The Cost Effective Way to Replace Missing Teeth in Raleigh, North Carolina
Whether you’ve lost a tooth to injury or decay, dental implants in Raleigh, North Carolina, are a permanent solution for tooth loss that replaces the whole tooth, from root to crown. Dental implant surgery can transform your smile’s look, overall health, feel, and function.
Valerie M. Preston, DDS, PA, at VP Dental in Raleigh, North Carolina, provides beautiful dental implants that blend seamlessly to match your natural teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are composed of artificial tooth roots made from titanium and artificial teeth made from porcelain or ceramic. The titanium rods are surgically inserted into the jaw as artificial roots and provide a permanent base for replacement teeth.
Compared to crowns, bridges, and dentures, dental implant procedures are a popular long-term solution for missing teeth or chronic dental problems such as periodontal disease.
Dental implants are the new standard in tooth replacement because they fit and function like natural teeth. They are easier to care for and better-looking than removable dentures, helping you feel like you have your teeth back again and making it easier to chew and speak.
How are dental implants placed?
Dr. Preston can help determine if you are a candidate for dental implants by reviewing your dental and medical history with you and examining your teeth. If she feels you are a good candidate for dental implants, you can begin the three-step process to place dental implants (read more here), which are:
- The implant or placement: A screw used as the artificial root for your new teeth permanently fuses to your jaw.
- The abutment: A connector that holds a tooth to the implant.
- The crown (prosthetic tooth): The artificial tooth is made of zirconium or porcelain for durability.
First, Dr. Preston will numb your mouth with local anesthesia or give an IV sedation, so there is no pain or discomfort. She then removes any damaged teeth and implants the titanium posts (artificial roots) into your jaw bone through an incision in your gums. Once planted, Dr. Preston closes the gums over the implant.
Now your mouth needs several weeks or months to heal completely. Over time, your jaw bone grows around the small posts, holding them in place. This bone growth bonding process is called osseointegration.
While your mouth heals, you may use a temporary crown to help eat and speak normally until the restoration process is complete. You will likely be sent home with pain medications to help with the discomfort.
When the implants have fully fused with the jawbone, an abutment is attached to the implant post. The abutment is the metal part that serves as a base for the crown. It connects to your jawbone, while the crown fits on the other end. The abutment rises slightly above the gum line to support the crown.
When Dr. Preston determines your jaw has healed, she’ll make a mold of your mouth. This mold is to custom-make your artificial teeth so that they match your existing teeth.
Finally, when your new teeth arrive, Dr. Preston places them securely onto the abutment. Once in place, your new teeth should instantly feel comfortable and natural. Dental implants can replace one single tooth, multiple teeth, or a complete upper and lower new teeth set (for more info read this).
How should I care for dental implants?
It would be best to care for your dental implants the way you care for your natural teeth. You’ll need to:
- Brush at least twice per day
- Floss at least once a day
- Avoid chewing hard, non-food objects like pen caps
- See your dentist twice per year for cleanings
- Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
- Avoid drinks that stain your teeth like coffee, tea, or red wine
What are the benefits of dental implants?
There are many benefits to choosing dental implants. The most obvious is the ability for greater enjoyment of life. Anyone missing teeth understands that they sacrifice confidence and the ability to smile and laugh without covering their mouth in shame. But benefits go beyond this:
- Improved speech and easier eating: With dentures, the teeth can slip and slide in the mouth, causing slurring. With dental implants, you speak and eat without worry.
- Comfort and convenience: No more embarrassment of removing dentures or the need for glues to keep them in place.
- Improved oral hygiene: Dental implants don’t require attachment to other teeth, and so, your original teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health.
- Prevents bone loss and protects remaining teeth: A natural tooth root provides stimulation to the bone surrounding it whenever you bite down or chew. If the tooth is gone, stimulation is lost, and bone recedes. By replacing your tooth root with an implant, stimulation is restored to your jawbone, halting further bone loss and preventing remaining teeth from moving out of position.
Suppose you feel that dental implants would significantly improve your life and smile. Please do not hesitate to visit VP Dental in Raleigh, North Carolina, your implant specialist.