Replacing lost teeth is important and can restore both your confidence in your appearance and your daily quality of life. At West Ashley Family Dentistry, Dr. James Dickert and Dr. Agatha Lynn provide comprehensive dental implant treatments for replacing missing teeth. We offer all types of dental implants in Charleston, SC. This sophisticated option will restore your smile as well as look and feel completely natural. Dental implants offer the most life-like tooth replacement especially when you compare them to traditional dentures and bridges. They also provide key benefits for your long-term dental health.
What Is A Dental Implant?
A dental implant consists of a tiny titanium post. An oral surgeon will insert it into the jaw bone during a surgical procedure. This post will replace the root of a tooth and support the dental prosthesis. It will stimulate healthy bone growth to reduce the risk of jaw shrinkage, a common side effect of long-term tooth loss. Dental implants offer patients many important benefits for overall and long term dental health:
- Improved bone and gum health (compared to alternative restorations)
- Avoids degradation of remaining healthy teeth (as in conventional bridgework)
- Improves the appearance of the smile and lower face
- Enjoy a healthy diet without restrictions
- No worry of slippage or dentures “falling out”
About the Procedure
Before beginning treatment, our dentists will need to make sure you qualify for dental implants. You must be free of any oral health issues such as gum disease. Some patients may need bone grafting to ensure there is enough bone to support the implants. Dr. Dickert or Dr. Lynn will coordinate the surgical phase of your implant procedure with a local oral and maxillofacial surgeon who will perform the implantation of the post.
Generally, a period of 3-6 months of recovery is necessary for all soft tissues to heal and the post to integrate into the bone. Depending on the type of implant you are receiving, your dentist will attach the abutment to the post on your second visit. This will serve to secure the final restoration and will need to heal before the final step.
Your dentist will place the final restoration, a custom made dental crown, bridge or denture on the post. We will make all the necessary adjustments for a comfortable fit and then permanently secure it to the post. You can care for your dental implants just like real teeth with daily brushing, flossing and routine dental visits.
Types of Dental Implants
Single Tooth Implants
A single tooth dental implant is the most popular type of implant we use today. When you lose a single natural tooth, we will recommend a dental implant when possible. Not only does it replace all parts of the missing tooth but it does not require damaging adjacent teeth accommodate it, as is the case with a dental bridge.
Implant Secured Dental Bridge
Dental implants can effectively replace many consecutive teeth. We will place implants to serve as the anchors for your custom dental bridge. This provides a secure restoration that will fit beautifully with your remaining teeth. Using implants will also reduce changes in the structure and look of the jaw.
Implant-secured dentures, or All-on-Four dentures, offer a more comfortable and lasting result when replacing a full arch of your top or bottom teeth. We will coordinate the surgical phase with a local specialist who will strategically place as few as four dental implants in the jaw. These implants support a hybrid denture and will maintain healthy jaw bone structure. No more slipping dentures or daily use of adhesives! With a good oral hygiene routine and proper dental care, you can expect your dental implants to last for years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the recovery time for dental implants?
The recovery time for patients with dental implants can vary. Recovery time can differ because of overall health, number of tooth implants, and the complexity of your case. Your initial healing takes about 1-2 weeks. During this time, discomfort and swelling may occur. However, you can control these symptoms with standard painkillers. The next 3-6 months involve a healing phase that dentists and oral surgeons call osseointegration. Be sure you follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s post-surgery guidance.
What is the best age for dental implants?
Tooth implants are typically for patients who are 18 or older. We delay the process until this age range because your jawbone should have fully developed by then, ensuring it can appropriately support the tooth implant. However, many factors like overall health, bone density, and oral hygiene habits contribute to determining if someone is a good candidate for tooth implants. Age is just one factor.
Does insurance cover dental implants?
In general, most traditional dental insurance plans do not cover the cost of dental implants. However, some plans may offer partial coverage. If your plan doesn’t cover the tooth implant, it might cover other parts of the process. For instance, insurance might cover the crown on top of the tooth implant. The specifics depend on your insurance plan. The best way to find out is to check directly with your insurance provider. They can give you the most accurate information about what your plan covers and what you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket.
Are dental implants permanent?
Dental implants are a long-term, often permanent, solution for tooth replacement. Tooth implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance, including good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. However, the crown attached to the tooth implant may need replacement after 10-15 years due to wear and tear.
Can you get dental implants for multiple missing teeth?
Yes. Dental implants are a good solution for multiple missing teeth. Rather than replacing each tooth individually, an oral surgeon can use an implant-supported bridge or denture to replace several teeth simultaneously. It’s a popular and effective way to restore the function and appearance of teeth. Tooth implants provide a secure and long-lasting solution for multiple missing teeth.
Can you get dental implants after having dentures for years?
Yes, you can get dental implants after having dentures for years. Tooth implants will provide a permanent, stable solution for tooth replacement. However, your dentist or oral surgeon will need to consider the health of your jawbone and general overall health before undergoing the procedure. Moreover, patients who switch from dentures to tooth implants may need a bone grafting procedure.
Schedule A Consultation
If you would like to learn more about how dental implants can replace your lost or missing teeth, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dickert or Dr. Lynn. Our Charleston dentist office welcomes new patients and provides personalized dental care for your specific needs. Please call our office at (843) 371-5480 or request an appointment online.
Learn More About Dental Implants in Charleston, SC