Questions? Call (816) 286-4126
Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



Dental implants — time to smile!

January 28, 2014, 8:51 am

Does this sound familiar? You either don’t smile or hide your teeth when you do smile, or you cover your mouth when you laugh. Chewing may be uncomfortable, even painful. After years of worrying about the appearance and feel of your teeth, it’s time to get help. If you are missing one or more teeth, suffer from severe tooth decay or fractured and damaged teeth, or have congenital tooth defects, dental implants may be the solution.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial teeth placed directly into the jaw bone. Once in place, dental implants will look, feel, and function just like your own teeth. Dental implants are made up of two components: titanium posts and crowns. The posts take the place of the root of your original tooth. The crown is made from an impression of your natural teeth and is anchored to the post. The overall appearance of your implant will be like that of your original tooth.

Are you a candidate for dental implants?

During your consultation with Dr. Hlavacek, your teeth and mouth will be examined to determine the extent of damage or decay, the number of dental implants needed, and whether or not your gum tissue and the bones of your mouth are able to support implants. Depending on the nature of your gums and jaw, Dr. Hlavacek may also recommend soft tissue or bone grafting to help support the implants. If you smoke or use tobacco products, consider quitting before dental implant surgery, as smoking and tobacco products are known to increase the likelihood of dental implant failure.


You will have two surgeries over a 6-8 month period. During the first surgery, the titanium post will be surgically inserted, and over several months your jawbone will grow around the post. This bond will create the infrastructure for the crowns to be attached and supported. During this period, you will have temporary dentures in place of the missing teeth. During your second procedure, Dr. Hlavacek will connect and anchor crowns to the posts, completing your dental implant surgery.


Immediately after surgery, you may experience mild discomfort. As you begin to recover, you may experience swelling in the gums and face as well as mild bleeding and bruising. Dr. Hlavacek may recommend ice packs or pain medications to aid in the recovery process.

Most people are able to return to work and everyday activities a day or two after surgery. Dr. Hlavacek will also provide you with specific instructions for resuming your oral hygiene routine, including flossing and brushing. It is imperative to follow a flossing and brushing routine and to avoid smoking. Failure to floss or brush properly may cause infection, which may lead to failure of your dental implants. Smoking is also a known cause of dental implant failure.

Risks and complications

Dental implant surgery, like other surgical procedures, is not without risk. Dr. Hlavacek will discuss risks specific to your situation during your consultation, taking into consideration your overall health, your dental health, and the amount of gum and bone tissue in the area of concern. General risks include bleeding, scarring, swelling, slow healing, or nerve damage. There is also risk of dental implant failure in one to five percent of implant surgeries.

Following your full recovery from dental implant surgery, you will be able to smile and laugh with confidence. To schedule a dental implant consultation with Dr. Hlavacek, contact Kansas City Surgical Arts today at 816-286-4126.