What are my tooth replacement options?

Drs. Jesin and Lytle offer many different types of dental implant solutions for a single tooth or multiple teeth, from lifelong tooth replacements such as expertly placed dental implants to solutions such as fixed bridges and dentures. Every patient is different, so when Drs. Jesin, Lytle, and the team meet with you, we will all work together to discover what’s best for your smile. Some of the most common tooth replacement options include

  • Dental Implants. Dental implants are a favorite tooth replacement solution because they are a true replacement, root and all. With dental implants, patients can regain the joy of eating, smiling, and speaking again with complete confidence, with teeth that look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
  • Full-Arch Replacement/All-on-4. When patients come to us seeking a permanent replacement for multiple missing teeth in one or both of their arches, we may recommend a full-arch replacement using the All-on-4 technique. This innovative tooth replacement solution gives you new, permanent, and realistic teeth using only four dental implants.
  • Bridges (Tooth-Supported). Tooth-supported bridges are a common tooth replacement for one or more missing teeth that are next to each other, bridging the gap created in the dental arch. Bridges are fixed in your mouth, so they are non-removable and secure, though they will usually need to be replaced every few years. The bridge is permanently cemented in place using the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth — this means that your dentist will need to reshape the teeth that are used to anchor the bridge.
  • Full or Partial Dentures. Full or partial dentures are a classic and well-known solution for missing teeth. They tend to be inexpensive, and they will last a while, though they will eventually need to be replaced. Many people find removable dentures to be a satisfactory solution, but others find them to be uncomfortable to wear and are self-conscious about the way they can slip during chewing or speaking.

Can my child receive dental implants?

If your child has lost permanent teeth due to an injury or accident, dental implants can be the best long-term solution for their oral health and smile. We recommend meeting with an oral surgeon as soon as possible after the teeth are lost to discuss options; however, in many cases, the surgeon will wait to perform the dental implant procedure until your child’s growth has completed — usually around age 16 for girls and age 18 for boys.

How long does it take to replace teeth using dental implants?

Because each patient is different, once you have had your consultation with your oral surgeon including all the necessary diagnostics, you will receive a treatment plan that will include the estimated amount of time to complete the dental implant process. Your specific needs, condition, medical and dental history, and the health of the supporting bone in your jaw will all be factors. The process can range from just a few months to more than a year for more complex conditions.

Can a general dentist place my dental implant?

An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the dental professional with the most experience and training in the complex surgical procedures required to place dental implants. To minimize complications and ensure that your implants have long-term success, dental implants should be placed by an experienced oral surgeon. Your general dentist usually provides replacement teeth (custom crowns) that will be attached to the implants.

Is the dental implant surgery painful?

Many of our patients wonder how much it will hurt to receive dental implants. We want to assure you that we are dedicated to your safety and comfort, and you’re in the best hands with us. As oral and maxillofacial surgeons, Drs. Jesin and Lytle have hospital-based anesthesia training and are experts in the precise placement of dental implants that are less invasive and requires the least amount of downtime. We also offer a highly effective, long-lasting pre-medication called Exparel® at our practice that numbs your pain during your surgery right at the surgical site and lasts for several days into your recovery. Sometimes, this medication allows our patients to skip post-surgical pain medications!

What if there is not enough bone in my jaw for a secure implant placement?

Bone loss in the jaw can occur when teeth are missing for a prolonged amount of time. When this is the case, dental implants can be harder to place in compromised bone or gum tissue. However, we offer numerous treatments that solve this problem. A bone grafting procedure can restore bone in a specific area to support the implant. Bone grafting opens the option of dental implants to people who would otherwise not be able to benefit from this life-changing tooth restoration. We also offer full-arch restoration/ All-on-4 treatment which can replace a full set of teeth on just four dental implants without the need for bone grafting.

How do I care for my new dental implants?

When Drs. Jesin and Lytle have given you the green light that you’ve healed enough to brush and floss around the implant site, you can take care of your new implant with good oral hygiene and proper dental care, the same way you do your natural teeth. Dental implants are a true tooth replacement, which means if you keep your mouth healthy and see your dentist regularly, your implants can last a lifetime.
What is the recovery like after dental implant placement?

Initially, you will want to stick with a diet of soft foods and then avoid chewing on the implant sites. Most patients are back to their regular routines within a few days after the placement of their implants. We will walk you through the process of your aftercare and post-surgical instructions before your treatment begins.

What will I use to chew with while my implants heal?

Your custom and permanent crown will usually be placed on your dental implant post once the implant post has fused with the bone in your jaw. While the implant heals, you have a few options for temporary artificial teeth. A temporary bridge can be made, and, in the case of multiple implants, your current denture can be modified. If you prefer non-removable teeth during the healing phase of your treatment, you can have temporary transitional crowns made and placed. Whatever your choice is while you wait for your permanent crown, you will not have to live with a gap in your mouth.

Other questions?

It is our privilege to offer you the best care possible, so please feel free to contact us today at (616) 369-0360 to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members.