Permanently Restore Your Smile
If you’re ready to embark on your journey to a renewed smile, the first step in the dental implant process is your consultation with Dr. Heffelfinger. During this consultation, he’ll consult with you about your goals, discuss the available treatment options, answer your questions, and help you decide if dental implants are the right choice for you. You’ll also have a thorough examination, including x-rays and scans, an initial step whereby Dr. Heffelfinger can gather the information necessary to create your treatment plan.
This visit will help determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure.
Factors for Dental Implant Candidacy
Most people are good candidates for dental implants. Dental implants may be the right solution for you, if:
You want to protect your oral health
By replacing your missing teeth, dental implants help protect the health of the surrounding teeth, lessening the risk of gum disease, tooth decay, and bite problems. When a missing tooth root is replaced by an implant, this helps strengthen the jawbone, something that no other tooth replacement can do.
You want a solution that’s easy to maintain and long-lasting
Dental implants are as easy to clean as your natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing. With proper oral hygiene, dental implants can last a very long time. In fact, your implant is a permanent fixture to your overall health.
You want a secure, natural-looking solution to tooth loss
Dental implants look, feel, and function like your natural teeth, whether you’re replacing one or many teeth. Your dental implant takes the place of a missing tooth’s root, forming a secure foundation for your restoration.
You want to improve your quality of life
Dental implants are comfortable, secure, and natural-looking. With dental implants, you can stop worrying about your teeth and focus on living your life to the fullest. Imagine never having to worry about a gap in your smile, a restoration slipping, or whether you can eat a certain food. Dental implants can make this a reality.
You want to feel confident again
With the security of dental implants, you’ll have the confidence to smile, chew, and speak knowing your restoration won’t slip out of place. Since implant-supported restorations are custom designed for each patient, you’ll know your teeth look their very best every time you smile.
Dental implants have a 98 percent success rate which is why they’re a tried and true tooth replacement option. The success of a placement is dependent on your oral health, the healing process, and jaw strength. Depending on your unique situation, Dr. Heffelfinger will also discuss whether you’ll benefit from any supplemental procedures prior to dental implant placement, such as bone grafting or gum disease treatment.
You may be disqualified for a dental implant procedure if:
You have a weakened immune system
A large portion of the dental implant process is time spent healing which means you’ll need a strong immune system to avoid complications. If you have an underlying health problem that weakens your immune system such as autoimmune disorders, cancer, or diabetes, we may recommend an alternative restorative option.
Certain medications can also weaken your immune system so it’s imperative that you inform Dr. Heffelfinger during your consultation so that he can determine if a dental implant is the best option.
You have poor oral health
Poor oral hygiene can lead to a build-up of bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. If you suffer from either condition it can complicate the success of your implant. Following the implant procedure, you need to heal as the implant naturally fuses with your bone which means your gums and your body are vulnerable. If bacteria is present due to tooth decay or gum disease, it not only impacts the success of the dental implant but also puts your overall health at risk.
Your jaw is still developing
While we offer a variety of dental services for our pediatric patients, a dental implant isn’t a recommended treatment on still-developing jaws. As your child’s jaw grows, the implant can shift out of place. It can also cause their permanent teeth to shift and come in crooked.
You don’t have sufficient bone to sustain the dental implant
Dental implants are placed directly into the jaw which makes them incredibly durable. However, a certain amount of jawbone density is needed so that the implant can be placed and the osseointegration process can occur successfully.
Frequently Asked Questions
The time following a supplemental procedure or periodontal therapy depends on a variety of factors including the severity of the issue that prevented your initial candidacy, your unique healing process, and the procedure done. For some treatments, you can be ready in as little as four weeks upwards of a few months. During your consultation, Dr. Heffelfinger will be able to provide you with a more accurate timeline.
If you enjoy your dentures but want a more secure fit, we can combine dental implants with a specially designed denture. Implant-supported dentures allow you to have a more secure fit while providing you with the jawbone protecting benefits of dental implants.
Yes—your initial consultation is an important first step in the dental implant procedure. During this first meeting, Dr. Heffelfinger will be able to determine your candidacy for implants or recommend procedures designed to increase your candidacy.
This meeting is also your opportunity to ask any questions you have so you can make an informed decision about your care. You’ll also have a chance to discuss financing options and our team will help you choose one that works within your budget. We want to make dental implants affordable, therefore we offer several payment options and financing plans through CareCredit. Many of these cost plans offer no annual fees and convenient monthly payments.
Take the First Step to a Restored Smile With a Consultation
Living with missing teeth not only impacts your ability to eat, speak, and socialize but also can negatively impact your health. Why wait to begin your journey toward a restored smile? Protect your oral health and overall wellness by filling in your smile with a permenant, flawless dental implant. Schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Heffelfinger today by calling our Auburn office at (260) 925-4290 or filling out our online contact form today.