Your Albuquerque Dental Implant Dentist
Academy Dental Care is one of Albuquerque’s most trusted dental implant providers. Dr. Gallagher is a highly accomplished and trusted implant dentist who has helped many patients with their smiles. Many patients in the Duke City have questions about how best to navigate their options to replace missing teeth. When you have a missing tooth or teeth, it can change certain aspects about your life. Chewing foods can be difficult, and smiling with confidence can be uncomfortable. Advancements in implant dentistry allows us to change that!
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on surrounding teeth for support. Implants are ideal for patients that are missing a tooth because they look and feel like natural teeth. Unlike bridges or partials, implants are permanent and stable.
Clinically, the implant is a titanium screw that acts as the root of a tooth. It is surgically anchored into the jaw. A post is placed on top of the implant. A crown is then placed on top of the implant, which can be matched to the surrounding teeth. Patients tend to like implants because if you compare natural teeth to implants they share the same basic parts.
Do I really need to replace missing teeth?
Missing teeth can have serious down-stream impacts to the functionality of your teeth. If you have a space in your mouth, your teeth will shift into different positions. This can lead to other dental work that could have been corrected with implants. Having a space in your bite can lead to chipped teeth.
If you are missing a tooth, that can lead to gum problems later in life. Bacteria and plaque cause inflammation, which can get worse if there is a space in your teeth. Patients with this condition usually notice that their gums are red, swollen, sore, or bleed often. If not treated, the condition can advance into periodontitis. That is when gums start to pull apart from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets can be infected and can lead to the surrounding gums being infected. Most patients don’t realize that a missing tooth can cause multiple problems that can change into whole mouth conditions.
Missing teeth also can change the appearance of your face. Teeth have the critical role maintaining the shape and length of your face. Over time, a person can see that their face can change because the jawbone is shirking in size. The back teeth align your jaw and the front teeth stabilize your lips and cheeks from the inside. If you are missing one or multiple teeth this can throw your entire mouth out of alignment, which can have a ripple effect, which can lead to a crooked smile.
What is the process for placing a dental implant?
When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. Dr. Gallagher places the implant, which serves as the artificial root of the tooth with a titanium screw. The bone is given time to heal and grow around the implant. The bone bonds with the titanium screw which creates a strong foundation for the artificial tooth.
Next, a post is attached to the top of the implant. A crown (artificial tooth) is then placed on top of the post, which can be perfectly matched to the surrounding teeth.
Am I a candidate for implant dentistry?
Today’s implant technology makes implants possible for most people. Patients who have lost a tooth, multiple teeth, or even all their teeth are prime candidates for dental implants. Dr. Gallagher evaluates each candidate in a free, one-on-one consultation at our Albuquerque dental office to recommend the most appropriate plan of treatment.
Determining if you are a good candidate depends on several factors. One of those factors is the quality and quantity of bone where the implant is to be placed. Another factor is your overall health. Dr. Gallagher also uses the latest surgical techniques through bone grafting and sinus lifts to address bone issues to allow for successful placement of dental implants.
At Academy Dental Care, Dr. Gallagher focuses on your comfort with your bite, which can be a life-changing restoration back to how your mouth used to feel. He delivers the functionality of your bite to regain the ability to eat comfortability and smile with confidence. Our patients who were missing teeth tell us that they feel like a body part is missing. One of our patients said, “I’m thrilled to feel like I have my natural teeth again, it made me feel and look a lot better. I love being able to eat anything I want again without any worries.”
Advantages of Dental Implants over Traditional Dentures and Bridgework
- Easy – no special care needed
- No hassle of taking out your teeth daily
- Feels like natural teeth
- Looks like natural teeth
- Permanent, secure fit with no shift or click during eating and talking
- Can help prevent bone deterioration
- Surrounding teeth are comfortable
- Eating is easy, just like natural teeth
General Guidelines for Dental Implants
- Single missing tooth: One dental implant
- Two or more missing teeth: Partial prosthesis with two to three implants (fixed bridge)
- All teeth missing in upper or lower jaw: Complete prosthesis with a variable number of implants (removable or fixed bridge)