in Waxhaw and Weddington
If you have a missing tooth or have teeth that need to be removed, there's no need to worry. There are options available to restore your smile and ability to eat all the foods you enjoy. The premier tooth replacement option is a dental implant, as they provide the most realistic replacement to your natural teeth. You may have heard of the term "bridge," or "partial." A bridge is an option that requires your dentist to shave down the teeth next to the gap (or tooth to be removed); this is not ideal as it requires removal of healthy tooth structure on the nearby teeth. A "partial," or "partial denture" is a removable appliance that can replace a missing tooth. These have to be removed multiple times per day and you can often see a metal clasp that engages the nearby teeth for support.
One of the many benefits of dental implants is that they do not require adjustments to the teeth nearby. Also, they are not removable, meaning you don't have to take them out to clean them after meals or at night; they function like your natural teeth.
Every patient has a unique situation, so there isn't a "one size fits all" approach with implants. For example, if you've been without a tooth (or teeth) for a long time, your jaw bone may shrink in size, which is natural. In such cases, your jaw may require bone grafting. The purpose of bone grafting is to ensure your jaw has enough 'thickness' to support an implant. This is done on a case-by-case basis and is generally a simple procedure. See the 'Bone Grafting" section for more information. It's important to find an experienced professional when searching for dental implants.
How long do dental implants last?
The longevity of dental implants depends on many factors. Though implants cannot get cavities like natural teeth, they can get periodontal disease just like natural teeth can. So, dental implants need to be brushed and flossed just as you would your natural teeth. Additionally, smoking is among the major risk factors for implant failure. There are also factors that may be 'beyond your control' that can impact the lifespan of an implant, such as certain chronic illnesses.
Like any man-made prosthesis, such as a hip or shoulder replacement, dental implants may need replacement after many years. Some patients have implants that were placed decades ago. The longevity largely depends on the factors discussed above.
What should you expect at our Waxhaw dental implant center?
First, we want to assure you that your comfort is a priority at Providence Oral Surgery. At our Waxhaw office, we have many modalities to decrease your anxiety and provide you with a very comfortable experience.
On the day of your consultation, we will discuss your specific situation, look at X-rays, and explain the sequence of events that will lead to successful implant therapy. Depending on the area in your mouth where you need the dental implant, usually, but not always, if you have a tooth that needs to be removed, we will remove the tooth and place a bone graft. This graft will be left to heal from 2-6 months, depending on location and the quality of the surrounding bone that is present. You will then return after the bone graft is healed to have the implant placed. Particularly in the front of your mouth, if a tooth needs to be removed, we will often remove the tooth and place the implant (with a bone graft around it) all in one procedure.
Once the implant is placed, it needs time to 'integrate' into your jawbone. This time can range from 2-6 months, depending on several factors. While the implant is integrating, we can provide you with a temporary removable appliance that has a tooth to fill the gap.
After the implant has integrated, you will see your general dentist who will fabricate the crown (the white, toothlike portion) that sits on the implant.
What is the cost of a dental implant?
The cost of dental implants can vary, based on your insurance. Our financial coordinator will be happy to review your benefits with you and discuss financing options.
Our oral surgeon, Dr. Parelli, will discuss any questions you may have on the day of your consultation.