Restore Your Smile with Dr. Shlafer
If tooth decay or dental trauma has left gaps in your smile, a restorative dental procedure can help restore your smile while keeping your teeth protected from tooth decay. Your teeth fit together in such a way to protect your gums and ensure that you can break down food effectively. Even a single missing tooth can throw things off balance.
Additionally, leaving spaces between your teeth can make it easier for decay-causing bacteria to accumulate. So while filling gaps left by missing teeth may improve the appearance of your smile, it can also make a major difference in your protection against decay, periodontal disease, and more.
Dr. Shlafer is committed to finding a restoration solution that fits your needs. If you’re looking for a permanent solution to tooth loss, he’ll most likely recommend dental implants to restore your smile.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent, natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. They consist of a titanium post that’s placed in your jaw, a small connecting piece called an abutment, and a stunning porcelain crown on top. Because they are surgically inserted into the jawbone, dental implants are the only restoration solution that prevents bone loss (resorption) and stimulates jawbone regrowth, which is why they are a highly recommended tooth replacement option.
Implants offer several unique benefits, including:
- Natural appearance
- Restores full chewing function
- Easy to maintain
- Provides resistance to infection
- Prevents dental drift of other teeth
- Stimulates healthy jawbone growth
- Can last a lifetime with proper care
No matter how many teeth you’re missing, dental implants can provide the restoration you need. Dr. Shlafer understands that no two patients are the same which means your dental implant solution will be customized to your oral health needs and based on the number of teeth you need to have replaced. We offer singular tooth replacements, but for patients missing more than one tooth, we can also use implants to secure a multi-tooth bridge or even a full-arch denture.
The Dental Implant Process
The dental implant process at our practice consists of three simple steps that take place over the course of several months:
- Free Consultation -- Your treatment begins when you schedule a free consultation with Dr. Shlafer. During this visit, he’ll evaluate your health and determine if implants are the ideal option for you. He’ll also recommend supplemental procedures, if necessary.
- Implant Placement -- Once he determines you’re ready, Dr. Shlafer will place the implant post in your jaw and protect the surgical area with a temporary crown or flipper. You’ll need to allow four to six months for your jaw to fully heal and integrate with your implant. This process is called osseointegration, and it’s the key to a healthy implant.
- Restoration -- After osseointegration is complete, you’ll return to our practice so Dr. Shlafer can attach the abutment and top it with your final restoration. At this point, all that’s left to do is enjoy your stunning new smile.
If you’re short on time, we can place your implants in a single appointment with Teeth-in-a-Day. This convenient option allows you to restore a full set of teeth in just one visit to our office.
Dental Implant Candidacy
If you want a natural-looking, permanent solution for missing teeth, dental implants are the ideal solution. Dental implants have a high success rate and most people are great candidates. However, candidacy and success rely heavily on your oral health, jawbone strength, and immune system. You may not be an ideal candidate if:
- You suffer from tooth decay, periodontal disease, or other oral infections
- Your jawbone is still growing or have a weak jawbone
- You have suffered from jawbone deterioration
- You have a weakened or compromised immune system
The reason dental implants are permanent and effective is due to them fusing with your jawbone during your healing period. If your body has issues with healing already, putting yourself through a procedure that relies on your ability to heal can cause serious oral and overall health issues.
If you suffer from oral issues due to the presence of bacteria undergoing surgery would increase your vulnerability to those bacteria. So before placing dental implants, we’ll need to ensure tooth decay is not present.
Since implants are implanted into your jawbone, if you do not have enough jawbone density, your implants won’t be able to hold. However, thanks to advances in dental technology, more patients are able to receive implants now than ever before. If you suffer from jawbone deterioration or gum disease, we can restore your candidacy with a supplemental procedure, such as bone grafting, soft tissue augmentation, or periodontal treatment.
Dr. Shlafer also offers All-On-4 which allows patients with jawbone issues to still benefit from dental implants without a supplemental procedure.
Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. The dental crown attached to your implant may need to be replaced every 5-15 years depending on your oral hygiene habits.You can prolong the longevity of your implant by:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing once a day, preferably before bed
- Rinsing after meals
- Scheduling dental visits at our Farmington Hills office at least once every six months so we can ensure your continued health and prevent the build-up of plaque.
The average cost for a single tooth is $3,000 to $4,500, though this can vary significantly based on your specific case and the restoration you choose. Unfortunately, most insurance plans don’t cover dental implants. However, you may be able to get a portion of your treatment covered, depending on the terms of your plan. Our office also offers financing solutions to help you get the care you deserve.
For the first week after surgery, limit your diet to soft foods and clear liquids. Rinse your mouth out after meals to reduce inflammation and avoid spitting or using a straw. You should also refrain from drinking alcohol or smoking for at least a few days.
After your surgical site has healed, you can care for your implants like natural teeth. Simply brush and floss every day to keep them clean, and visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Not only are dental implants safe, but they’re also the only restoration that protects your oral health in addition to enhancing your smile. This is because the titanium implant fixture fuses with your jawbone to replace your natural tooth root, stimulating healthy bone growth.
Dental implants have a success rate of 98%, so issues are incredibly rare. In the event of a complication, it’s crucial that you don’t try to fix it yourself. Instead, contact us right away and Dr. Shlafer will find an effective resolution.
Visit Dr. Shlafer For Dental Implants
Filling the gaps in your smile is a great way to ensure overall wellness and prevent the risks associated with tooth loss. If you want to restore health and beauty to your smile, dental implants are likely the right choice for you. Call our office at (248) 266-8581 to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Shlafer, or fill out our online contact form. It’s the first step to your new smile.