Dental implants help restore the durability and function of a lost tooth or multiple missing teeth. Implants are long-lasting dental restorations that replace missing teeth at their root. There are also several dental restorations that may be secured with dental implants including dental crowns, dental bridges and dentures.
Dental implants are a highly versatile treatment with a success rate of over 95%. However, smoking and tobacco use can increase the rate of implant failure. We recommend that patients refrain from smoking or using tobacco during their implant treatment and throughout the healing process.
Dr. Shannon French and her team provide dental implants in Bladenboro, NC. Refer to the diagram below to see the structure of implants and how they act similarly to your natural teeth.
Dental Implant Treatment at Bladenboro Family Dentistry
We place dental implants where the previous tooth root was already located in the mouth. Implants are comprised of titanium posts that we surgically insert into the jawbone. This reduces the risk of jaw bone deterioration over time, which if not treated, can cause long term health issues. After we insert the implant into the jawbone, we suture the gums over the implant and allow it to heal.
During a period of 3 to 6 months, the implant fuses with the surrounding bone. This process is called osseointegration. After the implant or implants are fully healed, we will cap them off with a permanent dental crown, a dental bridge, or dentures. These restorations are permanent, and provide an aesthetic solution to missing teeth that function similar to natural teeth.
Following your implant procedure, you will feel some discomfort and may experience swelling in your face and jaw. We will prescribe you pain medications and recommend ice packs to treat the swelling. Eating soft foods for two weeks following the implant procedure will take pressure off the teeth and jaw for a more comfortable recovery. After this, you may resume your regular diet.
Although dental implants do not require special care, patients who receive dental implants need to continue to maintain their oral hygiene routines. We also recommend that patients continue to schedule regular dental appointments so we can monitor their implants and the health of their smiles. It is recommended that patients schedule dental examinations and cleanings at least twice a year, so that we can help ensure that your implants are being properly maintained.
Am I a Dental Implant Candidate?
The best dental implant candidates have healthy teeth and gums and bone tissue that can properly support implants. However, we can treat patients for problems like tooth decay and gum disease prior to implant treatment. In addition, bone grafting or a sinus lift can help patients rebuild their bone structure if they have suffered significant bone loss.
Implants are a permanent restoration for patients missing, one, multiple, or an entire arch of teeth. They restore function and aesthetics to patients smiles, leaving them with increased self-confidence and a healthier mouth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Do you have questions about dental implants? Continue reading to find answers to frequently asked questions.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants can last over 20 years. Brushing and flossing regularly, as well as scheduling regular dental cleanings in our dental office can help you maintain a healthy smile.
Is dental implant treatment painful?
During the procedure, we use a local anesthetic to numb the treated area. During the process of osseointegration, when the implants fuse with the jawbone, you may feel pain or soreness. If you have excessive pain or bleeding, call our office as soon as possible.
How do dental implants improve bridges and dentures?
Dental bridges and dentures are restorations that replace multiple missing teeth. They are prosthetics that dental implants can support. Implant-supported bridges and dentures last longer than removable options and make it easier to talk, speak, and eat.
How long does it take for dental implants to settle?
The time it takes for dental implants to settle and fully heal may be anywhere from six to eight months. As you begin to adjust to chewing and speaking your implants will begin to feel natural and comfortable. It is important to be patient during this adjustment period.
How long does it take gums to heal after implants?
Your gums will begin the healing process about three days following your implant procedure. The full healing time for your gums varies per patient but it may take up to six months for gums to heal after implant surgery.
How can I speed up healing from dental implants?
The best way to speed up your recovery time after implant surgery is to avoid hot foods and drinks, stick to a soft diet, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest. Patients should avoid smoking, caffeine, and alcohol after the dentist places the implants to give your mouth time to adjust and recover.
What are the 3 stages of dental implants?
The three stages of dental implants are placing the implant, attaching the abutment, and fitting the crown. This process can be lengthy, however it is one of the most effective ways to replace missing teeth.
Are you awake during dental implants?
Dental implant surgery is a very invasive procedure, so it is common practice to sedate patients. Local anesthesia is typically applied to the area of the mouth being worked on while the patient is under conscious sedation.
Contact Our Dental Office Today
Do you want to restore the gaps in your smile with dental implants? Call 910-469-4592 or request a dental consultation with our team online. We are ready to help you restore your smile today!