Patients with a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth often have challenges eating the foods they love and smiling and speaking with confidence. In addition, these patients often suffer from the progressive oral health problems that can occur from missing teeth, such as the remaining teeth moving out of alignment, and the onset of jaw bone atrophy, which can cause patients to appear older. Tooth replacement using dental implants can solve these problems and have many other incredible benefits due to their innovative three-part design that emulates the structure of a complete, natural tooth. This design consist of
- A small post, also called a screw, usually made of titanium, that replaces the root of your missing tooth
- A connector piece called an abutment that is placed on the top of the dental implant to anchor a prosthetic replacement tooth (crown) to your implant post
- The replacement tooth itself that is custom-made to match your smile
Implants are total tooth replacements—root and all—and like natural teeth, they are anchored in your jaw for a completely stable restoration that can last a lifetime with proper care. For a tooth replacement solution that looks good, feels good, and is good for your oral health, dental implants are the preferred choice.
Dental implants are true tooth replacements that include the root, crown, and all, so they are lifelike in function as well as appearance. Dental implants also keep your jaw bone healthy and maintain the harmony of your facial structure because they stimulate the bone in your jaw like natural teeth when you chew. Dental implants are also incredibly versatile, with the ability to replace a single tooth or even an entire arch of teeth using a dental implant-based tooth restoration called a full-arch replacement. Unlike other tooth replacement options such as dentures, implant-based tooth replacements will never slip around in your mouth or make clicking sounds when you talk, eat, or laugh. Implants truly are just like healthy, natural teeth.
The following are some of the key benefits of dental implants:
- Durable and permanent. Dental implants are a long-term, realistic replacement because the implant permanently fuses with the bone in the jaw. With good oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime.
- Natural look and feel. With implants, patients can enjoy life as if they never had any missing teeth.
- Improved self-confidence. Dental implants are so natural in every way that our dental implant patients report that they feel a renewed sense of confidence in their smile and an overall boost in their quality of life.
- Enjoy eating again. Enjoy eating your favorite foods again in comfort.
- Maintenance of bone health and structure. Dental implants replace the entire tooth, including the root, so they stimulate the jaw bone to keep bone loss at bay, just like natural teeth do.
- Versatile solution. Dental implants can replace one or multiple missing teeth or even an entire arch of teeth.
- Most patients are dental implant candidates. With the bone and soft tissue grafting techniques we offer, if our patients are healthy enough to have a standard tooth extraction, dental implants are usually an option for them at our practice.
During your consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons, it will be determined if a dental implant or other dental-implant based solution such as a full-arch replacement is the best option for your oral and health and smile.
What is the dental implant process?
Dental implant procedures are performed by our oral surgeons in the safety of the state-of-the-art surgical suite at our Fort Mill, SC, practice with the assistance of a highly skilled surgical team. We are qualified to administer several kinds of in-office anesthesia, including IV sedation, for your complete comfort. Dr. Marashi and Dr. Ricciuti have many years of training and experience placing dental implants with outstanding long-term results. A single implant placement at our practice will take between 30 and 60 minutes. Multiple implants can take from one to three hours. Since you are receiving personalized care at our practice, the amount of time that your dental implant procedure will depend on your specific treatment plan.
The dental implant process at our practice typically goes as follows:
- Consultation. During this initial appointment, you will have a comprehensive evaluation of your oral health condition and will work with your oral surgeon to develop a treatment plan that will best address your condition and goals. We may take detailed diagnostic images at this time, and, if applicable, your anesthesia options for your procedure will be discussed as well.
- Day of surgery. Before you have your procedure, we will administer the anesthesia that you chose during your consultation so that you will be comfortable and at ease. Next, your oral surgeon will make a small incision in your gum tissue over the area of your jaw where he will place your implant. Once the implant is in, he will stitch the surgical site closed. After the procedure, you will have time to rest before your responsible driver takes you home to begin your recovery.
- Recovery period. When your procedure is over, you are officially in the recovery and healing period. This healing time lasts until your implant has successfully fused with your jaw bone for stable and permanent tooth restoration. Our patients are usually back to their regular activity level after a week or two; however, it will take a few weeks more for the complete fusion of the implant with the jaw bone, so you will be instructed to take extra special care of the surgical area during healing. Your healing time depends on the condition of your jaw bone, your overall health, your body’s healing abilities, and other factors. Your surgeon will go over these details with you carefully before you have your procedure.
- Placement of the abutment. The abutment is the piece that connects your custom-made crown to your implant for complete tooth restoration. After there has been enough healing, your doctor will determine when to attach an abutment to your implant post.
- Placement of the custom crown. You may have received a temporary crown to wear during your recovery time, but once your healing time is complete, you will then receive your permanent, custom-made crown. Your restorative dentist will complete your treatment by fitting your new crown to your dental implant.
To learn more about the placement of dental implants at our practice in Fort Mill, SC, and to find out if dental implants are the best solution for your condition, budget, and oral health goals, feel free to contact us to request a consultation with one of our oral surgeons. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss the restoration of your smile.