How much would you smile with a missing front tooth? How would you enjoy a meal if you were told you would lose all of your teeth? In the U.S. alone, there are 120 million people missing one or more teeth. Tooth loss causes people to struggle with self-esteem, social interactions, and lost hours at work/school, nutrition, and function. Having or replacing missing teeth is vital to good nutrition, maintaining or gaining employment, social appearance, and having an overall good quality of life.
When it comes to replacing teeth, there are several options: removable dentures, fixed bridges, or dental implants. Of these options, dental implants are suited for nearly any situation involving missing teeth. Dental implants are considered superior to traditional options for dental replacements because they often require no preparation or restoration of the surrounding teeth and they are anchored in bone. Since our dentists have expertise in placing implants, they often recommend this as the best option to replace one or all teeth in the mouth. Our doctors have restored thousands of smiles using dental implants, and we do it with great success!
During your initial consultation, Dr. Baltz and Dr. Rowe will carefully listen to your concerns, provide a comprehensive treatment plan to address oral health concerns, and give you transparent information and fees regarding your treatment.
If you have suffered any form of tooth loss, please contact Highpoint Dental Care in Aurora today at 303-617-9100 to schedule your free dental implant consultation. Dr. Baltz and Dr. Rowe serve patients throughout Colorado including Aurora, Parker, Green Valley Ranch, and Centennial.
There are many details to the dental implant process, and we are available to answer any and all of your questions, which may include:
- Why Replace Missing Teeth (when I have no pain)?
- What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
- What Does the Dental Implant Process Involve?
- How Long Until I Have My Artificial Teeth?
- How Much Are Dental Implants?
- Why Choose Our Dentists at Highpoint Dental Care?
- What is the All-on-Four/Six Procedure?
- Schedule Your FREE Consultation
Aging is inevitable, but tooth loss is not. It is falsely believed that we lose teeth as we age. Tooth loss occurs from poor dental hygiene, cavities, mouth injury, periodontal disease, and for many other issues. Losing a tooth puts your body through a very unnatural process. This process leads to loss of supporting bone in the jaw, tilted teeth, malocclusion (poor bite), movement of opposing teeth, potential jaw pain, and poor digestion.
While the cosmetic aspects of missing teeth are noticeable, tooth loss can cause a host of additional problems. The area missing a tooth can be free from pain or symptoms for several months to years after it has been removed. This gives people the sense that there is no problem occurring. The longer you wait to have a replacement procedure, such as a dental implant, the more damage that occurs to your oral health. Within months after a tooth is lost, bone loss begins to breakdown the jawbone, causing your face to change shape and movement of surrounding teeth into the missing space.
Because bone is lost so quickly, waiting too long to replace the tooth with an implant can lead to complications. When there is not enough bone height or width, an implant can either not be placed in the area or the area will require several expensive surgical bone grafting procedures to replace bone. Prior to placing an implant, we need gums free of disease and plentiful bone.
The most common and detrimental effects of tooth loss involve:
- Shifting Teeth: After tooth removal, remaining teeth will begin to shift into the missing tooth gap. This includes teeth on the sides of the space, but also teeth from above. Supraeruption (“over-eruption”) of the teeth opposing the missing tooth will eventually cause crowding, food impaction, and crookedness.
- Difficulty Eating & Speaking: A single tooth removed results in lost function of not just one, but two teeth (itself and the opposing tooth). This results in a 7% or greater loss in function in the mouth and results in someone putting more chewing force on fewer teeth. Chewing with fewer teeth results in less digested food, which can cause poor absorption in the digestive system and poor health. Speaking can also drastically change if any teeth in the smile line are affected by loss or shifting. In cases where people lose many or all of their teeth, facial shape will affect the ability to speak as the jawbone shrinks extensively.
- Stress on Existing Teeth: Your occlusion, or bite, will also be altered after tooth removal, putting more stress on your remaining teeth when you eat. If you have a tendency to clench or grind your teeth, this stress will increase even further. When shifting occurs, the teeth also start hitting in spots they did not hit before resulting in a “high” or “off” bite.
- TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint) Disorders: Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located on either side of your jaw, and any changes to on your bite may cause pain, a clicking or popping jaw, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and many other debilitating side effects.
- Bone Resorption: Jawbone, also known as the alveolus, is held in place by the teeth. Thus, when teeth are lost, the bone “melts” or “shrinks” away quickly due to a lack of pressure from biting and chewing. Within six months to a year of losing a tooth, 30% loss of bone occurs at the missing tooth site in the absence of bone grafting. Even more bone loss happens after 1 year. The longer you wait to replace the missing tooth, the less likely you will qualify for dental implants.
- Further Tooth Loss: Bone resorption puts your remaining teeth in jeopardy. Between losing the tooth (or teeth), shifting of your existing teeth, and loss of bone density, you are more likely to lose more of your teeth over time.
- Change in Facial Shape: The loss of jawbone density also impacts the side profile of your face. You may look older and have a tired, “sagging” appearance.
Dental implants are modern, safe, biocompatible, durable, and long-lasting. In addition to these benefits, the most notable benefit of dental implants is that they serve as individual teeth and do not require preparation of adjacent teeth as with traditional dentistry. Implants are also not susceptible to cavities as are natural teeth, and their placement is much easier than taking a tooth out.
You also don’t have to worry about your implant coming loose during eating or day-to-day activities. Dental implants are made from titanium, making them strong, biocompatible, and maintaining the jawbone similar to teeth roots. As discussed previously, facial shape, speaking, and eating are maintained by dental implants.
Poor oral hygiene, poor systemic health (uncontrolled diabetes, extreme osteoporosis, etc.), and extensive bone loss (severe periodontal disease) of the area and surrounding area are the only conditions where implants are not recommended. Dr. Baltz and Dr. Rowe will do a thorough medical history prior to recommending dental implants. They can determine if dental implants are right for you during your initial consultation at Highpoint Dental Care in Aurora. We will discuss your available options and decide the best way to give you a stunning smile.
The dental implant procedure is much easier than most people think. Dental implants are typically separated into three components: implant, abutment, and crown. The process begins with a thorough medical history and exam by the doctors and clinical staff. Our office will take a 3D scan, known as a CBCT, to help guarantee your case can be completed properly around vital structures in the mouth. Following the exam, our office manager and front desk staff will help to present the plan and cost at an office consultation. Our office maintains a philosophy that you will never be left without front teeth and will plan for a temporary replacement for you by taking an impression. The impression helps our doctors to create an artificial tooth that matches the size, shape, and shade of your remaining teeth.
If you’d like whiter teeth, we can perform teeth whitening treatments prior to your dental implant since crowns can’t be bleached.
The titanium post is placed under the gum tissue and centered into the bone where the gap was left behind from your missing tooth. After three months, the implant and bone will fuse together and create a durable implant that mimics the root of a tooth. After the healing process occurs, Dr. Baltz or Dr. Rowe will take an impression to create the final restoration. An abutment, similar to a post, will bind to the implant with a screw, and the dental crown is cemented over this abutment to create the final product.
The dental crown will emerge from the gumline similar to a natural tooth and can be made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of the two. Dr. Baltz and Dr. Rowe work to make the best, longest lasting restoration for your mouth. Porcelain crowns will typically look the most natural and have the most strength, but we will discuss other options if we find them to be better suited for your mouth. Since the crown is placed at the gum and bone level, you can care for your dental implants the same way you take care of your existing teeth — daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing. It’s essential for you to take good care of your dental implant, in addition to your natural teeth, since implants are attached to the bone and gums. Failure to maintain good hygiene can result in bone loss and gum disease, which can cause implant failure in worst case scenarios.
Our doctors have the expertise to place dental implants the same day that teeth are extracted: this is called immediate implant placement. If implants cannot be placed immediately, we will often place a bone graft in the area of the extracted tooth and wait three months for healing. After the implant is placed, another three-month recovery window is typically recommended to ensure fusing of the bone and implant (osseointegration). This fusion ensures a strong root and bone connection in place prior to connecting a crown. Although these steps can hypothetically result in a process taking several months, we are able to create temporaries to provide the appearance of teeth. From placement, our patients in the Aurora area typically will have their full restoration in 3-4 months.
Traditional dental implants range from $3,500 to $6,000, which includes tooth removal, titanium implant, abutment, and dental crown. Implants that are less than this are often done with inferior quality materials and techniques (i.e. cheaper implants, lab work sent overseas). We use a reputable implant company and all of our lab work is done locally in Colorado. The price of your treatment will depend on several factors including the need for grafting, need for a temporary restoration, and the number of implants.
We offer free consultations for dental implant treatment plans to educate our patients and give accurate costs for treatment. Dental implants can be a very affordable procedure, are sometimes be covered by insurance, and can be separated into different phases (surgical and restorative) to help our patients achieve the desired outcome.
When someone waits too long to restore their missing teeth, they typically have less bone. This often results in higher cost of treatment as additional bone grafting procedures will be needed to create adequate bone. For this reason, Highpoint Dental Care recommends getting a plan in place to restore missing teeth as soon as it is known a tooth will be lost.
Highpoint Dental Care provides a gentle, friendly environment, and our staff is welcoming from the moment you walk in the door. We perform 99% of dental procedures and treatments in-house, making it easy to have all your dental work done at one office. Dr. Baltz and Dr. Rowe have taken extensive dental implant continuing education and use top of the line dental implants. Their skill and experience have helped them to place thousands of implants comfortably and to the satisfaction of our patients. We make every effort to ensure our implants and restorations provide long-term function and esthetics. When biology does not respond well to implant placement, our doctors have a warranty in place to safeguard your success.
Dr. Baltz and Dr. Rowe offer a light-hearted atmosphere, which eases dental anxiety and creates a strong doctor-patient relationship from the start. We have served several generations of families in the Aurora area, which shows how much our patients trust our expertise over time. If you are anxious about receiving dental implants, we can discuss complimentary sedation options. These options include complimentary nitrous oxide and/or conscious oral sedation, which can help quell anxiety and discomfort.
We ensure you will receive high-quality care starting with your initial exam and consultation. We are a proud family dental practice and believe in full transparency when it comes to the price and process of dental implants and other dentistry services. Our dentists can “show and tell” using models to make sure you understand how your procedure is performed. Your treatment plan will take into consideration your cosmetic and functional goals for your smile, how we’ll accomplish them, and the total cost to you.
When a person is faced with a complete loss of their natural teeth, they have a choice between wearing regular dentures that rely on suction, or more modern implant options. Mini Dental Implants are a great retentive option, but still result in a prosthetic that is removed after meals and in the evenings. One option that does not require removal of a prosthetic from someone’s mouth is called All-on-Four or All-on-Six. This procedure involves removing the remainder of someone’s teeth, placing four to six implants, and attaching what is known as a hybrid prosthesis to the implants. This prosthetic is called a hybrid because it is made of titanium and acrylic material, yet it is not removed from the mouth unless performed by our dentists with specific tools in the office. Dr. Baltz and Dr. Rowe are capable of providing this procedure entirely at Highpoint Dental Care in Aurora so you do not have to go to several different offices. During this process, the doctors will ensure that you have teeth at all times and will deliver your final teeth within 4-8 months.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, please contact our experienced dentists at Highpoint Dental Care in Aurora today at 303-617-9100 to see if dental implants are right for you. If dental implants are not right for you, we can still provide you with a more traditional solution. We provide cosmetic, family, and restorative dentistry to patients in the Aurora, Colorado area; including Parker, Green Valley Ranch, and Centennial.