An Excellent Option for Tooth Replacement

implantsDr. Eric Klumb and Dr. Mike Menolascino have successfully placed hundreds of dental implants for many years, offering the treatment as a steadfast method of natural-looking tooth replacement. As highly trained dentists, they have utilized implant dentistry to help restore the smiles of hundreds of patients throughout St. Louis County.

What are Dental Implants?

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A dental implant is a surgical-grade titanium post that is shaped like a tooth root. They are placed under the gums where a natural tooth originally resides and then allowed to integrate into a patient’s jawbone before being used to replace teeth or anchor dentures. Serving as a reliable foundation for a custom-made restoration, an implant typically requires no additional maintenance besides the care necessary to keep natural teeth in good condition. The placement process usually utilizes a local anesthetic and the procedure is often described as preferable when compared to a tooth extraction. Due to the expertise of our Eureka dentists, there is seldom much pain or discomfort involved and patients are often surprised at how straightforward the procedure is.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants and restorations can be a terrific choice for replacing missing teeth or anchoring loose dentures or partials. They can provide a natural and comfortable way to improve a patient’s bite, smile, and confidence. Depending on your needs, dental implant treatment can:

  • Serve as a long-lasting solution to restore a full, healthy smile
  • Prevent further bone loss caused by missing teeth
  • Prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth and/or changes to the facial shape experienced as a result of absent spaces between teeth
  • Recover biting function and alleviate discomfort when eating

These sophisticated tooth replacements can allow patients to achieve a durable and secure restoration indistinguishable from surrounding teeth. Beyond the aesthetic benefits, the ways in which dental implants promote renewed tooth form and function can also positively impact an individual’s oral health and wellness.

Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

In order to ensure a dental implant is properly anchored, patients interested in treatment should have an adequate amount of jawbone density to accommodate the implant’s insertion into the gumline. Additionally, the surrounding gum tissue should be relatively healthy enough to heal around the implant following placement. An unimpeded healing process is pivotal for long-term success with dental implants, so those undergoing chemotherapy or cancer treatment may not be good candidates for the procedure.

After assessment of your dental examination, medical and dental history review, radiographs, and photos, our dentists can determine if implants are right for you. If you require prior dental work before you the procedure, Drs. Klumb or Menolascino can talk to you about bone grafting and periodontal care (gum disease treatment) to help you improve your oral health before implant placement.

What are My Dental Implant Options?

The dental implants offered today give us options that we didn’t have until very recently. We can now successfully replace missing or lost teeth with implants and porcelain teeth that are natural-looking, solid, and predictable. Versatile in usage, dental implants can restore a single tooth, multiple consecutive missing teeth, or entire dental arches for full mouth rehabilitation.

Single Tooth Implants

Dental implants are typically considered an optimal solution to replace individual missing teeth, provided a patient retains enough bone density to support the implant. Once the implant has successfully integrated to the jaw structure, a porcelain same-day crown—custom-made in our office to match the shade and proportions of your surrounding teeth—can typically be utilized for a discreet and seamless tooth replacement.

Multiple Teeth Implants

If your teeth have three or more absent spaces in a row, dental implants can act as a state-of-the-art solution to anchor a custom-designed dental bridge. The prosthesis is specially fabricated to span the length of the gap and fit harmoniously within your smile and bite. While unanchored dental bridges are traditionally attached to dental crowns on either side of the absent space, using implants to affix the bridge can typically provide greater security as well as a healthier bone structure.

Implant Dentures

Utilizing dental implants to secure full or partial dentures are often considered superior to traditional, removable dentures. Rather than fastening these restorations with messy pastes and adhesives, implant dentures are securely affixed to the jawbone. This enhanced support typically provides a more comfortable denture fit, significantly minimized potential for gum slippage, and the ability to eat tougher foods. For patients with adequate bone volume, implant dentures can be an ideal way to replace a full upper and/or lower arch.

How is the Dental Implant Procedure Performed?

At the time of treatment, Drs. Klumb or Menolascino will use a local anesthetic to help minimize discomfort during the procedure. Your implant(s) will then be inserted into the gumline and allowed to incorporate into the jaw for integration. The healing and fusing process can take several weeks, depending upon the jaw structure and other factors. Following sufficient healing, the implant can be uncovered with a simple procedure. The inside of the implant body is hollow with threads. These inside threads allow an abutment or post to be screwed into it without the need for anesthetic or pain.

I will never go to any other dentist again. Hands down the best staff and dentist I’ve ever been too. I can not recommend them enough or to enough people. You guys truly know how to give people self confidence in life again. I can’t thank you enough.

Eric Schwentker

October 18, 2016

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A ceramic or metal abutment is placed, impressions taken, and then sent to a ceramist for tooth fabrication. For some cases, the tooth can be made in one day with the CEREC® porcelain system, allowing insertion of the crown on the same day the post is placed. The artificial tooth is custom-made to match the shade and shape of the natural teeth. If cosmetic changes are desired, we will plan to enhance those teeth around the implant.

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How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?

The result of treatment should be a tooth that is as secure and aesthetically pleasing as the original tooth. Implants typically have an over 95 percent success rate. Daily proper at-home cleaning (brushing and flossing) by the patient, and once or twice yearly follow-ups by the hygienist and dental staff are critical to long term success. Poor hygiene, smoking, certain medical conditions, trauma, grinding, and clenching are some of the factors that may lead to implant failure. Dr. Menolascino, Dr. Klumb, and their team will review these factors with you and determine the possible influence in your specific situation.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

img-implant-08Implants can provide many years of service, whether replacing missing teeth or anchoring dentures or partials; however, commitment to care must be accepted by the patient. Smoking, clenching of the jaws, teeth grinding, and other habits must be controlled for optimum implant success. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, hormones, or conditions wherein the body’s defense mechanisms are compromised, may also affect the implant survival.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The dental implant process will be different for each patient depending on their existing oral health and unique needs. The price of dental implants will be similarly personalized according to the number of implants you require, the location of your missing teeth, and whether preliminary treatments are necessary before implant placement, among other factors. While we cannot provide an accurate cost estimate until your needs are assessed in a consultation, patient reviews from Realself.com list the average nationwide cost of dental implants at approximately $6,000 to $8,000.

To make your expenses from dental implant treatment more affordable, Dr. Klumb and Dr. Menolascino accept dental financing through CareCredit®. Once approved, this healthcare lending company offers qualified applicants a range of low- to no-interest payment plans that can bring the cost of treatment into budget. Please don’t hesitate to contact our practice to learn more about our accepted payment methods. As receiving dental implants can minimize the likelihood of problems that commonly arise when a tooth goes unreplaced—such as the shifting of surrounding teeth—many patients consider dental implants a long-term investment into their oral health and smile.

Are There Any Alternatives to Dental Implants?

If you are not a good candidate for dental implants, or if you simply desire an alternative method of achieving a tooth replacement, Drs. Klumb and Menolascino can also restore your smile through dental bridges. Dental bridges involve attaching a custom-made prosthesis to adjacent healthy teeth on either side of a gap. The restoration is crafted to fit comfortably within your bite and does not require oral surgery or jawbone density for support. While they do not usually last as long as dental implants, dental bridges can be an excellent way to restore the form and function that is often lost when a tooth is missing.

How To Choose the Right Implant Dentist

Successfully restoring a missing tooth with a natural-looking replacement is a complex technique that requires the care of an experienced team of dentists. It is not uncommon for periodontists, implant surgeons, and cosmetic dentists to work together during the dental implant process to achieve the most optimal result. While selecting the best implant dentist for your needs and treatment goals may seem overwhelming, following a few simple tips can help you narrow your options:

  • Check credentials. Research your prospective dentist’s educational background and learn where he or she received their training. This can give you an idea of how long they have been in private practice, as well as whether they specialize in any given treatment.
  • Learn about post-graduate training. It’s in your best interest to choose someone with extensive experience working with dental implants to perform your procedure, so read a prospective dentist’s online biography and check whether they have undergone continuing education courses on implant dentistry, periodontics, or oral surgery. This additional training beyond the minimum hours required to practice dentistry can help you ascertain a dentist’s level of expertise in placing dental implants.
  • See dental treatment before-and-after photos. It’s important for your tooth replacement to look and function like a natural tooth, allowing proper biting function while blending in seamlessly with your smile. During a consultation, ask to view the outcomes achieved with previous dental implant patients and determine whether the results align with your goals for treatment
  • Read patient reviews. The experiences of other patients can give you a comprehensive understanding of the type of care provided by a cosmetic dentist. Use these assessments to gain insight into his or her ability to achieve high levels of patient satisfaction after treatment, as well as what you can expect from the dental implant procedure.

Having successfully served the implant dentistry needs of our patients, our team is committed to making your implant experience a great one! If you have any questions about our cosmetic dental treatment options, or if you are interested in scheduling a consultation, please contact Eureka Smiles today.