Our doctors specialize in the sophisticated procedure required to provide a gentle and permanent replacement for missing teeth.
When patients come to Schlueter Periodontics and Implants for a consultation, we help them discover the most appropriate treatment for their unique condition and if a dental implant is a suitable restoration option. We only use the largest, most reportable dental implant companies in the world. The results give us precision fitting components for the implants.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Due to the biocompatible properties of titanium, a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes a good anchor for the replacement tooth.
How Will Dental Implants Affect My Life?
First, dental implant replacement teeth look, feel, and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink as you normally do. Second, dental implants often improve quality of life in a very evident way: people who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.
Dental Implant Benefits
There are many benefits to a dental implant for a missing tooth over conventional replacements or procedures:
● Dental implants help preserve your jawbone. The human jawbone maintains its integrity through proper stimulation from the roots of the teeth or dental implants. When a tooth is missing, that portion of the jawbone atrophies and wastes away. This is why denture wearers may have a “sunken” appearance.
● Dental implants help save adjacent teeth. Traditional replacements like bridges or partials permanently damage the teeth next to the missing tooth space. Dental implants are independent of the neighboring teeth and will not damage your natural look.
● Dental implants are a lifetime restoration. Properly placed and maintained dental implants typically last a lifetime. Crowns, bridges, and partial dentures only have an average lifespan of 5 to 10 years.
● Dental implants look and feel natural. Dental implants feel and function just like your own teeth, and there are no restrictions on the types of food you can eat. With dental implants, many find that they can return to eating the kinds of foods they’ve missed for years.
Dental implants can give you an internal “facelift.” Because dental implants restore the health and the density of your jawbones and your facial muscles can be used properly again, most patients notice a visible tightening of their face, helping to regain a youthful appearance.
Cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that focuses on enhancing the appearance of a person's teeth, smile, and overall oral aesthetics. It involves various procedures and treatments designed to improve the color, shape, size, alignment, and overall harmony of the teeth.
Cosmetic dentistry offers a wide range of solutions to address common dental issues such as stained or discolored teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, gaps between teeth, misaligned or crooked teeth, and even missing teeth. Popular cosmetic dental procedures include teeth whitening, dental veneers, dental bonding, orthodontic treatments like braces or clear aligners, dental implants, and gum contouring.
Esthetic Crown Lengthening St Louis
Most have probably seen people with what you would consider short teeth or a “gummy” smile. While it may appear that their teeth are shorter than normal and caps or crowns are thought to be needed. It’s often just a case of the teeth being hidden behind the gums. By repositioning the gum line, you can improve your smile and the contours of your face without having to cut the teeth permanently to fit crowns on them.
One of the major advantages of crown lengthening is that it can often be completed in one visit with a simple anesthetic. Essentially, the excessive gum tissue that is hiding your teeth is removed to expose the normal length of the tooth.
With crown lengthening, you’ll benefit from the following:
● Enhanced teeth that no longer look short or like “baby teeth.”
● A much more attractive smile.
● Reduction of a “gummy” like smile.
● An improved self-image and more self-confidence.
● A relatively quick healing period with little discomfort.
● Visible results in as little as one week from surgery.
Apart from the esthetic benefits of crown lengthening, correcting a “gummy” smile can also improve your overall periodontal health. When gum tissue does not normally recede as adult teeth appear, pockets can form in the gums around the teeth, which can result in advanced periodontal disease. By contouring the gums through crown lengthening, you cannot only improve the look and confidence of your smile but also prevent future problems.
Connective Tissue Graft
The indications for this type of graft are when there is inadequate attached tissue (pink firm fixed tissue) around the tooth or teeth, along with the visible root recession is visually unpleasing and or causes cold sensitivity. This procedure can also be used for covering over small cavities that are removed and avoid a restoration in the area. If a recession occurs and results in the red, movable mucosal tissue surrounding the tooth or teeth, significant recession at a much quicker rate can occur. The reason for this is that the mucosal tissue is not resistant to toothbrush wear and can be very tender to brushing. Also, the mucosal tissue is not firmly bound down on the tooth and bone, resulting in food getting trapped under the tissue, resulting in an abscess. This can cause significant bone loss in a very short period. Keep in mind, during the time the gums creep away from the tooth, so does the resorption of the bone. All of this results in possible loss of teeth.
Dr. Schlueter and Dr. Boszko specialize in the sophisticated procedure required to provide successful and gentle gum graft surgery. When patients come to Schlueter Periodontics and Implants for a consultation, we help them discover the most appropriate treatment for their unique condition.
Why Would a Patient Need a Gum Tissue Graft?
When a recession of the gums “or gingiva” occurs, the body loses a natural defense against both bacterial penetration and trauma. When gum recession is a problem, gum graft surgery is an option.
When there is only a minor recession of the gums, some healthy gingiva often remains and protects the tooth, so improving your home oral health care may be all that is necessary. Sometimes, when recession reaches the mucosa (movable non-pink tissue), the first line of defense against bacterial penetration is lost. Gum recession often results in root sensitivity to hot and cold foods and can eventually lead to deeper issues like root cavities, root gouging, and loss of the tooth.
Gum Grafting Surgery
We use free gingival (gum) grafting surgery when there is inadequate attached tissue (pink firm fixed tissue) around a tooth or teeth. A free gingival graft is a very effective way of preventing significant progression of recession causing a bone loss condition.
We use the connective tissue gum graft surgery when there is both inadequate attached tissue (pink firm fixed tissue) around a tooth or teeth, and the visible root recession is visually unpleasing or causes cold sensitivity. This procedure can also be used for covering over small cavities that are removed and avoid a dental restoration for that area.
How Long Does It Take To Recover?
Both procedures typically require only a local anesthetic while we release the mucosal tissue away from the tooth. A small, thin piece of attached tissue is removed from the patient’s palate that is inserted into the mucosal released area using absorbable sutures. The in-office procedure is typically short and usually only requires a one week and a four week follow-up visit for us to observe the healing progress of the area. Traditionally, this procedure causes only slight discomfort that is easily managed with ibuprofen.
When a tooth is lost, the perfect replacement solution is to replace it with something that is as close to looking as the lost tooth. That is why a completely metal-free Zirconia dental implant may be the very best treatment option available.
Over the years, many health-conscious or metal-allergic patients have preferred to avoid titanium implanted in their bodies and have been asking for a metal-free solution. Now, for over a decade, the FDA approved Zirconia dental implants for use in the United States.
Unlike a lot of zirconia dental implants, the system that we use is fully metal-free, all the way down to the drills themselves. But that’s not the only advantage of a zirconia implant vs. a titanium one.
Should part of the implant become exposed, plaque retention on zirconia implants may be less, and the white color of the implants is far superior to the titanium gray color when considering cosmetics. The zirconia implant survival rate (>98%) is also comparable to its titanium counterpart.
If you are interested in this treatment option and want a fully boarded surgical dental implant specialist to place your next dental implant, please call our office to schedule an evaluation appointment and let us know you are interested in this treatment option.
Other Dental Procedures
While we do not do the following procedures specifically, we do offer alternatives that are often covered by insurance.
Full Denture Alternatives
In other cases, different abutment types can be attached to implants for an implant-supported overdenture that snaps in place. The prosthesis does not move around and doesn’t require denture glues. The implants can minimize pressure on the gums, which prevents food from getting under the denture and injuring the tissue. The implants supporting a denture will help maintain the existing bone, resulting in preserving facial youthfulness.
For those patients missing all their lower teeth, a popular option is the “fixed detachable” or hybrid denture. After placement, it stays in all the time and can only be removed by a dental professional.
For those patients who have not lost significant amounts of bone, “standard” crowns and bridges can be done on a full arch of dental implants. These are cemented in crowns just like those placed on natural teeth. This is the most natural option for the replacement of all teeth.
All-on-4™ is a full arch fixed prosthesis technique. It is a relatively new technique in the United States but has been done for many years with much success in Europe. This technique uses fewer implants that are placed at mechanical inclinations to maximize support. Fewer implants results in lower cost. The All-on-4™ implant treatment solution has been developed to maximize the use of available bone and to allow, in some situations, immediate function on a full arch prosthesis and avoids covering the palate with denture plastic.
Using only four to six implants in a toothless jaw, this treatment option takes advantage of the benefits of tilting the back implants to provide a secure and optimal prosthetic support for a fixed prosthesis, even with minimum bone volume. This also allows us to avoid anatomical areas that previously required bone grafting. The use of angled implant placement eliminates the need for bone grafting and saves months of healing and thousands of dollars. All-on-4™ saves time and money, and we are excited to make this option available to our patients.
Tooth extractions are dental procedures in which a tooth is carefully removed from its socket in the jawbone. Although extraction is typically considered a last resort, it may be necessary for various reasons. Common causes for tooth extractions include severe decay, advanced gum disease, dental trauma, overcrowding, or preparing for orthodontic treatment. During the procedure, the area surrounding the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. In more complex cases or for anxious patients, sedation dentistry may be used to ensure a relaxed and pain-free experience.
Monday - Friday8:00 - 4:30 PM
Closed on Major Holidays & Weekends
Monday - Friday8:00 - 4:30 PM
Closed on Major Holidays & Weekends