Dental Implants and Implant Restoration
Following the loss of a tooth or multiple teeth, it is common for individuals to experience feelings of self-conscious and diminished self-worth. In addition to the psychological impact that comes with having missing teeth, there are also detrimental physical effects that occur, such as jawbone deterioration, an increased risk of developing gum disease as well as an increased risk in developing other health issues, such as diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Missing teeth can also limit the types of food you can enjoy, alter your speech and disrupt the harmony of your smile.
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, you may be a good candidate for a dental implant. Dental implants are the closest you will get to replacing your natural tooth and are comprised of three parts: a titanium post that acts as your tooth’s root, an abutment, which attached to the root, and a prosthetic tooth or denture that is designed to look and feel like your natural tooth.
As a native of Greenville and fourth generation dentist, Dr. Preston Hamrick is proud to serve his community by developing personal relationships with all his patients and working hard to understand their needs and goals. Read on to learn more about dental implants, or to schedule a consultation or learn more about our services, call us today at 864.292.5125.
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Dental Implant Process
When considering dental implants, it is important to understand that the process of getting a dental implant(s) is just that: a process, one that will require multiple appointments stretched out over several months, or even up to one year.
This process begins with an initial consultation with Dr. Hamrick, who will conduct a thorough oral examination to determine whether dental implants are a viable treatment option for you. In certain cases, individuals may have lost too much jawbone to support an implant or have an underlying medical condition that affects their ability to build bone mass and heal, in which case alternative treatment options or procedural modifications may need to be pursued.
If dental implants are a good fit for your needs, x-rays and images will be taken of your mouth which will be used to create your personalized dental implant treatment plan and timeline. At your next appointment, Dr. Hamrick will first clean your mouth then numb the area to reduce or eliminate discomfort. Dental sedation will also be available to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Next, Dr. Hamrick will make a small incision in your gums to access the jawbone. Next, a hole is drilled into the bone and the implant is placed. Once the post is properly positioned, we will clean, disinfect, and suture the area shut.
Before we can place the permanent crown, you will first need to wait for the post to fully fuse with your jawbone, which can take anywhere from 3-6 months. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled during this healing period so Dr. Hamrick can monitor your progress. Your customized restoration will also be crafted during this period.
Once the post is fused, you will return for your final visit, when your restoration is permanently attached to your implant. Once attached, you can begin to enjoy having a bright, full smile right away!
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a popular option for individuals who are missing a tooth or teeth. There are several reasons why dental implants are so popular, which include the following:
- Provides the same type of stability and support as a natural tooth/tooth
- Anchored directly to your jawbone, just like natural teeth
- Long lasting solution provided proper self-care is taken
- Restored ability to eat all kinds of food
- Improved ability to enunciate and speak without impedance
- Stimulates your jawbone like your natural tooth would, which prevents loss of jawbone
- Will not shift like traditional dentures
- Maintains the strength and shape of your jaw
- Adjustments not necessary, which will save you time and money
- Alleviates stresses to the jaw that cause pain and/or limited mobility
- Restores the natural look and feel of your full smile
Healing Process and Maintenance
The healing process following placement of a dental implant generally takes 1-2 weeks. It is common to experience mild bleeding, swelling and bruising around the implant site for the first 1-3 days following your procedure. Swelling and discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter medicine or prescribed painkillers and ice therapy, placing the ice on the area for 10-minute intervals. To help ensure a fast recovery time and avoid complications, be very gentle when cleaning around the treatment area and follow a soft food diet. On average, the pain and discomfort should subside after about 3-7 days, though you may still have lingering symptoms such as stiff jaw muscles or a sore throat.
Once you have completed the healing process and your permanent restoration has been placed, you will not need to modify your oral health care routine. So long as you brush and floss your teeth twice daily, eat a healthy diet, and lead a generally healthy lifestyle, your implants will last you for many years to come. We also encourage our clients to schedule regular dental cleanings at least every six months to ensure the health and sustained brightness of your smile. In addition to giving your teeth a professional cleaning, these visits are also an opportunity for Dr. Preston Hamrick to evaluate your overall oral health, as he looks for any indications of gum disease or any other underlying issue that may require treatment and can monitor the health of your implant.
Cost of Dental Implants
The total cost of treatment will depend on the number of implants needed and whether additional procedures such as tooth extraction, bone grafting, or treatment of periodontal disease are necessary prior to placement of your implant (s).
For patients with dental insurance, the total cost of dental implants will depend on whether the procedure is covered under your plan, and if so, how much is covered. Our staff are happy to review your coverage to determine whether your plan does cover the procedure and ensure you maximize your benefits and have minimal out of pocket expenses.
If you are a patient at our practice and do not have dental insurance, consider joining our membership club. Because we value your loyalty, we have launched this club to help save you money on treatment and simplify payments for preventative care. We offer three levels of membership: child, adult, and perio membership. Professional dental cleanings, doctor exams, necessary X-rays, and a 5% discount on all other treatment (some exclusions apply) are included in all membership packages.
You can sign up today and start saving money on treatment online or call us at (864) 292-5125.
For your convenience, we accept all forms of credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
Fall in Love with Your Smile Again
At Heritage Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, we are committed to providing 5-star customer service that is relationship based, along with a comprehensive range of treatment options that will ensure your sustained oral health and make you fall in love with your smile again. To schedule a consultation for dental implants or learn more about our services, contact our Greenville dental team today at (684) 292-5125.