At Oak Grove Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide modern dentistry solutions to address complex dental concerns such as missing teeth. Our office is a proud provider of dental implants in Durham, NC, the premier tooth replacement option. Dr. Erika Graham is your local restorative dentist.
Our office will coordinate your treatment with local implant specialists and can restore your dental implant in-office.
If you are missing teeth, Dr. Graham can help you review your tooth replacement options and determine if dental implants are an option for you. Patients love dental implants because they offer long-term benefits that will not be found in other restorative options. Learn more about the benefits of dental implants below.
Dental Implants in Durham, NC
Dental implants are considered the premier tooth replacement option. This is because they replace the look, feel, and function of your natural tooth. To do this, dental implants require a surgical procedure in which a titanium post is inserted beneath your soft tissues.
During a process called osseointegration the post fuses with the jaw bone. The healing time following the procedure is anywhere from 6 and 9 months; however, once fully healed, this post is what will give your restoration tooth-root functionality. The post also reduces the risk of jaw bone deterioration.
Once fully healed, an abutment will be attached to the healed post. After the abutment placement has healed as well, a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture will be placed on top and your dental implant will be complete.
While the healing time for dental implants is longer than other restorative options like traditional dental bridges, the multiple components of your implant are what will provide long-term benefits. Some of the benefits of replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant include:
- Natural-looking, long-lasting results
- Improved smile aesthetics & self-esteem
- No dietary restrictions
- No oral hygiene hazards
- Bite correction
- Prevents sagging cheeks and jawbone deterioration
Patients must be determined to be a candidate for dental implants before the procedure can begin. The ideal candidates for dental implants are patients with missing, broken, or severely decayed teeth who are in relatively good oral and overall health.
Your dentist will need to identify whether you have adequate bone support and healthy gums that will support the new tooth structure before offering this treatment plan. If not bone grafting may be completed prior to the implant post being inserted to ensure you have sufficient bone tissue for the implant to fuse with.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Missing teeth cause more than just cosmetic concerns. Left untreated, a missing tooth could lead to the development of a TMJ disorder because of the added strain it places on your remaining dental structures.
Additionally, patients with missing teeth are likely to experience teeth shifting, which can completely undo many years of orthodontic work that you may have done in the past. The longer a missing toot is left untreated, the more time surrounding teeth have to shift and fill the gap.
Missing teeth also create gaps in your smile where bacteria and food residue can hide behind, increasing your risk for gum disease and tooth decay development. We recommend seeking out your tooth replacement options as soon as you can to prevent any long-term associated dental concerns.
Do you have further questions about implant dentistry. Continue reading to learn more about our implant services and find answers to questions commonly asked in our office.
Does insurance cover a dental implant procedure?
It depends on the specific dental insurance plan. Most plans cover some or all of the costs for traditional tooth replacement options, such as bridges and dentures, but may not cover the cost of a dental implant. We strongly advise you to check with your dental insurance provider to see what coverage you have for dental implants or other treatments.
How painful is getting a dental implant?
The placement of a dental implant is generally not painful. Most patients report feeling pressure during the procedure but no pain. This is because your oral surgeon uses local anesthesia, and often sedation, to ensure your comfort throughout the process. After the placement of your dental implant, you may experience some minor soreness and swelling in the area that should go away after a few days. Over-the-counter pain medications may easily manage any discomfort.
How painful is a dental implant recovery?
You may experience discomfort after your dental implant placement procedure. Your dentist will provide you with a pain reliever to help reduce any pain or discomfort you are feeling, and they can also advise you on how best clean and maintain the placement of the dental implant.
How long do dental implants last?
When you properly maintain your oral health and wellness, you can expect your dental implant to last a lifetime. Proper care includes regular brushing, flossing, and routine checkups with your dentist. In addition, if you have any conditions like bruxism, which causes clenching and grinding of the teeth, be sure to ask your dentist for a mouth guard or oral appliance to alleviate tension and protect the natural teeth and dental restorations. You can enjoy dental implants for many years with proper care and maintenance!
Do dentists put patients to sleep for a dental implant procedure?
The use of anesthesia and sedation is common for patients undergoing the dental implant procedure who want to ensure a comfortable treatment from start to finish. A dental provider may suggest sedation if you have any dental anxiety or will be spending significant time in the dentist’s chair. This includes nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.
Do dental implants stain?
No, dental implants generally do not stain. The titanium metal used for implants does not absorb liquids or other materials, which often causes discoloration. The porcelain restorations used over the abutment of the dental implant are not a porous material that holds stains, either, but may be susceptible to breakage.
Schedule A Dental Implant Consultation Today!
We invite you to experience the difference that our personalized approach can make in the care of your smile. To learn more about your tooth replacement options or to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Erika Graham online. Our entire team at Oak Grove Family & Cosmetic Dentistry looks forward to seeing you soon.