Dental Implants

Houston Oral Healthcare Specialists

Lewis C. Cummings, DDS, MS

Periodontist located in Kingwood, TX

Missing or decaying teeth may take a toll on both your overall health and your confidence. Lewis C. Cummings, DDS, MS, of Kingwood, Texas, specializes in the placement of dental implants, which can be an ideal option restoring your smile after one or multiple lost teeth. Whether you have lost teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, or other causes, Dr. Cummings can use one or more dental implants to get you back to looking your best. To see how dental implants can help you, call or book an appointment online.

Dental Implants Q & A

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that Dr. Cummings places into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth, bridge, or denture in place. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or multiple teeth due to facial trauma, periodontal disease, or tooth decay.

The space left by lost teeth can cause you to feel less attractive and have functional concerns, including:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Misalignment or shifting of teeth
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Poor-fitting dentures or partial bridges

Dental implants involve a screw or other metal element placed in the bone or above the bone, beneath the space left by the missing tooth. The bone tissue naturally integrates the metal element, which then serves as base for artificial teeth, fixed bridges, or dentures.

What are benefits of dental implants?

There are some benefits of dental implants over other teeth replacement options, such as conventional dentures or traditional bridges. Benefits of dental implants include that they:

  • Are stronger than natural teeth
  • Are usually permanent
  • Are not at risk for cavities
  • Function as effectively as natural teeth
  • Can be placed without damaging adjacent teeth

Up to six dental implants can be used as a base for a full arch implant restoration, which may be needed when a full upper or lower set of teeth is missing. This can give stability to a specialized set of dentures, rather than replacing many individual missing teeth.

What are some types of dental implants?

Dr. Cummings uses two main types of dental implants. These include:

Endosteal implants

Endosteal implants are the most common type of implant. Dr. Cummings implants them directly into the bone. Using an element such as a screw, cylinder, or blade, he creates a base for one or more artificial teeth. This serves as a stabilizing point for bridges or removable dentures.

Subperiosteal implants

Subperiosteal implants sit on top of the jawbone, with a metal framework protruding through the gums. This framework holds the prosthetic teeth or appliance. Dr. Cummings uses this type of implant for those who can’t wear conventional dentures or who have less than ideal bone height.

In some cases, bone tissue in the lower jaw or upper sinuses needs to be built up to give the dental implant a secure footing to integrate and stabilize. Before Dr. Cummings can place your dental implant, you may need sinus augmentation or ridge augmentation surgery to prepare the bone for your implant.

Dental implants usually establish themselves over several visits, with time for your gums, bone, and soft tissues to heal in between. Before you begin your dental implant placement, Dr. Cummings helps you understand the process so you know what to expect.

For an initial consultation about whether dental implants are right for you, call or schedule an appointment online.