While losing a tooth used to be considered a disaster for your oral health and social life, in today’s world there are many tooth replacement options that can offer a completely restored smile.
However, because there are a variety of tooth replacement options, it is important to choose the procedure that best fits your situation. While other tooth replacement procedures provide a quick fix, none match the permanence and natural support of surgical implants.
Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers dental implants in Lexington, SC for patients looking for a permanent fix to missing teeth.
What is Implant Dentistry?
Implants are artificial structures that are surgically inserted into your jawbone to replace missing roots. Your prosthetic teeth will be composed of three main parts:
1. Implant: the implant is composed of titanium, shaped like a screw and is surgically inserted into your jawbone
2. Abutment Post: this is attached to the top of the implant and serves to connect the artificial tooth to the artificial root.
3. Prosthetic: this is the artificial tooth that is secured to the abutment post.
Is Implant Dentistry Right for Me?
Because artificial tooth roots are composed of titanium and are surgically placed, then fused with your jawbone, they are a permanent solution to missing teeth.
However, not everyone is an ideal candidate for implants. The surgery and healing time required for this tooth replacement makes the procedure costly and timely. Other factors must be taken into account when deciding which type of tooth restoration is right for you, such as:
- Your oral health (candidates must be in good oral health)
- Amount of bone in jaw (candidates must have adequate bone in jaw to support implants)
- Prevalence of diseases (candidates should not suffer from diseases such as diabetes, cancer, alcoholism, etc.)
- Teeth clenching (patients who have a habit of clenching teeth are not ideal candidates)
Call us at (803) 808-1778 or visit our office to see if you are an ideal candidate for implantation.
What to Expect
Due to the healing time involved, the implantation and tooth replacement process can take 6-9 months to complete. Below are the general steps to receiving dental implants.
The first step requires surgically burying the implant in your jawbone. This step is completed by first numbing the area. Then, Dr. Pitts will make a small incision in your gums. He will then drill the screw-shaped implant deep into your jawbone. Several months are required for the implant to fuse with your jawbone.
Once the implant has fused with your jawbone, your second visit to the office will include attaching the abutment post. This step requires exposing the implant. Dr. Pitts will make a small incision in your gum to access the top of the implant. Then, he will attach the abutment post to the implant. The abutment post juts out over the gum line and is used as the attachment site for the artificial tooth. Healing time is needed for the gums to heal around the abutment post.
Once the gums have healed around the abutment post creating a solid base, Dr. Pitts will have a custom artificial tooth placed on top of the post. This artificial tooth will be crafted to match the size, shape and color of the surrounding teeth for a natural look. Once bonded into place, you can enjoy your natural-looking, permanently restored smile!