Dental Implants in Charleston, SC
If you are missing a tooth, you are probably well aware of the numerous ways missing teeth can negatively impact your quality of life. Whether you've had to give up some of your favorite foods or you find yourself hiding your smile behind your hand, your missing tooth might be constantly on your mind.
Fortunately, dental technology has come up with a permanent solution to missing teeth – dental implants. And unlike bridges or dentures, dental implants offer impressive long-term dental health benefits.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium fixture that is placed in the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth or to anchor loose dentures. Dental implants are very safe and have long-term success rates of 97 to 98%. At James Island Dental Associates, we provide comprehensive dental implant treatment, from start to finish, right here in our Charleston, SC dental office.
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 a local anesthetic, but if you are anxious, we can help you relax using our sedation dentistry options.
The titanium screw that makes up the "implant" part of each dental implant 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.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
Placing 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 medication are often prescribed. Dr. Weir or Dr. Thomas will discuss your needs with you to help determine the best course of action.
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 three weeks. The healing cuff is then removed and an impression is made.
If the impression is for a crown, then about two to three 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!
Learn More about Dental Implants!
We've included a short video for you to learn more about dental implants at James Island Dental Associates in Charleston, SC. Give us a call to schedule a consultation!