If you’re missing even one tooth, you may feel as though you’re missing out on things you used to enjoy – talking with ease, smiling with confidence, and even eating your favorite foods. Whether you’re missing one tooth or many teeth, we can help you get a full and healthy smile again with the help of dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is made up of three different parts: the implant itself, which is a small titanium post inserted into the jawbone; an abutment, which connects the implant to a restoration; and the restoration, either a dental crown, bridge, or denture. The titanium material fuses to your jawbone to create a solid foundation that essentially works like a tooth root. This means that, once topped with a restoration, your dental implant will feel and function just like your natural tooth!
The Dental Implants Process
To start restoring your smile with dental implants, we invite you to come in for a consultation with one of our doctors. At that appointment, we’ll go over your current oral health, your needs, and your goals for your smile. We will also take some X-rays to determine if your jawbone is strong enough for dental implants. If we decide that implants are the best treatment for you, we’ll also go over your restoration options to make sure you’re comfortable with your entire treatment plan from start to finish.
At your first treatment appointment, we’ll surgically place a dental implant into your jawbone in the place of a missing tooth or teeth. If your jawbone isn’t quite strong enough, we can perform oral surgery in our office and graft additional bone material onto the jawbone to give it extra strength. Once that has healed, we’ll bring you back in to place your implant.
The implant takes a few months to heal and fuse to the jawbone, but once it has, come back in for the restoration process. We’ll place a crown, bridge, or denture, depending on how many teeth you’re missing and your specific dental needs. Crowns are typically placed on a single-tooth implant. We use bridges if you’re missing a couple of teeth in a row. Implant-supported dentures are great for patients missing most or all teeth in an arch. We even offer All-on-4® treatment at our Summerville office, meaning we can stabilize your denture with four strategically placed dental implants.
After your mouth is healed, your new smile will look natural and beautiful. The implant will also allow you to get back to doing all the things you used to do with a full smile. We bet no one will even know which tooth is the implant unless you tell them!
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer our patients a number of benefits, including:
- Look, feel, and function like natural teeth
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting into open space
- Maintain facial shape
- Stop bone loss in the jaw
In addition to being great for your oral health, dental implants are easy to care for, so you can continue to maintain a good dental hygiene routine. Just brush and floss your implant like normal – with proper care, implants are designed to last for decades!