Dental Implants help restore and regenerate your teeth to give you a smile you love and deserve!
Restore Your Strong, Healthy Smile
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots used to support a restoration for a missing tooth or teeth, helping to stop or prevent jaw bone loss.
Patients who have lost teeth might feel too self-conscious to smile or talk. Additionally, biting irregularities caused by tooth loss can have a negative effect on eating habits, leading to secondary health problems like malnutrition.
By replacing missing tooth roots, dental implants provide you with the strength and stability required to eat all the foods you love, without struggling to chew. Additionally, they help to stimulate and maintain jaw bone, preventing bone loss and helping to support facial features.
Teeth are lost because of:
- Tooth decay
- Root canal failure
- Gum disease (Periodontitis)
- Trauma to the mouth (tooth injury)
- Excessive wear and tear
- Congenital defects
To determine if implants are right for you, a consultation with Dr. Mullins and Dr. Owen is needed. During this appointment, we will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and evaluate bone density and quantity. This will involve X-rays and 3D radiographic imaging to ensure there is sufficient bone structure for placing the implant, and to determine exactly where they should be placed.
Based on the condition of your oral tissues, oral hygiene and personal habits, and commitment to follow aftercare instructions, Dr. Mullins and Dr. Owen will advise you of the most appropriate treatment plan.
Depending on your situation, we will advise you of how long the entire treatment process will take, how many appointments will be necessary and what you can expect after your procedure.
Any underlying oral health issues must first be managed before implantation may be considered. Common issues such as tooth decay and gum disease can make treatment less effective.
If you are a smoker, we will advise you to quit, as smokers face a greater risk of failure than non-smokers. Smoking can affect osseointegration, the process by which a dental implant anchors to the jaw bone.
Once your mouth is healthy enough for treatment, your custom dental implant treatment can begin.
What To Expect During Your Procedure?
Dental implant restorations are virtually indistinguishable from other teeth. This appearance is aided in part by the structural and functional connection between the implant and the living bone. The procedure is typically performed in a single sitting but requires a period of osseointegration.
Osseointegration is the process by which the implant anchors to the jaw bone. An osseointegrated implant takes anywhere from six weeks to six months to anchor and heal, at which point we will complete the procedure by placing a crown, bridge or hybrid denture restoration. If osseointegration does not occur, the implant will fail.
Dental implantation, which is performed to replace missing teeth, can be done any time after adolescence or when bone growth is complete. Certain medical conditions, such as active diabetes, cancer or periodontal disease, may require additional treatment before the procedure can be performed.
Recovery, Follow-up, & Aftercare
Dental implant recovery depends on a number of factors, one of which includes the various procedures required to complete your treatment. However, it is generally recognized that once an implant has been placed, maintaining diligent oral hygiene habits helps ensure proper integration with bone structure. Failure to floss and brush can contribute to failure of the treatment. Infection can occur if the implant and surrounding areas are not cleaned properly. Smoking also is attributed to high failure rates and should be avoided following implant procedures.
If provisional restorations were placed along with the implant, it will be important to clean them as you would your natural teeth to ensure the best possible healing and fusing.
After the initial surgical procedure, discomfort should be minimal. Swelling of your gums and face may occur, as well as minor bleeding and bruising of the implant site. Prescription pain medications may be prescribed by your dentist to relieve any pain or discomfort you feel after the procedure. For five to seven days after surgery, your diet should be restricted to soft foods. If stitches are present, they may need to be removed by your dentist; however, self-dissolving stitches that do not require removal are typically used.
Healing from the surgical procedure to place the implant takes up to six months, while the fitting and seating of the crown can take up to two months. Again, this time frame depends on individual cases and treatments. Follow-up appointments with Dr. Mullins, Dr. Owen, and our team are essential for monitoring your progress. If cared for properly, it can remain in place for a lifetime.