Affordable Dental Implants in Tulsa & Oklahoma
Dental implant surgery can offer a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework that does not fit well and offers an option when a lack of natural teeth roots does not allow building denture or bridgework tooth replacements. If you are not sure which option is right for you, we are happy to sit down with you and go over these options. It is always a good idea to get a second opinion.
Why should you be careful selecting a oral surgeon
Unnecessary bone grafts – It is common in the Tulsa area for dentists & oral surgeons alike to pressure patients into unnecessary procedures. Dr. Cullens is known for fighting against such practices in the dental community. The majority of dental implants do not need a bone graft. If you were told you need one, contact us for a second opinion.
Cone beam cat scanning (CBCT) – this is an unnecessary protocol for most dental implants. A poor surgeon does not improve his/her surgical skill simply by taking a CBCT. We see a pattern of bad surgeons driving costs up with unnecessary CBCT. Ask why a CBCT is needed. We were placing dental implants for years prior to this technology.
Pain – a dental implant should not hurt. You could be sore for 2-3 days after surgery but no pain is expected beyond that. We see patients tolerating annoying or tender implants for years from other providers. There is a problem with any dental implant that you are aware is in your mouth. Notify the provider who placed the dental implant and get a radiograph to determine what is happening.
Dental Implant vs. Bridge
We see many patients who believe a bridge is a better choice because its less expensive. The out-of-pocket cost for a 3-unit bridge should be similar to a single implant. We will be happy to provide a second opinion so that you can compare costs. However, in the long-term, a dental implant is less expensive than a bridge. The expected lifespan of an implant is the patient’s lifetime which the expected lifespan of a bridge is 7-10 years from insurance companies. The protocol for implant placement should be 95% successful in patients. If you choose a bridge you should expect to replace that bridge at least once in your lifetime. If there are financial concerns, we will happily work with you to ensure that your oral health does not suffer due to financial constraints.
A final consideration is the maintenance of either a bridge or implant. Each treatment requires specific cleaning techniques and you should understand how to clean and maintain a bridge or implant before you select that treatment. You should expect some guarantee of both treatments.
Dental Implant vs. Dentures
Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth. If you have lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Teeth are critical to facial structure and those should be replaced properly. If you are losing teeth and feel like you need dentures or replacement of 10 or more teeth you should always get several opinions.
We take a structural foundation approach to rebuilding your bite and place implants where you will need them for long-term and multiple use. If an implant is placed to replace a tooth it may not be usable to support a denture or other prosthesis a few years later. We have seen patients spend $6000-$8000 on implants for a few teeth that was unnecessary. This is why a second opinion is critical.
Additionally, you should get a second opinion on whether you need a bone graft or not. Bone grafts add healing time and cost to your treatment. We have techniques that can eliminate the need for grafting. Many times, we can extract a tooth and place the implant immediately.
The Best Results in Tulsa
What makes Stonewood Hills exceptional at custom dental implants is Dr. Cullens himself. Dr. Cullens graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He has 10 years experience in design and process engineering. This technical background allows Dr. Cullens to utilize dental implants with structural engineering principles that maximize implant use and long-term success.
Mr. Cullens’ foundation in mechanical engineering allows him to tell you if your dental implant treatment is correct and if the pricing is fair. He believes in the technology of dental implants. However, we are seeing this great technology being used incorrectly. In fact, the majority of our appointments are allocated to removing and repairing badly placed dental implants from lesser trained providers than placing original implants. This growing trend shows that correct training and expertise is vital to good outcomes.
Dr. Rocky always gives it to you straight. No exaggerations. No false promises. Known for his fight against unethical dental practices among oral surgeons in Tulsa. He treats everyone fairly & with respect.
Cheapest dental implants in Tulsa. Everyone qualifies for payment plans.
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What to Expect
We begin with a consultation appointment which includes X-rays to determine the best course of action for you. If your jawbone is not thick enough or is too soft, you may need bone grafting before you can have dental implant surgery. This is because the powerful chewing action of your mouth exerts great pressure on your bone, and if it cannot support the implant, the surgery likely would fail. A bone graft can create a more solid base for the implant.
There are several bone graft materials that can be used to rebuild a jawbone. Options may include a natural bone graft, such as from another location in your body, or a synthetic bone graft, such as bone-substitute material that can provide support structures for new bone growth. Talk to your doctor about options that will work best for you.
It may take several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support a dental implant. In some cases, you may need only minor bone grafting, which can be done at the same time as the implant surgery. The condition of your jawbone determines how you proceed.
Once the bone is grown or if you did not need a bone graft in the first place, you will have the implant placed. Your oral surgeon will open your gum and expose the bone. Holes are drilled into the bone where the dental implant metal post will be placed. Since the post will serve as the tooth root, it’s implanted deep into the bone. After the surgery you will have a gap where your tooth is missing with a little abutment cap covering the post. A type of partial, temporary denture can be placed for appearance, if needed. You can remove this denture for cleaning and while you sleep.
The post is made of titanium which our bones love to grow around which will provide a solid base for your new artificial tooth — just as roots do for your natural teeth. However, it takes several months for this process called osseointegration to complete.
When osseointegration is complete, you may need additional surgery to place the abutment. This minor surgery is typically done with local anesthesia in an outpatient setting. During this appointment, the oral surgeon reopens your gum to expose the dental implant and attached the abutment to the dental implant. The gum tissue is then closed around, but not over the abutment. After the abutment is placed, your gums must heal for about two weeks before the artificial tooth can be attached. In some cases, the abutment is attached to the dental implant metal post when the post is implanted which means you will not need this extra surgical step. However, the abutment juts past the gumline for several months until your dentist completes the tooth prosthesis. Some people do not like that appearance and prefer to have the abutment placed in a separate procedure.
Once your gums heal, impressions will be taken of your mouth and remaining teeth. These impressions are used to make the crown. The crown cannot be placed until your jawbone is strong enough to support use of the new tooth. There are three options of your new tooth – removable, fixed or a combination of both:
Removable: This type is similar to a conventional removable denture and can be a partial or full denture. It contains artificial white teeth surrounded by pink plastic gum. It is mounted on a metal frame that is attached to the implant abutment, and snaps securely into place. It can be easily removed for repair or daily cleaning.
Fixed: In this type, an artificial tooth is permanently screwed or cemented onto an individual implant abutment. You cannot remove the tooth for cleaning or during sleep. Most of the time, each crown is attached to its own dental implant. However, because implants are exceptionally strong, several teeth can be replaced by one implant if they are bridged together.