Your General Dentist in Cottonwood, AZ

At Arizona Smile Designers, we’ve helped countless patients develop and maintain a perfectly healthy and beautiful smile for many years. As your Cottonwood general dentists, we’re proud to offer top-quality dental care to patients of all ages. We also serve the Sedona and Camp Verde areas with our exceptional treatments.

Losing or missing a tooth can be discouraging. After all, when you lose a permanent tooth, it may feel like you’ll never have a beautiful smile. However, there is a solution! With our cosmetic dentistry treatments including dental implants and dentures, our renowned dentists at Arizona Smile Designers can revitalize and restore your smile! Continue reading to learn more about dental implant treatment.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a small, screw-shaped titanium post designed to replace the root of a missing tooth, improving the smile’s appearance. The oral surgery that is used to insert a dental implant is minor and routine, typically only requiring local anesthesia. After a healing period that will last about three-to-six months, allowing the implant to fuse to the jawbone, your dentist will top the implant with a lifelike crown that is custom-made to match the shape and color of your natural teeth.

Implant Uses for Tooth Replacement

In addition to being used as a replacement for a single tooth, dental implants can be used in the following ways.

Multiple Tooth Replacement

Implants can be used to replace multiple teeth. You won’t even need an implant for each missing tooth, as implants can act as supports for fixed bridgework. For example, if you have three missing teeth in a row, we can place two implants—one on each side of the gap—and then a crown in between that doesn’t have an implant underneath, which prevents the need for using natural teeth as supports. Using natural teeth as a support for bridgework can cause the teeth to weaken and become susceptible to tooth decay and root canal problems.

Implant-Supported Overdentures

Implants can even make dentures more comfortable and effective. Traditional dentures need support from the gums and underlying bone to stay in place. This pressure that the dentures create will accelerate bone loss so that eventually the gum and bone ridges won’t be able to hold the dentures in place. However, with implant-supported dentures, your general dentist will place implants into the gums that will hold a set of removable dentures (two will be used for the lower jaw while more than two will be needed for the upper jaw). By utilizing these implants, we’ll be able to transfer the pressure into the bone structure rather than the bone surface, preserving the bone underneath the dentures. This stability will prevent the tongue from accidentally displacing a lower denture while eating or even speaking.

Caring for Your Dental Implants

As mentioned previously, dental implants have a success rate of over 95 percent. While impressive, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for a dental implant to fail. However, there are only two ways that an implant can fail and lose attachment to the bone after it has fused: poor oral hygiene and excessive biting forces. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a destructive bacterial infection known as peri-implantitis. To prevent this, you’ll want to brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis.

Excessive biting forces can cause your dental implants to fail in two different ways. The first is because of a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth. For people who grind their teeth, we recommend wearing a nightguard to protect your implants. The second way is if you have an insufficient number of implants to handle your biting force. We’ll always make sure that you have the right number of implants so that this doesn’t happen to you.

Implant Cost

While initial costs of dental implants are slightly higher than other tooth-replacement options, implants have a documented success rate of over 95 percent, which is much higher than any other option. Despite the cost, implants remain the most cost-effective treatment in the long run.

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Contact Your Cottonwood General Dentist

Dental implants are a long-term investment in your smile and dental health. That’s why here at Arizona Smile Designers, we’re committed to doing all that we can to protect your investment! As your Cottonwood general dentist serving Sedona, Camp Verde and the surrounding areas, we are dedicated to providing each patient with the healthy, beautiful smile they deserve. If you think dental implants may be for you, or if you’d like to know about any of our other cosmetic dentistry treatments, book an appointment today, or contact us with any questions or concerns. We can’t wait to restore your smile!