My Dental Implants Update

It has been quite some time since I had my dental implant surgery.  I can’t believe that it has been almost an entire year.  I almost forgot about this blog and making the updates that I wanted to make to it.  Anyway, after about 3 months it looked like everything was going great and I even created a video over at my dental implants Austin Youtube channel.  I’ll embed that video just below.

So then around the 6 month mark I finally got my final set of teeth.  It took me a few weeks to get used to them again but I think it was well worth it to have the great smile that I now have.  My biggest challenge honestly has been making sure to keep track of taking care of them since I was so horrible at this before the process even began but so far I have been doing fairly well and making sure to use the waterpik in order to keep everything clean underneath the implants.  Since I included the video that pretty much explains everything, I think this will be a short post today but if you have any questions just let me know and I’ll try to reply as soon as I possibly can!

The Surgery Day

So I’ve now completed my journey to the dental implant procedure since yesterday was the day.  I had to travel a bit to get to my appointment so just to be sure we arrived a bit early.  We waited for my appointment time of 9am and they called me back to get started.  Honestly I don’t remember a ton about the day or the procedure since there was a anesthesiologist there giving me some good drugs to keep me comfortable.

I do remember how kind and helpful everyone was and how attentive they were to me when I was there.  The implants procedure itself took about 2 and a half hours and then they spent a lot of time working on getting my teeth set just right.  They had to take them out several times, go back to the lab to make some changes and then try them again to see if everything lined up correctly.  Since I was already in a bit of pain from the surgery, I would say that this was probably the most difficult part of the process for me.  They were very helpful in making sure I was comfortable and injected me with more anesthetic when I complained.

They also would not let me see myself until they had completely gotten my teeth in place they way that they wanted them and everything was set correctly.  This didn’t happen until late in the day. It was great to have my wife there as they unveiled my new smile.  I could already tell it was all going to be well worth it.

Today I am starting the process of recovering.  I am applying ice to my face to help with the swelling and I’m using a salt water rinse to keep everything clean.  They gave me pain medications and I am spending the day in the recliner sleeping or watching tv and just resting for the most part.  I finally was able to eat something substantial this morning and it was sooo good to eat.  I had scrambled eggs with cheese in them.  This was perfect since I am unable to chew anything for the next 8 weeks (to allow time for healing).  I know that as I continue to heal I’ll be feeling better and better about my decision to get dental implants.  I can’t wait to finally be able to eat something without being in constant pain and to be able to smile for a family photo without having to worry about my smile.

And so It Begins…

Today all of my pre-operation medications were called in.  I need to start taking the anti-biotic on Sunday and then continue it for several weeks through the date of the surgery in order to prevent any infections that might would occur otherwise.  This is also partly because I am a pre-med patient which means due to an existing condition I have to have the antibiotics before any surgery can take place.

I was also prescribed a mouthwash that will help keep things clean and heal my gums.  I got a pain medication as well to help keep me more comfortable during the week or so after surgery.  I had to stop back by their office the other day in order to get a few more dental impressions of my current teeth because the lab tech needed a little bit more information in order to be able to get everything right in my temporary set that will most likely be attached the day of surgery.

There is one thing worth mentioning that a lot of people may not know and that is the fact that there is always a 5% chance or so that after the procedure, the new implants will be unable to support the denture being attached to them yet.  In this case they would have to just give me a standard denture to use for the next 3 months.

In my case especially, this is highly improbable since I am younger and still have good bone in place but it is a possibility for all patients so just something to keep in mind.

Anyway, the next time I post will probably be the day after my surgery.  I’ll tell you how everything went and how I’m feeling about it all.  In the meantime, here is a before picture so you will have something to compare my after smile to later. Eww… right?  Can’t wait to get my new smile!

Before Dental Implants

The Next Step for my Dental Implants

At the Dental Implant PlaceSo yesterday my dental implant center where I am going to get my procedure done gave me a call because one of the guys in the lab needed to take a few more measurements and impressions of my teeth just to make sure that he would have everything he needed in order to create my teeth.  The main impressions I had already done which made a full 3D mold of my teeth but he needed an additional impression to show how my bite lines up, top and bottom.  I do currently have an unusual bite that they are trying to correct so hopefully this information will help.  Anyway, the whole thing took about 30 minutes today and he really re-assured me a lot about the procedure as well which I think I needed since I am very nervous about it.  Logically I don’t think that its really all that big of a deal in the end but tell that to my stomach and my blood pressure would ya?

My dental implant procedure is scheduled for Wednesday October 8, 2014 and I think this appointment from today was supposed to be my last one before the actual procedure.  They will call in some medications for me soon, such as an antibiotic to help avoid infection.  I also will be getting some pain medications called in, something to help with any nausea (doubt I’ll need that), and also a prescription mouthwash for after the procedure.

They are working on making my new dentures now and I am so excited to get this over with and have perfect teeth!  I’ve never had perfect teeth!  It will be absolutely amazing!

If you have any questions for me as I go through the process of restoring my teeth I would love to share any knowledge or wisdom that I may be able to pass on from my experience.  Just leave me a comment in the comment section below.

The First Step to Getting New Teeth

tooth color chartSo I had my first appointment today on the journey to getting my teeth fully restored and I can say that it mostly went exactly how I expected with a few exceptions.  Of course I have never been through this process and most likely never will again so I thought that it might be nice to document everything that happens in this appointment.  I actually squeezed two appointments into one day in order to avoid an extra trip.

Upon arriving I had already filled out necessary paperwork and just had to make sure financing was squared away since that is how I decided to pay for my procedure.  Then I was ushered back to a room with a typical dentists chair where the process began.  It is a simple process really, they need a mold of your existing teeth in order for the on-site lab (in this case) to be able to create your new teeth.  They mixed up some sort of compound which then is pressed into the teeth.  First upper teeth and then lower teeth impressions are made.  In my case it took several tries to get a good impression that they could use to make the molds that they needed but eventually after the modifications of one of the trays we were able to get a mold that the lab technicians are able to work with.  This was quite a messy process and I didn’t get all of that stuff off of me until well after I returned home.  Luckily, most of the waste product from the impressions just falls right off of your clothes.

After this process was completed I spent some time talking to one of the doctors and another assistant about what color I want the new teeth to be.  She recommended a shade based, oddly enough, on the color of my eyeballs.  She said that usually if you make your teeth whiter than the whites of your eyes then it does not look as natural.  I ended up choosing a slightly whiter shade since my eyes are light anyway I didn’t think it would look that unnatural.  I think the ability to select exactly the smile that I want to have is one of the benefits to doing a full mouth restore with dental implants.  You can learn more about the all on four procedure at this Austin dental implant site.  This was only for my temporary set of teeth so I am able to make any modifications that I wish for the final set if it doesn’t work out for me the way I expected it to for whatever reason.

The next step in my almost 4 hour appointment was to do pictures.  They took pictures of my face just normally – like a mugshot and then the side profile shot.  After that came the fun part.  They had to pull my lips out of the way and take pictures of my front teeth.  It wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t a difficult process either.  The back teeth are a bit more difficult since they have to use a mirror to get the picture and of course the mirror fogs up in your mouth but eventually they were able to get those pictures as well.  After this I spent a bit of time waiting for the doctor and watching TV comfortably.  He came and spoke to me a bit more about what I wanted my teeth to look  like and I showed him a picture from one of his advertisements of someone that looks a lot like me that I wanted to have similar looking teeth.  We discussed the color I chose and a few other details and then I went to the second part of the appointment.

This consisted of going over procedures for before and after the operation and also signing papers for legal purposes.  It was a very simple process and then I was able to schedule the surgery.  It takes about 2 weeks at this particular shop for the lab to create the teeth so I am set up for surgery after that.

When You Should Choose Lumineers

Dental_veneerOne option you may consider when it comes to dental work for cosmetic purposes is lumineers.  Lumineers are often presented as an option for those who have slightly chipped teeth or irrepairably stained teeth.  Awkward spacing and gaps as well as aging dental work that no longer looks great can be often fixed with lumineers.  What draws most people to this solution is that it is simple and painless.  The process for applying lumineers can occur in just 2 visits to a qualified dentist.

The first visit would usually consist of an evaluation of your individual case where a mold of your teeth would be created that can be sent off to a dental lab.  This is when you would be able to express any concerns, find just the right shade of white for your teeth and get an idea of what your teeth will look like after the final application.  On the second visit your lumineers should be back from the lab and ready for application.  There is a process where they will be bonded to your existing teeth in a very thin layer.  If you have only mild or moderate dental issues and want to greatly improve the appearance of your smile then this could be a perfect solution for you.

Determining Which Dental Implant Procedure to Go With

If it is determined that your best bet is to have dental implants you will probably want to do a bit of research.  This is because there are several different types of implants available and they are definitely not all created equally.  Some are intended for more short to mid-term results and others are geared to longer results.  Some are higher maintenance than others and there are several considerations to be made including how many implants will be needed (even for full mouth restorations this can vary by person).  You will also want to make sure that the best dental implant materials are used for your situation.  For instance, if you are older and may only have your implants for another 10 – 20 years then it may not be such a big issue if the dental appliance is only rated to last that long.

I am younger and knew that my dental implants would need to last me a very long time, longer than my original teeth even lasted.  I first had to make the commitment to take care of my new teeth and then I had to make sure that I would get something that lasts.  I had heard that when doing a full mouth restoration that it might take more than the standard all on four procedures in order to insure that I wouldn’t experience bone loss years after the dental appliances are placed.  I learned that the all on four procedure has changed over the years and now it includes inserting the implants at an angle in order to stimulate the bone development in the entire upper and lower jaw with only 4 actual implants being placed.

I found this video animation of a single implant being placed.  This will help you understand how the process works.

How to Find a Cosmetic Dentist

If you are anything like me, then maybe you haven’t taken care of your teeth so well or you are just genetically wired to have poor teeth.  I didn’t take care of my teeth well at all and I also have this fear or phobia of the dentist that comes from back in the days when they did a lot more poking and prodding and dental procedures were a lot less comfortable than they make them today.

If you don’t exactly have the perfect smile then you may be in the same boat I’m in.  I’m writing this blog in hopes that you might learn some of the things I wish I knew when I began my journey to fix my teeth.  So the first question that you will probably want to get answered is: how do I determine how much work I’ll need done on my teeth?  The best and most cost effective way to solve this one is to simply find a dentist ad either online or through the phone book or other traditional form of advertising that is willing to give you a free consultation appointment.  This is a very common thing that is advertised with cosmetic dentists because they want your business.  In fact, if you have enough time you may consider going to more than one of these consultations.

Wikipedia – Dental Implant

Implant_overdenture_modelYou will usually leave an appointment like this knowing exactly what your options are and what each of them may cost at that specific dental facility.  They can help you determine if veneers are the best option or if it is best for you to go with dentures or even dental implants.  The reason I suggest going to multiple consultations is because most of the reason they want you to come in is for marketing purposes and you want to get multiple opinions to make sure they don’t just want to do a procedure just because that is what will make them the most money.  In my opinion, the best cosmetic dentist is the one that has your best interest in mind and not their own.  While you are at each consultation appointment you should treat it like an interview or like they are applying for the privilege to work on your teeth.

You want to find a balance between quality and price and make sure that you are getting what you expect when it comes to your smile makeover.  The last thing that you want is to have dental surgery and then have to go to another dentist to fix it.  Make sure you ask about warranties on dental appliances and any satisfaction guarantees that might be made.  In the end it is most important that you find a dentist that you are comfortable with and that makes you feel at ease with the process that you will be going through.  I’ll be updating with more tips as I think of them and also with more details of my journey from never smiling to being bold and confident with my smile.