Dental Implants – Scottsdale, AZ

Ensuring a Healthier Future with Longer-Lasting Teeth

Doctor Raiffe showing a patient an x ray of dental implants in Scottsdale

Tooth loss does not only affect the mouth. It also causes problems to form throughout the body. Malnutrition, a breakdown of mental and emotional health, and even decreased energy can be the starting points for more serious health conditions. With dental implants, though, our dentists at Shea Dental of Scottsdale will rebuild smiles from the roots up to ensure a healthier future with longer-lasting teeth. Contact our dental office today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how dental implants in Scottsdale are the superior form of tooth replacement.

Why Choose Shea Dental of Scottsdale for Dental Implants?

  • Start-to-Finish Dental Implant Process
  • Advanced Technologies Used to Ensure Greater Accuracy
  • We Work to Maximize Your Dental Benefits

What Are Dental Implants?

Illustrated dental implant replacing a missing lower tooth

Different from dental bridges and traditional dentures, dental implants are proven to be more stable and longer lasting. As titanium posts that look similar to screws, they sit within the jawbone and perform the same duty as a regular tooth root – deliver stimulation to the bone. In doing so, they support the oral and facial structure as well as the customized restoration that exists on top (i.e., crown, bridge, or denture).

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

Illustrated dental implant being placed into the lower jaw

Given their nature, implants require a unique, multi-step process. It’s to the point that treatment takes roughly several months. That said, you can trust that implants’ perks make this time and effort worthwhile. We at Shea Dental perform the placement in-house, meaning your new teeth will benefit from our skilled dentists. In fact, you can expect four main steps from the procedure: a consultation, implant surgery, osseointegration, and delivery of the final restoration.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

A dentist explaining implant treatment to a patient

Before you can get implant surgery, you must consult our dentists. This talk lets them learn your smile goals, dental history, and health background. Once they’ve reviewed these factors, they can decide if you’re a good implant candidate.

If you aren’t a good candidate (at first), don’t worry. Our team can help you receive preliminary procedures – gum disease therapy, tooth extractions, etc. After getting these services, your mouth will have the strength it needs to support implants.

Should we approve your implant treatment, the consult will cover the latter’s details. These will include your procedure’s timeline, its cost, and more.

Dental Implant Surgery

Dentists performing dental implant surgery

Again, our office places implants entirely in-house. That means we don’t refer patients to outside specialists. So, you won’t need to do extra traveling for your surgery. Our team will manage things and restore your smile.

Typically, implant surgery is composed of four key actions:

  1. Numb the Site – Prior to treatment, we’ll numb the affected area with an anesthetic. Doing so ensures you won’t feel aches from the procedure.
  2. Make a Gum Incision – Once you’ve been numbed, our dentists will make a small incision in your gum tissue.
  3. Place Implant Posts – After making the incision, our dentists will place the implant in your jaw socket.
  4. Close the Gums – Following the placement, we’ll close your gum incision. We’ll then put a small cap over the implant post.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

A closeup of a dental implant and its abutment

Once the surgery is over, your implant(s) will start to fuse with your jawbone. (This process is called osseointegration.) However, this fusion will take roughly six months to finish. Only after that period will your implant(s) be truly secure.

Not long after the fusion, you’ll have another surgery that places your abutment. This latter part is a connector that holds your implant’s future restoration. While you adjust to the abutment, a lab will craft your implant’s toothlike portion from dental impressions.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

An illustration of an implant receiving its dental crown

When you’ve adjusted to your abutment, you’ll revisit our office for the final restoration. This prosthetic is usually a crown, dental bridge, or denture. Which you get will depend on how many implants were initially placed.

All that said, fitting this restoration won’t take our dentists long. They’ll apply some dental cement and confirm everything is in order. (Of course, they might make some last-minute alterations.) When that’s done, they’ll send you to enjoy your newly restored smile!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Close up of smiling man with short beard

No one chooses dental treatment without understanding what kind of benefits they can expect to receive. While traditional tooth replacement options make it possible to see a complete smile, dental implants are the only solution that fully restores teeth from the roots up. But patients are also turning to these longer-lasting prosthetics because of other unique benefits. Here are just some of the ones that you can experience.

Day-to-Day Benefits 

Woman brushing her teeth

Once the healing process is complete, your dental implants shouldn’t feel any different from your natural teeth. You may even forget that they are there! Here are some of the benefits that you can experience every day:

  • Easy to Maintain: You care for dental implants the same way you care for the rest of your smile. Just brush twice, floss, and rinse with mouthwash every day. Be sure to continue seeing your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and checkups.
  • Stronger Bite Force: When you get dental implants, your bite force can be restored up to 90%! This is much more than you can expect with traditional dentures and dental bridges.
  • Increased Confidence: If you have gaps in your smile due to tooth loss, it can be easy to feel self-conscious. With dental implants, you can show off your pearly whites with pride again!

Health Benefits

Woman eating an apple

Dental implants have a positive influence on your health. Here are some of the ways your dental implants can improve your wellbeing:

  • Prevents Bone Loss: When you are missing teeth, your jawbone isn’t being stimulated with regular chewing, so it will eventually be reabsorbed by the body. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option out there that replaces the roots of the missing teeth, therefore stimulating the jawbone and preventing bone loss.
  • Improved Dental Health: Missing teeth can increase your risk of other dental problems. This includes gum disease, misalignment, and additional tooth loss. Dental implants help to prevent these negative effects.
  • Better General Health: Dental health and general health go hand-in-hand. Having better oral health means a reduced risk of several life-threatening conditions, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Long-Term Benefits

Money in a piggy bank

Dental implants have a higher cost than traditional dentures and dental bridges, but there are good reasons for this. Dental implants are an investment in the future of your smile. Here are some of the incredible benefits that you can enjoy for multiple decades or even the rest of your life:

  • Long-Lasting: Other tooth replacement options, like dentures, need to be relined or replaced now and again. Other the other hand, dental implants are made to last for many decades. You may never have to worry about your missing teeth again.
  • Save Money: Dental implants last a long time. You don’t need to worry about spending large sums to replace or repair them. They also help to prevent health issues that are expensive to treat. Ultimately, you can save lots of money!
  • High Success Rate: Dental implants have an incredible success rate of over 95%!

Ceramic/Non-Metal Dental Implants

Two white ceramic dental implants with dental crowns

Traditionally, dental implants are titanium, and although this material is biocompatible, it could lead to complications for patients with sensitivities or allergies to metal. That’s why Dr. Raiffe also offers non-metal, single-piece dental implants crafted from zirconia. These offer a wide range of benefits compared to their titanium alternatives, including being hypoallergenic, resistant to corrosion, incredibly durable, and a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Dental Implant FAQs

Illustration of a happy dental implant

Do I Need a Bone Graft Before Getting Dental Implants?

After losing teeth, the jawbone atrophies because the teeth’s roots are no longer stimulating it through regular biting and chewing. Bone grafting involves transplanting a piece of bone tissue to strengthen it so that it is able to accommodate dental implants. We will take detailed scans of your jaw area to determine whether or not you will need bone grafting before you can get dental implants.

How Soon After a Tooth Extraction Can I Get Dental Implants?

In some situations, if the jawbone is healthy enough, a dental implant can be placed right away after an extraction. However, dentists usually recommend waiting three to six months for the mouth to heal. Waiting longer than this can cause jawbone shrinkage due to lack of stimulation. Ultimately, the answer will depend on the specifics of your unique case, so we will discuss this in further detail with you.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I’m Diabetic?

If your diabetes is under control, your odds of dental implant success are likely comparable to nondiabetic patients. However, if you have uncontrolled diabetes, this could slow down the healing process, making it more difficult for your implants to fuse with the jawbone properly. If you are diabetic and interested in replacing your missing teeth with dental implants, talk to your endocrinologist or primary care physician about getting your blood sugar levels under control beforehand. Then we can move forward with the dental implant process.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Dental Implant Surgery?

You should be able to resume your normal activities the day after your dental implant surgery. However, you should avoid strenuous exercise for about a week to promote healing. Bleeding should stop after a couple of days, and swelling should subside after three or four. Take your prescribed and/or over-the-counter pain relievers as directed to make the healing period comfortable. It may take up to six months before your implants are completely fused with the jawbone.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

For the majority of patients with good health, dental implants are very successful when placed by a qualified professional. If you have low jawbone density or gum disease, you will likely require preliminary treatments to make dental implant surgery safer and more successful. If you have diabetes, cancer, or another medical condition that can make surgery or healing risky, we will discuss this with you during your consultation so we can make an informed decision.