Joseph Barker: I think implants are game-changers for people's lives because, like we talked about a while ago, you can replace one tooth with an implant, you can replace multiple teeth with an implant. Implants give us a lot of options. I was fortunate enough when I was in dental school to be the only senior student elected to work on the National Institute of Health Implants Study, and so I've got a pretty good background in implants. To see how it changes people's lives, even when I was in school, and this was before implants were really, really popular. You can restore one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. You can attach dentures, whether they either snap in or out, or you can actually screw them in to where patients just have a whole different quality of life.
You know, before implants, if someone was missing a single tooth, we only had basically three options. One, leave the space blank, but no one wants to do that. Two, some type of removable partial denture that comes in or out, and it gets food under. Patients don't like that, and it's kind of uncomfortable. Do I do a lot of them? Yes, but implants just really make that better. Then the last way would be to do a bridge. So, you have to crown the teeth on either side of the space. Now sometimes I still have to do a bridge because there's not enough bone quality, or enough bone density, or just enough bone period to put an implant in there, so sometimes we still have to do a bridge. But if we can prevent having to do that, it really preserves those other two teeth, and we're not affecting any other teeth, because long-term studies say that in a three-unit bridge, over the course of that bridge's life, 25, 30 years, something will happen to one or both of those teeth that we're also putting into that bridge.
Whereas if something happens to the implant, it only affects the implant. That's a life-changer. Attaching dentures, we talked about that. People can now eat food. They can smile. They can go out with confidence where they didn't have confidence before. Not only can they chew and digest their food better, a lot of people, if they are not chewing their food properly, have a lot of digestive issues. Implants are going to allow you to chew properly, and then start that digestion process properly, and that just helps the GI tract. It helps confidence. I mean, it's just a whole host of things that come in there to make implants that much better for quality of life.
With implant dentistry, you’ll experience:
- Comfort and Convenience – You won’t need adhesive to keep your implants in place. Unlike other teeth replacements, there’s no need to worry about them becoming displaced.
- Ease of Care – With most kinds of implant restorations, you can care for your teeth as you did before, with simple brushing and flossing.
- No Bone Loss – After they are embedded in your jaw, implants function like tooth roots. They stimulate your jaw when you chew which, along with proper routine dental care, keeps your bone from shrinking.
- A Strong Bite – Chewing efficiency drops to just 25 percent for those who lose all of their teeth. However, implants can restore up to 80 percent of your normal chewing power. Since you’ll be able to eat a greater variety of food, your digestion will improve too.
- Durability – It’s possible for implants to last a lifetime with proper care. Some of our patients tell us they’ve had implants for more than 40 years.
To see if teeth implants are right for you, call 501-299-9117 to schedule a consultation.
Replace One Tooth or Many Teeth With Implants
Dr. Joseph Barker places both standard implants and mini dental implants, which are less invasive and don’t require as lengthy a healing period. That said, in some cases full-size implants are a better choice. Dr. Barker will recommend the right option for your situation. In rare cases, he may connect you with an oral surgeon who can perform the placement. After your implants are healed, Dr. Barker will attach your restoration.
Whether you get mini dental implants or full-size ones, your restoration choices include:
- A Dental Implant With a Crown – To replace a single tooth, we’ll restore one implant with a dental crown.
- Dental Implants With a Bridge – We can attach a dental bridge to two or more implants so you can replace several teeth in a row. Unlike a traditional fixed bridge, we won’t have to alter healthy tooth structure.
- Dental Implant Dentures – You have several options for dental implant dentures. Some can easily be removed from implants for cleaning. Others will remain in place. Remember, we manufacture dentures in our on-site dental lab to ensure we fully understand and meet your needs.
- All-on-4 and All-on-6 – These procedures use just a handful of implants (either four or six, depending on the treatment) to secure a full arch of fixed replacement teeth.
We Answer Your Dental Implant Questions
The best way to find out more about implant dentistry is a consultation with Dr. Barker. However, we’ve provided answers here for some questions we hear often.
- Do Implants Cost a Lot? Implants are generally more expensive than dentures or bridgework. But their longevity outweighs the initial expense. Unlike dentures, no fit adjustments will be needed. Our patients say they are a worthwhile investment. If you’re a member of our Dental Healthcare Club, you’ll enjoy a 15 percent discount.
- Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful? No. During the procedure itself, you will be treated with local anesthesia. Some patients may also choose laughing gas to ensure they are completely relaxed. After the procedure, most patients need no more than an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen.
- Could I Have a Negative Reaction to Implants? Implants have a high success rate of around 95 percent. Technically the body can’t “reject” an implant since it contains no living material. Allergic reactions are extremely rare.
To find out more about dental implants in Searcy, call 501-299-9117.