There was a time not too long ago where dental patients missing one or more teeth had a limited number of options to choose from. In most cases, the only available solutions were dentures, partials, or bridges. Then the modern dental implant was invented, and flipped the script when it comes to giving patients a safe, efficient, and long-lasting way to restore their natural smile!
If you’ve been hiding your own smile, avoiding some of your favorite foods, or struggling with speech difficulties due to missing teeth, Germantown Dental Group can help! Our dental implants are designed and placed for the most accurate fit possible, giving you a natural smile that feels good and looks great. We can enhance the appearance of your mouth, make it easier for you to eat what you want, and even improve your speech. Want to know more? Keep reading below!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants look a bit like a common screw, and are the standard of care for replacing a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, a floppy denture, or an entire upper or lower arch. The implant is crafted from titanium alloy, which is naturally accepted by the body, then placed in the area of your missing tooth, where it will fuse with the natural bone. This will help preserve the bone you already have, while stimulating new bone growth to replace what you’ve lost.
After the implant has fused with the bone, a small connector called an abutment is attached to it to hold the new tooth in place. We will use digital scanned impressions of your teeth to create a model of your mouth, then fabricate a crown that has been customized to match your natural tooth color. This is placed on top of your implant, giving you a final result that looks and functions just like a real tooth!
What does a dental implant procedure involve?
The dental implant process is usually conducted in three separate phases: the initial placement, impression, and delivery of the final tooth abutment and crown. Every case is different and each patient responds to treatment in their own way, so the total length implant process can range from 3 months to 9 months. This may seem like a long time, but the overall success of dental implants actually depends on giving your body adequate time to heal and accept the implant before moving on to the next phase.
Phase 1- Implant planning and records
Once you decide you’re interested in dental implant treatment, we’ll examine the bone structure around the missing tooth or teeth by doing a 3D scan of your jaws. If the tooth is only partially missing, the remaining tooth structure will be removed at the time of the procedure. The proper bone height, width, and density is necessary to properly place an implant in the best location. That means that grafting may be required prior to placing the implant if adequate bone doesn’t already exist.
If grafting is needed, we will need to wait a few months for the area to heal before moving on to the second phase. If bone grafting is not required, Phase Two could be initiated within the same session.
Phase 2- Implant placement
During this stage of the treatment process, the Dental implant will be inserted into the predetermined location based on the previous scan. This procedure usually lasts around 1-2 hours, and you’ll need to let the area heal for a few months. You’ll have regular check-ups with us during this period.
Phase 3- Implant restoration
In this final phase, one of our doctors will place a natural-looking dental crown or a sturdy fixed bridge to the abutment or the implant posts. If you need a full arch replacement or your denture replaced, then the entire restoration will be attached to the implants. Whatever your specific situation, dental implants are the closest you can get to restoring the functionality and appearance of natural teeth!
What are the benefits of dental implants?
In their capacity to function like a natural tooth, dental implants can offer many advantages over the alternatives. These include:
One of the biggest benefits of implants is that you’ll be able to eat anything you want with a confident smile! You won’t have to worry about food getting under your partials, or your dentures moving around as you try to finish your meal. Having all your back teeth in place allows for the proper chewing and mastication of your food, taking the stress off your front teeth and keeping them from wearing down prematurely.
Patients who maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine can expect their implants to last for many years.
High rate of success
Dental implants are successful in about 95-98% of cases.
Because dental implants are designed to look and feel like a natural tooth, many people never even know the difference. Crowns can also be made to match the appearance of your own natural teeth.
Improved oral and digestive health
Dental implants integrate into the jawbone seamlessly, so they do not increase your risk for tooth decay or sensitivity like dental bridges sometimes can. Being able to chew your food properly with all your teeth also leads to better digestion overall and fewer digestive complications.
Improved jawbone strength
Since implants don’t rely on support from the adjacent teeth, they help to keep your jawbone strong. No bone loss of the jawbone will occur, either, because it’s needed to support the implant.
What is recovery like following a dental implant procedure?
There may be some slight discomfort and inflammation for a few days after each phase of the dental implant process. Applying ice packs can help reduce any residual swelling along with any medication we have prescribed for you. We recommend a few weeks of soft food to minimize the chewing function after the procedure has been completed.
Caring for dental implants
It’s important to care for your dental implants in the same way you would your natural teeth. We recommend brushing twice a day, for at least two minutes each time, and flossing every night before bed. Having a good oral hygiene routine will help ensure the longevity of your implants, so be sure to follow our guidelines and come in for regular cleanings every six months!
Restore your natural smile with Germantown Dental Group
If you have missing teeth or are experiencing issues with smiling or eating, don’t miss out for another minute! Dental implants can be an ideal permanent solution for missing or partially missing teeth. Once you’ve completed the process, they really are no different from your own teeth in terms when it comes to how they look and function. Implants also help to keep the bone and gum tissue healthy and strong, giving you many years of beautiful, confident smiles!
If you’re in Germantown, Memphis, or the Mid-South and want to learn more about how dental implants can improve your oral health and quality of life, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our expert team would love to meet you and work with you towards a smile you want to share with the world!