Permanent Tooth Replacement in Winston Salem
Tooth loss for any reason can be embarrassing, but you might be surprised to know how common it is. It is estimated that as many as 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth!
At the dental practice of Jeffrey J. Tibbs, DDS, we offer several options for replacing missing teeth. Our goal is to help you find the solution that best fits your needs. Dental implants are the ultimate solution because they look, feel, and function exactly as a natural tooth does. Implants are so valued as a treatment option that dentists refer to them as the "gold standard" for tooth replacement.
Please take a few moments to learn about dental implants in Winston-Salem, NC, then call our office at (336) 765-7477 to arrange a commitment-free consultation.
- How do dental implants work?
- Does dental implant surgery hurt?
- How long does it take a dental implant to heal?
- What are the benefits of choosing a dental implant?
- What if I've been told I don't have enough bone for an implant?
- Is a dental implant better than a bridge or denture?
- What are my options for restoring a dental implant?
- Will anyone know I have a dental implant?
- How do implant supported dentures work?
- How should I care for my new implant?
- I'd like to learn if an implant is right for me. How do I get started?
How Do Dental Implants Work?
A dental implant is a replacement root made of titanium and surgically placed in your jaw. Implants are a tooth replacement option that looks, acts, and feels the most like a natural tooth.
Titanium is a biocompatible material, meaning that the body readily accepts it. As the site heals, surrounding bone and tissue grow around the implant and form a permanent bond.
Next, we attach a connector piece to the implant, called an abutment. The abutment is used to complete the implant by securing it to the restoration. A restoration for an implant may be a single crown, a bridge, or full or partial dentures.
Does Dental Implant Surgery Hurt?
You will be pleased to know that the procedure is not typically painful, and placing an implant is actually easier than removing a tooth. Since a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area, you may feel some pressure but no pain. Also, you won't feel much discomfort since there aren't many pain-sensing nerves in the bone where the implant is placed.
However, if you are very worried about the procedure, your oral surgeon may be able to offer comforting sedation options.
How Long Does It Take a Dental Implant to Heal?
Patience is a virtue when it comes to dental implants. As your implant heals, it fuses and becomes one with the bone and tissue in your jaw through a process called osseointegration. The healing period is critical because it is during this time that the implant gains its strength and stability.
As with any other procedure, healing times vary from patient to patient and can take anywhere between four months and a year. But don't let this discourage you! A dental implant is a tooth replacement for life, and patients who have gone through the process tell us that the results were well worth the wait!
What Are the Benefits of Choosing a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are an excellent choice because they are a replacement that looks, feels, and functions the most like a natural tooth. When a natural tooth is present, its root stimulates the healthy regeneration of the bone and tissue in the jaw.
However, when a tooth and its root are lost, this process stops, and the bone gradually resorbs (reabsorbs) back into the body. After tooth loss, approximately 25 percent of bone is lost during the first year alone.
What If I've Been Told I Don't Have Enough Bone for an Implant?
One of the criteria for placing an implant is that there is enough dense bone in your jaw to support it successfully. But all may not be lost if you have been told you don't have enough bone; an oral surgeon may be able to perform a bone grafting procedure to build up your jaw in the area the implant will be placed and allowed to heal. However, if you need only minor bone grafting, your oral surgeon may be able to perform both procedures at the same time.
Is a Dental Implant Better Than a Bridge or Denture?
A bridge or denture fills the open space, but they don't stimulate healthy bone regeneration since they sit on top of your jaw. The presence of the implant, on the other hand, continues the process and supports a restoration just as a natural tooth root would.
Your implant itself becomes a permanent part of your dental anatomy, and as long as you keep your teeth and gums healthy, it should serve you for a lifetime.
What Are My Options for Restoring a Dental Implant?
Before we place your implant, we'll explain all your options, make recommendations, and help you decide on the best solution for your unique needs.
- A single crown restores a single tooth.
- A bridge restores several teeth in one location.
- A partial denture restores missing teeth in different areas of your mouth.
- A full denture restores an entire arch of upper or lower teeth.
Dr. Tibbs uses high-quality materials to create esthetic restorations that are durable and indistinguishable from your natural teeth. While your implant is permanent, your restoration may need to be replaced in the future.
Will Anyone Know I Have a Dental Implant?
Not unless you tell them! The only part of the implant that others will see is the natural-looking restoration we customize for you. We use only the highest quality materials and work with the finest dental labs in the country to create durable crowns, bridges, and dentures that blend beautifully with the rest of your smile.
How Do Implant-Supported Dentures Work?
Dentures are a solution for missing teeth that have stood the test of time. They are an excellent solution because they work well for many people, and millions have had their lives transformed by dentures.
However, the drawback of dentures has always been their poor fit and the discomfort that results. Since dental implants provide a stable base for any restoration, we can combine them with dentures and eliminate these concerns.
Several implants are placed along your jaw and allowed to heal. Meanwhile, your customized denture is designed with attachments that line up with the implants. After healing is complete, we secure the dentures to the implants, and the result is problem-free dentures and a beautiful, natural-looking smile.
How Should I Care for My New Implant?
You committed to the process, and now you're happily showing off your beautiful new smile. Your goal now should be to do everything possible to protect it so it provides years of service.
Remember that your implant gets all its strength from the bone and tissue in your jaw. They are a reliable tooth replacement with a proven track record and a 95 percent success rate. However, if you don't care for your gums properly, you put yourself at risk for infection and bone loss, the most common (and preventable) reasons that implants fail.
Talk to your dental hygienist for tips on the best way to clean your implant.
I'd Like to Learn If an Implant Is Right for Me. How Do I Get Started?
If you have other questions or think you're ready to get started with dental implants in Winston Salem, NC, please call the office Jeffrey J. Tibbs, DDS, or use our convenient online contact form. A helpful member of our team will be happy to arrange a convenient time to discuss your needs, answer your questions, and help you decide if a dental implant is the right choice for you.