Your Albany, GA. Dental Implants Dentists
Missing teeth can affect the way a person eats, speaks, and looks. They can also compromise a person’s overall oral health, resulting in increased pressure on surrounding teeth and allowing the supporting bone structure to deteriorate. Additionally, many people find that traditional crowns and bridges not only are uncomfortable and limiting, but also do not provide the permanent function they desire from replacement teeth. Dr. Clark performs dental implant surgery right here at Longleaf Dental. With dental implant surgery, patients can achieve functional tooth restorations that last.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
Implants and dentures
The loss of all your teeth can be a crippling situation. Traditionally, removable dentures have been placed. However, most people with dentures are unhappy with them. Removable dentures move around when you eat, they can interfere with your speech, and they can come out at the wrong times. They can pinch or rub your gums and cause very uncomfortable sore spots. But the worst problem they cause is collapse of the face. Once all your teeth are gone, your body senses that loss and redistributes the minerals from your jawbones to other parts of your body. This gradual shrinking of your jawbone, over enough of a span of years, will make you a dental cripple.
Dental implants can restore your mouth to normal function. There are two basic options for dental implants in this situation: You can have a number of implants placed and fixed crown and bridge work on the implants or, you can have a complete denture placed over the implants. Anywhere from two implants on up, depending on your budget, can be placed. Drs. Singleton and Clark will work with you, whatever your budget is, to give you treatment that will help you function and protect your health for the long term.
Within this last option, you could have an implant overdenture. This option is preferable because it is the same cost but is more secure and comfortable. There are also various hybrid and fixed-retrievable options you can choose Implant-retained overdenture.
A bridge requires that the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth are ground down and crowns placed on them.
Implants vs. Bridge (Replacing a single tooth)
When you’re missing a single tooth, the best permanent replacement is a dental implant placed in your jaw to replace the root, and a dental crown placed over it.
Traditionally, a single missing tooth has been replaced by a dental bridge. A bridge requires that the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth are ground down and crowns placed on them. A dental implant, however, not only acts and feels like your own tooth, but it does not require crowns on the adjacent teeth. Another option for replacing a missing tooth or teeth is a removable partial denture.
An explanation of the dental implant procedure:
1 Before the procedure
Expect a thorough examination. Drs. Singleton and Clark will take x-rays and examine them closely. They will also check your occlusion, periodontal health, and general health. There are a lot of factors to be considered in planning a dental implant.
2 Installing the dental implant
A titanium implant, chosen and sized to fit you and the space allowed, will be carefully and precisely placed in the space of the missing tooth. Getting this titanium post placed just right is critical to the success of this procedure.
3 Attaching the new crown
A dental crown, made out of porcelain and custom crafted to fit your mouth, your bite, and the exact color of your adjacent teeth, will be placed.
4 Allow healing to take place
With today’s technology, healing time is less than it used to be. Your dentist will determine the length of time to heal based on many individual factors.
5 Final result
With a dental implant from Drs. Singleton and Clark, you should expect the new tooth to look just like a natural tooth. The fit will be excellent, it will function just like a natural tooth, and it will be completely comfortable. Take care of it the same way you would a natural tooth, with brushing, flossing, and regular checkups, to keep the tooth and the gum tissue around it healthy.
Implants replacing several missing teeth
If you are missing a row of teeth, it can be a challenging situation. Traditionally, this has been restored with a removable partial denture that clips onto your remaining teeth.
However, you can have this restored to full function with dental implants. The end result is comfortable, feeling like your own teeth. It is also healthiest for your remaining teeth, since the clasps that attached to your teeth can promote tooth decay or mobility in those teeth. If there are only one or two teeth missing, a dental bridge is a possible option.
An explanation of the dental implant procedure:
1 Before the procedure
A dental bridge will not work in the situation where a row of three teeth are missing toward the back of the mouth. This is because there is no tooth toward the rear to anchor to. A removable partial denture could be made, but because of the leverage caused by the very heavy biting forces that occur in this situation, the teeth it would be anchored to would be weakened. This is a great situation for dental implants.
2 The first step-installing the implants
In one appointment, the implants are placed in the ridge. Typically, a healing period of several months has been required after their placement before any teeth are placed on them.
3 Attaching the teeth
In this situation where there is a row of three teeth that is being replaced, the teeth are attached together for ease of insertion. They are made in a laboratory, and are matched to the exact shading of your teeth, and are blended into your bite so that they function effectively and comfortably.
4 Final result
When your case is completed, you will feel as if you have your own teeth back. The result is attractive, functional, and comfortable.
After Dental Implant Surgery
Following dental implant surgery, patients should refrain from spitting, rinsing, and touching their mouth for at least a day to avoid aggravating the treated area. Patients may notice blood in their saliva for approximately 24 hours after surgery, but biting on gauze pads should relieve any bleeding. Swelling and pain can be treated with ice packs and over-the-counter pain relievers. A diet of soft foods and liquids is advised on the day of surgery, but patients may resume eating solid foods as soon as they feel comfortable doing so.
It is important to take any prescribed antibiotics to avoid infection in the surgical site. Additionally, patients should use the prescribed oral rinse twice daily, as well as warm saltwater rinses (one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) four to five times each day. Patients should have no trouble brushing their teeth gently with the new abutments in place. As with any surgery, physical activity should be limited immediately following the procedure. Partial or full dentures may be worn after 10 days of healing.
Learn More about Dental Implant Surgery
Dr. Singleton and Dr. Clark takes pride in helping patients achieve functional, comfortable replacement teeth. They will be happy to meet with you for a consultation on what wonderful results you can achieve with implant dentistry. Contact us today at Longleaf Dental to schedule an appointment. You can reach us at 229-432-6751. We look forward to helping you with all of your dental needs.