Dr. Blaylock, your experienced implant dentist in Durham NC, provides dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth! He often recommends this option because of the long-term dental health benefits associated with replacing lost teeth. Patients with dental implants have enjoyed an overall 95% success rate after treatment, and the ability to eat and speak normally and comfortably. The benefits of dental implants far outweigh other dental restorations such as dentures and dental bridges.
What is a Dental Implant?
Made from highly durable materials, the dental implant is a two-part prosthetic tooth. The first part is a titanium post that is actually surgically implanted into your jaw bone. The titanium post functions like a tooth root, helping to reduce bone loss and creating a stable base for the replacement teeth.
Bone loss naturally occurs after losing a tooth, resulting in a prematurely aged appearance. The number of implants placed will depend on how many teeth you are missing and what type of dental restoration you will need.
The second part is the dental restoration. For a single missing tooth, this will be a dental crown. For multiple consecutive missing teeth, this will be a dental bridge. If you are missing all or most of an entire arch of teeth, we will use a denture to replace your teeth.
After a period of healing following your surgery, you will return to our Durham, NC dentist office where Dr. Blaylock will permanently attach one of those restorations.
Affordable dental implants provide a permanent replacement option that looks and functions exactly like a natural tooth. Your dentist can use them as part of a smile makeover or cosmetic dentistry treatment plan.
Dental Implant vs. Bridge vs. Denture
All three of these restorations replace missing teeth, however, a dental implant is the only one that replaces the actual root structure of a tooth. This means that the prosthetic tooth (or teeth) is permanently fixed in the mouth and does not require any support from neighboring teeth or the use of adhesives.
For denture patients, dental implants can minimize speech impediments often associated with loose or ill-fitting dentures. The dental implants will also allow you to eat more foods and chew much more efficiently so you can live your life without concern over what foods you can and cannot eat.
Dental Implant Procedure
Dr. Blaylock will begin the process with a thorough examination and discussion of your treatment options, ensuring that you are a candidate for dental implants.
Dr. Blaylock will create a personalized treatment plan for your new dental implant, coordinating with a local oral surgeon for the implantation of the titanium post. After a healing period of three to six months, Dr. Blaylock will have you return to our dentist office for the placement of the final restoration.
At this time, depending on how many teeth we are replacing, a custom-made dental crown, dental bridge or denture will be attached to the titanium post, and adjustments for fit will be made as needed.
Your new replacement will look, feel and function just like natural teeth. With proper dental care and routine visits with Dr. Blaylock, your implant-supported dental restoration will last a lifetime.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. With good oral hygiene and regular checkups, dental implants can last for decades. They are made of biocompatible materials that are designed to fuse with the bone over time. Moreover, dental implants are not susceptible to cavities or gum disease.
Is a dental implant procedure painful?
A dental implant procedure is typically not painful. However, some patients may experience some level of discomfort and/or pain after the surgery. This is generally because the area where the implant sits is still healing. In most cases, however, any pain or discomfort will dissipate within a few days. Taking over-the-counter pain medications can help to ease any discomfort or pain that you may feel. You should also speak with your dentist immediately if you are experiencing pain after your procedure.
Who are the best candidates for dental implants?
Good candidates for dental implants are people who have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. Your dentist will make sure that you have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant. Patients with a history of diabetes and periodontal disease may not be good candidates for tooth implants. Patients who smoke are also not good candidates for this procedure because of the increased risk of infection and poor healing. Candidates for tooth implants should also commit to good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing and flossing your teeth every day .
Can you get dental implants with receding gums?
Yes, you can get dental implants if you have receding gums. If you have gum recession and are missing one or more teeth, you may still be a good candidate for dental implants. If you have receding gums, your dentist may recommend a specific treatment to help protect the implant site during your procedure.
Will my surgeon put me to sleep during my dental implant procedure?
No. Your dentist will not put you to sleep for a dental implant procedure. You will likely be awake for the procedure. Your surgeon will numb the area around the implant site. You may feel some discomfort as the surgeon inserts the implant into your jawbone. However, this is usually very mild and temporary. Occasionally, a patient may require general anesthesia for a more complex implant placement surgery. You will likely be awake and alert throughout the procedure.
Do dental implants get cavities?
No, dental implants do not get cavities. Dental implants are made of titanium. Titanium is a non-reactive material that does not corrode or form plaque. However, the teeth surrounding the implant can get cavities if you don’t practice proper oral. The best way to prevent cavities around your dental implants is to brush your teeth at least two times a day, floss once a day, and see your dentist for regular cleanings.