Placing dental implants is one of Dr. Camp’s favorite things to do. He is very passionate about placing implants because it gives him the opportunity to create a brand new tooth that cannot be decayed. Implants are made from titanium, so bacteria cannot make a cavity. However, gum disease can still be a problem, so flossing and brushing is still a must. Most of our patients agree that this is not a painful procedure and it is a lot easier than having a tooth extracted.
If you are facing tooth loss or an extraction, you probably have many questions about replacing your tooth, whether it is necessary, and what is best for your oral health. At Charlotte Progressive Dentistry, we understand your concerns and look forward to answering all your questions when it comes to tooth loss and tooth replacement options.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are cylindrical biocompatible titanium screws that support a dental crown with the intention of completing your chewing surface and smile. Biocompatible metals can integrate naturally with your body and “fuse” together, creating a stable bond. That is why many dentists consider dental implants to be one of the most effective tooth-replacement options available today.
Unlike most dental offices, we can place most of your dental implants here at Charlotte Progressive Dentistry without the need for a referral. When we surgically place your dental implants in your jawbone, your body’s natural healing process will take over. After several months, your dental implant and your bone will have enough stability to support a custom dental implant crown.
Your dental implant crown is the only part of your implant that people will see. Because we custom create dental implant crowns to match your existing smile, it will appear seamless and look natural!
Dental implant placement requires two surgeries. First, we surgically place your implants in your bone and allow them to heal and integrate with your natural bone. Next, we uncover the top of the dental implants in order to place your abutment and crown to complete your chewing surface.
The Health and Benefits of Dental Implants
Aside from the aesthetic benefits of choosing dental implants as a tooth replacement option, dental implants offer some major health benefits that can prolong the health and beauty of your smile.
Bone retention – When you lose teeth, the bone that supported those teeth begins to resorb because your tooth is no longer there to stimulate regeneration. When this occurs, you can experience tilting and shifting among your remaining teeth. This often creates problems when it comes to the stability of your bite and may even cause additional tooth loss.
Facial structure – In addition to tooth loss, your appearance can suffer because your teeth and bone support your facial structure. When you lose teeth, you may begin to have a sunken, aged appearance. Dental implants can help to maintain the structure of your face and jaw.
Food freedom – When you have a dental implant, you can still eat the foods you love, allowing you to have more choices and better nutrition to support your overall health.
Cavity free – Dental implants are resistant to cavities and decay. Keeping your gums healthy, however, is essential to the health and longevity of your dental implant. Routine dental exams and cleanings will give us the opportunity to examine all your dentistry periodically to ensure its stability.
Convenience – Because dental implants mimic your natural teeth, you can brush and floss them normally, making them easy to care for.
Aesthetics – We create your porcelain crown to match your existing teeth, which means your dental implant will look natural and complement your smile.
Implant-Supported Dental Bridges
If you have multiple missing teeth, you can benefit from dental implant technology by combining dental implants into your dental bridge. This allows us to replace more teeth without the need for a partial denture, while still providing an aesthetic and stable smile. By using a few strategically placed dental implants, you receive the added benefit of bone retention and the more cost-effective option of a dental bridge. It truly is the best of both worlds!
For many patients, finding dentures that fit great and stay put is a challenge. As you age and lose bone structure, it can be even more difficult to keep a denture in place. Using pastes and creams long-term is not recommended. That is why we offer implant-supported dentures.
Regular dentures rest on the gums and rely on suction for stability. If you have bone loss or a thin ridge, however, your denture may not seal properly to your gums. Implants can help your denture remain stable and eliminate movement that can cause denture sores and embarrassing moments because it can shift or fall out when you need it most.
Who Can Benefit from Implant-Supported Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures are for people who are missing all of their teeth, but have enough remaining bone structure for successful implant placement. We include several strategically placed dental implants to "lock" your denture in place with special attachments.
Typically, implant-supported dentures are placed on the lower jaw because traditional dentures tend to be fairly stable on the upper jaw. However, we can create implant-supported dentures for either the upper or lower jaw. We usually place dental implants to support your denture at the front of your mouth where you typically have more bone structure to support the implant. The front of your jaw also has fewer nerves that could interfere with your surgery.
Because implants will support your denture and keep it stable, you can expect to have a denture that covers less of your palate since it does not have to rely on suction to hold it in place. Many of our patients find this more comfortable and enjoyable to wear!
How Long Will Treatment Take?
Healing times depend on your unique situation. From the time we place your implants to the time when you receive your implant supported denture can take between three months and a year, depending on your bone density. This includes your surgeries and the custom design of your denture. We can estimate your personal treatment time once we give you a comprehensive evaluation in our dental office. Though two surgeries are usually required, in some cases, we can place your implants and the supporting bar at one appointment.
All on 4 Implant Dentures
By working closely with a team of oral surgeons, we can create dentures that are permanently fixed to restore your smile with four implants on the top jaw and four implants on the bottom jaw. This process is completed in one day. You will receive a set of fixed dentures the day of your surgery. A final fixed denture will be fabricated after the healing process is finished. These pictures are from a real patient treated in our practice.
Caring for your Implant-Supported Denture
If your denture is removable, you should remove your denture daily to clean it, the attachments, and your gums. As with regular dentures, nighttime wear is not recommended. You should also avoid hard or sticky foods that may damage your denture.
Even if you have dentures, it is important to maintain your routine dental exams where Dr. Camp or Dr. Junco will make sure that your implants and all attachments are tight and functioning properly.
Call Us to Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation
Dr. Greg Camp and Dr. Susana Junco look forward to helping you determine the best tooth replacement option for your health and lifestyle. We look forward to welcoming you to our Charlotte, NC dental office. Give us a call today to schedule your next exam.
Dental work shown courtesy of Glidewell Dental Laboratory