If you have recently lost a tooth or have been advised to have a tooth extraction, you might be unsure about what steps to take next. At Dr. Dr. Donnelly’s office, 24th Street Dental Biltmore, we provide various options for replacing missing teeth to enhance both the appearance and functionality of your smile. Among these options, we highly recommend dental implants for the majority of our patients. Dental implants have had a significant impact on how we address the issue of missing teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a tiny titanium post used as the foundation for an artificial tooth. Once the implant is inserted and healed, a supporting structure called an abutment is attached. Finally, the restoration, or artificial tooth, is connected to the abutment.
Dr. Donnelly, at 24th Street Dental Biltmore, can now provide even stronger and more visually appealing restorations than ever before. She will be able to recommend the material that suits your needs best. Our restorations mainly consist of porcelain, which is not only strong and aesthetically pleasing but also opaque enough to conceal the metal pillar underneath. Additionally, porcelain mimics the light-reflective qualities of natural enamel, giving a more natural appearance to the restored tooth.
Why Implants May Be Right for You
In general, we recommend dental implants if:
- You have one or more missing teeth
- You have enough bone in the jaw to support a dental implant
- You are in relatively good oral health
- You do not have any systemic health conditions that may hinder the healing process
- You do not want to wear dentures or other removable prosthetics
- You want to improve the function and aesthetics of your smile
- You are willing and able to commit to the implant process
Dental Implant Surgery
Typically, the dental implant procedure involves two separate minor surgeries. In the first surgery, a small incision is made in the gum tissue to reveal the underlying bone. Then, 24th Street Dental Biltmore dentist, Dr. Donnelly, will carefully drill a small hole into the bone and insert the implant post. Once the implant is securely placed, the incision is closed with stitches.
Following the initial surgery, a waiting period of several months will be required for osseointegration to occur. Osseointegration is the crucial process in which the implant post melds with your jawbone, creating a strong and secure attachment. It is essential for the success of your implant and contributes to numerous benefits associated with this treatment. Once the fusion of bone and implant has adequately taken place, the second surgery can be scheduled.
In your second surgery, we will attach the pillar to the implant post. The pillar will be screwed onto the implant and secured tightly to prevent any movement. After that, we will take an impression of the area. Our dental lab will use this impression to fabricate your final restoration, which may take a few weeks. In the meantime, we can provide you with a temporary crown to safeguard your implant post.
We can schedule your final appointment once your permanent crown is ready. During this appointment, we will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent one. The method of securing the permanent crown will depend on your pillar, either through cementing or screwing it into place.
After You Receive Your Dental Implant
Following your procedure, it is possible to experience common discomforts often associated with oral surgery. These can include minor swelling, pain at the surgical site, slight bleeding, and minor bruising. If any of these symptoms worsen after the initial few days, please contact us immediately. Rest assured, we will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions before you depart our office.
Dr. Donnelly, at 24th Street Dental Biltmore, is highly experienced in implant procedures, and the success rate for these treatments is exceptionally high, exceeding 90%. Although rare, in the event of an infection, implant failure may occur. Additionally, complications can arise from smoking and tobacco use. However, Dr. Donnelly is well-equipped to navigate these challenges in a safe and effective manner, taking each patient’s unique circumstances into account.
Maintaining your implant is as simple as caring for your natural teeth. By brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day, you can significantly increase the longevity of your implant. Don’t forget to schedule regular appointments and professional cleanings, as they play a vital role in maintaining your oral health.