Dental Implants Offer the Best Way to Help Restore a Smile after Tooth Loss
Tooth loss can not only compromise the appearance of your smile, it can also lead to diminished oral health. Fortunately, dental implants offer the best way to restore the beauty and function of your smile and also halt jawbone recession.
Dental implants are small metal posts that are surgically placed in the jaw, where they function as artificial tooth roots. Dr. Brett Helton will work closely with you to plan your dental implants treatment at his Columbus, GA, practice and coordinate with a skilled oral surgeon for implants placement. After the implants have healed, they can provide a crown, bridge, or denture with an unparalleled level of stability. To schedule an appointment and learn more, contact our practice today.
Love these people! They truly care about their patients. Dr. Helton stays abreast of the latest techniques. Cindy Battley Davenport
Am I a Good Candidate?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or an entire arch. In order to qualify for treatment, you should be in good oral and overall health. Ideally, a candidate for dental implants:
- Has adequate bone tissue in the jaw to support implants
- Does not smoke or is willing to quit smoking
- Does not have periodontal disease
- Is willing to commit to good oral hygiene habits before and after surgery
- Has a clear understanding of the recovery timeline, which can take several months
- Is willing to follow recovery guidelines closely
If we find that jawbone recession is precluding you from treatment, we may recommend a bone grafting procedure to help restore lost bone tissue so you can become eligible for implants.
If a bone graft is needed, it will extend your treatment timeline. Bone grafts are performed using a local anesthetic. Your doctor will make a small incision in your gums. Grafting material will be used to replace recessed tissue. The incision will then be sutured closed. Recovery usually takes around three months.
A sinus lift can address inadequate bone tissue in the upper jaw. The procedure is similar to a bone graft. Bone tissue or grafting material is used to lift the sinus membrane to ensure that implants do not disturb these soft tissues.
If you have advanced gum disease, our practice offers cleanings, as well as root planing and scaling to treat your condition. Scaling removes tartar and plaque below the gum line using special tools. Root planing smooths the root surface to prevent bacteria from attaching in the future.
Patients who feel anxious or nervous about undergoing treatment can request nitrous oxide sedation.
Once we determine you are a good candidate, we will refer you to an oral surgeon in the area for implant placement. We maintain relationships with some of the best specialists near our practice, so you can rest assured that you will receive the highest standards of care.
Once you are comfortable, and after local anesthesia and sedation (if needed) have been administered, your doctor will make a small incision in your gums. Then, a small hole will be drilled into the jawbone. A titanium post will then be inserted and your incision will be sutured closed.
Recovery and Prosthetic Placement
Following surgery, the implants will become fused to the bone tissue over the next four to six months. Bruising and swelling are to be expected in the days after surgery. Your doctor may prescribe pain medications. Patients should rest as much as possible for the first few days after implant placement. During the first week of recovery, patients should:
- Brush gently
- Rest as much as possible
- Refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking
- Avoid foods or drinks that could irritate your incisions, especially hot liquids
- Avoid disturbing the surgical site
- Avoid strenuous activity
Once your implant has fused to the surrounding jawbone tissue, a second surgery will be scheduled. Your doctor will make an incision to access the implant. Then, your doctor will attach an abutment (a small metal device that connects your artificial tooth to the implant). After the tissue around your abutment has healed, leaving the abutment exposed above the gumline, we will take impressions of the abutment and any surrounding teeth. In about two weeks, you will return to our practice to have your custom crown, bridge, or denture secured firmly in place. In some instances, we are able to provide restorations in a single visit using advanced in-house technology.
The restoration you receive will depend on the number of teeth being replaced. At Columbus Aesthetic & Family Dentistry, we can provide you with an implant-supported:
- Crown: To replace a single tooth, we offer implant-supported crowns made of porcelain-fused-to-metal, all-porcelain, and all-zirconia.
- Bridge: These restorations are used to replace up to three consecutive teeth in a row. We offer implant-supported bridges made from a variety of materials.
- Denture: Implant-supported dentures are used to replace several teeth or an entire arch.
In addition to working with high-quality dental labs in the area, we also have a CEREC® (chairside economical restoration of esthetic ceramics) machine that allows us to craft crowns and bridges in our office for improved turnaround times.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Restoring your smile with dental implants offers a range of benefits, including:
- Unmatched stability: Unlike traditional types, implant-supported restorations will never move out of place, so you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
- Exceptional comfort: Your restoration will be fabricated based on your unique features to help prevent soft tissue irritation and ensure a balanced bite.
- Improved oral health: Since dental implants fuse directly with the jawbone, they help to return stimulation to the area and halt bone recession. Dental implants are the only restorative treatment that can provide this benefit. Dental implants also prevent tooth shifting from neighboring teeth.
- A more attractive smile: Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. They can also fill gaps in your smile that result from missing teeth.
- Restored oral health: Missing or damaged teeth can cause individuals to rely on healthy teeth. This can cause jaw pain and premature wear. After your dental implant is placed, you can enjoy better bite balance.
- Durability: If properly taken care of, your dental implant can last a lifetime. The lifespan of your prosthetic depends on the material used.
Contact Us to Learn More
Doctors Helton and Brown are dedicated to bringing outstanding oral health care with a personalized touch to all their patients. Our office uses some of the most advanced technology available. To review your candidacy for dental implants, schedule an appointment at Columbus Aesthetic & Family Dentistry today.