What is Implant Dentistry?
Dental implants are long term tooth replacements that are surgically placed in the jawbone and act like a strong tooth root. They are composed of titanium metal that fuses with the jawbone and is accepted by the human body. Dental implants never slip or make embarrassing noises that advertise the fact that you have .false teeth,. and never decay like teeth anchoring fixed bridges. With Durham implant dentistry the implants fuse with the jawbone so bone loss is generally not a problem. In fact dental implants can help to preserve the bone after teeth are lost or extracted. They are also great choice if you do not want to touch the teeth next to the teeth being replaced by implants.
Dental implants can support a single crown, bridges, and partial or complete dentures, none of which will shift in your mouth, a very important benefit when eating and speaking. Keep in mind that a conventional denture is held in place by air pressure, like a suction cup. Studies show that even the best dentures are only about 20 to 25% as efficient as natural teeth. Even one or two dental implants can dramatically increase the stability of the complete denture. Research has shown that patients with implant stabilized lower dentures select better foods and have better general health and well-being than those with regular dentures. Research has also shown that people with implant stabilized lower dentures are more likely to go out to eat with friends or relatives so their quality of life improves dramatically. If properly cared for dental implants can last a lifetime.
Why might you need a dental implant?
The development and use of implants has been one of the greatest advances in dentistry in recent years. If you are one of the 69% of adults aged 35 and over who have lost at least one permanent tooth, or one of the 26% of adults who have lost all of their permanent teeth before the age of 74, dental implants may be the best treatment option for replacing those missing teeth to replicate the natural function and appearance of your lost teeth. When determining if you are a good candidate for implants your health is more of a factor than your age. Whether you are a young, middle-aged, or older adult; whether you need to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all your teeth, there is most likely a dental implant solution for you. In fact, dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health whose jawbone can support an implant and who have lost one or more teeth. Our doctors will conduct a thorough review of your medical history before beginning any treatment. They will also obtain three-dimensional imaging of your jaw structure to determine if you have adequate jaw structure, to aid in precise placement of implants relative to important anatomy, and to aid in the design of the crown, bridge, or denture, that will be supported by the implant(s).
You may want to consider dental implants if you:
- are self-conscious about having missing teeth
- are concerned about slipping or embarrassing clicking sounds while eating or speaking with your dentures.
- are unsatisfied with the appearance or fit of your partial denture(s)
- want to avoid having intact tooth structure removed to have a bridge placed
- to improve your smile and/or the shape of your face
- are concerned about teeth collapsing into spaces where other teeth have been removed
- Placement of the implant. Dr Lopez or Dr Cahill will surgically place the implant(s) into the jawbone. Dental implants are usually inserted into the bone in an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic with or without sedation to relieve any anxiety. There may be some swelling and/or tenderness after the surgery, so pain medication is usually prescribed to ease the discomfort. Your dentist in Durham may recommend a diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup during the healing process.
- The healing process. What makes an implant so strong is that the bone actually grows around it and holds it in place. This process is called osseointegration, meaning combines with the bone. Some patients might need to wait until the implant is completely integrated, up to several months, before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant. Other patients can have the implants and replacement teeth placed all in one visit.
- Placement of the prosthesis. (Artificial tooth or teeth). For a single tooth implant, the dentist custom makes a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. It is based on the size, shape, color and fit that will blend with your other teeth. Implant supported bridges or dentures are also made to fit your mouth and your implants. Once completed the man-made teeth are attached to the implant posts. The prosthesis usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge, or denture. This can help you eat and speak normally until a permanent replacement is ready.
Assuming conscientious oral hygiene, regular checkups, and appropriate dental care, the current success rate of leading dental implant systems can be greater than 99% in healthy patients after the healing phase and prosthetic restoration have been completed. Please also keep in mind that for various reasons including decay, gum disease, bone loss in areas where teeth are missing, and various other factors, bridges and removable dentures may need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years.
Why Choose Research Triangle Dental for you Implant Dentistry?
- Experience and Training – Two of our already highly experienced Durham Dentists, Dr Cahill and Dr Lopez, have each completed more than 200 hours of advanced implant training in 2011 alone, fulfilling the requirements for Fellowship in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI). They are really great guys too! Several of our wonderful dental assistants have raised the bar with advanced training certified by the ICOI, so you can rest assured that all the people providing your implant treatment are well prepared to take good care of you.
- Technology – We have the latest and greatest diagnostic aids, materials and equipment to ensure that you have the best chances of success with your implant(s). For example we are one of the few offices in the area with CT Scan 3D imaging capability, which we feel is essential to ensuring the most precise placement and restoration of your implants. Her
- Reduced Anxiety- No worries. We are certified by the North Carolina State Board of dental examiners to administer mild to moderate sedation. Lay back, relax, and before you know it, the treatment is done.
- Convenience – Whether you are having just one tooth replaced or all your teeth replaced, our doctors will surgically place the implants and restore your mouth with crowns, partials, or dentures, right back to the natural beauty and function that you remember. Your time is important, and that is precisely why we have expanded hours to accommodate your personal and business needs. We are happy to see you up to 7 PM on some evenings, and we are also open Saturdays. We’re smack dab next to Research Triangle Park, easily accessible from Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and (when the 540 opens up) Cary, Apex, and Holly Springs.
Cost of Dental Implant Treatment
The comparison of short and long-term costs and benefits is a crucial factor in your choice of how you have a single or multiple teeth replaced. Although dental implants are associated with a higher initial investment, in many cases they offer a more economical solution in the long term. The cost of tooth replacement with implants may also be affected by the state of your bone and gum tissues. If you require bone augmentation or soft tissue grafting to safely and permanently secure the implants, the cost may increase somewhat.
After Dr. Lopez or Dr. Cahill has discussed your goals, gathered and reviewed your medical history, and obtained dental diagnostic records, we will have you back for a free consultation. At the consultation we will explain to you the proposed implant treatment plan, options, and associated costs. We will spend as much time as necessary to reach a point where it all makes sense to you.
Research Triangle Dental And Implant Center has long-standing relationships with several financial institutions that can provide interest-free financing for qualified individuals. Please be sure to discuss this during your consultation because it can be a great way to help take care of the cost of your treatment.
Call our Durham Dentist Office at 919-596-7447 to see if you’re a good candidate for Dental Implants.