REAL People. REAL Smiles.
Dental implants give patients a way to replace missing teeth with a virtually indistinguishable restoration. The surgical procedure for dental implants includes a titanium base for a secure and permanent connection to the jawbone followed by the placement of an artificial tooth.
Dental implants function like natural teeth to allow you to enjoy everyday life seamlessly. You can eat, talk, and socialize with comfort and confidence. Atlanta Smiles offer excellent care throughout the implant process to prioritize both your oral health and cosmetic goals.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant permanently replaces a missing tooth to improve your oral health, appearance, and quality of life. Unlike dentures, which are artificial teeth attached to a removable plate, implants surgically attach to the jawbone to provide a fixed solution.
Dental implants can stand-alone or in conjunction with a bridge to replace multiple missing teeth adjacent to each other. When part of a bridge support, the dentist places the implant on either end of the bridge area to anchor the bridge in place. The bridge serves as a noninvasive way to fill in the remaining missing teeth.
What Causes Missing Teeth?
Patients of all ages suffer from missing teeth for a variety of reasons. Once the jaw bone reaches maturity, a dental implant becomes a solution for many patients.
Reasons for Tooth Loss:
- Periodontal disease
- Aging that leads to general wear and tear
- Tooth decay
- Oral injuries or extractions
- Genetic conditions
What Are the Consequences of Tooth Loss?
A missing tooth or teeth can lead to a lack of confidence in one’s smile. However, it can also cause other unwanted issues related to oral health, overall wellness, and speech.
Structural loss: Losing a tooth can change your physical appearance in a drastic way. A lost tooth in the front of the mouth noticeably changes the smile. If several of the front teeth are missing, the lips lose their support and sag inward. The molars support the height of the face. Losing molars can lead to bite collapse and push the front teeth forward.
Changed Emotional State: When a person loses a tooth, it often damages their self-esteem, causing them to hide their teeth and smile. This makes it challenging to engage confidently in social, school, or work situations. Some patients even become withdrawn from others and express depression-like symptoms.
Oral Health: Losing a tooth can compromise oral health. Teeth rely on their adjacent counterparts for support and can become weaker from the loss of surrounding teeth. Also, losing a tooth can lead to bone loss in the jaw over time. Dental implants stimulate the bone, causing it to stay healthy longer.
What Are the Types of Dental Implants?
At Atlanta Smiles, we offer two types of dental implants based on your specific treatment plan. In addition, we walk each patient through their options for tooth replacement to help you restore oral health and meet your cosmetic goals.
Endosteal implants offer a more stable and longer-lasting solution. The procedure includes surgical placement of the implant into the jaw bone throughout two surgical procedures.
The first surgery places the implant and a second one attaches a post to the implant. We then place a crown. If multiple teeth are missing, two implants can anchor a bridge to restore the missing teeth.
Subperiosteal implants are less invasive than endosteal implants. The procedure includes surgical placement of a metal frame on the jawbone beneath the gum line.
Once the gums heal, we fuse the frame to the jawbone. We then attached crowns to the exposed posts. Subperiosteal implants can also support bridges when replacing multiple teeth.
What is the Procedure for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are more complex than some other dental procedures. However, they offer solid and lasting results to restore missing teeth. Depending on the type of implant, the process varies.
Step 1: Consultation
We start each dental implant request with a consultation to help you make an informed decision to match your cosmetic, oral health, and budget goals. Then, we evaluate your mouth and health and create a customized treatment plan. We also schedule your surgical appointments.
Step 2: Prepare the Jaw
The dentist drills a small hole to prepare the site for the titanium fixture to set the implant. Proper placement that avoids damage requires expert skill. Our Atlanta Smiles dentists have the skill needed back by proven results.
Step 3: Implant Placement
After drilling the pilot hole, the dentist slowly widens the hole to create room for the implant screw. The placement site needs time to heal before we attach the permanent abutment or crown. The dentist may place a temporary abutment during this step. Again, it can take several months for the site to heal.
Step 4: Permanent Crown Placement
There is an option of wearing an intermediate partial (flipper) during healing phase which is typically 4 months. After proper healing, the dentist attaches the permanent crown to the implant.
Dental implants are a surgical procedure. Patients may experience swelling of the gums and face, minor bleeding, bruising, and discomfort. The dentist may recommend over-the-counter pain medication or prescription pain medication.
For the first week to 10 days after the procedure, the patient should avoid hard food and stick with a soft food diet. The complete recovery process can take up to six months. At Atlanta Smiles, we monitor your progress to ensure the implant heals properly.
Dental implants are a highly successful dental procedure when cared for properly. The implant can last a lifetime, and the crown can last for over a decade.
To achieve longevity from your implants, practice good oral health. This includes daily brushing and flossing. In addition, you should schedule regular dental checkups to promote your oral health and practice good preventative care. Catching more minor problems before they become more significant is the key to maintaining the integrity of your implants.
Also, avoid chewing on anything hard that could break your crown. Avoid tobacco products because they weaken the jaw bone and compromise the state of your implants.
A dental implant provides a permanent solution for a missing tooth and offers many benefits compared to dentures.
- Cosmetic and aesthetic enhancement
- Clarity of speech
- Easier eating
- Increased confidence
- Improved oral health
- Convenience of care
- Comfortable fit
Trusted Dental Solutions from Atlanta Smiles
Atlanta Smiles offers skilled and compassionate dental care and restoration for patients throughout the Atlanta area. For over 20 years, we’ve provided reliable and quality dental treatments, including dental implants.
To learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation with Atlanta Smiles.