If you are missing teeth, you may be a candidate for dental implants. Dr. Stephen Coker provides implants to restore the health and function of your bite and return a beautiful, complete smile to your face. We invite you to call Parkway Dental at 919-380-9622 to learn more about the benefits of implant dentistry in Cary, North Carolina, and schedule your consultation with our experienced dentist.
- Bone Grafting
- MDI – Mini Dental Implants
- Single-Tooth Dental Implants
- Multiple Tooth Dental Implants
- All-Teeth Dental Implants
A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root that is surgically placed into the jawbone. One or more missing teeth can be replaced by attaching a crown, a fixed bridge, or a full set of dentures on top of the implants. The implant material, which is typically pure titanium, is extremely biocompatible and the bone treats the implant just as if it was made out of bone. The bone cells attach themselves to the implant in a process called osseointegration. After an initial healing period, during which the implant(s) is left undisturbed underneath the gum tissue, it is uncovered and connected to a small post that serves as the foundation for the tooth or teeth that the implant will be supporting.
Implants are permanent restorations, and are fixed in your mouth to provide you with stable replacements for your missing teeth. Implants may be used to replace teeth in single-tooth spaces, groups of two or more missing teeth, or where the teeth are completely missing in one or both jaws. Once placed, the implants are used to support individual crowns, or bridges that are attached to the implants. Implants may also be used to help retain removable dentures more securely.
Candidates for Implants
Most patients who are healthy with no restrictions for undergoing minor dental surgical procedures and who also have good oral hygiene are good candidates for dental implants. Your dentist will assess the potential implant site to determine whether there is sufficient bone volume and gum thickness to allow placement of an implant. We begin by providing a clinical examination that will involve inspection, palpation, and gentle probing of the potential implant site and adjacent teeth. In straightforward cases, simple dental x-rays are usually sufficient to examine the bone.
After the Surgery
In most situations, a healing period of between 3 to 6 months is required before teeth can be attached to the implants. A temporary appliance can usually be made to provide function and aesthetics during this period. After initial implant placement, regular follow-up visits are required to ensure that healing is progressing as we would like. After the teeth are attached to the implants, regular check-ups are needed every 6 to 12 months. At these check-up appointments, the implants are inspected and examined to ensure that the supporting gum and bone remains healthy. X-rays are taken to examine the bone structure around the implant.
Following your surgery, you should avoid smoking or other forms of tobacco use. Smoking affects the healing of bone and soft tissue by reducing the nutrients and minerals in the tissues as well as reducing the blood supply. This means that smoking is one of the biggest risk factors in failure of dental implants. Recent studies estimate that the chances of failure increase by two to three-fold in a smoker.
Home Care for Dental Implants
For the implant to function well and to remain healthy, proper oral hygiene must be performed at home on a daily basis. Special cleaning aids (brushes, and floss) are widely available. We will provide instructions on the proper use of these cleaning aids. It is important to note that no metal scrapers should ever come in contact with the implants because metal scalers can scratch the surface
of the implants.
For more information about implant dentistry, contact our office today.