Dental ImplantsIf you have a missing tooth, you may have searched for “dental implants Charlotte NC.” A dental implant is usually a solution to a lost or missing tooth.
Today’s implants look like a regular tooth. In fact, it is the closest thing to having your real, natural tooth back. Instead of a partial denture that might shift, the implant stays in place.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are made from biocompatible titanium, and they integrate into your jaw bone like the root of your original tooth. A dentist places a post or abutment inside the implant and then attaches a crown.
While there are a few different types of implants, the basic structure is something like this:
- The implant post that your dentist fuses to the jawbone. This is where the stability associated with implants comes from.
- An abutment is placed at the top of the implant post. Its purpose is to hold together the implant and the crown.
- A crown that looks like a natural tooth is attached via the abutment.
The completed implant functions like a normal tooth and looks like one too. You resume your normal dental hygiene program by brushing your teeth and flossing around the implant. When well cared for, an implant is durable and long-lasting.
People enjoy implants for their attractive appearance and the ability to return to normal function.
Benefits of Dental Implants
A well-placed implant helps support dental appliances like bridges, crowns, and partial and full dentures. It also helps prevent the bone loss that occurs when a tooth is missing. An implant serves as a substitute for the root of the tooth.
Benefits of dental implants include:
- An increased ability to bite down and chew food properly.
- Get rid of the hassle of dealing with dentures or missing teeth.
- Stop bone loss that happens when a tooth is missing.
- Have a secure structure to support crowns, bridges, and dentures.
- Help maintain a more youthful face as bone loss can result in a “sunken” or hollowed look and face sagging.
- Implants are durable and, with proper care, could last a lifetime.
- Improve speech as sometimes missing teeth can negatively impact speech.
- Improve your confidence in your appearance and your smile.
- Prevent future dental problems that could result from a missing tooth.
As mentioned, replacing a missing tooth can prevent future dental issues. The teeth may continue to shift when a tooth is missing, resulting in overcrowding of teeth, larger gaps forming, and other misalignments. The missing tooth may also increase the risk of tooth decay, receding gums, and gum disease.
What to Expect During an Implant Procedure
Your first step towards receiving dental implants is to schedule an examination and consultation. Your dentist will assess whether implants are appropriate for you. They may look at the health of your gums and surrounding teeth.
Sometimes you may need additional treatment before you are ready to receive an implant. For example, if you have gum disease that first needs to be resolved, you might need a bone graft if you have experienced significant bone loss already. Every mouth is unique, so the process must always start with an exam and/or consultation.
People sometimes ask whether getting an implant is painful. Your dentist will apply an anesthetic to numb the area.
The dentist then precisely cuts a tiny hole in the gums and carefully drills a hole to place the implant post. Once the implant posts are in place, you will have to heal for at least 3 months. After healing, the dentist then places the crown, which will look and feel much like a natural tooth.
Afterward, you may need a few days to weeks to fully heal. During that period, follow your dentist's advice for the smoothest process. You may need to avoid chewy or hard foods while your gums heal. Once they are healed, you may resume your normal diet.
Schedule a Consultation
The team at Southview Dentistry proudly serves Charlotte-area residents. We love transforming our patient’s smiles and restoring good oral health.
If you need implants or a new dentist, contact us today to schedule your appointment.