Mount Pleasant Implant Dentistry
Dental implants are the leading treatment for replacing missing teeth. This modern advancement in dentistry is the #1 choice for patients who are missing one or several teeth because it is a lifelong replacement. Unlike other tooth replacement services, implants are sturdy and reliable- oftentimes they are even sturdier than the structure of a natural tooth!
How Do They Work?
This tooth replacement procedure works by implanting a titanium device into the jawbone. This device is screw-shaped and acts as the replacement for the root of the missing tooth. A crown is then attached to this implant and is the replacement “tooth”. Implants are the only tooth replacement procedure that offers a replacement root as well as the tooth. This makes for a secure and long lasting replacement.
Reasons For Tooth Loss
Did you know that 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth? There are many reasons that a patient may need tooth replacement options. Here are some of the major reasons for tooth loss:
- Untreated tooth decay
- Accidents (trauma to the teeth)
- Periodontal disease
- Root canal treatment that fails
- Teeth being excessively worn down
- Congenital defects
Benefits of Dental Implants
With so many Americans suffering from missing teeth, we know it is important to provide dependable options for replacing missing teeth. At Smiling Oak Dentistry, we believe that dental implants are the best option for this. Here are just some of the benefits of choosing this procedure:
- Improved appearance- just like the veneers process, the crown of an implant can be customized to produce a dazzling smile
- Improved speech (dentures and other less sturdy appliances can cause speech impediments)
- Treatment is much more predictable than other options
- Increased self esteem and confidence in your smile
- Lifelong replacement!
- Titanium implant is bio-compatible (accepted by the body, resistant to complications)
- Improved diet- there is no need to eat only certain foods with implants because they are stable enough to handle all types of foods
- Convenience- no need to worry about implants falling out or slipping around in the mouth
Process of Dental Implants
This procedure is extremely thorough because it seeks to replace all parts of the natural tooth structure instead of just the crown. Therefore, the process is longer, more complicated and requires several surgeries. The process can be split into 4 steps:
This part entails the consultation. Because of the extensive nature of this process, not everyone is a good candidate for implants. Dr. Gardner will examine your oral structures, medical history and health to ensure that it is the right choice for you. We will work with you to create a treatment plan customized to your needs.
The next and first course of action will be implanting the titanium device into your jawbone- a step that requires anesthesia, surgery and several months of healing.
This second step is the healing time after the implant is surgically embedded into the jawbone. The implant is made from titanium, a bio-compatible material that allows the device to fuse with the bone. This natural fusing with the jawbone is called osseointegration and can take up to 12 weeks or longer to complete.
Once osseointegration has occurred, Dr. Gardner will then make a small incision in the gum line to access the tip of the implant. He will attach an “abutment” that juts over the gum line. This abutment will be the spot where the replacement tooth (the crown) attaches. A temporary crown will cover the abutment until the permanent replacement tooth is created. Dr. Gardner will take molds of several of your teeth to design the new, permanent crown. This can take 2-3 weeks to complete.
Once the new crown has been designed, Dr. Gardner will remove the temporary one and cement the permanent replacement crown into place. This is the last step of the process. After the fitting, you are free to enjoy your new smile!
Restoration of Implants
During the process, “restoring” the implant is often the last step- the finishing touch. This step entails creating the customized replacement tooth, or crown, and fitting it onto the abutment. The appearance of the crown should match the shape, color and size of the surrounding teeth for a natural finish. If you are interested in professional teeth whitening, you should undergo this treatment before receiving your implant as the crown cannot be whitened like a natural tooth and may end up a different shade than the surrounding teeth.
Since the implant restoration is the only visible part of the entire treatment, it is important to choose a dentist that can provide beautiful crowns. If you need your dental implants restored, trust Dr. Gardner for stunning and natural looking crowns!
Does the Process Hurt?
Because the treatment requires various surgeries and invasive procedures, a small amount of discomfort is expected. However, we will always use anesthetics to numb the area before any step that requires surgery. We recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication during the in-between healing process. Dr. Gardner can also work with you if you need stronger medication.
Because of the anesthesia and pain medication, most patients report the pain associated with this service to be less than the pain experienced during a tooth extraction.
How Do I Care for Dental Implants?
Once the entire process is complete, patients care for implants in the same way as a natural tooth. Be sure to practice healthy oral hygiene habits- brush at least twice a day and floss at least once to prevent tooth decay and/or periodontal disease. Regular check-ups and follow up appointments with Dr. Gardner is also needed to ensure that you care for your implant properly.
How Do I Know If I am a Candidate?
This treatment is lengthy and requires several surgeries. This being said, it is not the ideal tooth replacement solution for everyone. Ideal candidates for the procedure typically have:
- Healthy gums and teeth
- Good overall health
- Adequate bone in jaw
Other factors such as smoking, certain diseases and other lifestyle choices can affect whether the implant process will work for you. Check with our dentist for a consultation and more information.
Dental Implants at Smiling Oak Dentistry
At Smiling Oak Dentistry, Dr. Jeff Gardner offers patients in our area his expertise in the dental implant process. He believes that this treatment is the ideal tooth replacement option and will work with you to create a customized treatment plan for you. For more information on this service, visit us at our office or call us today at (843) 884-0335.