If you are missing teeth, you can find the best means of support for restorations with dental implants. We can restore dental implants at our Charleston, SC, practice with custom dentures, crowns, and bridges so that you can once again enjoy a complete, balanced, and beautiful smile. Skilled doctor John F. Rink uses dental implants (titanium posts that are surgically implanted in the jaw bone) to replace tooth roots, and can provide you with a lifetime of outstanding support while preserving the bone mass of your jaw. If you would like to reclaim the full functionality and natural feel of your smile, contact our Charleston practice to find out whether dental implants are right for you.
Dental implants provide a wealth of benefits, especially for denture wearers. Conventional dentures rest on the gums, secured with a mild adhesive, but still prone to slipping while eating or speaking. Implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, remain firmly in place through all everyday functions. Though still removable, implant-supported dentures are secured with an ultra-steady ball-and-socket connection. Dental bridges traditionally require the alteration of two adjacent teeth so that they can accommodate dental crowns that will hold the bridge in place. A dental implant can provide bridge support that is more secure, and requires no alteration to adjacent teeth, when compared to a traditional prosthetic.
Meanwhile, dental implants actually help to prevent your jaw from losing bone mass, which is the body's natural response to the absence of tooth roots. Your body perceives dental implants as natural tooth roots, and will therefore halt this degradation. In short, dental implants are the best existing alternative to your natural tooth roots.
Dental implants require two surgeries. During the first surgery, a local anesthetic is applied before a small incision is made in the gums, exposing the jaw bone. A pilot hole is drilled into the bone, and the threaded dental implant is inserted. Next, the gum is stitched closed over the implant. Over the next three to six months, the implant and bone will become fused in a process called osseointegration. Once this process is complete, you will return for a second surgery. Once again, your surgeon will administer a local anesthetic before placing a small incision in the gums to expose the implant. A special abutment is placed on the implant, which will serve as the connection point to your restoration. The gums are stitched closed around the abutment to facilitate proper healing. Once the gums have healed, we will schedule an appointment to begin creating your custom implant-supported crown, bridge, or set of dentures. The timeline for dental implants varies from patient to patient.
Anyone interested in dental implants should have adequate bone mass in their jaw. If you have been missing a tooth for a long period of time, you may need a bone graft in order to properly accommodate an implant. Because the ability of your bones to heal is crucial to this procedure, non-smokers make the best candidates. Smokers should refrain from smoking for a period to ensure proper healing.
A consultation with Dr. Rink at our Charleston cosmetic dentistry practice is the best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. The procedure is often an integral part of a full mouth reconstruction plan. He can review your medical history, explain the factors that affect the cost of dental implants treatment, and discuss your goals to help determine if the procedure is right for you.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants, contact our Charleston cosmetic dentistry practice serving Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach today.