Missing teeth compromise the beauty and function of your smile. Not only do speaking and chewing become more difficult, but your self-confidence can suffer as well. Dental implants look and feel incredibly natural, making them an excellent way to replace missing teeth. In fact, they’re designed to replace the entire structure of missing teeth, unlike dentures or dental bridges that only replace the visible crowns. Dental implants are anchored directly into your jawbone just like your natural teeth, which gives them unmatched stability and comfort. If you’re ready to rebuild your complete smile, contact us today.
Dental implants are made up of three main components that all play a specific role in replacing your teeth. This includes the prosthetic root, the restoration that rebuilds your smile, and the abutment that provides stability to the restoration and attaches directly to the implant. Working in tandem, these components ensure you can eat your favorite foods without worrying about the restoration moving or becoming loose. In addition, your tooth feels more natural and provides long-term health benefits, both for your mouth and body. These reasons and more are why Dr. Pate and dentists all over the world recommend them over traditional methods.
While other restorations and tooth replacements may only take a couple of visits, getting dental implants is a much lengthier process that can take several months. Dr. Pate will carefully walk you through the entire process during your first consultation so that you aren’t surprised by a procedure later down the line. Once you’ve completed the last step, you’ll have a dazzling, strong new smile to enjoy. While certain patients might require additional steps, the implant process can typically be divided into four main stages, as listed below.
Before the process can even begin, we have to answer an important question: are you a good candidate for dental implants? Dr. Pate will check your mouth, review your oral history, take X-rays of your jawbone, and consider any preliminary procedures that might be necessary (such as tooth extractions and bone grafting) before making a recommendation on how to proceed. If we decide together that dental implant treatment is the right decision for you, we’ll move on to the planning phase and put together a timeline for implant surgery and restoration.
For this stage, we’ll refer you to a specialist who has years of experience surgically placing dental implants. This is all to ensure you get the best possible results; a true dental implant expert will be in a better position to avoid complications during the surgery and yield results that last for decades. The procedure is usually along the following lines:
The next step, osseointegration, isn’t something that takes place in the dental chair. Rather, it’s the name for the natural process by which bone grows around the dental implants and eventually fuse with them. Once osseointegration is successful, the implants are ready to support a restoration. As such, you’ll then need another surgery for small abutments to be placed on top of the posts. Impressions for the final restoration can be taken once the abutments are in place.
You’ll return to our office for this last step. Dr. Pate will handle the process of designing and placing your new implant crown, bridge, or denture. The restoration will be fully personalized so that it’s just the right size, shape, and color; that way, when it’s attached to the implant, other people will be unable to tell the difference between the prosthetic and your natural teeth. Last minute adjustments may be made before we anchor the prosthetic to your implants. Once the restoration or restorations are in place, you’ll be ready to use them to eat, speak, and smile.
Dental implants are in a class of their own and benefit your oral health in ways that bridges and dentures simply can’t. For example:
No matter how many teeth you’re missing, dental implants in Buckhead can be customized to fit your needs. During your consultation, we’ll make the best recommendation for your situation. If there’s more than one treatment option, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each and answer any questions to help you make the right choice.
Whether or not you can get dental implants depends largely on the strength and health of your jaw. There needs to be enough bone density to support the implant posts. Unfortunately, in many cases lost teeth will cause your jawbone to deteriorate; luckily, even if this happens, you might still be able to get implants if you get a bone graft.
Your overall oral health needs to be considered as well. For example, gum disease can eventually affect the jaw and therefore needs to be treated before the implant procedure can move forward. Diabetes will need to be controlled as well to ensure that you’ll heal properly after the surgery.
If you’re missing a single tooth, Dr. Pate can restore it with just one implant that’s attached to a dental crown with an adaptor called an abutment. The crown will be matched in shape, size, and color to your existing teeth and will be made of a strong, durable material such as porcelain. With the proper maintenance (regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits), your new tooth can last for decades.
If you have a row of consecutive missing teeth, 1-2 implants can be used on either side of the gap to support a prosthetic tooth in the middle, forming an implant bridge. Compared to traditional bridges, implant bridges have a stronger hold and provide better chewing power. They’re also easier to clean and can be expected to last much longer.
Dental implants are so versatile that they can even be used to support a denture. We can either create an entirely new denture for you, or in some cases, retrofit your current denture to fit onto implants. Implant dentures offer a number of unique benefits compared to traditional dentures, including better fit (without adhesive), greatly improved chewing ability, and an appliance that lasts much longer.
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, the dental implant procedure is considered to be the “crème de la crème” of available methods. However, before you undergo treatment, you need to feel secure about the process. At Dentistry in Buckhead, we place education first so each patient can feel comfortable about every aspect of the care he or she receives. As you continue reading, you’ll learn some key information about the dental implant process and the costs involved. Then, when you’re ready to take the next step, give us a buzz to request a visit with Dr. Pate to have your smile rejuvenated!
When considering dental implant insertion, take note that there are three main components: the placement of the implant, the abutment and the final restoration, all of which have their own unique costs. Because of this, we’ll itemize your care so you won’t have to guess about how your investment will be allocated.
We’ll also take into consideration the condition of your jawbone, which is critical to the implant seating properly. If the bone mass is too shallow, narrow or insufficient in some other manner, you may require a grafting procedure, which involves the removal of bone from another part of your body or an outside source that is added to the jawbone. This treatment is separate from the actual surgery performed to place the implant and therefore has its own fees associated with it.
Generally, dental insurance doesn’t cover the placement of dental implants. However, there may be coverage available for any restorative care needed or the addition of an implant-supported restoration.
If you’re more cost-sensitive, you don’t have to worry about bearing the burden up front. At Dentistry in Buckhead, we accept CareCredit, which is a form of low-to-no-interest financing that provides a way to receive the vital care you need in a timely fashion. If you decide to take this route, you’ll need to set up the financing before receiving care, so that once you arrive at our office, you won’t have any payment worries.
Getting dental implants in Buckhead is an entire process, and you should be aware of what’s going to happen so that you can plan appropriately. Dr. Pate will be happy to answer any questions you have during your initial consultation as well as later on. Here are just some of the things patients usually want to know before moving forward on the path to a healthier, stronger smile.
Even though dental implants are surgically placed in the jaw, the procedure actually causes very little discomfort. This is because anesthetic is applied; for particularly anxious patients or lengthy, complicated surgeries, we can also provide nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation to keep you relaxed and pain-free. There might be some swelling and discomfort afterwards, however. This usually lasts a few days, but the exact amount of time will depend on your body’s ability to heal itself.
While you’re recovering from the surgery, you’ll need to limit yourself to soft foods to avoid putting too much stress on your implant and the rest of your mouth. Good options include soup, yogurt, pureed vegetables and mashed potatoes. In most cases, you’ll be able to eat normally again after about three weeks.
Once your implants are successfully integrated with your jaw and have been topped with a permanent restoration, you’ll be able to chew with almost as much power as you could with your natural teeth. As a result, there will normally be very few if any limitations on what you can eat; you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite meals again!
The success rate of implants is anywhere from 95% to 98%, but there are cases where failure can occur, such as an infection around the implant site. However, as a dentist in Buckhead, Dr. Pate will take all of the various factors into account before deciding whether dental implants are viable in your case and what should be done about any potential problems.
If you notice that your implants feel loose in your mouth or notice the signs of an infection (such as swelling or a bad taste in the mouth), it means there could be a serious issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Call our office immediately!