Dental Implants in Lexington, SC
Missing, broken, or decaying teeth can be painful and embarrassing for many reasons. If you are missing a tooth, it often negatively affects your smile and confidence. In the past, people relied on dentures, bridges, or unnatural-looking fake teeth. Fortunately, at our office, this is no longer the case. Today, dental implants look as real as your natural teeth and can completely restore your smile and confidence.
What is Implant Dentistry?
Implant dentistry refers to the placement of a titanium tooth root, a metal abutment, and a ceramic tooth crown that serves to replace a damaged or missing tooth structure. The prosthetic implant crown is intricately crafted to look, feel, and function like a real tooth, even matching the existing teeth perfectly in color, shape, and size. Implants are considered the ideal tooth replacement option because they are “a one-tooth solution to a one-tooth problem” – the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth are not affected, as with a three-unit bridge in which the adjacent teeth must be prepped down to house the prosthesis. Your jawbone will fuse to the implant body and provide a strong, predictable restoration that can last your entire lifetime. Lexington, SC implant dentistry is performed by both of our dentists at Northwood Dental Associates.
Who Needs this Procedure?
If you are considering replacing a tooth, we will first help you determine if you are a candidate for implant dentistry. Consulting with Dr. Eddie Rogers will help you to understand the implant process and decide if it is the right procedure for you. We will conduct a full examination- during which we will check your jaw, gum line, and tooth area to see if you have the foundation and oral health to support this procedure. We will also take a 3D Cone Beam CT Scan of your jaw so we know with complete confidence that you have a good foundation of bone in which to place the implant.
Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of replacement solutions including:
- Single Tooth Replacement
- Multiple Tooth Replacement
- Retention of Partial or Complete Dentures
What If I Don’t Have Enough Bone?
If our 3D Cone Bean CT Scan reveals that you do not have enough bone to place an implant with predictability, it does not necessarily mean that an implant is out of the question. We may refer you to a specialist for a consult regarding a sinus lift or a block bone graft. These surgical procedures can produce miraculous results – so much so that there is rarely a case that cannot eventually support an implant.
What is a Socket Preservation?
If we extract your tooth at Northwood Dental, Dr. Rodgers will do a socket bone graft immediately after the tooth is removed. This day-of “socket preservation” ensures that we will have a sufficient foundation of bone to support your implant. It is also nice because you never have an empty “hole” in your mouth where the tooth used to be. The extraction site will instead be filled completely with particulate bone material and covered by a protective membrane. This socket preservation bone graft will be allowed to heal for approximately 4 months prior to the placement of the implant body.
A tooth replacement of this kind of begins with the placement of a biocompatible, titanium prosthetic tooth root. This prosthetic root, or “implant”, is inserted into your jawbone. Over time, the implant fuses with the bone through a process called “osseointegration”.
When the bone and implant are completely fused, a small piece is placed on top of the implant called an “abutment”. The abutment is the attachment site for the crown. Once the crown has been crafted and customized to match and complement your smile, it is attached securely to the abutment to complete the procedure. Your implant will both look and function just like the natural tooth in which it replaced.
The Procedural Steps for a Single Tooth Implant
After the initial consultation and preparation exams with our team, we will start to prepare and design your implant treatment. Every patient’s case is different and your plan will be fully customized to meet your needs.
- First the area will be numbed – a local anesthetic will be applied to alleviate any minor discomfort.
- The process of installing the titanium tooth root will then begin; the tooth root is placed inside the bone where the missing tooth was located.
- Next, approximately five months are required to allow your implant and bone to fuse together and become stable enough to support chewing forces.
- After the implant has fused with the bone and healing is complete, the site is numbed, the implant cover screw is uncovered and a healing collar is placed on top of your implant to allow the formation of the ideal gum shape.
- You will return in two weeks for the final impressions for your implant crown and we will send it to the lab to be made.
- Once the crown is created to fit perfectly in place and match your existing teeth in shape, size, and shade, you will be asked to give the final approval. If you are pleased with everything, we will proceed with the placement.
- A small metal abutment screws into the implant body and sticks out of your gums. The crown is then placed onto this abutment and cemented to place.
- We will check our bite to ensure it blends in and your chewing feels normal.
- The procedure is now complete and you can enjoy eating and smiling with a fully restored dentition!
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. When teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth causing gums to swell and jaw bones to recede. Bone recession will weaken the implants and eventually make it necessary for them to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentist at least every six months to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care!
Benefits of Dental Implants
The benefits of repairing your damaged, decaying or missing teeth with implants are plentiful.
- Long Term Results – with implants you will receive long lasting results and improved oral health. With regular home care and professional dental cleanings, your implants should last a lifetime.
- Eating/Talking – with other tooth replacement options, such as dentures, you may slur your speech or have trouble eating comfortably. Dental implants work like real teeth so you can chew and speak normally.
- Beautiful Smile – with this procedure you will be able to keep the natural shape of your face. Implants help retain your jawbone and without them, once a tooth is removed, the bone will gradually go away. With implants your smile will look natural and healthy.
MONDAY to THURSDAY
from 8AM until 5PM
closed for lunch from 1pm to 2pm
I would definitely recommend Northwood Dental. They are all very accommodating and genuinely kind people to work with. They each have a high standard of work ethic and it truly shows.
I have been going to Northwood Dental since I retired from the Army in 2007. Their staff have been caring and professional with all of my dental needs. I would highly recommend their services to anyone in the Midlands!
Fabulous dental group! Each and every person at Northwood makes the visit a happy time. They feel like family. I am so glad I found them all!
I highly recommend Northwood Dental Associates. Their commitment to serving its patients is excellent. Thanks for being my dental provider.