Dental implants are very safe and have long term success rates of 97-98%. A dental implant is a titanium fixture that is placed in the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth or to anchor loose dentures. At James Island Dental Associates, we also replace teeth and restore implants.
Planning is critical for the placement of an implant, so Dr. Weir and Dr. Thomas take a thorough medical and dental history prior to placement. We take digital radiographs (x-rays) to make sure the bone is adequate and there are no vital structures too close to the location of the implant. Many patients are comfortable with only being numbed, but if you are anxious, we can help you relax (see the sedation services we offer).
A dental implant is a titanium screw which has a threaded channel inside of it. This inside channel allows us to place different attachments or abutments onto the implant. Different abutments allow for crowns, bridges, partials, or dentures to be seated on top of the implant(s). The placement of a dental implant involves some surgery. An incision is made in the gum, the tissues are teased back, a hole is made in the bone, the implant is inserted in the bone, and a few sutures are placed. There is some slight discomfort following the procedure; therefore, anti-inflammatory drugs and a pain med are often prescribed. Dr. Weir or Dr. Thomas will determine what is best for you.
The restoration of a dental implant takes place after proper healing. Each person heals differently so times can vary. During healing, the implant can either be buried under the gum or a healing cuff placed on top of the implant. If the implant is buried, then we uncover it by making a small incision in the gum to expose the implant. A healing cuff is screwed into the fixture, and the gums are allowed to heal for about 3 weeks. The healing cuff is then removed and an impression is made. If the impression is for a crown then about 2-3 weeks later the crown is ready and cemented in place. If you are having an overdenture made, the placement of the housing is done in the office. After a few small adjustments, your tooth or teeth are restored and functioning!
What People Say
You are a top-notch dental practice! I have been to several in my lifetime and yours tops the list of professional services, timeliness of appointments and a wonderful staff! I have found your business runs like a well-oiled machine which I do appreciate. Many thanks to Dr. Weir, Dr. Thomas and your kind and caring staff.
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