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Dental Implants — Lakewood, CO

Permanent, Natural-Looking Tooth Replacement

Smiling couple with dental implants in Lakewood

Millions of Americans have to deal with missing teeth every day, causing them to limit their diet, choose their words carefully, and think twice before smiling. If this includes you, know that there is a definitive way to get your complete smile back: dental implants. These restorations look natural and can be trusted to replace any number of missing teeth for a lifetime, and now, they’re available right at Lakewood Complete Dentistry, dental office home. To learn more and start rebuilding your smile, contact us today.

Why Choose Lakewood Complete Dentistry For Dental Implants?

  • Entire Procedure Performed All Under One Roof
  • Can Replace Any Number of Missing Teeth
  • Advanced Procedures Available to Help You Become a Good Candidate

What Are Dental Implants?

Lakewood implant dentist holding model of dental implants

Unlike traditional tooth replacement options, dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth both above and below the gumline. A small implant post is placed in the jawbone to mimic tooth roots and provide a rock-solid foundation for the custom-made crown, bridge, or denture on top. Restoring the entire structure of your missing tooth not only provides unmatched comfort, stability, and functionality, but it also helps keep your jawbone healthy and preserves your youthful facial features. That’s why dentists widely regard dental implants as the new gold standard of tooth replacement. 

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

Lakewood implant dentist discussing dental implants with patient

Dental implants in Lakewood allow you to enjoy the next best thing to your natural teeth. As the most preferred solution to treat tooth loss, they have the potential to last for a lifetime; however, their treatment process is far different from conventional options. Although it may seem like an overwhelming process, you have nothing to fear. Each step of your treatment is vital to ensuring the long-term success of your new smile. By understanding how the process works, you can head into your treatment with confidence.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dentist and patient discuss how dental implants work

In most cases, if you have missing teeth and good oral health, you are a candidate for dental implants, but you must undergo a consultation process. Dr. Vinnie performs a visual examination and takes diagnostic images, including a CT scan. This allows him to assess your oral structures to ensure you are a candidate for the treatment. Your medical and lifestyle history are also discussed to look for any factors that may influence the long-term success of your smile.

Dental Implant Surgery

Man smiles after getting dental implants in Lakewood

Most other dental offices will refer you out for the dental implant surgery, but at Lakewood Complete Dentistry, we can do everything under one roof. Dr. Vinnie has the training, tools, and technology to personally perform every step of your dental implant treatment personally. In the end, this will save you time, money, and give you the peace of mind of working with the same implant dentist and team from start to finish.

The images taken during your consultation are used to pinpoint the exact location for the placement of your posts. To insert them into your jawbone, you must undergo a surgical procedure. Sedation or anesthesia is used to ensure your comfort as your oral surgeon opens your gum tissue to expose your jawbone. A small hole is drilled into it for each implant post to be placed. Your gum tissue is sutured closed and the healing process begins.

Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment

Diagram of dental implants in Lakewood

The implant posts act as new tooth roots, which stimulates your jaw to encourage bone growth. Over the next several weeks, your jawbone fuses to the posts through a process called osseointegration. The new growth preserves your bone density while also allowing your dental implants to potentially remain in place forever with the right aftercare. After you have healed, your restorations will have the stable foundation they need to function like natural teeth. Before Dr. Vinnie can place your restorations, abutments are connected to the posts.

A minor surgical procedure is needed to attach the abutments to the posts, which are connector pieces between the implants and the restorations. Your gum tissue is opened to expose the heads of the posts to place the abutments. Your gum tissue heals around them to seal out bacteria while creating a natural-looking appearance.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Lakewood implant dentist placing final restoration on model

About 2 weeks after your abutments are placed, it is time for the final phase of your treatment. A digital impression of your mouth is used to carefully craft your restorations. They are made from all-ceramic material to give you a durable solution that looks natural. Your prosthetics are designed to meet your color, size, and shape needs to match the appearance of your real teeth, so no one will tell they are not your own.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Man with dental implants in Lakewood, CO sitting and smiling

Of course, placing dental implants isn’t the only way to replace teeth. Dentures and dental bridges have been around for a very long time and remain popular options for helping people recomplete their smiles. However, if you choose dental implants, your new teeth will come with a lot of advantages that you can only enjoy by replacing the roots of the teeth as well as the crowns. After we’ve evaluated your mouth during your first consultation, we can go over the benefits of implants and how they can make your life post-tooth loss healthier and happier.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Woman with dental implants in Lakewood, CO walking down street smiling

Dental implants grant a lot of freedoms that you’ll be able to take advantage of every day. Thanks to the unique properties of dental implants, you can enjoy:

  • A Smile That Looks and Feels Natural: After integrating with the jawbone, dental implants feel so natural that some patients have said they occasionally forget they even have them. Even better, most people won’t be able to tell the difference between your real teeth and your implant restoration(s), so you won’t have any reason to doubt your appearance.
  • Simple Maintenance: Maintaining traditional dentures often involves specialized products, such as adhesives and cleansing solution. Dental implants, on the other hand, can be cared for in much the same way as your natural teeth, making it easy to keep them healthy for life.
  • Unrestricted Diet: Dental implants are almost as strong as the natural teeth, and because of that they allow you to comfortably eat all kinds of foods, including steak and other tough meats.

Health Benefits

Senior woman holding apple and smiling with dental implants in Lakewood, CO

Of course, replacing teeth isn’t just about improving your appearance; there are health issues to consider. Implants benefit your mouth and the rest of your body thanks to these benefits:

  • Bone Loss Prevention: The jawbone requires stimulation, which normally comes from your teeth. Said stimulation encourages the body to maintain a healthy level of bone density. Dental implants are the only form of tooth replacement that can provide such stimulation and work to prevent tooth loss.
  • Improved Oral Health: In addition to keeping the jawbone strong, dental implants prevent your remaining natural teeth from moving into the gaps left by your lost teeth, and they’re generally easier to clean.
  • Healthier Lifestyle: Being able to eat whatever you want doesn’t just make your meals more enjoyable; it also improves your ability to maintain a nutritious diet.

Long-Term Benefits

Senior man with dental implants in Lakewood, CO sitting and holding tablet

Implants provide plenty of advantages in the present, but their full value lies in the future. Over the long term, you can enjoy these benefits thanks to implants:

  • High Rate of Success: After 10 or even 20 years, the success rate of dental implants is still as high as 95 percent.
  • Youthful Appearance: By preventing bone loss and maintaining a healthy jaw, dental implants can keep you looking young as the years go by.
  • Longevity: Dental implants can last for several decades without needing to be placed, with many patients even being able to keep them for the rest of their lives.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Young woman admiring her new dental implants in Lakewood

Dental implants are quickly becoming one of the most popular tooth replacement options available, and it’s easy to see why! Almost anyone dealing with tooth loss can enjoy the benefits of rebuilding their smile with this state-of-the-art-treatment. Read on to learn more about who makes a good candidate for dental implants and how they address all degrees of tooth loss.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Young man smiles after getting dental implants in Lakewood

One of the key aspects of being able to receive dental implants is having a strong jawbone, as it serves as the foundation for your implant and restoration. It’s also important that your oral health is in good shape, too, especially since gum disease and tooth decay can negatively impact your dental implant.

When discussing with Dr. Vinnie during your initial consultation, you can expect him to examine and use the following information to determine if you’re a qualified candidate:

  • State of your oral health (i.e. do you have gum disease or tooth decay?)
  • Jawbone density
  • Any lifestyle habits that could hurt the success of your implant placement (i.e. smoking)
  • Your overall health (i.e. diabetes, an autoimmune disorder) and if it could be problematic for dental implants

Should he discover problems during your consultation, he will suggest methods of treatment before having implants placed. If necessary, you might need a bone graft or sinus lift to create extra bone support, which we offer as well

Dental implants are actually quite a versatile treatment, able to replace single, multiple, and even an entire set of teeth using a variety of custom-made restorations.

Missing 1 Tooth

A crown can be directly attached to an implant root using a small connector called an abutment. The crown will be color-matched to a patient’s smile, able to stand firm on its own, and function just like the teeth that surround it. In the end, only you and your dentist will know that it is not real!

Missing Multiple Teeth

Dental implants can also be used to support a bridge to fill in the gap left by consecutive missing teeth. Two crowns are placed on either side of the missing ones, and these are bonded to additional prosthetic teeth that close the space.

Missing All Teeth

Whether you need a new denture or want to upgrade your current one that doesn’t fit very well, dental implants can help you do it. Implant dentures are secured directly to the jawbone so they are much less likely to move unexpectedly in the mouth compared to removable dentures. Plus, with the patented All-on-4 procedure, we can even replace an entire row of teeth in just one well-planned appointment.

Learn More About All-On-4 Implants

Maintaining & Caring For Your Dental Implants

An older man smiling after receiving his customized dental implants

Taking care of your dental implants is vital. Understanding proper dental implant care in Lakewood can make a difference in whether your new smile remains firmly in place for a lifetime or requires additional treatment in a matter of years. Knowing what to do and how to adequately maintain your new prosthetics will allow you to enjoy their benefits, many of which cannot be achieved with other tooth replacement solutions. Dr. Artino and our team at Lakewood Complete Dentistry are here to provide the following tips to help you maintain a longer-lasting smile. If you have questions or need additional information, don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Making Oral Hygiene a Priority

A man with a beard stands at his bathroom mirror and brushes his teeth

By brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly, you can lower your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other common oral health problems. When you neglect your oral hygiene, you run the risk of developing an infection that can negatively impact your natural teeth as well as your implants. Bone loss, which is commonly associated with gum disease, can lead to implant failure; however, by choosing to remain diligent with your dental regime each day, you can enjoy the benefits of a longer-lasting, more beautiful smile.

Eating a Healthy Diet

An older couple sitting outside and enjoying a healthy meal together

No one is saying you can’t enjoy a cookie or a slice of pie now and then, but these items shouldn’t be part of your daily diet. Healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy are great options that are proven beneficial not only for your waistline but also your gum health and tooth enamel. By eating healthier foods, you give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly s well as a smile that looks and feels superb for years to come.

Breaking Bad Habits

A middle-aged female professional chews on the end of a pen

One of the quickest ways to damage your dental implants in Lakewood is to continue practicing bad habits. Smoking, using tobacco products, nail-biting, chewing on pens and pencils, eating ice, and using your teeth to open packages can damage your implants and result in more serious dental injuries if you’re not careful. Finding cessation groups or resources to help you quit or keeping sugar-free chewing gum in your pocket are great ways to curb the temptation of these bad habits and better protect your smile.

Protecting our Dental Implants

A woman suffering from bruxism prepares to insert a customized mouthguard

Your implant dentist in Lakewood is a great ally if you need a customized mouthguard. Whether you enjoy playing sports or suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding) at night, we can create a custom-made oral appliance that you can wear while on the field or in bed that will protect your teeth from injury. A sudden fall or continuous grinding of your upper and lower teeth can wear away at natural tooth enamel and cause breaks or chips in your implant restoration. By wearing a protective mouthguard over your upper teeth, you will be doing your mouth a favor and keeping your natural teeth and dental implants safe from potential damage.

Scheduling Regular Dental Checkups

A man smiles as he looks in the mirror at the dentist’s office, pleased with his dental implants

No matter how many teeth you have replaced with dental implants in Lakewood, it’s important that you keep your regular dental checkups and cleanings. These visits allow your dentist to carefully review your soft oral tissues, natural teeth, and customized restorations and prosthetics. Regular appointments can be extremely effective at ensuring the longevity of your new smile and give us the chance to make any adjustments or recommendations should minor or major problems arise.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Cost of dental implants in Lakewood outlined by money and dental tools

Unlike traditional dental bridges and dentures alone, dental implants go beyond the gum surface to completely replace the entire tooth structure. As a result, getting dental implants typically includes a higher upfront cost; however, when you consider everything that comes with dental implants, you’ll quickly see why it’s the solution we recommend most often for tooth replacement.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Dental Implants

Dentist calculating the cost of dental implants in Lakewood

The cost of your dental implant treatment will vary from the next patient’s because your unique smile will have unique needs. Many different variables come into play, including:

  • The location of the implants.
  • The number of implants needed.
  • The type of implants.
  • The type of restoration that will be placed on top.

As you might imagine, replacing one missing tooth with single dental implant and a dental crown will cost less than four to six implants that support an entire denture. Dr. Vinnie Artino, will pay close attention to your personal needs and ensures that they are being met in the best way possible.

Types of Dental Implants

Believe it or not, there are several kinds of dental implants. For example, for implant dentures, some of the implants may be placed at angle and need to be longer than the typical implant to reach the jawbone. Also, in patients whose jaw bones likely might struggle to support normal dental implants, mini dental implants can ensure that the replacement teeth integrate properly and have a secure foundation. Dr. Artino has the advanced training and knowledge to know exactly how to set you up for success with your fully restored, healthy smile.

The Dental Implant Process

Woman smiles while visiting her Lakewood implant dentist

Compared to dentures or dental bridges, the process for placing and restoring dental implants is a bit more complicated. Dr. Artino surgically places the implant post into the jaw bone and allows it to heal over the course of a few months. During that time, the jaw bone fuses securely to the post. Once this process is complete, an abutment or connection piece is placed, and finally a dental restoration completes the artificial tooth. This advanced process requires more time and more steps than other replacement options, which equates to a high initial cost.

Reasons Why Dental Implants Are Worth the Investment

Cost of dental implants in Lakewood model tooth and coins in hands

In the end, although dental implants may be more expensive at the beginning, they are often a permanent solution for missing teeth—meaning you may never have to replace them. In contrast, if you choose a traditional bridge or denture, you will need to pay to have it replaced about every five to seven years, often with adjustments in between as well. When you add all these expenses up, you may easily find that dental implants are actually the smartest financial decision in the long term.

In addition, with dental implants from Dr. Artino, you get to enjoy these benefits:

  • Stronger biting force.
  • Natural appearance and more youthful facial shape.
  • High success rate.
  • Start-to-finish care all under one roof.
  • Personalized attention and customized service from an expert.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Dentist and patient discuss advanced dental implant procedures in Lakewood

At Lakewood Complete Dentistry, we want all our patients to have access to the best treatment options available. No solution is better than dental implants when it comes to comprehensive tooth replacement, however some patients have preexisting dental issues that make it difficult to receive treatment. We provide advanced dental implant procedures like bone grafting and sinus lifts to help more patients enjoy lifelike tooth replacements. Read on to learn more!

Bone Grafting

Diagram of bone grafting in Lakewood

Dental implants in Lakewood have a success rate of over 90%, and a significant reason for their predictability is a process called osseointegration. When a dental implant is placed in the jawbone, it acts as an artificial tooth root. This stimulates the jawbone, allowing it to grow and fuse to the implant. The result is a strong and stable implant ready for the restoration.

However, if you’ve lost density in your jaw, you may not have enough bone for implants to be placed. Thankfully, our bone grafting in Lakewood enhances the strength and thickness of your jaw. A small piece of bone is taken from another area of your body or a donor and transferred to the area of treatment. From there, your gum tissue is stitched closed, allowing the new grafted bone to integrate with your jaw. This will take several months to heal, but it will create the strong base you need for dental implants.

Sinus Lifts

Diagram of sinus lift in Lakewood

If you have bone loss in the upper arch of the smile, there may not be enough bone near your sinuses to place dental implants. A sinus lift in Lakewood, which is also known as a sinus augmentation, adds bone on the upper arch near the back of the mouth. Dr. Artino can slightly open your gum tissue to lift your sinus gently and graft new bone. Lastly, your gum tissue is closed, and you will begin a healing process over the next few months.

Dental Implant FAQs

Young woman in yellow shirt smiling before implant surgery

The dental implant process is one that will take multiple visits and will have to be personalized based on your own needs. Throughout the treatment, it’s important to stay fully informed, so we encourage you to bring any questions or concerns you have to our attention as soon as possible. Below are just a few examples of inquiries that many of our patients have asked in the past; check to see if the information you’re looking for is already listed!

Will Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

Many patients find that dental implant surgery is much less uncomfortable than they initially thought. The mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic, and Dr. Vinnie’s placement techniques are very gentle, so little to no discomfort is usually experienced during the surgery. Once the anesthetic wears off, you’ll experience some soreness for a few days, but all around you can expect it to be mild. Pain medication will be prescribed, but you may or may not need them. Severe discomfort that does not get better over time is not normal; contact us right away if you become concerned about the level of pain you’re experiencing.

What Can I Eat After Getting Implants?

Once your implants have integrated with the jaw and are topped with a restoration, you can eat anything you want. Of course, the days immediately following the surgery are a different story. For the first couple of days, your diet should consist of milkshakes, yogurt, smooth soups, cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, and various other liquids or soft foods. From the third day onwards, you can move up to soft sandwiches, cooked noodles, and other meals that don’t require much chewing. Normally, around the seventh day after surgery, your mouth should have healed enough for you to return to a regular diet.

How Long Will It Take for Dental Implants to Heal?

It depends on the situation. Everyone heals at different rates, and the state of your overall health can affect your body’s ability to recover from surgery. Also, it obviously takes more time for the mouth to heal if multiple implants were placed as opposed to just a single post. Under normal circumstances, you can expect the healing process to be roughly anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. Remember not to use straws or smoke in the days following surgery, as these actions could end up extending the healing process.

Will Insurance Help Pay for Implants?

We highly recommend getting in touch with your insurance provider to clarify your coverage; our team can also go over anything that’s confusing you if you reach out with your policy information. Even if the implants themselves aren’t covered (which is often due to insurance companies considering them to be an elective procedure), part of the restoration or restorations they support might be eligible for benefits. Many plans will also help pay for procedures that are commonly performed to prepare for implant surgery, such as periodontal therapy.