Affordable Dental Implants: Your Questions, Answered

Senior couple smile with dental implants

How much is your smile worth to you? 

When it comes to the cost of dental implants, some people feel like they have to decide between their smile and their bank account. For those without dental insurance, the decision becomes even more challenging. Is self-esteem worth the cost of dental work? 

For many people, it is. Dental implants have the ability to transform your smile and your life. But how much do they cost, exactly, and what are the options? 

Affordable dental implants can be a reality. If you have questions about the cost of dental implants, read these FAQs to have your questions answered.

What Are Dental Implants?

If you are missing a tooth, a dental implant is one way to replace it. Implants are different from dentures as they are surgically implanted

dental implant 3D illustration

Normally, your tooth is connected to your jaw with a root. If you’ve ever had a root canal, you’re aware of this part of the dental anatomy. In the case of an implant, your periodontist will replace the root with a mental post. 

The metal root allows a realistic artificial tooth to attach to your mouth. Unlike bridges or dentures, the tooth will be more or less permanently in place. You will take care of any artificial teeth just as you would take care of the natural teeth in your mouth. 

If you lost an arm, you’d get fitted for an arm prosthesis. A dental implant is like a prosthesis for your mouth. Your implanted tooth will do everything your natural teeth can do, and nobody will be able to tell that it isn’t natural. 

For many individuals, a dental implant builds self-confidence and improves self-esteem. Individuals with dental implants smile more. If you are missing teeth for any reason, a dental implant from Arizona Periodontal Group’s qualified professionals will significantly improve your quality of life. 

What Are the Cheapest Dental Implants?

When it comes to your oral health, it can feel strange to wonder about the “cheapest,” option. After all, we use our teeth every single day. The price of dental implants can seem like a barrier for some individuals, however, so it’s good to know your options. 

It’s important to remember that an implant is like an investment in your long-term oral health. Your jaw shape will change as you age. Implants can ensure that you will not lose other teeth as you go through these changes over time. 

The cost of implants will vary based on your individual needs. A full set of implants will cost more than replacing an individual tooth. If your implant requires a bone graft, it will also cost more. 

The most affordable implant would be an individual implant that does not utilize any custom components. If our periodontist or oral surgeon can use on-hand stock components, your implant will be less expensive than an implant requiring custom-made posts or crowns. 

If you have dental insurance, it may cover part of the cost of your procedure. 

As every case is unique, it’s important to get a consultation from a qualified oral surgeon, like Dr. Trujillo. He can advise you about the specific costs involved in your individual case. 

What Can I Do If I Can’t Afford Dental Implants?

Are you open to financing? Arizona Periodontal Group offers payment plans that can help make the cost of your dental implant procedure more manageable. Implants can have a long-term impact on your health, and payment plans allow our periodontists and surgeons to help more individuals. 

Flexible spending or health savings accounts can also be helpful ways to pay for your dental implants. If not, you might consider spacing out your procedures to make surgery more affordable. No matter what you decide, your team at Arizona Periodontal Group will work with you to find an affordable solution. 

Is There a Cheaper Alternative to Dental Implants?

Both dental bridges and dentures are options that can help replace teeth. Unlike implants, these options are not permanent and will require more maintenance. They are less expensive because they do not require surgery.

Dental Bridge

dental bridge uses your existing teeth to anchor an artificial tooth in your mouth. If that is not possible, bridges might be bonded to your mouth using resin. A bridge is not removable but may need to be replaced over time. 

Full or Partial Dentures

If you have lost all of your teeth, you may opt for full dentures. Individuals who have lost fewer teeth might opt for partial dentures

Dentures are removable replacement teeth attached to an artificial gum that can be placed in the mouth. Like your dental bridge, your dentures may require maintenance or replacement over time. 

How Much Should Dental Implants Cost in 2021?

The exact cost of your procedure will always depend on your individual oral health situation. Your individual procedure may be more or less expensive depending on the materials used. On average, a single dental implant might cost between $1,500 and $3,000 in the year 2021, plus the cost of surgery. 

Multiple dental implants will increase the price. If you require a full mouth of dental implants, the price will vary greatly depending on your needs. Your best bet is to consult with our periodontist to discuss the cost of your individual procedure. 

Remember that Arizona Periodontal Group offers flexible payment plans that can make your procedure considerably more affordable. We will come up with a plan that works for your situation. Do not let cost stand between you and a confident new smile. 

Get Affordable Dental Implants From Arizona Periodontal Group 

If you have missing teeth, a dental implant is an attractive, permanent solution. Although every individual’s situation is different, affordable dental implants are possible. Your smile is worth the cost!

If you would like more information on the cost of your individual procedure, start with a consultation. The periodontal specialists at Arizona Periodontal Group are here to help. Request an appointment today to learn more about your options for tooth replacement in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Gum Grafting: Procedure and Aftercare

A women sitting in a dental chair for gum grafting procedure.

Gum grafting is a dental procedure to fortify areas of the mouth that lack gum tissue by adding new layers of tissue. This material typically comes from another section of the patient’s mouth, which is numbed beforehand. The purpose of gum grafting is to combat receding gums.

Receding gums is an issue that occurs when the gum tissue begins to pull back or wear down and expose the root. Gum recession often accompanies periodontal disease. If left unaddressed, gum recession can lead to bone damage, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. This is because receding gums result in gaps between the gums and the teeth, which can easily fill with bacteria.

Gum grafts can help restore your teeth and prevent gum disease from manifesting or worsening. Here’s a closer look at what gum grafting entails, including the benefits and aftercare.

Types of Gum Grafts

3D illustration of gum grafting
3D illustration of a gum graft

There are three different options when it comes to gum grafting:

  • Connective tissue grafts
  • Free gingival grafts
  • Pedicle grafts

In connective tissue grafts, tissue is harvested from a flap in the palate or the roof of the patient’s mouth. This area is numbed beforehand and the flap is sutured afterward. Free gingival grafts follow a similar procedure—however, the tissue is taken directly from the palate as opposed to a flap. Finally, pedicle grafts derive the tissue from the gum itself.

The type of procedure you undergo depends on your personal needs. For example, gingival grafts are common when only a small amount of tissue is needed to restore gum condition. Pedicle grafts, on the other hand, are reserved for patients that have an ample amount of gum tissue available. Dr. Trujillo will evaluate the state of your gums and help you make the right decision.

Aftercare Procedure

Following the recommended aftercare procedure is the best way to minimize discomfort and ensure a speedy recovery. Your gums will be sensitive, so it’s important to take care and to not antagonize them further. Generally, the gum grafting aftercare routine involves the following:

  • No flossing or brushing for a specified amount of time
  • Maintaining a diet that is easy on your teeth
  • Taking pain medication or anti-inflammatories
  • Keeping your head elevated above your heart

After the gum grafting, your gums may be too sensitive for regular brushing and flossing. You will be given an antiseptic mouthwash to promote cleanliness. You should also only consume soft, cool foods for about a week. This helps save your teeth from excess pressure. Additionally, Dr. Trujillo may prescribe medication to help manage any pain and accelerate recovery. Finally, keeping your head elevated may help reduce swelling.

In some cases, Dr. Trujillo may provide an upper denture that covers the roof of the mouth. This should remain in place for about twenty-four hours and not removed under any circumstances. Some patients may receive surgical dressing to minimize bleeding, which will be removed after about a week. If bleeding or swelling is excessive, you should contact the office to make sure there are no other complications.

Benefits of Gum Grafting

The main benefit of gum grafting is that it prevents further gum recession. This in turn preserves the quality of your teeth and reduces the risk of tooth sensitivity, root decay, and bone loss. Along with these practical benefits, gum grafting has the cosmetic advantage of boosting self-confidence and making patients feel happier about their smiles.

As a dental procedure, gum grafting tends to be relatively fast and minimally invasive. Although there may be some temporary discomfort after the procedure, the recovery time is generally short and can be quickened by carefully following Dr. Trujillo’s recommended aftercare routine.

Do I Need a Gum Graft?

Because gum grafting plays such a big role in protecting your teeth and limiting the effects of periodontal disease, it’s important that you receive this procedure if needed. In addition to gum recession, here are some of the signs you should look out for:

  • Exposed tooth root
  • Swollen or bleeding gum tissue
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Heightened sensitivity to food temperatures
  • Genetic predispositions to bone and tooth damage

Even if you don’t see your gums visually receding from your teeth, things like bleeding gums, bad breath, and difficulty tolerating hot or cold foods are all signs that you may need a gum graft. This procedure is key to treating periodontal disease—however, in some cases, it may need additional treatments.

Gum grafting is not a permanent deterrent to periodontal disease. It’s important to take care of your gums through proper cleaning and maintenance. This includes regular brushing and flossing, rinsing with a high-quality mouthwash, and eating a healthy diet. Scheduling regular visits with our office can also help ensure that your gums are in good condition.

Gum Grafting in Phoenix, Arizona

If you’ve noticed any symptoms of gum recession or periodontal disease, you may benefit from a gum grafting procedure. Our team at the Arizona Periodontal Group will assess the state of your teeth and gums and determine the best type of gum graft for you. We will also follow the appointment with regular check-ups to help preserve your well-being. Schedule a consultation with us today to find out more!

Sinus Lift: What It Is and Why You May Need It

Sinus Lift Surgery - Sinus Augmentation. 3D illustration
Sinus Lift Surgery – Sinus Augmentation. 3D illustration

Dental implants are ideal for patients who have one or more missing teeth. Recent studies reveal that there about 5 million implant procedures done by dentists in the United States annually. Some situations may require additional treatments before an implant can be placed. One such recommended treatment is a sinus lift. In this post we will focus on when a sinus lift is appropriate and its benefits.

What Is a Sinus Lift/Sinus Augmentation?

A person undergoes a sinus lift when they need dental implants but do not have enough jaw bone to secure the implants due to bone loss. The surgery increases the volume of bone by adding bone to the space between the molars and premolars. During the procedure, the sinus membrane is moved upward to make room for the bone.

Why You May Need a Sinus Lift

There are a few reasons why someone may need a sinus lift. Some of these reasons include the following.

If Your Maxillary Sinus Is Too Close

Before you get implants in your upper jaw, you need adequate bone density. A maxillary sinus that is too close to the upper jaw increases the risk of implant penetration. To avoid such risks, a sinus lift surgery adds to and reinforces the bone so the implant can set securely.

Tooth Loss

Your teeth do more than chew your food, they also support your jaw bone. Losing a tooth can lead to bone deterioration over time. If you lost a tooth a long time ago, the thickness of bone between the sinus could have changed. In such a scenario, you may need a sinus lift to increase bone mass before a dental implant is set.

Untreated Tooth Decay

If you have tooth decay that goes untreated, the decay could spread to the bone. This decay ultimately weakens the bone and makes it unsuitable for an implant. This is another scenario where a sinus lift will provide adequate reinforcement before placing an implant.

Periodontal Disease

Patients who suffer from periodontal disease may need a sinus lift before an implant. According to the CDC, 47.2 percent of adults aged 30 years and older in the USA live with periodontal disease. The condition typically affects the jaws leading to an extensive amount of bone loss.

What Happens Before, During, and After a Sinus Lift?

Before a Sinus Lift

A sinus lift involves transferring a bone to your upper jaw. The first step in the procedure is to determine the source of the bone for the surgery. Some of the common types of bone used in sinus augmentation include:

  • An autogenous bone usually taken from an area of your mouth
  • A synthetic bone-like material

Once the bone source is identified, Dr. Trujillo will study your jaw and sinus anatomy to establish its condition. Accurate measurements are also taken to determine the width and height of your existing bone. X-rays or computed tomography scans will allow Dr. Trujillo to assess your overall jaw health and other vital skull structures.

During the Procedure

There are several approaches to sinus lift surgery. The right technique for you depends on several factors, including the type of bone graft and how much bone you currently have in your jaw. Some of the basic steps include:

  • Receiving intravenous or oral sedatives to numb the area and keep you as comfortable as possible during the procedure
  • Incisions on the back parts of your gum tissue to expose the bone
  • Cut a small area of the bone while taking necessary precautions not to cut the sinus membranes
  • Lift the cut portion of the bone up into the sinus cavity to raise the membrane
  • Apply bone graft materials on the lifted area before applying sutures to close the incisions in your gums

After the Surgery

Following the procedure, the dental specialist will provide instructions that guide your recovery. You may experience some side effects, including swelling and bleeding. However, this discomfort rarely lasts a few days. For a quick and successful recovery, your doctor may recommend that you:

  • Don’t smoke as this impairs your healing time
  • Avoid brushing teeth for a specific time to prevent dislodging clots
  • Avoid vigorous blowing of nose and sneezing
  • Do not use a straw as this may dislodge clots
  • Take antibiotics to prevent infections
  • Take pain relievers to relieve discomfort

Usually, you need a checkup one week after the procedure. During this appointment, the Dr. Trujillo will examine the surgical site and remove any stitches that have not dissolved on their own. However, if you experience any pain that keeps worsening or have uncontrollable bleeding, don’t wait. Call Dr. Trujillo right away.

How Long Does It Take for a Sinus Lift to Heal Completely?

Full recovery after a sinus lift surgery takes a minimum of 6 months. During this time the sinus will heal and the bone will become strong enough for a dental implant. Although this process seems slow, remember the benefits last a lifetime.

How Much Does a Sinus Lift Cost?

The average cost of a sinus augmentation can be between $1500 and $5000, depending on the complexity of the procedure. If the bone graft material is large, the cost is typically higher. It is important to work with a thorough and qualified expert, like Dr. Trujillo to get the most out of your investment.

Are There Risks with Sinus Lift Surgery?

With all surgery comes certain risks. A procedure performed by a qualified and experienced periodontal surgeon decreases the amount of risks. The most significant risk of this surgery is the possibility of piercing or tearing the sinus membrane. However, should this happen, it will be immediately repaired. Another risk is a sinus infection. However, with the proper medication, this is easily preventable.

Contact the Right Periodontal Surgeon

If you have questions about a sinus lift, our highly experienced periodontal surgical team can answer your questions. We can guide you through every step and ensure you get the smile you have always wanted. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Gum Whitening: Benefits and Candidates

Man smile after gum whitening

While discoloration on your gums is usually harmless, it can negatively impact self-confidence and make you reluctant to smile. For this reason, many patients undergo gum whitening, a cosmetic procedure to remove dark spots to enhance the appearance of their gums. Also known as gingival depigmentation, this process involves eliminating the melanin that causes dark spots. This is done in one of two ways. The first is by applying a whitening solution and then gently removing the top layer of the gum. The second, and more modern way, is by using a laser treatment.

Because gum whitening addresses the root cause of the pigmentation, the results are permanent. Moreover, as a cosmetic procedure, gum whitening is minimally invasive and rarely poses health risks. However, not everybody is eligible for this procedure. Dr. Trujillo will evaluate your gum health to determine if you are a candidate.

After assessing the condition of your gums, Dr. Trujillo will work with you to determine how to move forward in a way that is comfortable for you. Read on to learn more about the benefits of gum whitening and to find out if you qualify for this procedure.

Why Do I Have Gum Discoloration?

Dark spots on your gums are typically not a cause for concern. They can be caused by things that are not related to your dental health, such as external bruising or ethnicity. Generally, darker-skinned individuals are more susceptible to gum discoloration. Pigmentation may also occur due to smoking or cavity fillings. The latter situation occurs when a substance called amalgam (which is used for dental fillings) is accidentally left on a patient’s gums. Finally, gum discoloration may form as a result of a melanotic macule, a harmless freckle that may appear near your teeth or other parts of the body.

Pigmentation on the gums can also be a symptom of periodontal disease or oral cancer. In these cases, the patient usually experiences other symptoms such as swelling or bleeding. Dr. Trujillo can evaluate your gums and help determine if the issue is a cosmetic one or a more serious case.

What Are The Benefits of Gum Whitening?

As a cosmetic procedure, gum whitening does not affect or enhance gum health. Its central function is to make patients feel better about the appearance of their teeth and gums. Here are some of the main benefits of the procedure:

  • Relatively quick
  • Minimally invasive
  • Permanent solution
  • Confidence boosting

Microdermabrasion Technique

Most gum whitening sessions take between thirty to sixty minutes and use a microdermabrasion technique. This removes the pigmented skin to expose the healthy, bright pink gum tissue that lies underneath. This process is minimally invasive, but patients may receive a local anesthetic or IV sedation to make the procedure more comfortable. The results of gum whitening are permanent because the dark spots are fully removed. Patients do not have to worry about these spots recurring. Most importantly, gum whitening helps make patients feel confident about their smiles.

Laser Treatment

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of tools in your mouth, you may opt for a laser treatment instead. Like the microdermabrasion procedure, laser treatment is minimally invasive and can be completed in a single office visit. Some patients may be better suited for certain treatments than others. Dr. Trujillo will discuss the best option for you before moving forward.

Are There Any Side Effects of Gum Whitening?

Side effects are usually minimal because gum whitening is a surface-level procedure. Many patients do not have any side effects at all and can both speak and eat normally after the session. However, patients with sensitive gums may experience some discomfort. In this case, patients should avoid hard or chewy foods that may cause further stress on the teeth and gums. In most cases, the discomfort should resolve after a short period of time.

The majority of patients will be able to resume their daily lives immediately after their gum whitening appointment. However, it’s important to determine whether or not you are the right candidate for this procedure.

Do I Qualify for Gum Whitening?

Gum whitening is for patients that have surface-level pigmentation on their gum. It will not help patients whose pigmentation is caused by a serious issue, such as oral cancer or periodontal disease. In these cases, the underlying disease needs to be treated to relieve the symptoms. These diseases are often caused by poor oral hygiene and can be diagnosed through a gum biopsy. Periodontal disease may also arise as a result of smoking.

Another issue that disqualifies candidates from a gum whitening procedure is having thin gums. During gum whitening, there is a risk that the procedure may expose your root surfaces, which is not ideal. When a tooth root is no longer protected by the gum, the patient may experience sensitivity and pain. Thus, having strong, healthy gums is key to a successful gum whitening procedure. Dr. Trujillo will not move forward with the procedure if he determines this is an issue.

Gum Whitening in Phoenix, Arizona

If you are looking for a way to enhance the appearance of your gums, then gum whitening might be the solution for you. Our team at Arizona Periodontal Group will evaluate your gums to determine if you are a candidate. We will also walk you through the process and have a discussion to determine the best course of action. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more!

The Art of Implant Dentistry to Renew Your Smile

Senior woman smiling with dental implants
Happy elderly woman enjoying her beautiful toothy smile looking to the mirror in the dental office

Losing a tooth is disheartening, but you can get it all back. Thankfully, you have options with implant dentistry. If you find your confidence drained, trouble eating, or problems speaking because of tooth loss, Dr. Trujillo in Pheonix, AZ, has years of experience placing dental implants. Whether it’s one tooth or an entire arch, the team at Dr. Trujillo’s office can help you renew your smile with reliable implants that look and feel just like your real teeth.

A Closer Look at Dental Implants

Dental implants are placed by integrating titanium posts to your jawbone that serve as new roots for replacement teeth. These posts create a strong and lasting foundation for the crown. They also help maintain healthy bone density for your jawbone while providing an anchor point for restored teeth.

Dental implants prevent your surrounding teeth from shifting over time and affecting your facial integrity. Patients who opt for dental implants don’t suffer from the negative effects of missing teeth, such as decreased bone density and receding gum lines.

Prior to the advent of dental implants, patients could only get restorations that replaced the part of the tooth that can be seen above the gumline. These certainly helped with aesthetics, but they were far less stable than the natural structure of healthy teeth. Dental implants, however, bring back the entire tooth, making them far more secure and durable.

There are, of course, other benefits to receiving dental implants, such as:

  • Resolving bite problems or joint pain caused by your other teeth shifting into the empty space
  • Restoring speech, chewing, and digestion
  • Supporting bridges or dentures to help them fit more comfortably and securely
  • Restore lost facial tissues
  • Restore a patient’s happy and confident smile

In the last thirty years, dental implants have become the absolute best solution for replacement teeth. Dentures and bridges are more focused on providing a solution that’s more aesthetic than functional. And though they’re far better than not addressing the issue of a missing tooth, they simply can’t compare to implants.

Dental implants provide you with a happy, healthy smile and teeth that look, feel, and function exactly as natural teeth do. And with minimal maintenance and regular checkups, implants can last for decades or a lifetime.

Dental Implants Prevent Further Tooth Loss

Aside from the obvious benefits of having a confident smile and regaining your ability to chew and digest food at maximum capacity, dental implants also provide you with much healthier gums and jawline.

It works like this. Each one of your teeth is anchored into your jawline by the root, but they’re stabilized by the other teeth in your jaw. When you lose a tooth, the teeth around the gap in your jawline begin to drift toward the open space, which makes them loosen. This loosening causes deterioration in the jaw, which can cause you to lose the surrounding teeth. And when you lose those teeth, the process repeats itself. Additionally, deteriorating jawbone tissue can change the shape and structure of your face, causing your face to take on a sunken-in appearance.

A dental implant fills in the gap with a titanium post holding it securely in your jawline. This prevents jawbone deterioration and provides your other teeth with the stability they need to maintain optimal oral health.

About the Procedure

A dental implant procedure can take a few months from start to finish. The first step is getting a check-up by your dentist to ensure that you have healthy teeth, gums and jaw tissue as well as a healthy immune system before getting the surgery.

After your initial check-up, you’ll have oral surgery to insert the titanium rod or rods into your jawbone. This is the rod that’s engineered to be a replacement for the root of your new implants. Once these have been added, a temporary crown will be placed over them so that they can heal.

Once your new implants have healed completely, you’ll return to your dentist to have the temporary crowns removed at permanent abutments and crowns attached to the titanium rods. At this point, you’ll have the natural look and feel of real teeth.

Questions People Ask About Implants

People have a lot of questions about dental implants. So let’s get to the answers.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

If you’re missing teeth and you’re in good health, you’re an ideal candidate for dental implants. The most important factor for qualifying for dental implants is the amount of quality bone available in your jaw for them to be attached to.

Are there any age limits for getting dental implants?

To receive dental implants, you usually need to be 18 years of age or older. That said, there are no upper limits on age to who can receive dental implants. As long as you’re in good health and have the necessary bone structure for adding implants, and your jaw is no longer developing, you can get them.

How long does it take to get dental implants?

From your initial checkup to the time you receive your permanent crown can take anywhere from three to nine months. Factors that affect this includes the type and quantity of implants you receive as well as the quality of the bone the rods are attached to.

Make an Appointment Today

Missing teeth cause serious strain on your life. They can affect your speech, ability to chew and digest food properly, and, worse of all, make you second-guess yourself when you want to smile. Having healthy teeth is important for everyday life.

Thankfully, the art of implant dentistry has come a long way and can help you renew your smile completely so that you can go back to living a happy, healthy life. If you’re ready to make a permanent and positive change in your oral health, schedule with Dr. Trujillo to start your journey to a happy smile today.

Start your day with a beautiful smile.

When you visit our office, your oral health is our top priority. Dr. Trujillo and his entire team is dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve.