Getting dental implants is a life-changing experience for many of our patients. Implants are the closest replacement for natural teeth and they have incredible restorative power. They look and function just as your natural tooth and tooth root would.
They provide more support than traditional dentures and they can be combined with other procedures to replace one or several missing teeth. Implants restore your quality of life along with your ability to eat, speak and smile without discomfort.
Dental implants are an investment in your future and your overall quality of life and you want to be sure you choose the right dentist for the procedure.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a form of permanent tooth replacement. They are a restorative dental procedure and they aim to replace the function and appearance of a natural tooth.
Dental implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they can replace any tooth in your mouth, from a molar to an incisor. They can be placed in both the upper and lower jaw. Patients can use a dental implant to replace a single missing tooth, or several teeth, depending on their needs.
These prosthetics are incredibly strong and the implant base is made out of titanium, which is a biocompatible metal that is accepted by the body. Dental implants are placed directly into your jaw bone and they act just like a natural tooth root. They anchor your tooth in place and make biting, speaking, smiling and chewing possible.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
Once you have decided that dental implants are right for you, Dr. Lawson will book your implant surgery. Surgery is performed in-house at our office in Urbandale, IA. Dr. Lawson is fully certified and experienced in dental implant placement and the initial surgical procedure can be done in one visit.
During the procedure, an incision is made in your gums, in the area, the implant will be placed. Once the small section of your jaw is exposed, the titanium implant is drilled deep into the jaw bone, using leading-edge dental technology. Sedation during the procedure is an option however many patients do not need sedation for implant placement. Having the tooth removed is actually more difficult for people than placing the implant because there is less tension. However for those who prefer to be sedated, laughing gas or oral sedation is available.
Once the implant is placed, your gums are sutured to assist in healing and the initial part of the procedure is finished. Be sure you have a friend or family member ready to help drive you home after the initial surgery.
After the implant placement, you will need 4-6 months to fully recover. During this time your gums will heal and form tightly around the implant. The implant itself will be stable and secure in your jaw once the swelling is reduced and over time, your jaw bone will grow and fuse to the implant, in a process called osseointegration. This provides more stability as the implant truly becomes a replacement tooth root in the jaw.
Dr. Lawson will check to ensure everything is healing the way it should and once you have fully recovered from surgery, the last step is to screw your dental crown to the metal implant to complete the procedure. Your dental crown will look, act and feel like a real tooth. It will be color-matched to fit your smile perfectly. Once your dental crown is placed on top of the implant, your procedure is complete. You can now eat, smile, speak laugh and chew the way you used to with your natural teeth.
Good Candidates for Dental Implants
If you are missing one or more teeth, it is possible you are a good candidate for getting dental implants. The best way to determine whether or not implants are a good treatment plan for your case is to meet with Dr. Lawson for a consultation.
Most patients in good health will qualify for dental implants. However, sometimes, there are additional procedures required before they can be placed. Often, in patients that have been missing teeth for over 6 months, bone grafting will be required. A natural tooth places a consistent weight and pressure on your jaw, which keeps it healthy and strong. When you are missing teeth, the jaw bone no longer needs to support your tooth and it can slowly degrade. This weakens your jaw bone and can often lead to further tooth loss.
Bone grafting helps to replace the missing bone so your dental implant has a firm foundation. Bone grafting is a separate procedure and the recovery time can take up to 6 months before you are healed for implant placement.
Professional Implant Placement in Urbandale, IA
Benefits of In-House Implant Placement
Dr. Lawson is fully certified and experienced in dental implant placement. As a result, she is able to perform implant surgery in the office. There are many benefits to in-house treatment. Often times dental clients have to be referred to a specialist in order to have their implants placed. It is not always possible to have your family dentist place these as it is a specialized skill that requires advanced training.
At Lawson Family Dentistry, we can perform the procedure in-house which adds a personalized touch to your experience. It is so much better to work with a dentist who knows your health history and understands your needs. Especially when it comes to surgery as complex as implant placement. The convenience of being able to stay local and avoid wait times for specialists is an added benefit of in-house implant placement. Dr. Lawson offers friendly, familiar and personalized care so you can relax and focus on recovery.
Training and Experience
Dr. Lawson is a lifelong learner, committed to bettering herself through continued education in order to better care for her patients. She trained in dental implant placement and procedures with the ImplantEducation Company, which offers an advanced program for experienced dental professionals.
The program was very hands-on and focused on live surgical training and procedures, taught by industry leader Dr. Joe Mehranfar. During the live sessions, Dr. Lawson studied All-on-7 Hybrid guided cases and learned different bone grafting, sinus lift and suture techniques.
Dr. Lawson was specifically interested in this program because of its unique humanitarian mission which is incorporated into the training. The program partnered with Dental Hearts, a non-profit dental implant center for those in need. Dental Hearts focuses on placing implants for Veterans and those who could not afford private care.
During her training, Dr. Lawson placed several implants for Veterans. Her course tuition went towards their surgeries.
About Dental Hearts
Dental Hearts was founded by Dr. Joe Mehranfar and partner Scott Lauer to assist the 400,000+ veterans in Arizona as well as low-income patients in need. Their innovative business model allows these patients to get the treatment and care they deserve.
Dr. Lawson is incredibly compassionate and was eager to take part in such a generous and unique charitable initiative. Now she brings her wealth of experience back to Urbandale to help her own clients obtain a better quality of life with dental implants.
Contact Lawson Family Dentistry for Implants in Urbandale, IA
If you are looking for an experienced, friendly and professional dentist to place your dental implants in Urbandale, IA we encourage you to book your appointment. You can schedule a consultation to go over your needs and Dr. Lawson will create a personalized treatment plan just for you. Call us at 515-444-5742 or contact Lawson Family Dentistry today.