Dental Implants Dentist Spencer
Dr. Melissa Kenfield has the experience and credentials you should look for when considering a Dental Implant Dentist.
Dedicated to life-long learning, Dr. Kenfield has averaged 60+ continuing education credit hours (per licensing period) throughout her career; the minimum requirements for the state of Indiana are 20 continuing education credit hours per licensing period.
My favorite dentist office. Kind staff.”
Dr. Melissa Kenfield, with a high-tech implant dental office located in Spencer, is always educated and informed on the latest and greatest dental technologies and trends.
First steps to your dental implants with Dr. Kenfield:
1. Conduct your no cost consultation
2. Schedule your examination
3. Perform your comprehensive exam
3D CT scan (and any other x-rays as necessary) and complete review of mouth (teeth, gums, jaw bone, bite, etc).
4. Review our findings and discuss your options
Graphic illustration shows dental implant components including a titanium post, an abutment and a crown.
Are dental implants worth it?
The loss of one or more permanent teeth is a serious issue. Teeth are essential for several reasons- when you smile or laugh your teeth will be the first thing people notice. Aside from playing a vital role in a person’s esthetic and self-esteem, teeth are also necessary for everyday functions like chewing and talking.
There are many options for replacing teeth and trying to decide which one is best for you can be overwhelming. Our expert staff is ready and waiting to answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. At Kenfield Dental Group in Spencer, we will walk you through the different options and advise you according to your particular situation.
Dental implants tend to be the best-looking and longest-lasting alternative. Keep reading if you are interested in learning more about dental implants and the procedure.
Are dental implants right for me?
No two patients are ever the same, so each patient’s treatment is unique. Because dental implants are, in nearly all cases, known for being the most convenient option, they tend to be the most popular.
Patients on a budget, or those missing several teeth, might go for cheaper alternatives like dental bridges or traditional dentures. However, these alternatives will never last as long as a dental implant.
Implants are a long-term investment. When properly cared for, they will last a lifetime. Implants are not just durable, they also decrease the risk of bone resorption in areas where missing teeth used to be. Because they feel and function like natural teeth, patients are free to eat and drink as they would with their natural teeth.
Dental implants represent the best solution for patients experiencing tooth loss. We encourage patients with missing teeth to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kenfield as soon as possible. She will assess your needs and discuss the best treatment plan that fits your needs.
Pat shares her experience getting dental implants:
Video 01:45 |”All of a sudden I got this implant and my mouth was solid. That to me, was the most amazing thing!”
Some of the benefits of dental implants include:
Snap-In Dentures (Implant Dentures)
For those patients missing a few or all their teeth, implants can still be an excellent course of treatment. Because patients don’t need an implant for every missing tooth, they only have a few implants placed along the arch. These will later support a denture. This solution is commonly known as an implant-supported or implant-retained denture. They are also known as “snap-in” dentures because once implants are placed in the jaw, the denture “snaps” onto them.
Implant-supported dentures represent a very stable solution for patients. Since they prevent bone resorption, they don’t need continuous re-linings and adjustments as traditional dentures.
Photo above shows a model of false teeth (denture) and 4 dental implants to retain and support the “snap-in” denture. Dr. Kenfield can surgically place two to four dental implants in each dental arch to retain a complete set of replacement teeth. The replacement teeth can either be removable or fixed, meaning only a dentist can remove them. Either implant-supported denture won’t irritate the gums or slip out of place. Eating and talking become more natural and enjoyable with implant-supported dentures!
What are “snap-in” dentures?
“Snap-in” or “snap-on” dentures are a set of removable false teeth retained by dental implants screwed into the jawbone. These dentures are still removable, but they represent a more stable and secure solution than traditional dentures. “Snap-in” dentures can be removed and replaced, so keeping the mouth and denture clean is equally easy.
Two or four locator attachments are needed to place a snap-on denture. Those attachments connect to the implants. The dentist will examine your case during your consultation to determine whether two or four implants are needed to support the denture. The main benefit of snap-in dentures is superior retention, providing more comfort while eating and speaking.
We still advise all patients to visit their dental office regularly, no matter which type of denture they are wearing. Those appointments are essential to examine the denture’s fit, the stability of the implants, and check the health of the gums. Sometimes dentures need to be adjusted or re-lined as the shape of the oral cavity changes over time.
Eat what you love!
Snap-in dentures secured with dental implants allow you to eat anything you want.
Main advantages of choosing implant-supported dentures:
The peace of mind offered by Implant-supported dentures
There are several treatment alternatives to deal with tooth loss. When all teeth are missing in a dental arch, full dentures are the most common choice. Patients that choose an implant-supported denture can still preserve their bone tissue, and therefore, their facial structure.
Once you have met with the doctor and have your recommended treatment plan, it is time to begin placing your dental implant! Dr. Kenfield will place four or more dental implants on the upper dental arch and two to four on the lower. It can take between four to six months before getting the permanent denture, but you will be wearing temporary dentures in the meantime. Once the implants integrate into the jawbone, the permanent dentures are fitted. You will finally eat without worrying about gum discomfort or the embarrassment of a denture slipping out of place!
Dental implants can improve the appearance of your face
Wrinkles and the alteration of facial contours are two clear signs of aging. While this can mainly be due to the lack of collagen in the skin, it can also result from tooth loss. Teeth support soft tissues, so when multiple teeth are missing, it often results in small wrinkles and a sunken appearance in the lower third of the face.
Implant-supported dentures can make you look young again by preventing or reversing the factors that cause all those facial alterations.
Dental implants preserve jaw bone.
Video 00:25 | Mandibular Jaw, bone recession after losing teeth. Medically accurate dental 3D animation shows an edentulous (lacking teeth) person after several years of using dentures without implants and the resulting changes to facial appearance with jaw bone loss.
How do traditional full dentures impact a patient’s facial appearance?
Millions of Americans lose teeth each year, mainly due to decay, trauma, and periodontal disease. Luckily, there are many tooth replacement options available, and we encourage patients to look for professional advice as soon as any problem arises.
Many patients’ first thoughts are a full or partial denture to replace missing teeth. Although they are both a good alternative for some, especially those looking for cost-efficient options, we encourage our patients to evaluate other avenues.
Traditional dentures aren’t the best long-term solution: while they allow patients to smile, speak and chew again, they do not prevent the resorptive process that tooth loss causes.
When a tooth is lost, the bone tissue anchoring it loses its function. The body detects that this bone no longer has a role and triggers the resorptive process. Dental implants are the only replacement alternative that prevents bone resorption, making them the most convenient solution. If patients don’t replace missing teeth on time, the bone resorption that only affects a small area in its first stages ends up affecting the jawbone as well. When the jawbone is involved, the facial appearance is altered, so we advise patients who want to conserve a youthful appearance to consider dental implants.
Can I stop bone resorption?
As soon as a tooth is lost, we advise you to contact your dentist and ask about alternatives for preserving bone in the area. The only way to save this bone tissue is to keep it in active use by placing dental implants.
Bone resorption affects your facial appearance
The jawbones house the roots of all teeth. Those roots receive a light pressure when you chew food, and this stimulation keeps the jawbone robust. When permanent teeth are lost, the bone in that area is no longer stimulated, so the body triggers a process that breaks down the tissue. This process is known as bone resorption. If multiple teeth are missing, the resorption will compromise the jawbone over time. This causes the lower third of the face to have a weak, sunken appearance.
Replacing missing teeth with dental implants will preserve the jawbone structure and prevent the bone from disintegrating.
Traditional dentures not supported by implants will need continuous adjustments as the jawbone shrinks over time. Dentures that don’t fit properly and lie on the gum tissue don’t provide the stimulation required to avoid the jawbone’s resorption. After several adjustments, the patient will need a new denture.
How do dental implants prevent bone resorption?
Dental implants are small titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone. Once the dentist places the implants, the surrounding bone begins a process known as osseointegration. During this process, which lasts between four and six months, the bone tissue starts healing around the titanium and fuses to the implants’ surface. Once the osseointegration is concluded, the implants are firmly integrated into the bone. The pressure when the patient chews transmits to the surrounding bone. By keeping the bone tissue active and healthy, the body doesn’t trigger the resorption.
Why are dental implants the best solution for tooth loss?
Apart from preventing bone resorption and keeping your jaws looking strong and healthy, there are many more benefits to getting dental implants. Implants look and feel like natural teeth, and with no other restoration, you will get the same aesthetic and functional results. After having your implants placed and correctly healed, you won’t even notice that your natural teeth are missing when you’re chewing, laughing, and speaking.
If you have several missing teeth and you decide to get an implant-supported denture, you won’t need to worry about your denture moving or slipping out. Dental implants are the gold standard of teeth replacement.
Dental implants can help prevent sagging skin
Teeth positioning and the shape of the jawbones make the structure of the lower third of your face. Teeth play a crucial role in preventing bone resorption, which helps maintain a healthy and robust jawbone.
Apart from preserving bone tissue, teeth keep the normal distance between the tip of the nose and the chin. When teeth are missing, the upper and lower jawbones come closer together, and this causes the sunken appearance typical of older people.
Dental implants have the same effect as natural teeth, providing the height and structure required to keep the jawbones strong and in the correct position, helping to avoid premature wrinkles and sagging skin.
Can dental implants help me appear more youthful?
Implants themselves won’t make you look any younger, but they do have a significant effect on the facial structure of those patients missing multiple teeth.
Teeth are responsible for the full and healthy appearance of the face. When teeth are missing, the soft tissues lose support. As a result, the face starts looking more wrinkled, collapsed, and sunken. Additionally, the jawbone begins to deteriorate due to the bone resorption triggered after tooth loss.
Dental implants are the only replacement option that will help preserve the jawbone and provide the facial structure necessary to keep a youthful appearance.
If I don’t want dental implants, what are my options?
Graphic illustration showing two dental implants attached to a false teeth dental bridge.
Go ahead! Eat!
Dental implants feel and function like natural teeth. They are firmly integrated into the jawbone and provide as much chewing force as a natural tooth. Patients with single implants restored with porcelain crowns can enjoy their favorite foods without worrying about their smiles. Those patients wearing implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, will need to be more careful and cut food into smaller pieces. But, although they should be a little cautious when eating, they will still have better retention and chewing ability than patients wearing traditional dentures.
Even though patients with snap-on dentures do not have natural teeth anymore, the team at Kenfield Dental Group advises patients wearing these types of dentures to visit the office regularly for professional cleanings and examination of the denture. It is sometimes necessary for Dr. Kenfield to remove the denture so that the hygienist can thoroughly clean the implant abutments.
We also recommend using a Waterpik (water flosser) to better clean under and around the dentures or bridges. It is vital to keep the gums healthy to prevent periodontal problems and infections that can affect the implants.
Not all patients have enough quantity and quality of bone for placing dental implants. If, after a radiographic evaluation determines that there isn’t enough tissue, Dr. Kenfield will suggest performing a bone graft before the surgery.
Bone graft, sinus lift
The sinus cavities are two air-filled cavities located above the back teeth of the upper jaw. In some cases, when the bone directly under the sinus is too thin, it might be necessary to perform a type of bone graft known as a sinus lift. This technique involves placing bone graft material under the sinus lining to thicken the portion of bone tissue where the implant will be placed.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. However, patients need to know that as dental implants integrate into bone and gum tissue, they are still susceptible to periodontal disease and infection. If patients don’t take proper care, an implant can, just like natural teeth, be lost to periodontal disease.
Though very strong, implants are made of multiple pieces, and once in a while one of these components can break or crack. Sometimes the crown of the implant may crack, or the screw holding the abutment may come loose. Both of these are easy fixes. But sometimes, the abutment screw may be stripped and cracked, or the implant itself may fracture. These situations usually are a little more complicated to correct.
It’s critical to brush and floss carefully and to attend the dental office for regular checkups and dental cleanings to ensure the tissues around the implant stay free of infection and that the implant itself is doing well.
How do I know if I’m a candidate for dental implants?
The only way to find out if you’re an eligible candidate for dental implants is to have an evaluation at the dental office. No professional can tell you over the phone exactly what treatment option will be the most suitable for you without first looking at your teeth and gums.
In the dental office, the dentist can use different resources like x-rays and 3D images to determine if implants are an appropriate option for you. If you are not a candidate for implants, Dr. Kenfield will consider the possibility of performing a bone graft or directly talk to you about other tooth replacement alternatives. All smiles are different, but there’s almost always a way to achieve the results you have dreamed of.