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Dental Implants and Bone Grafts

Dental Implants and Bone Grafts

Teeth replacement has been around for centuries, and dentists have made great strides to improve the process. Dental implants are one of the most popular solutions to replace missing teeth because they provide a durable, long-term restoration that looks, feels, and functions like natural teeth.

Clearwater Dentistry makes replacing teeth with dental implants easy. You probably have a lot of questions about the process, like: How do implants work? What is involved?

Let us put your mind at ease. If you are searching for dental implants in Greeley CO, visit us today and meet Dr. Baughman and his team. They will be happy to answer your questions and get you started on the road to a brighter, healthier smile. Call (970) 515-3550, or complete the online booking form

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are small titanium posts that act as an artificial root of a tooth. They replace teeth lost due to injury, gum disease, or decay. After they are placed surgically in the jawbone, they fuse with the surrounding bone and act as a base for supporting a prosthetic (replacement) tooth or teeth such as a dental crown. The implant provides stability for your restoration and prevents it from shifting or slipping in your mouth.  

Benefits of Dental Implants

Aside from providing a natural look and feel, dental implants have other added benefits.

  • They can help you retain your facial structure by preventing bone loss in the jaw.
  • Dental implants make it easier to chew and speak compared to removable dentures.
  • Dental implants can be a long-term replacement of a tooth or teeth, if properly taken care of.

Dental Implant Process

The dental implant process may take several months and is a multi-step process, depending on the complexity of the case. Once it is determined that implants are the best solution to restore your smile, here is a general overview of the process: 

Step 1: Examination & Treatment Planning – Dr. Baughman will review your medical history and do a comprehensive oral exam to ensure you’re a candidate for dental implants. He will then review the best treatment plan to meet your needs. 

Step 2: Dental Implant Surgery – This is when the actual implants are surgically placed in your jawbone. A small incision is made in the gum (soft tissue) to access the jawbone (hard tissue), and a hole is drilled into the bone. Local anesthetic is used to make you comfortable during this procedure. The surgery takes about an hour or more, depending on how many implants need to be placed.  

Step 3: Osseointegration – This refers to the healing process where the jawbone and metal implant posts fuse together, forming a strong bond that can support prosthetic teeth. This fusion process usually takes three to four months but could take up to six months. 

Step 4: Abutment & Prosthetic Tooth Placement – In this step, a connecting piece called an abutment is placed on the implant post to hold the prosthetic or temporary tooth in place.

Dr. Baughman will then take impressions and create custom-made crowns or bridges that match your natural teeth. Once these are complete, they will be placed on the abutment, giving you a beautiful and functional restoration. 

What Is a Bone Graft?

A bone graft is a surgical procedure that involves placing new bone or synthetic material into an area of the jaw to support a dental implant. The new material provides the necessary foundation for successful implantation. This procedure is typically done in combination with other procedures, such as sinus lift or ridge expansion. 

Types of Dental Bone Grafts

There are two main types of bone grafts: autografts and allografts. Autografts involve taking a small amount of your own bone tissue from one area of the body and transplanting it to the jawbone. Allografts use donated tissue or artificial synthetic material. Over time the natural bone growth replaces the donor bone. 

Why a Bone Graft is Necessary

Bone grafts are performed for several reasons. Some people may require a graft due to inadequate bone width or height or past trauma or infection in the jawbone. Bone loss is also a major reason a graft is necessary, as this can occur due to periodontal disease or missing teeth. 

Bone grafting is an important part of the implantation process, as it helps ensure that the implants will be securely held in place and last for many years. Without a strong support structure, the implants may move around and cause damage to surrounding teeth or gums. A bone graft can help to rebuild the area and increase stability for future implant placement.

In addition to providing support for dental implants, bone grafting is used to replace missing bone in areas of the jaw due to trauma, infection, or congenital defects. Some patients may also require a bone graft as part of orthognathic surgery to correct irregularities in the jawline.

Sinus Augmentation

Sinus augmentation, also known as sinus lift surgery, is a type of bone grafting procedure used to increase the height and width of the upper jawbone. This is necessary when there isn’t enough natural bone available for dental implant placement in the upper jaw due to previous tooth loss or wear.

During this procedure, the sinus membrane is lifted, and bone graft material is added to the empty space. This new material helps to fill in any bone deficiencies, encourages the growth of new bone, and promotes successful implants. It typically takes a few months for the graft to heal before implants can be placed.  

Risks of Implant and Bone Graft Procedures

Dental implants and bone grafts are typically safe procedures, but some risks are involved. Possible complications can include:

  • Infection 
  • Nerve damage
  • Sinus issues
  • failure of the implant or graft to fuse with the jawbone

It’s important to discuss these risks with your dentist before undergoing any procedure. Maintaining good oral hygiene and following your dentist’s instructions can help to reduce the risk of complications.

Your Greeley Dental Implant Specialist

Dental implants are a great option for replacing missing teeth. Regain your confidence with a full and beautiful smile that looks and feels natural. Dr. Baughman will help you determine if implants are the right option and provide the best care possible throughout your treatment process.

If you’re considering dental implants in Greeley, CO, or bone grafting in Greeley, CO, call Clearwater Dentistry at (970) 515-3550 or complete the online booking form. Let us help you get the smile of your dreams! For the best dentist in Greeley, Johnstown, or Evans, CO, visit Clearwater Dentistry.


  • Dental implants are small titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone. They act as artificial tooth roots and replace teeth lost due to injury, gum disease, or decay. 
  • Benefits:
    • Natural look and feel
    • Help retain facial structure by preventing bone loss in the jaw
    • Make it easier to chew and speak compared to dentures
  • Dental implants are a 4 step process:
    • Examination & Treatment Planning
    • Dental Implant Surgery 
    • Osseointegration
    • Abutment & Prosthetic Tooth Placement

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

No, dental implants do not typically hurt. Most patients report minimal discomfort after the procedure and can return to normal activities within a few days. If you feel pain or discomfort after the procedure, be sure to contact your dentist right away.

What Type of Sedation Is Used for Dental Implants?

We offer oral sedation and nitrous sedation for implant procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we recommend discussing sedation options with your dentist prior to the procedure. Your dentist will discuss the different types of sedation and help you decide which is best for you. 

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants have high success rates and are designed to be a long-term solution. They can last for many years with proper care and cleaning. However, risk factors such as diabetes, smoking or vaping, bruxism, previous bisphosphonate use, previous radiation therapy, among others may reduce the lifespan of a dental implant. Regular check-ups with your dentist can help ensure that your implants stay in good condition for as long as possible. 

Are Dental Implants Worth It?

Yes! Dental implants are a worthwhile investment because they can help to restore your smile and improve your oral health. They also provide a secure foundation for replacement teeth that look and feel natural. It’s important to discuss the pros and cons of any dental procedure with your dentist before making a decision.

Is a Loose Dental Implant an Emergency?

If your dental implant is loose or shifting, it’s important to seek care right away. Loose implants can cause damage to surrounding teeth and gums, so it’s best to get checked out as soon as you can. Your dentist can help determine the cause of the problem and provide treatment to fix it. 

Do Dental Implants Feel Natural?

Yes! Dental implants are designed to look and feel like your natural teeth. They’re made from materials that mimic the properties of a healthy tooth, so you can enjoy all the same foods you would with your own teeth.

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