Tooth loss can be both traumatizing and embarrassing, but it is important to remember that you are not alone in your struggle with missing teeth. Nearly 80 percent of all American adults are missing at least one of their permanent teeth, making the need for long-lasting and attractive restorations higher than ever. In the past, when a patient lost a tooth, their restoration options were limited.
They could choose either a partial denture or a fixed bridge. However, today’s patients can now choose to get dental implants to replace their missing teeth. We here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry strongly believe that dental implants are an excellent restoration option for patients who are a good candidate for this procedure.
What is a Dental Implant and What Is it Made Of?
A dental implant is a permanent dental restoration for patients who are missing one or more of their permanent teeth. Unlike fixed bridges or partial dentures, they are surgically placed below the gumline, directly into the jawbone.
The procedure is an incredibly reliable one, with a remarkable 98 percent success rate. They are quite easy to maintain, as they do not need to be removed to keep clean or require any special tools to take care of them. Instead, you can brush and floss them just like your real tooth. They are also natural looking and completely restore your bite force, allowing you to have a good quality of life without fear of embarrassing dental mishaps or pain or discomfort.
A dental implant is made up of three main components. The first part is a titanium screw. This part is the piece that goes directly into the jaw. We use titanium because the body does not reject this metal, but in fact, will build up over it. This process is called osseointegration and helps ensure the implant is sturdy and strong in your mouth. The next part of the implant is called the abutment. The abutment attaches to the titanium screw and acts as a connector to the third and final part of the restoration. This third piece is called the restoration, and it is the part of the implant that resembles the tooth.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implant surgery is safe and outpatient. To get a dental implant placed, we will start by using a combination of anesthetics on the patient. We will use a local anesthetic on the surgical site to numb the region and make sure there is no pain or discomfort during the procedure, and intravenous (IV) anesthetic to help keep the patient calm and relaxed throughout it. We will then place an incision into the gums to give us access to the jaw. Next, we will drill the titanium implant directly into the jaw. Finally, we will suture the gums closed to help allow them to heal. The entire surgery typically takes a half hour, but it may take up to an hour and a half for some patients.
Dental implants are a very attractive option for patients who have lost a tooth, giving them back their beautiful smile. If you would like to learn more about dental implants, or you are interested in scheduling an appointment with us for a consultation for this procedure, please give us here at Carolina Smiles Family Dentistry a call at (803) 310-4707 today!