Dental Implant Procedure Process
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots composed of a titanium screw surgically implanted into your jaw, allowing the titanium implants to fuse with the jawbone over the course of several months through a process called osseointegration.
- Evaluation and treatment planning: At iHeart Dental, your implant procedure process starts with a thorough assessment by Dr. Seale to determine if you have enough healthy jawbone to maintain an implant and whether you have periodontal disease. Once we determine that you’re a good candidate for a dental implant, we will develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your specific needs.
- Placing the implant: This is an outpatient surgical procedure and may be done under local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia. The oral surgeon will cut the gum to expose the jawbone, then drill the bone to insert the implant. After the implant is placed, it will take 2 to 6 months for the jawbone to heal and the implant to osseointegrate.
- Abutment placement: Abutment is a metal extender that securely connects the replacement tooth to the implant. Your gums will take several weeks to heal after the abutment placement.
- Placing the replacement tooth: We will take your teeth impressions and use this model to create a replacement tooth that matches your natural teeth. Once your replacement tooth is ready, Dr. Seale will attach it to the abutment, completing your dental implant procedure.
Benefits of Dental Implant Surgery
There are several benefits of replacing your missing teeth with dental implants:
- Restores your appearance: Unlike other tooth restorations, dental implants replace the entire tooth structure from roots to the crown, and that’s why they look and feel like your natural teeth. With a dental implant, you can confidently smile and take pride in your appearance.
- Restores the ability to chew and speak: It can be difficult to chew and speak properly when you have missing teeth. Luckily, dental implants are designed to function like your natural teeth, allowing you to speak and pronounce words properly and chew all your favorite foods.
- Helps keep adjacent teeth stable: When you have a missing tooth, the nearby teeth will shift to fill the gap, which can cause bite issues and TMJ. Using dental implants to replace the missing teeth will help fill the gap, prevent the neighboring teeth from shifting, and provide an overall benefit to your oral health.
- Durability: Dental implants are incredibly durable and can last a lifetime with proper care.
- Improved comfort: Unlike dentures or bridgework that don’t fit well and often slip, implants are permanent and stable, so you won’t experience chafing or discomfort.
Potential Complications of Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implants are safe and can significantly improve your quality of life. However, complications may sometimes occur. These include:
- Infection at the implant site
- Injury or damage to surrounding tissues during surgery
- Nerve damage, resulting in numbness, tingling, or pain in your natural teeth, gums, lips, or chin
- Sinus problems, when dental implants placed in the upper jaw protrude into one of your sinus cavities
Risks of Leaving Missing Teeth
Apart from affecting your smile’s appearance, missing teeth can also cause:
- Bone loss: With no tooth roots to stimulate your jaw and gums, the bone underneath the missing tooth will begin to deteriorate and break more easily, which causes nearby teeth also to weaken, compounding the problem. Because dental implants replace your tooth roots, they stimulate the surrounding bone, preserving it and preventing bone resorption (deterioration).
- Uneven bite pressure: When you have a gap in your smile, the adjacent teeth will be subject to uneven pressure when you chew or bite, causing them to shift, break or deteriorate faster. Elevated Risk Factors
Elevated Risk Factors
While dental implants are safe, they aren’t suitable for everyone. For example, some pre-existing health conditions can make it hard for your body to handle any form of surgery or healing. Some common conditions or risk factors that can affect your candidacy for dental implants include:
- Gum Disease
- Heavy smoking
- Active infection in or around the mouth or sinuses
- Severe bone loss
- Nerve damage to your mouth, face, or gums
When considering the best tooth replacement option for your specific needs, it’s important to consider all treatment options and evaluate any mitigating factors. Talk with your dental surgeon to evaluate if oral surgery is your best option.
Restore Your Smile with Dental Implants from iHeart Dental
It’s undeniable that dental implants are a safe way to replace missing teeth. At iHeart Dental, we put your health and safety first, and our experienced team uses advanced surgical techniques and technology and provides comprehensive post-implant care and recovery instructions to ensure a successful outcome. If you’re in Rincon, GA, and would like to permanently restore your smile with dental implants, please contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Seale.
Misty M. Seale, DMD
Dr. Misty M. Seale, DMD, a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, specializes in general, preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry and is the proud owner of iHeart Dental. Her practice emphasizes comfort, convenience, and personalized patient care, providing a cozy environment that feels like a home away from home. Outside of her passion for dentistry, Dr. Seale enjoys spending time with her family, camping, and Jeeping.
A Smile is the Key to Everybody’s Heart
We are dedicated to providing the highest-level dental care in a comfortable and relaxed setting while giving love, compassion, and respect for our patients and their dental needs leading to a healthier smile.