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Dental Implants: Questions and Answers

A man is smiling and saying "yes" with both fists, red sweater, blue brick background.
Get answers to your questions about dental implants.

You might be surprised to know how many people are embarrassed by their smile across the country. Some people haven’t been to a dentist in years due to fear, money, or a variety of other reasons. 

Others have genetics that plays a factor in the health of their teeth. There are also unfortunate injuries. So many things can play into why people need their teeth extracted and/or replaced.

Fortunately, there are a few replacement options that can truly make your smile look like new, and completely natural. No one needs to know otherwise.

There are about 3 million people in the U.S. alone with dental implants. So, if you’re in need, you’re certainly not alone. 

This article will answer some of the common questions about dental implants. The more you know, the more comfortable you can feel about getting them for yourself, should you need them.

Are Dental Implants Worth It? 

Dental implants are absolutely worth the investment. The implant screw acts like the root of a natural tooth. The crown, the part that you see, looks just like your other natural teeth.

Long-Lasting

Dental implants are often a better investment than other replacement procedures because they can last a lifetime. The screws themselves can last forever. The crown may need to be replaced after 15 to 25+ years if properly cared for.

The longevity of the crown also depends on where the implant is located in the mouth. Teeth have different functions depending on where they are located. Some teeth are for biting while others are for chewing.

Molars are in the back of the mouth and are meant for chewing. An implant to replace a molar may wear out sooner than an implant in the front of the mouth.

Feel Natural

Another benefit of dental implants is that the implant is fused to your jaw bone. The implant and crown tend to feel more natural than dentures. They are also more durable and act more like your natural teeth.

Reduces Bone Loss

Dental implants can also help to reduce the risk of bone loss in your jaw. This could prevent the need for other expensive (and potentially painful) procedures in the future.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last? 

As stated above, the dental implants themselves can last a lifetime. If you take care of them, you will likely never have any issues with the screws that are implanted.

The dental crown that attaches to the implant can last as long as 25+ years if properly cared for. Proper care includes the basics — brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly.

These steps will help maintain healthy gums that do their part to hold the implant in place. Healthy gums also help give the dental crown a more natural look and a healthy smile.

Can Dental Implants Be Done in a Day?

In some cases, yes. There are two procedures called All On 4 and All On 6 dental implants that have been increasing in popularity over the years.

All On 4 & All On 6 Implants

The All On 4 and All On 6 procedures are technically a full-arch fixed dental implant bridge. There are either 4 or 6 implants that support the bridge. This is a procedure that involves the removal of all-natural teeth on top and bottom before the bridges are put in place.

Illustration of All On 4 Dental Implants

For qualified patients, this can be done in one day — the removal of the remaining teeth, the implants, and the dental bridges.

However, there are some potential drawbacks to the All On 4 or All On 6 procedure. Some people experience speech issues or have a hard time adjusting to the feel of the bridge.

Individual Dental Implants

Traditional dental implants take anywhere from 6-8 months from consultation to completion. This is because individual dental implants need time to heal before placing the crown. Typically, two procedures are required for implants. The first is to implant the titanium ‘root’ into the bone. The second is to add the crow(s) on top of the actual implants.

A model of a dental implant.

If you have a majority of your teeth missing or have extensive oral health issues, the All On 4 or All On 6 procedure can be a great option. If you have just a few teeth missing you may be a better candidate for dental implants.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

So many people steer clear of dental procedures because they are worried about pain. But, thanks to technological advancements in medicine, getting dental implants isn’t nearly as painful as you might think. 

Local Anesthetic & Sedation

On the surface, of course, it doesn’t sound “fun” to get dental implants. However, dental offices provide local anesthetic that can make the area go numb. As a result, you won’t feel a thing. If you are especially nervous or fidgety, some offices even provide IV sedation.

When the area is completely numb, the dentist will start to do their work, and you won’t feel a thing throughout the entire procedure. 

At-Home Pain Management

Your dentist will give you something to take for the pain at home or suggest an over-the-counter option that you can use. It’s less likely that you’ll feel a lot of pain, and more likely that your gums will be tender. You might have a hard time eating certain foods for a few days, or it may feel like your gums are sensitive.

You can reduce the pain you might be feeling after receiving dental implants by practicing some of the following tips: 

  • Sticking to a liquid diet for 24-48 hours
  • Avoiding extremely hot or cold foods for 48 hours
  • Rinsing with salt water 3-4 times a day after the surgery

Of course, you can also manage the pain at home by taking Tylenol or other dentist-recommended pain relievers. 

A Healthier Smile

You don’t have to be embarrassed about your smile any longer. Dental implants are one of the best solutions available to restore the healthy look of your teeth. When you make an investment in dental implants, you’re making an investment in yourself and your oral health. 

If you would like to know more about dental implants and whether they’re right for you, feel free to contact our office for an initial consultation. Together, we can decide the best route to restore your smile.

The Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

woman smiles after cosmetic dentistry
Young woman showing a smile after cosmetic dentistry, in white casual smart clothing, on grey background.

Are you looking to upgrade your smile and turn heads when you walk in the room? Do you want to get more self-confidence going into a job interview, first date, and so on? If so, then you should consider cosmetic dentistry services.

What is cosmetic dentistry? As opposed to general dentistry services, cosmetic dentistry services are aimed at improving the aesthetic of your teeth. There are several treatments to do that. it can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted.

See below for a list of benefits that you will receive when you get serviced by a cosmetic dentist such as Dr. Trujillo.

1. More Self-Confidence

Imagine walking into your job with a brand-new smile. Your straight and bright smile can give you self-confidence in even the most nervous of situations such as meetings with upper management, going to a party, and so on.

Cosmetic dentistry patients all receive a boost in their self-confidence due to the smile improving their overall physical appearance. Even things like going to the gym will be more enjoyable with an improved aesthetic.

Without the benefits of cosmetic dentistry, you might experience problems with your teeth that lower your self-esteem. You might have tooth stains, crooked teeth, and even missing teeth that make you self-conscious about smiling in public.

Do you have more gums covering your teeth than you’d like? You might consider gum contouring to expose more of the tooth’s surface. Are some of your teeth improperly sized or chipped? You can get dental contouring and bonding to straighten things up.

No matter what issues you’re having with the aesthetic of your smile, our cosmetic dentistry team has a service to solve it.

2. Younger Appearance

Believe it or not, receiving cosmetic dentistry can shave a few years off your face. A straight and bright smile is often associated with youth, meaning you get a shot of “youth” to your appearance after receiving cosmetic dental services.

No matter how well you take care of your teeth and prioritize your oral hygiene, your teeth are bound to become more yellow as you age. While teeth whitening services are a great option, you’ll also need cosmetic dentistry to fix a chipped tooth or receding gumline.

When you schedule an initial appointment with your cosmetic dentist, they’ll assess your current smile and make a few recommendations. You can also inform them of your concerns or things that you’re looking to correct in your smile as well.

The result is a newer, younger-looking you with a fresh supply of confidence. You’ll find any reason to show off your youthful smile!

3. Improved Oral Health

Contrary to popular belief, cosmetic dental treatments aren’t just for improving the aesthetic of your smile. They’re also aimed at improving your teeth’s functionality.

For example, your incisors are the four front teeth on the bottom and top of your jaw that are responsible for biting into your food. However, if one of them is crooked or misshapen, it can’t perform its job correctly.

Teeth that are not properly aligned can cause the misalignment of your jaw and affect your Temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Chewing may become impaired or even painful.

This impairment may cause headaches and other health issues. It may even lead to avoiding eating certain nutritious foods like carrots or anything that require a properly functioning jaw to chew.

By receiving cosmetic dental treatments, you’ll be optimizing your teeth to chew food properly in order to digest it more efficiently.

4. Less Pain

Perhaps you find it incredibly painful to eat food that’s too hot or too cold. Maybe you suffer from headaches that are caused by muscle tension in your jaw. These are just two examples of how your teeth’s current condition can negatively affect your health.

By visiting a cosmetic dentist team, patients can finally access relief from the pain they’ve experienced for so long.

For example, the pain you get from eating cold food could be from gum recession caused by you brushing your teeth too hard. If too much of the tooth is exposed, it can cause a shot of pain or discomfort.

Fortunately, a cosmetic dentist can help you get back to where you can eat cold food comfortably and have an improved smile in the process.

5. Accountability for Oral Hygiene

Many patients struggle to find the inspiration to keep up with a proper oral hygiene routine, which should consist of brushing, flossing, and using antiseptic mouthwash twice a day.

If you are constantly reminded of the faults of your smile in the mirror, then you’re less likely to stick with the routine and keep your gums/teeth healthy.

However, after receiving cosmetic dentistry services from Dr. Trujillo and his team, you’ll be reinvigorated to take better care of your smile. 

Your new and beautiful smile will give you a level of accountability that you’ve never had before. Whether you aim to keep the results of your teeth whitening treatment or start brushing less aggressively after a gum graft, you’ll be motivated to improve.

Get access to a smile that you’re proud of by scheduling an initial appointment. There you can ask questions and learn more about procedures to fix your smile.

Unlock the Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry For Your Smile Today

Now that you have seen the different benefits of receiving cosmetic dentistry, it’s time that you find the right cosmetic dentist team to work with.

Be sure to read this page to learn more about Dr. Ariel Trujillo and how his experience can transform your smile and improve your life!

For more inquiries, please begin by visiting this page to request an appointment and we will be happy to assist you further.

The Benefits of LANAP Treatment During COVID-19

LANAP surgery in Phoenix Arizona
Two women safely prepare a woman patient for LANAP treatment at the dental office – Phoenix, AZ

In the United States, gum disease is one of the most common dental diseases among adults. A case of gum disease can be as mild as gingivitis or as severe as advanced periodontitis. Periodontitis, which is the most common cause of tooth loss and decay, must be treated immediately to stave off further damage or infection.

Before making an appointment, you may have a number of reasonable concerns regarding traditional treatment. Whether you’re wary about having to stop your medication before surgery or increasing your risk of COVID-19 during treatment, there are many risks that traditional gum surgery poses that LANAP treatment does not.

Fortunately, laser-assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP) surgery is a much safer and less invasive alternative to traditional treatment. Not only is this form of surgery a more comfortable option, but it’s also far more accessible in the age of a pandemic. If you’re looking for a convenient and low-risk way to properly treat your gum disease, scheduling a LANAP appointment with Dr. Trujillo may be the solution you need.

Dr. Trujillo and his office staff are wonderful. From the moment you call the office you are helped in every way possible. I’ve had traumatic experiences with dentist offices before. Dr. Trujillo’s and his staff have helped me to over come my fears surrounding dental work. Dr. Trujillo takes his time, is patient and does magnificent work. I couldn’t of gone anywhere better. Thank you Dr. Trujillo and all your staff as well.


Kathleen A.

What Makes LANAP Surgery Different

Ever since it was approved for use in dental practices in 2004, LANAP treatment has proven to be a highly effective and minimally invasive form of gum surgery. Unlike conventional gum treatment solutions, LANAP utilizes fine lasers to achieve periodontal regeneration. This allows for a less painful and more efficient surgical procedure.

To accomplish this goal, the lasers used in LANAP surgery work to restore the connective tissue in your gums. This process is vital to improving your oral health after developing gum disease. At the same time, LANAP treatment helps to eliminate the harmful bacteria and plaque that builds up on your gums as a result of periodontitis. This ensures that your gums have a stronger and healthier foundation following LANAP treatment.

One of the most notable aspects of LANAP surgery is its ability to restore your gums without causing unneeded harm. With help from fine-tuned lasers, LANAP directly addresses the source of inflammation in your gums while ensuring that you don’t lose any healthy connective tissue. Not only does this help reduce the amount of pain you experience during treatment, but it also keeps your gums healthier and stronger following surgery.

Benefits of LANAP Treatment

More Americans are turning to LANAP to safely and effectively treat periodontitis. If you’re curious about what sets this advanced form of treatment apart from conventional treatment, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the benefits of LANAP.

Minimal Pain

One of the main advantages of LANAP surgery is minimized pain and swelling. Because this treatment involves the use of lasers instead of the typical cut-and-stitch method, patients tend to experience less pain than usual after the procedure. There is also a reduced pain response during the procedure itself, as surgeons normally numb the patient’s mouth before beginning treatment.

Less Recovery Time

As a result of this lower level of discomfort, you can expect to recover more quickly from LANAP treatment. While conventional surgery can take two to four weeks for patients to fully recover from pain and swelling, the recovery period for LANAP is often less than twenty-four hours. This allows patients to enjoy their normal lifestyle much more quickly than they would if they’d chosen traditional surgery.

No Need to Stop Medications Before Treatment

Moreover, there is no need to stop taking your medication prior to beginning treatment. While traditional gum surgery normally requires you to put your meds on hold for safety reasons, there’s no danger in taking medication prior to your LANAP treatment. Knowing that you’re free to continue taking care of your health before surgery is one of the many reasons why LANAP is a safer and more convenient form of gum surgery.

Less Invasive

If you’re concerned about staying protected from the coronavirus during treatment, you can find peace of mind in knowing that LANAP is a safer alternative to traditional surgery. Because it is a less invasive procedure by definition, there’s a lower risk of being exposed to COVID-19 particles during treatment. In addition, the reduced pain and recovery time means you’ll be less likely to visit the dentist again to treat recurring problems. Spending less time in the office ultimately minimizes your risk of contracting the coronavirus.

What to Expect From LANAP Surgery

To be as comfortable as possible during LANAP surgery, it’s important to know what to expect from the procedure. LANAP treatment is typically divided into two separate sessions. The surgeon will work on the first side of your mouth during the first session, and he or she will complete the second side of your mouth during the second session. These two sessions are typically scheduled a week apart from each other to allow for sufficient healing and recovery.

Following the procedure, it’s important to take the right precautions to keep your teeth and gums healthy. While your dentist will likely prescribe a specific regimen to follow, there are a few universal precautions that all patients should take after undergoing LANAP treatment.

One of the most important habits to change after surgery is your diet. Following a LANAP procedure, you should be sure to avoid consuming any foods that may harm your teeth or gums. It’s best to limit your diet to liquids and soft foods that are easy on your teeth and won’t cause any further pain. Be sure to consult with your dentist to ensure that you take the proper measures to protect your teeth and gums.

Getting the Results You Want From LANAP Treatment

If you’re ready to rescue your teeth from the debilitating effects of periodontitis, LANAP surgery is the safe and convenient option you’re looking for. Not only will you have a greater chance of recovering faster and with less pain, but you’ll also have the opportunity to reduce your COVID-19 risk. Schedule an appointment today with Dr. Trujillo to receive the state-of-the-art treatment you need to find relief from gum disease.

LANAP: An Alternative to Gum Surgery

A man's mouth is treated for gum disease with LANAP alternative surgery.
Dentist hands with tools and patient with periodontosis in a dental clinic.

Late-stage gum disease, known as periodontitis, affects 8.5% of adults aged 20-64 in the United States. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss in America and, once it progresses, often requires gum surgery to repair. This invasive procedure is often painful and has a long recovery time.

Thankfully, there is an alternative to gum surgery. Known as LANAP, it’s non-invasive and less uncomfortable than traditional gum surgery while still being effective.

Read on to learn more about LANAP laser gum surgery and whether you qualify for this groundbreaking treatment.

What Is LANAP Surgery?

LANAP stands for “laser-assisted new attachment procedure”. As the name suggests, the procedure uses precise, finely-tuned lasers instead of the traditional cut-and-stitch method. Developed by researchers Gregg and McCarthy in the 1990s, the FDA approved it for use in America in 2004.

The goal of LANAP surgery is to regrow connective tissue around the roots of your teeth. Due to the collection of bad bacteria, tartar buildup, and inflammation, periodontal disease causes your gums to pull away from your teeth. This can increase your risk of tooth decay and even lead to tooth loss.

The LANAP laser kills off harmful bacteria while leaving the beneficial bacteria to flourish, promoting new bone growth, and helping your mouth maintain its natural balance. The result is gums that heal back around the bases of your teeth, providing increased stability and a better-looking gumline.

How Does Laser Gum Surgery Work?

When you visit your dental surgeon for LANAP, they’ll begin by numbing your mouth so you don’t feel discomfort during the procedure. Then, they’ll use a tiny fiber-optic cable to feed the laser attachment between your gums and the roots of your teeth. The laser uses UV rays to kill off unhealthy tissue and bacteria inside the tooth pocket and leaves everything else intact.

If needed, your surgeon will then remove tartar buildup and do a second pass with the laser. You won’t need any sutures or surgical glue to close the site.

The entire process usually takes three sessions, each lasting a couple of hours. The first visit is a consultation to ensure you’re a good candidate for the procedure. The following two sessions will each treat half of your mouth at a time.

As your bone and gums heal from the inside outward, you’ll return for regular checkups to make sure your gums stay in good shape. You’ll have to eat a diet of liquids and soft foods for the first two weeks, but you’ll be able to eat normally soon after. Most patients find that any discomfort after the procedure is manageable with OTC painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

What Advantages Does LANAP Have Over Regular Gum Surgery?

Why should you go with a laser gum surgery alternative instead of the traditional surgical method? To better understand the answer, let’s take a quick look at the standard procedure for gum operations.

Flap and Osseous Gum Surgery

Traditional gum surgery involves using a scalpel to make incisions in your gumline. Traditionally, the surgeon will create a “flap” of gum tissue, peel it back, and manually scrape off any tartar buildup. They’ll also perform any needed bone or tissue grafts to stimulate healing and regrowth.

Then, the surgeon sews the tissue flap back onto your gumline, tightening it to reduce the “pocket” space between your gums and teeth. This procedure causes a lot of damage to healthy tissue, meaning that recovery is a long and painful process. It also often results in a visibly receding gumline.

Because flap surgery is so invasive, it can take many sessions to treat your entire mouth. You’ll have to return to your surgeon for suture removal and stay on a liquid or soft food diet for up to four weeks.

Benefits of LANAP

Laser gum treatment doesn’t involve any scalpels, incisions, sutures, or manual scraping of unhealthy tissue. It’s much gentler on your mouth and available to many patients that don’t qualify for a flap and osseous surgery. Patients report a long list of benefits over traditional procedures, including:

  • Reduced pain
  • Less swelling in the face and mouth
  • Shortened recovery time
  • Less bleeding after the procedure
  • Faster return to work and regular lifestyle
  • Better aesthetic result
  • Reduced gum and tooth sensitivity after healing

Because the laser treatment naturally stimulates bone and gum regrowth, LANAP may prevent you from tooth loss or needing a tissue graft. The lack of incisions and stitches also means that patients are at a much lower risk of post-procedure infection.

Do I Qualify for Laser Gum Treatment?

Most patients with moderate to severe periodontitis will qualify for LANAP. Unlike with regular gum surgery, taking medications such as aspirin or blood thinners doesn’t disqualify you from the procedure. It’s also an excellent option for those who have avoided seeking treatment due to a fear of traditional surgical methods.

The only way to know for certain whether you qualify is to visit a certified periodontist for an exam.

Is the LANAP Alternative to Gum Surgery Right for You?

If you have severe gum disease, don’t assume that the traditional approach to treatment is your only option. Instead, talk to your dentist to see if you qualify for LANAP. This effective alternative to gum surgery can get you started on the road to better dental health in no time.

Are you looking for an excellent Arizona periodontist with experience performing LANAP surgery? Contact the Arizona Periodontal Group to request an appointment today.

Dr. Trujillo and the rest of our team are dedicated to providing the highest standard of care for even the most complicated gum disease cases. We’d love to help you on your journey to the smile of your dreams.

Periodontist Near Me: How to Find a Great Periodontist in Phoenix AZ

Periodontist treating a young women in Phoenix AZ
Periodontal care and toothache. Closeup portrait of a young woman showing, with her finger, inflamed upper gingiva with a painful expression.

Are you experiencing pain in your gums? Are you searching for a “Periodontist near me?

You’re not alone. According to the CDC, 47.2% of adultswho are 30 years and older, have periodontal disease.

Don’t continue to suffer from painful gums. In this article, read on to explore how to pick out the perfect Periodontist in Phoenix AZ. 

Our team here at Arizona Periodontal Group will go over what you’ll want to look for to ensure you’ll receive some of the best care possible in the area!

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontists in Phoenix will let you know that periodontal disease is normally from an inflammation or infection of the bone and gums. These bone and gums support and surround your teeth.

At the beginning of periodontal disease, you’ll experience what’s known as gingivitis. This is an early stage, and when your gums are red and swollen. You might also notice bleeding.

In periodontitis, this is the advanced form of periodontal disease. This is when the gums pull away from your teeth, and you can lose bone, or your teeth themselves.

How to Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Dr. Trujillo and our team will ensure that you’re properly brushing and flossing. You’ll want to floss at least once a day to make sure that any food particles left from brushing your teeth are gone.

It’s also important to have a comprehensive periodontal evaluation since your gums, plaque level, bone structure, and teeth will be examined. When periodontal disease is caught early by a licensed local periodontist, it can be better prevented from reaching a later stage.

What Is a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who has a specialty in diagnosing, preventing, and treating periodontal disease. They can also help with oral inflammation you might be experiencing.

A high-quality periodontist can be a one-stop location, where you can go for regular dental needs, and periodontal treatment.

During your first appointment, we go over your dental and medical history. We’ll also go over any current medications you’re taking.

1. Certification and Education

A qualified periodontist will have 4 years of college and then go to an accredited dental school. After this, they have to do 3-7 years of training in a periodontology residency program. A certification they can receive is from the American Board of Periodontology (ABP), after taking an examination.

Every few years your periodontist must go and become recertified. Besides education and certification, you should also find out how long they’ve been in practice.

2. Ask About Sedation Options

If you’re nervous going to a periodontist, find out what sedation options they have available. Different sedative options can include IV sedation, laughing gas, or an oral pill. You can also ask what medications they offer.

3. Financing Options

As a patient, you’ll want to ensure that the periodontist in Phoenix you choose, offers financing options. While some have dental insurance that covers many services, not everyone does. That’s why we offer CareCredit. This is a great way to pay over time, instead of as a large lump sum.

CareCredit lets you:

  • Enjoy no annual fees
  • Receive treatment immediately
  • Pay over time
  • Pay for other medical expenses

If you do have dental insurance, call and speak with our team about coverage options.

4. Consider the Location

How often will you need to go to the periodontist? How important is the location for you? If you need special treatment, it might require a few visits over many months.

While the quality of your periodontist is number one, also consider how far you’ll have to travel for your appointments. Also, consider the options for parking, whether there’s a parking lot, or if you’ll have to park on the street.

Hours of Operation

Besides the location, you’ll want to ensure that the hours of operation work for your schedule as well. Find out what days and hours the office is open.

5. Treatment Options

As a patient, you’ll want to make sure that the periodontist in the area performs the services you’re looking for. This could include cosmetic dentistry, bleeding gum treatment, gum grafting, or other treatment options.

When Should You See a Periodontist?

When you’re looking for some of the best treatments for periodontal disease, you’ll want to see a periodontist. Dr. Trujillo sees patients for general dentistry, and periodontal treatment as well.

Don’t let your periodontal disease go, and have it turn into other problems. It’s important you see a trained professional who can spot a problem, and help correct it.

What to Expect

Your licensed periodontist will go over all medications you’re currently taking, along with your dental and medical history. Let us know if you’re currently smoking since that can increase your risk of periodontal disease.

We will examine:

  • Your gums and teeth
  • Your throat and mouth
  • Your jaw joints
  • Neck
  • Head

We’ll ensure that you’re on a proper oral hygiene regimen that includes proper brushing and flossing. Any questions you have for your periodontist, make sure to ask.

Determining the Right Periodontist Near Me

Now that you’ve explored how to determine the right periodontist near me, you should be well on your way to choosing one of the best periodontists in Phoenix.

Are you ready to choose an experienced and licensed periodontist in the Phoenix area? Are you looking for a one-stop location where you can receive general dentistry as well? That’s exactly what Dr. Trujillo offers.

Contact our team today, and we’ll come up with an action plan that’s specific to your needs, whether periodontal or general dentistry or both.

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.