Introduction to Dental Implants
Are you missing teeth? Are you embarrassed to smile or even speak in public? Is eating solid food difficult on your mouth?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, dental implants may be your answer. Our team of oral surgeons is here to give you that confident smile you have always wanted. With dental implants, you can replace your missing or damaged teeth with implants that often feel more natural than other dental restorations.
To explain it simply, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root. Placed into the gum and fused with the jawbone giving it a solid foundation for a prosthesis or artificial tooth.
Here at Aiken Augusta Oral & Facial Surgery, our oral surgeons will work with you closely preparing your jaw, placing the implant, and building the prosthesis. They will be there along the way to explain the procedure step by step including post dental care.
Each patient will be different in terms of treatment time. The majority of cases range from a couple months to a year. Our surgical team will be there to answer any questions you may have. Please keep in mind that insurance will likely not pay for your implants and the use of tobacco products and certain medications can affect your recovery process.
For best results:
- Prepare to adapt to a lifetime of excellent oral hygiene.
- Follow up appointments are extremely important. Don’t miss them.
- Take extremely great care of your oral health, including gum tissue, during the implant process.
- You should have 3 to 4 dental checkups a year to ensure healthy gums.
- Contact our staff if any problems should arise.
Your Dental Examination
To see if your mouth is able to receive implants, a dental exam is given. This exam studies your jaws and teeth to see how they fit together. Your gums will be checked for periodontal disease, in other words, possible infection of the gums and bone surrounding teeth). In addition, there should be enough healthy gum tissue to encompass the implant. The Jawbone is then measured to ensure there is enough bone to support the implant. Depending on these results, you may need to undergo cleanings and/or surgeries to prepare your mouth for the new artificial teeth.
Dental x-rays, Panoramic x-rays, CT scans, and x-ray tomography may be used to further evaluate your jawbone. This will give our surgeons valuable insight on just how much healthy bone is in your jaw.
The Implant & Prosthesis
The implant is first inserted in place of the missing tooth. The jawbone will naturally heal and bond with the implant. The prosthesis is the last step in the procedure, however, there are multiple stages. Our professional surgeons will keep you informed every step of the way.
Depending on how many teeth you are missing, you might have a single, partial, or complete prosthesis. A temporary prosthesis may be used until the jawbone has fully merged with the implant. A single prosthesis only requires one single tooth implant, whereas, a partial prosthesis may require two or more implants. Lastly, a complete prosthesis will replace all of your teeth in the upper or lower jaw. The number of implants required will be determined by our surgical team.
Alternative Treatments to Consider
If our team finds you not to be a good candidate for dental implants we may suggest other alternatives for your consideration.
These are as follows:
Fixed bridge – You could consider replacing missing teeth with a fixed bridge which is much less invasive than an implant.
Dentures – Our team can help you adjust pre-existing dentures or help you find a complete denture set to avoid surgical procedures.
Risk and complications can arise so it’s important to weigh each option carefully. In which case, our surgical team will certainly help you in your decision-making process.
Taking the First Step
Aiken Augusta Oral & Facial Surgery is the leading oral surgical team in Augusta, GA, and Aiken, SC. You can schedule your dental implant consultation by referring to the links below. If you have any questions you can call either of our main offices from 8AM – 5PM Monday through Friday.