Dentist showing anatomy of dental implant

Bridging the Gap: The Complete Guide to Dental Implants

Helping pursue a radiant smile and restoring confidence, dental implants are a beacon of innovation in modern dentistry. For those grappling with the challenges of missing teeth due to injury, decay, or other dental issues, dental implants open a gateway to transformation. 

Dental implants are more than just replacements for missing teeth; they are the key to regaining not only the aesthetics of a complete smile but also the functionality and oral health that may have been compromised. Let’s take a moment to explore the what, why, and how of dental implants.

Understanding the Basics

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots surgically implanted into the jawbone to support replacement teeth. Unlike traditional dentures or bridges, dental implants provide a stable foundation for crowns or dentures, mimicking the look and function of natural teeth.

Types of Dental Implants

There are two primary types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are placed directly into the jawbone, while subperiosteal implants rest on top of the jawbone but underneath the gum tissue. The choice between these types depends on factors such as bone density and individual patient needs.

The Dental Implant Process

At dental practices like Contour Dentistry in Cornelius, NC, the journey toward dental implants is straightforward:

1. Initial Consultation and Assessment

Your journey with dental implants begins with a thorough examination and consultation at Contour Dentistry. Our experienced team will evaluate your oral health, discuss your medical history, and determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.

2. Treatment Planning

Following the assessment, our skilled dentists will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This plan includes details about the number of implants required, the type of restoration (crown, bridge, or denture), and the overall timeline of the procedure.

3. Implant Placement

The implant placement is a surgical procedure where the titanium implant is strategically positioned in the jawbone. While this might sound painful, rest assured that the procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, ensuring a pain-free experience.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Natural Appearance and Functionality — Dental implants closely resemble natural teeth, both in appearance and functionality. The secure integration with the jawbone ensures stability, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.

Improved Oral Health — Unlike traditional bridges that may require the alteration of adjacent teeth, dental implants preserve surrounding natural teeth. This preservation contributes to better long-term oral health.

Longevity and Durability — With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime. Their durability makes them a cost-effective and reliable solution for tooth replacement.

Post-Procedure Care and Maintenance

Ensuring successful treatment with dental implants requires post-procedure care as well as permanent restoration.

1. Healing Period — Following implant placement, a healing period is crucial to allow the implants to fuse with the jawbone — a process known as osseointegration. During this time, patients are provided with temporary restorations to maintain functionality and aesthetics.

2. Placement of Permanent Restoration — Once the healing period is complete, the final step involves attaching the permanent restoration — whether it be a crown, bridge, or denture — onto the implanted roots. This step ensures a seamless and natural-looking smile.

Common Concerns and Misconceptions

There are many concerns and myths concerning dental implants. Let’s address and clear up a couple big ones:

Pain and Discomfort: Many patients worry about pain associated with dental implant surgery. Rest assured, the procedure is typically comfortable and well-tolerated, and any post-operative discomfort is manageable with prescribed medications.

Affordability: While dental implants may seem costlier upfront compared to other tooth replacement options, their longevity and the associated oral health benefits make them a wise investment in the long run.

Contact your Cornelius, NC Dentist!

Dental implants at Contour Dentistry in Cornelius offer a transformative solution for individuals seeking a permanent and natural-looking tooth replacement. From the initial consultation to the placement of the permanent restoration, our team is committed to guiding you through every step of the process. Bridging the gap between a missing tooth and a confident smile has never been more achievable. 

If you're considering dental implants, schedule a consultation with Contour Dentistry today to embark on your journey toward a restored and radiant smile. Remember, your smile is an investment in your overall well-being, and dental implants can be the bridge to a brighter, more confident future.