Dental Implants: The Process

Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces the roots of the teeth with titanium screws and substitutes missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function as normal teeth would. Dental implants are a great option for teeth replacement as they help keep the other teeth healthy, will last a lifetime and improve the appearance of your smile. The doctors at Hill Country Oral Surgery put together this graphic to help you better understand the dental implant process, if you would like to learn more about the surgery, consult with one of our doctors by calling 512-327-7233 or contacting us here!

Dental Implant Process Infographic

Bone Grafting Recovery

Get your teeth back! Dental implants can restore aesthetic beauty and function to your smile, but they are investment, requiring both time and financial commitment. Some patients will need bone grafting to achieve optimal results from their implants. This ensures that there sufficient support for your implants and helps to avoid broken implants. Bone grafting also improves the contours of your gum line, for a natural, healthy looking result.

If you need bone grafting, it may take additional time to prepare your mouth for dental implants. This guide will help you understand the recovery process after bone grafting. Contact us today to learn more about your options for dental implants.

Why Do I Need a Bone Graft?

When teeth are missing or removed, the supporting bone underneath shrinks and atrophies. The extraction process can also damage or remove supporting bone. Without sufficient bone quantity and quality, it can be impossible to achieve a healthy and strong dental implant. Bone grafting can restore the bone, helping to improve the results of your dental implants.

Bovine (cow) or human donor grafts are often used, eliminating the need for a second surgical site. This makes bone grafting easier and more comfortable for you, the patient. If large quantities of bone are needed, we may extract bone from the lower jaw to use in your bone graft. Bone can be harvested from the body with minimal risk and no cosmetic deformity.

What’s Recovery Like After Bone Grafting?

Recovery after bone grafting is similar to recovery after tooth extraction. Plan on reducing activity for 4-5 days, although most patients are ready to return much sooner than this. We’ll give you specific recovery instructions before your surgery so you can plan time off work and make needed preparations.

  • Pain– Many patients worry about pain after dental procedures. Most find the pain to be minimal and quite tolerable with the use of pain medication. We have a variety of anesthetic and pain management options for your procedure and recovery. Your first dose of pain medication is the most important. Make sure you take before the surgical anesthetic wears off as the initial pain is often the most difficult to get through.
  • Diet– Food intake will be limited for the first few days after your procedure. Do not chew over the graft site for the first week. Start with soft, easy to chew foods like mashed potatoes, pastas, and soups. Be careful with food temperatures to avoid burning yourself.
  • Hygiene– Good dental hygiene will help you avoid infections. We may provide rinses for you to use or antibiotics for you to take. We’ll give you detailed instructions on how to brush your teeth while you heal.
  • Contact Us– Get it touch if you have any questions or concerns throughout the recovery process.

When Can I Receive Dental Implants After Bone Grafting?

Timing for implants varies after bone grafting. Some patients can receive their implants right away and others may need to wait a few months after grafting. We can give you more information about expected timeline during your consultation.

Call and schedule your consultation today.

Do I Need Bone Grafting Before Dental Implants?

Restore your beautiful smile with dental implants. If you’re missing teeth or have undergone severe dental trauma, dental implants can help you get your smile back. We often talk with patients that are interested in implants, but a bit apprehensive about the process, especially the potential for a needed bone graft. Here’s what you need to know about dental implants and bone grafting. Contact our offices and schedule a consultation to get personalized advice.

Do All Dental Implant Patients Need a Bone Graft?

Some patients will need a bone graft before dental implants and some will not. When teeth are missing or removed, the supporting bone begins to atrophy (or shrink). Dental implants are secured into the supporting bone. For the implant to hold up to the forces that teeth face, like biting and chewing, we need to use a sufficiently sized titanium screw. If the bone has atrophied too much, we won’t be able to place an implant that will hold up over time. Additionally, the bone provides the support for gum tissue. If the bone has atrophied, your gum line contours will not look natural.

In patients with significant bone atrophy, we can restore the supporting bone using bone grafting. During your consultation, we can help you determine if bone grafting is needed for successful dental implants. The longer your tooth has been missing, the more likely you are to need bone grafting.

Bone grafting may sound intimidating, but we find the results far outweigh the inconvenience. Bone grafting helps us to truly restore your smile and to create a natural look using dental implants.

Where Do You Get the Bone for a Bone Graft?

We obtain the needed bone for bone grafting from either a donor source or by harvesting your own bone.

  • Donor Bone– Donor bone, either from a bovine (cow) or human donor source, can be used for many patients. This bone is obtained from a tissue bank and is sterilized and specially processed before it is used. The advantage of using donor bone is that we don’t need to create a second surgical site on your body. This can make recovery easier.
  • Your Own Bone- For patients needing extensive reconstruction, harvested bone from your own body generally works best. This bone can be obtained with minimal risk and without cosmetic deformity.

Many patients feel intimidated by the possibility of bone grafting, but don’t let that stop you from achieving a beautiful smile. We regularly perform bone grafting with excellent results. If you have concerns, come see us. We can help you better understand the process and answer any questions you may have. Call us today and schedule your consultation.

Tips for Recovering from Oral Surgery in the Summer

Are you getting dental implants or wisdom tooth removal this summer? If you are, keep reading. This guide will help you recover successfully this summer. Dental surgery isn’t always fun, but our goal is to make the process as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Take Advantage of Extra Time Off

Summer is a popular time for oral surgery. Students needing wisdom tooth removal often use their summer break to schedule the procedure. If you’re lucky enough to have time off in the summer, schedule any needed oral surgeries. Use the extra time to fully recovery, without worrying about missed classes or work.

Stay Indoors

Hot summer weather is hard on a body that needs to heal. After your surgery, recover in a cool, comfortable area. You’ll heal quickly, but for those first few days, stay indoors as much as possible.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Proper hydration can be difficult during the summer. Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after surgery. You’ll know you’re getting enough liquids if your urine is close to clear.

Drinking sufficient liquid is important after surgery, but we have one big caution as you hydrate. Avoid using a straw if you’ve had a tooth extraction. This can lead to a painful condition known as dry socket, a condition that occurs when the blood clot becomes dislodged too early.

Focus on Hygiene

We’ll give you detailed instructions on proper dental hygiene after your procedure. These instructions will vary, depending on the procedure you’ve received and may include mouth rinses, brushing protocols, etc. Follow these instructions to prevent complications like infection, tooth or implant staining, etc.

Eat Soft Foods

Hot dogs and potato chips may be the official foods of summer, but aren’t the best choices right after oral surgery. For the few days, enjoy a diet of soft foods including mashed potatoes, soups, and pasta. Try not to chew over the surgical site for a week. Be careful with food temperatures to avoid burning yourself.

Take advantage of the break from school and/or summer vacations to schedule your oral surgery. Call today and schedule a consultation at Hill Country Oral Surgery.

Dentures vs. Dental Implants

As the fiеld of dеntiѕtrу grows, dental раtiеntѕ bеnеfit frоm a widеr range оf сhоiсеѕ. Fоr thоѕе оf уоu miѕѕing one or mоrе teeth уоur choices саn inсludе bridgеѕ, раrtiаl оr full dentures аnd implants. Fоr people miѕѕing аll оf thеir tееth on оnе оr mоrе arches, hеrе аrе ѕоmе роintеrѕ comparing dеntаl imрlаntѕ vs. dentures.

Dеnturеѕ

There аrе two mаin reasons why реорlе before opted fоr dеnturеѕ. First was mastication, having nо tееth оbviоuѕlу рrеѕеntѕ рrоblеmѕ when eating. And second wаѕ for аеѕthеtiсѕ; it is difficult tо ѕmilе without teeth after аll. But dentures rеаllу аrеn’t thаt gооd for chewing. Functionally, they offer аррrоximаtеly lеѕѕ than 10% of thе еffiсiеnсу оf rеаl tееth, when сhеwing fооd. Aѕ for thе аеѕthеtiсѕ, ѕurе dentures lооk good. Anу good dental tесhniсiаn can make dеnturеѕ look likе the rеаl thing. But dеnturеѕ are rigid аррliаnсеѕ аnd with thе соnѕtаnt motion they mаkе inside the mоuth as thе mоuth mоvеѕ, they have thе tendency tо slip which produces a lot оf diѕсоmfоrt fоr uѕеrѕ.

However, now, sсiеnсе hаѕ developed dеntаl imрlаntѕ that are a whоlе lоt bеttеr thаn dеnturеѕ.

Types of Dentures

Dеnturеѕ are used by mаnу milliоnѕ of people and оffеr a proven ѕоlutiоn for аnуоnе whо is not a саndidаtе fоr imрlаntѕ. Dеnturеѕ fill оut ѕаgging fасiаl muѕсlеѕ, аnd оffеr an еffесtivе wау tо eat аnd ѕреаk. Pеорlе don’t rеаlizе hоw ѕеriоuѕlу thеѕе bаѕiс funсtiоnѕ аrе compromised bу the lоѕѕ оf tееth.
Everything оld iѕ nеw again. And thе uѕе of dеnturеѕ iѕ a vеrу оld аnd ѕtаndаrd fix fоr a tооth-missing grin. Dеnturеѕ come as full аrсhеѕ – uрреr оr lоwеr, or in раrtiаlѕ fоr реорlе who ѕtill hаvе have tееth lеft, аnd in оvеrdеnturеѕ. Ovеrdеnturеѕ аrе fittеd оvеr еxiѕting teeth thаt are uѕеd tо аnсhоr thе dentures in рlасе.

Immediate Dentures

Immеdiаtе dеnturеѕ аrе fоr use immediately аftеr tееth аrе еxtrасtеd аnd during thе healing period. They are еxсhаngеd lаtеr fоr finаl dentures thаt аrе fittеd аftеr all ѕwеlling hаѕ gone dоwn.

Dеntаl Implants

Dental imрlаntѕ are a реrmаnеnt ѕоlutiоn fоr miѕѕing teeth. An implant iѕ аn аrtifiсiаl tooth attached tо a screw that iѕ imрlаntеd intо thе bоnе, whеrе your nаturаl tooth formerly rеѕidеd. An imрlаnt саn bе secured into the ѕрасе lеft bу thе root immеdiаtеlу after thе dentist еxtrасtѕ thе tооth. Thiѕ nеwеr procedure еliminаtеѕ the nееd to сut into the gums аnd drill intо thе bone. These are called immediate implants. Bесаuѕе the роѕt can bе imрlаntеd immеdiаtеlу, it eliminates thе nееd fоr a ѕеriеѕ of viѕitѕ. You will have tо bе саrеful tо lеt the nеw imрlаnt heal. It will ѕtill tаkе several mоnthѕ for thе bone tо grоw ѕесurеlу аrоund the post.
Dеntаl imрlаntѕ can replace оnе tооth оr a full set оf teeth. Thеу are a good аltеrnаtivе to dentures if уоu аrе a qualified саndidаtе. Your implant dеntiѕt will givе you a full examination with аn еmрhаѕiѕ on bоnе thickness аnd overall health. Yоu need tо hаvе enough bоnе tо ѕuрроrt thе implant аnd bе hеаlthу еnоugh tо еndurе ѕurgеrу аnd rесоvеrу.
Advantages of imрlаntѕ over dеnturеѕ inсludе the obvious–permanence аnd ѕtаbilitу of thеѕе teeth. Thеу аlѕо lооk аnd fееl a bit more nаturаl and are more соmfоrtаblе than dentures. Thеу require the same саrе аѕ уоur nаturаl teeth, inсluding regular dеntаl сhесkuрѕ.

Which is Best for You?

Onе саn see that there are сlеаrlу bеnеfitѕ tо bоth solutions, hоwеvеr if you want a ѕоlutiоn whiсh looks аnd fееlѕ more likе your nаturаl teeth perhaps dеntаl imрlаntѕ are thе option fоr уоu. For most professionals, the opinion is that dental implants are thе wау оf the future, whilе dеnturеѕ are best lеft in hiѕtоrу bооkѕ. Imрlаntѕ can hеlр you live life in juѕt thе same wау аѕ before уоu lоѕt your tооth or tееth.
Whichever option you go with, it’s best to consult with a trained oral surgeon to find out which type of solution is best for your particular case.

Why I Became a Diplomate of The American Board of Oral Implantology and Implant Dentistry

As a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, I have received extensive experience in implant dentistry as well as oral reconstruction, not to mention countless hours of continuing education.  For me becoming an American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) diplomate was initially about assessing my current practice and confirming my credentials.  I never expected how great of a reward I would get for my practice, as well as the personal satisfaction I would receive from completing the examination process.

Currently, any dentist or surgeon with a license to practice dentistry can place dental implants without advanced education, or even experience with implant placement.  As dental implants replace many traditional dental procedures, dentists are now feeling the pressure to place implants despite having minimal surgical experience.  Furthermore, there are now several weekend courses that “certify” dentists as having advanced education in implantology, when they have only completed the surgery on a mannequin or a single patient.   In our current time of social media and online marketing this leads to overstated claims to the general public of “expertise” or “advanced knowledge” in the discipline without confirmation by their peers.

The American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry is an organization that was established in 1969 in order to recognize advanced education in the discipline of dental implants.  Practitioners must first qualify through an initial written examination, or by being a board certified periodontist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  After the initial qualifying stage, the applicant must next submit a detailed portfolio of their cases complete with images, radiographs, and follow-up.  The final step of the certification process consists of a rigorous oral examination in which the applicant must defend their own cases as well as treatment plan and manage cases provided by the board.

After becoming a certified ABOI/ID diplomate, I have become a much more effective communicator within the implant team at Hill Country Oral Surgery, and I can now lead the team much more effectively, in all phases of the implant treatment – from diagnosis to final restoration.  I look forward to practicing at the level of excellence certified by my ABOI/ID diplomate status.