Dental Implants – Norman, OK

Rebuild Your Smile with a Lasting Solution

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Are you one of the 178 million Americans who are missing at least one permanent tooth? If so, it’s likely that some of your confidence and quality of life were lost along with them. Thankfully, Dr. Bobby Carmen can help you regain a complete, confident smile with dental implants in Norman! This state-of-the-art tooth loss solution allows you to replace your missing teeth with the next best thing by restoring the entire dental structure above and below the gumline. Read on to learn more about this life-changing treatment and give us a call today to schedule your consultation!

Why Choose Bobby J. Carmen, DDS for Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implant Placement & Restoration Both Performed In-Office
  • Permanently Replace Any Number of Missing Teeth Seamlessly
  • Dr. Carmen Is Highly Trained & Experienced in Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

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Your natural teeth are made up of two distinct parts: the visible crown that you see when you smile and the hidden roots that keep it in place. Traditional tooth replacement options like dentures and dental bridges only restore the crowns of missing teeth. Without a root structure to support these restorations, they tend to be far less comfortable, lifelike, and functional than natural teeth and can cause oral health complications. On the other hand, dental implants are designed to mimic all parts of a missing tooth.

A dental implant is a small titanium post that is placed into the jawbone to restore the root of a missing tooth. Titanium is a biocompatible material, so the implant post will fuse with the surrounding bone tissue to form a strong, reliable foundation. On top of the implant post, a custom-made restoration is secured via a small connector piece called an abutment. This final restoration could be a crown, bridge, or denture (depending on how many teeth you’re missing) that blends in seamlessly with the rest of your pearly whites. When you rebuild missing teeth from the roots up, the end result is a smile that looks, feels, and functions just like natural!

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

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Dental implant treatment takes place over the course of multiple phases, which can span several months to a year or longer. Don’t be deterred, though; dental implants in Norman are well-worth the wait when you consider how long they can last. Additionally, our team can perform the entire dental implant process in one convenient location, unlike many other practices that have to refer their patients to outside specialists. Dr. Carmen has completed enough training to earn Fellowship status with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, making him a certified dental implant expert.

The details of the dental implant process can vary between patients, but here’s a basic overview of what you can expect.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

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First, Dr. Carmen will need to meet with you and perform a thorough examination of your mouth. He may also capture detailed images of your jaw using our advanced 3D cone beam/CT scanner. With this information, he can get a clear picture of whether you’re a good dental implant candidate, and if so, whether you’ll need preliminary work beforehand, such as bone grafting or gum disease treatment. He can also outline what the rest of your treatment will look like. If you have any questions about how dental implants work in Norman, your consultation would be the time to ask!

Dental Implant Surgery

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As far as oral surgeries go, dental implant placement is relatively straightforward. Before starting, Dr. Carmen will make sure your mouth and jaw are fully numbed so that you don’t feel any discomfort. Then, he’ll create small incisions in your gum tissue, through which he can position the implant posts into your jawbone in precise, pre-planned ways. He’ll place protective caps over the implants and then close your gums so that you can begin healing.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

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Osseointegration is a natural process wherein the bone surrounding the implant grows attached to it. While this can take up to six months, it forms the foundation for your new teeth. In fact, osseointegration is the reason why dental implants are so reliable, lifelike, and able to stand the test of time.

After the posts have sufficiently integrated with your jawbone, your implant dentist in Norman will likely need to perform a second surgical procedure. This one is simpler than the one required to place your implants, and it involves securing abutments to the tops of the posts. Abutments are little metal attachments that connect your prosthetic teeth to the implants. To place them, Dr. Carmen opens your gums and attaches the abutments on top of them.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

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Recovering from your abutment placement should only take a couple of weeks. Once you’re finished, we can begin designing your replacement pearly whites. After taking impressions of your mouth, your dental crown, bridge, or denture is designed and affixed to the abutment, recreating your flawless smile.

Benefits of Dental Implants

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By replacing the roots of the teeth in addition to the crowns, dental implants stand out above all other tooth replacement options. This makes them the closest thing to having your natural pearly whites back. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why more than three million Americans have rebuilt their smiles with dental implants and over half a million more implants are placed each year! Here are a few of the unique benefits of dental implants in Norman that you just can’t get with traditional dentures and bridges.

Day-to-Day Benefits

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  • Eat what you want – Regular dentures only bring back about 25% of the biting and chewing forces you used to have. Conversely, dental implants replenish 70% or more, making it much easier to dig into practically anything on your plate.
  • Enjoy easy oral hygiene – With dental implants, you shouldn’t have to learn a brand-new, complex, and time-consuming cleaning routine. Keeping your implants in great condition is as simple as regular brushing, flossing, and checkups with your implant dentist in Norman.
  • Avoid messy adhesives – Your new teeth are secured onto posts that have fused with your jawbone. As a result, they’ll stay in place without the need for uncomfortable adhesives.

Health Benefits

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  • Preserve your remaining teeth – To hold a dental bridge in place, we’d need to file down two of your remaining teeth, which can lead to sensitivity in those teeth over time. In contrast, dental implants in Norman are fully self-supporting, so none of your healthy tooth structure has to be sacrificed.
  • Stimulate your jawbone – After a natural tooth is lost, the section of the jawbone where it once was begins to lose density. Eventually, the bone loss can cause your remaining teeth to lose support, increasing the risk that they’ll go missing as well. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement that prevent and even reverse this process by stimulating the jawbone whenever you bite and chew, just like real tooth roots.
  • Stabilize your surrounding teeth – Teeth naturally press against the teeth on either side, so when one is missing, the neighboring teeth drift in an attempt to fill the gap. Over time, this may result in crooked teeth, chronic discomfort, difficulty chewing, and even TMJ disorder. Dental implants prevent this issue by perfectly filling in the empty space.

Long-Term Benefits

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  • Younger appearance – Bone loss in the jaw can also make your facial tissues droop, wrinkle, and age you prematurely. By keeping the jawbone strong, dental implants also help you preserve your youthful glow for many years to come.
  • Potential to last a lifetime – After your implants have integrated with your jaw, they can easily stay in place for several decades or even for the rest of your life! In fact, the average lifespan of a dental implant is 30 years.
  • Cost-effective tooth replacement – While bridges and dentures cost less at first than implants, they actually cost more in the long run since you’d have to pay to replace your prosthetic every five to ten years. Dental implants’ potential for longevity makes them a smarter investment overall.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

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We recognize that all of our patients are unique, so Dr. Carmen always begins with a consultation to evaluate your needs so he can recommend the best treatment for you. Having said that, dental implants provide multiple benefits over other replacement options and are a great choice for many people. Dr. Carmen will create a custom treatment plan for you depending on how many teeth you’re missing.

Missing One Tooth

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When a single tooth is lost, an implant will be surgically placed into your jawbone to replace the root. After several weeks, your jawbone will be healed, allowing an abutment to be placed on the implant. This acts as a connector to allow a custom-made dental crown to be attached. It will be made to match the size, shape, and color of your remaining teeth to blend in when you smile.

Missing Multiple Teeth

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If you are missing several teeth in a row, each one will not be replaced individually. Instead, a dental bridge made of prosthetic teeth is created to fill the empty space. Dental crowns are not placed on the adjacent teeth to hold it in place. As an alternative, an average of one or two implants are used to anchor it to your jawbone.

Missing All Teeth

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With dental implants, you can say good-bye to the disadvantages of traditional dentures. An average of four to eight dental implants will connect your denture to your jaw. With an implant denture, you will not have to worry about any slipping or irritation while also enjoying an increased biting force of over 70%.

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

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Easily the most frequently asked question about dental implant treatment is, “What does it cost?” While there is a significant investment of time and money on the front end of dental implant placement and restoration, the results will last for decades compared with other tooth replacement solutions that need to be repaired or replaced every five to seven years on average.

Our knowledgeable dental team works with dental insurance providers and third party financiers regularly, so we can maximize your insurance coverage and help you get low- or no-interest financing plans. Call our team to schedule a consultation to find out more. We’ll examine your smile, answer your questions, and help you find a tooth replacement solution that fits your budget.

What Influences the Cost of Dental Implants?

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One dental implant without the cost of placement or the restoration (replacement tooth) can cost anywhere between $500 and $2000. This price is based largely on the material used to craft the implant post and the size of the implant. In addition to the cost of the implant itself, you also need to consider the price of surgical implant placement, attaching the connective abutment posts, designing and creating a tooth replacement, and the connection of the replacement tooth or teeth to implant posts.

A single dental implant supported crown can cost $2000 to $5000 or more in rare cases, and advanced tooth replacement options only go up from there. However, it’s important to remember you’re paying for a semi-permanent solution. You won’t need to replace dental implant restorations every few years. Most patients keep their implant supported restoration for two or more decades.

Dental Insurance Coverage for Dental Implants

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In most cases, dental insurance still doesn’t cover implants. However, some benefit plans have started to include these restorations, and we hope more will follow suit. We can typically use your dental insurance to cover part of the cost of your replacement tooth or teeth. We’ll work with your insurance provider to maximize this coverage.

Flexible Spending Accounts for Dental Implants

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If you have a flexible spending account as part of your medical or dental insurance coverage, these funds can typically be put toward the cost of dental implants. If you plan to use your FSA funds, make sure you mention this, so we can receive preauthorization. We don’t want you to have any unexpected costs.

CareCredit & Payment Plans

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CareCredit is a third-party financier that works exclusively with medical and dental providers to give patients low and no interest payment plans for health care. CareCredit and other similar financial programs offer better rates than traditional creditors, and this is a great solution for patients who want to make the investment in a lifetime of healthy smiles, starting today with dental implant supported tooth replacement.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Your new dental implants can keep your smile beautiful and healthy for a lifetime, but it is crucial that you are taking the right steps to care for your replacement teeth. You don’t want them to become damaged or infected. Here are some simple precautions and healthy habits to implement so you can keep your smile healthy for life!

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Your dental implants may not be able to develop cavities, but the teeth around them still can. Oral health issues, including gum disease, can cause your implants to fail. Remember to brush twice and floss daily. You should also rinse with mouthwash on a daily basis for additional freshness.

Eat a Healthy Diet

When you have dental implants, you can enjoy a full, nutritious diet. This is something you should be taking advantage of. However, it is still a good idea to avoid indulging in hard, sticky, or sugary goods. Remember to enjoy plenty of foods that contain calcium and vitamin C. These nutrients help to keep your jawbone strong and your gums healthy.

Break Bad Habits

Bad habits can cause problems for your dental implants. You should avoid smoking and chewing tobacco products, as they can slow healing and encourage infection. You should also refrain from using your teeth as tools. Instead, get some scissors, a bottle opener, pliers, or another tool that can help you complete your task safely.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Your dental implants are strong, but they aren’t completely indestructible. You should always wear a mouthguard to protect your dental implants during sports. If you clench or grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about getting a nightguard so you can protect your implants from wear and tear.

Schedule Routine Dental Checkups

Continue to see us for regular cleanings and checkups every six months. This way, we can monitor your dental implants, natural teeth, and gum tissue. By spotting issues early on, we can address them quickly and may be able to prevent serious complications from occurring later on.

Dental Implant FAQs

If you’re ready to replace your missing teeth with dental implants in Norman, it’s normal to still have a few concerns about the road ahead. There isn’t any reason to worry. We’ll explain everything during your initial consultation. To help calm your nerves until your appointment, here are the answers to a few of the most common questions patients ask us about dental implants.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are the most reliable solution to treat tooth loss. They are proven to last for decades; however, their long-term success relies on several factors, such as having a qualified dentist perform the procedure. Your oral hygiene and lifestyle habits also influence the longevity of your new smile. It’s best to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. You’ll also want to add an antimicrobial mouthrinse to your oral hygiene routine to kill harmful bacteria. Don’t forget to visit your implant dentist in Norman at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. You’ll want to avoid anything that may compromise your smile, like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and sticky foods.

Do dental implants feel natural?

When compared to traditional prosthetics, like crowns and bridges, dental implants closely replicate your natural teeth. Your restorations will have the stability of your jawbone, so you’ll never experience any slipping or irritation when enjoying your favorite foods. You can regain as much as 70% of your natural biting force, but it’s best to avoid foods that are hard or sticky to preserve your new smile.

How soon after a tooth extraction can I get dental implants?

It’s not uncommon for patients to need tooth extractions before their placement surgery. You’ll need to wait for your sockets to heal before moving forward with your dental implant placement. It can take 3 to 6 months before you’ll be scheduled for your surgery. If you wait any longer, your jawbone will begin to lose density because it isn’t being stimulated by the roots. As a result, you might end up needing bone grafting, which will add another phase to your plan. In some cases, dental implants can also be placed immediately after your extractions. Every case is unique, so we’ll discuss your options to determine when it’s best to have your placement surgery.

Do I need a bone graft before getting dental implants?

It’s not unusual for patients to need bone grafting before their placement surgery, but it isn’t always necessary. We’ll review a CBCT scan of your bone to ensure there is adequate density to support your implant posts. If there are any areas that are weakened, we may recommend bone grafting. The procedure transplants bone from another area of your body, donor, or a synthetic to the treatment site. Your jaw will integrate with the graft to restore its strength. Although it may add another step to your treatment, a strong, healthy jawbone is crucial to the long-term success of your new smile.