Questions & Answers
Implants vs Crowns
Dental implants are artificial roots that go into jaw bone. They are made from titanium and they look like screws. On top of the implants, implant crowns are screwed in and torqued. Implants are necessary after you have lost teeth. Crowns are caps to cover the natural tooth after the removal of caries. You need to have enough tooth structure after the caries removal, and healthy roots to have crowns. If your teeth don't have enough tooth structure to support crowns, but your gum and bone are healthy without periodontal disease, you could opt to have an implant and implant supported crown.
When is a dental implant necessary?
When you have a missing tooth, about to lose your teeth, or have a loose bridge with broken roots or dentures that does not fit or causing malocclusion, your best option is usually dental implants. Even when you have huge caries that requires a major reduction of the tooth structure, you probably need implants after tooth extraction because the tooth cannot support a crown.
Is a dental implant painful?
No, you should not feel pain during surgery due to dental anesthesia or sedation. There may be discomfort when a local anesthetic injection is given. You might feel minor discomfort or swelling by the end of the day after the dental anesthesia wears off. Some might experience minor bleeding for the first 24 hours after treatment. In most cases, the discomfort will subside within 3-5 days, and you will be free of distress or pain after the first week of post-surgery. In general, you will have much less discomfort or swelling after implant surgery than the extraction and graft of the same area.
How long is the dental procedure?
For one tooth implant, on the back tooth, the process takes generally 90 min or less, but we will usually schedule for 2 hours. The front teeth may require more time because it is a cosmetic area. We also need to concentrate on preserving or creating a natural looking gum.
Dental implant healing time?
The healing time for a dental implant is between 3 to 6 months. Healing time is required after placing the artificial tooth root (dental implant) and before placing the crown on the implant abutment. The healing time allows the implant and jaw bone to fuse together and become stronger. The healing time varies depending of the situation. For example, a person with osteoporosis needs longer healing time for the implants to fuse to the jaw bone.
What is a Dental implant healing cap?
Healing caps help surrounding gums and tissues heal better functionally and aesthetically and prevent the accumulation of food debris after implant placement. The caps are screwed in on top of the implants. Depending on the area, custom healing caps may be fitted on top of the implants. This is very important for the aesthetic area to keep the gum looking natural for cosmetic results on the front teeth implants.
Giving people the smile they want is our passion!
Dr. Shimizu is an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. There are 417 dental professionals worldwide (Only six in Houston area) as of 2021 who have achieved this prestigious honor.