Implant dentistry is an art and science that allows people to have missing teeth replaced after suffering tooth loss from decay, gum disease, or an accident. Whether you’ve lost one tooth, a few teeth, or all of your teeth, an experienced Wilmington, NC, implant dentist can restore your teeth, your smile, and your confidence in a process known as implant dentistry.
While the science behind implant dentistry is quite complicated and the artistry involved with replacing the top of the tooth with a dental crown is masterful, the basic concepts and techniques involved with dental implants are pretty straightforward.
To replace missing teeth, your dental implant dentist will:
- Remove any diseased or decaying remaining teeth
- Prepare your jaw for implants
- Place implants
- Add a dental crown to the top of the implanted tooth or teeth
The duration of the dental implant process depends on many factors including:
- Number of teeth to be replaced
- The health of the implant recipient
- Amount of existing jawbone that will receive the implant
- Adherence to postoperative instructions
- Post-surgery maintenance over the course of months and years
Dental Implant Process
Tooth loss is an embarrassing problem because it takes away from your physical appearance, but it’s also a serious health problem because missing teeth can lead to a number of other health risks including digestive system issues. If you cannot properly bite and chew food, you will likely have problems with digesting your food.
Also, gum disease has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and stroke, so an unhealthy set of teeth and gums can lead to serious, even life-threatening medical issues. For these reasons, it’s imperative to tackle the problem of tooth loss early on so medical conditions do not exacerbate over time.
Your Wilmington, NC, dental implant dentist will perform a thorough evaluation of your mouth, teeth, gums, and jawbone using the most advanced dental technology available today. Once it’s determined that you’re a great candidate for dental implants, the process may begin.
Your mouth must be prepared to receive the dental implants. Traditional dental implants are titanium posts that resemble screws, and the number of posts you’ll need to be placed into your jawbone depends on the severity of your tooth loss.
Your implant dentist will place the titanium implants into your jawbone, and in a process known as “osseointegration” that takes place over several months, the implants fuse with your jaw. Osseointegration ensures your implants will stay in place and become part of your mouth for the rest of your life. There are some factors that will affect how long osseointegration takes including how well you follow the postoperative instructions your Wilmington, North Carolina, implant dentist provides and your healing pace.
Finishing Touch: The Dental Crown
After the implants are placed, an abutment, which serves as a connector, is added in order to prepare for the next step of the dental implant process: the placement of an artificial tooth atop the implant. The most common finishing touch to a dental implant is a dental crown. Think of a dental crown as a cap on top of the implant that makes it look just like a natural tooth. Dental implant restoration provides the finishing touches to fully functioning dental implants that feel, look, and function just like natural teeth. No one will ever know you have dental implants unless you tell them.
Benefits of Dental Implants
With the replacement of missing teeth, your confidence will skyrocket. You will begin to feel more comfortable taking part in social situations, and you may finally start tackling those goals and dreams you’ve been putting off due to missing teeth. In addition to improving confidence and restoring your physical appearance, dental implants in Wilmington will:
- Allow you to enjoy all the foods you love
- Provide an option other than dentures
- Require no special care once the entire dental implant process is complete
- Can last a lifetime if properly cared for
- Fix the sunken-in appearance of the face that results from tooth loss
Learn More About Dental Implants in Wilmington, North Carolina
You need not suffer from the embarrassment of missing teeth one more day. Implant dentist, Dr. Michael J. Kuzma and the team at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry are ready to help. If a comprehensive examination indicates you’re a good candidate for dental implants, the journey to a new mouth can begin right away. Please call Kuzma Advanced Dentistry (910) 392-6060, or fill out our online contact form to get more information or request a new patient appointment.