options, as they restore health, function, and aesthetics to your smile.
Improved Oral Health
Dental implants offer many advantages. However, the most significant benefits to our Albuquerque patients are health-related, and include:
- Preservation of Jawbone: Dental implants act as prosthetic tooth roots, stimulating the nerves in the jawbone. This encourages new bone growth and prevents bone recession. Alternatively, traditional tooth replacement options such as dental crowns or bridges do not support jawbone structure. For this reason, patients who have been missing teeth for a long time have a “sunken-in” or concave appearance. Dental implants eliminate this effect.
- Protection of Existing Teeth: Before the invention of dental implants, a single tooth was replaced with a dental bridge. In order for a traditional bridge to be placed, your adjacent teeth must be reduced and reshaped in preparation for the restoration. This negatively affects your natural tooth structure and compromises your oral health. Dental implants offer a single-tooth solution for a single-tooth problem, keeping your healthy teeth intact.
- Prevention of Further Oral Health Issues: Missing teeth affect the force of your bite, which can result in more serious problems such as gum recession, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, or further tooth loss.
Superior Stability and Comfort
Dental implants fuse with your jawbone during a process called osseointegration. This happens during the healing period, when the jawbone fuses to the titanium post. Osseointegration results in optimal stability, and makes normal dental function possible. Once your new implant is restored, you can chew, eat, and speak just as you could with a natural tooth.
Convenience and Ease of Cleaning
Certain restorations, such as dentures or bridges, can require cumbersome hygiene routines. Dentures must be removed and soaked throughout the night. Dental bridges require special instruments or floss threaders for proper maintenance. Alternatively, restored dental implants are permanent, and can be brushed and flossed just like your natural teeth.
Dental implants offer a wide variety of cosmetic and functional advantages, including increased bite strength, improved appearance, and superior durability.
A Durable and Permanent Teeth Replacement Solution
Over the decades, dental implants have taken the place of bridges as the most dependable treatment for missing teeth. In fact, dental implants are widely praised as the most successful teeth replacement solution available on the market today. When properly cared for through routine checkups, cleanings, and home care, dental implants can last a lifetime.
While improved health, convenience, and durability are all vitally important, dental implants offer an array of cosmetic benefits as well. These include:
- A Complete Smile: Dental implants placed at our Albuquerque office effectively fill in any gaps in your smile, improving your appearance in addition to restoring function.
- Increased Confidence: Many people who are missing teeth feel embarrassed or self-conscious. Dental implants can give you a much-needed boost in confidence so you can take on the world.
- Natural-Looking Appearance: Your restorations will be custom-made and color-matched to blend in with your smile. The high-quality materials are incredibly lifelike and indistinguishable from your own natural teeth.
- Enriched Quality of Life: With dental implants, you will not only look and feel your best, you will be able to enjoy life again without worry.
What Will It Cost to Rebuild My Smile with Implants?
There are a number of factors that will determine how much you can expect to pay for smile rehabilitation using this advanced treatment. Since it can be used to address needs ranging from a single lost tooth to complete tooth loss, the cost can vary dramatically from one case to the next. In general, the most important variables are the number of implants you need, the type of restoration you require, and any treatments that will have to be performed prior to receiving your implants. Patients at our Albuquerque practice should also understand that while implants are rarely covered by insurance, there are a number of financing options that make treatment affordable on most budgets.
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Cash and Credit Cards
Patients are always welcome to pay in cash at our Albuquerque office. We also accept all major credit cards. We recommend taking time to compare your own line of credit to our financing options.
In-House and Third-Party Financing
We offer in-house payment options for up to 90 days. We also work with CareCredit®, a third-party lender providing low-interest and interest-free payment plans.
Why Implants Are Worth the Investment
There are certainly lower-priced solutions for tooth replacement, but none provide the same caliber of benefits as dental implants. For instance, traditional bridges and dentures do not replace the tooth roots. As a result, the jaw will continue to shrink and change shape, requiring patients at our Albuquerque office to have regular adjustments made to the restoration. Implants stop bone atrophy by replacing your tooth roots and providing the necessary stimulation to your jaws, saving you time and money you would otherwise have to spend having your restoration adjusted.
Meanwhille, it is virtually impossible to put a price on the ability to smile, laugh, chew, and speak without having to worry that your replacement teeth will shift out of place.