Dental Implants & Restoration Chapel Hill
fall in love with your smile
Dental Implants & Implant Restoration Services
Every year, almost 50 million Americans experience tooth-loss. Dentures have historically been the best option for individuals in this situation, however there have been recent innovations regarding different types of dental implants. Dental implants are a common procedure that is performed for individuals who have a missing tooth or teeth.
Dental implants offer significant benefits for patients including the following:
- Improved Aesthetics: Dental implants will improve the appearance of your smile as well as your jawline and prevent any changes in the shape of your jaw or face that can develop due to missing teeth.
- Structural Integrity: By filling in gaps, dental implants not only preserve the original bone, but they also significantly reduce the likelihood of infections developing.
- Oral Health: Patients who have implants placed often report an improved ability and likelihood to brush and floss regularly, which results in improved overall oral health.
- Upgrade from Dentures: Because they are adhered to the jawbone, dental implants will not have to be removed, like dentures, which can improve your ability to chew foods and talk comfortably.
Dental implants can be a wonderful option for patients who are looking for a long-term solution for their missing teeth. If you would like to learn more about dental implants, please read below, or contact our staff who will be happy to answer any of your questions and/or set up a consultation.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about our treatment options, please contact our office at (919) 595-1010. We look forward to creating the smile you have always desired a reality for you.
The Dental Implant Process
The dental implant process will begin with the extraction of a decayed or damaged tooth (if necessary) followed by an x-ray to determine if there is sufficient jawbone to properly hold a dental implant. If there is insufficient jawbone, a dental bone graft may be required. If it is determined that you are a viable candidate, a titanium implant will be placed into your jawbone. After this has healed, the replacement tooth or bridge will be placed on this post and adhered using dental cement or a screw.
Dental Implants vs Dental Bridges
Patients who are candidates for dental implants may also consider dental bridges, especially for patients who do not have experienced significant bone loss. The dental bridge uses abutments, which are placed over remaining healthy teeth and keep the false tooth or teeth in place and fills that gap. There are several different types of dental bridges that can be used, including traditional, cantilever, Maryland, and implant-supported bridges. Bridges are generally made from zirconia or porcelain, and the crowns are most commonly made of porcelain, although gold or other metal alloys can also be used.
Additional benefits to dental bridges include the fact that the procedure is less invasive and less painful. Dental bridges are also considerably faster and less costly, although dental implants will last much longer, so patients with dental bridges can end up spending more in the long run. Both treatment options are viable solutions for addressing missing teeth. Be sure to talk with your dentist about which approach is best for you.
Proper Care Improves Longevity of Dental Implants
Following a dental implant procedure, it is important to plan on the healing process taking a few weeks. During this time, it is recommended that patients stick a soft-food diet and gradually reintroduce harder foods as sensitivity and tenderness diminishes. If your implant was performed due to an injury related to sports, it is also important to strongly consider wearing a mouth guard to prevent similar issues in the future.
Once the implant has fully healed, the most important thing to do to preserve the health and wellbeing of the implant is to practice the following oral hygiene habits every day.
- Brush twice daily (minimum) and practice proper brushing technique. In addition to brushing regularly, it is also important to brush effectively. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have about proper brushing techniques.
- Floss daily. If you are someone who tends to avoid flossing, you may want to consider flossing alternatives, such as interdental brushes or floss picks.
- Be mindful of your diet. One of the best ways you can prevent dental issues from developing is to avoid foods that are sugary or high in starch. If you do drink soda or sugary beverages, try to use a straw to limit exposure of sugar to your teeth. It is also important to swish your mouth with water following meals, as doing so can dislodge food remnants, which, if left alone can create future tooth decay.
- Schedule regular dental exams. Unchecked dental issues can result in additional issues and progression of decay, which is why it is so important to visit your dentist every six months. In addition to providing a deep clean for your teeth and diagnosing potential issues before they progress, these regular checkups also allow your dentist to monitor the status of your implant. If you have an implant that has either failed or needs repair, we will be able to address this issue and schedule a restoration appointment at these regular exams.
High-Quality Dental Care
At Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Chapel Hill, all our services are performed with the patient in mind. We want you to feel comfortable in the dental chair, confident in our work, and most importantly, we want you to fall in love with your smile again. If you would like to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about cosmetic procedures that we offer, please contact us at (919) 595-1010.