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Every year, millions of Americans are in need of a tooth replacement option. While there are many ways to simply “replace” a missing tooth to improve your smile, dental implants are the standard of care as a long lasting, functional tooth replacement option. Implants preserve jawbone loss over time, and they appear and function similar to any natural tooth. There are many uses for dental implants. We at Atlantic Dental Group are here to help you decide which option is best for you, your smile, your long-term health, ability to chew effectively and your overall quality of life! Read on below for more details about dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Are Dental Implants right for you?
Dental implants have been used since the 1980’s. They are essentially like screws, and are made of bio-compatible titanium that replaces the roots of the tooth or teeth we have lost. On top of these screws (implants), we are able to restore caps (crowns) to appear just like your natural teeth. Implants typically take 3-6 months to integrate completely depending on your jawbone quality or health.
After the healing period, we place a titanium gum former (aka Healing Abutment) if we need to help shape your gum tissue for a few weeks. Then we take impressions just like a normal tooth and allow the lab to help us make a crown that looks just like your natural teeth!
This diagram shows the placement of a dental implant into the jawbone, and allowing the gums to heal over top.
Diagram showing the placement of a titanium gum former, or healing abutment, to help shape the gum tissue. If this extra step is necessary, impressions are made after a few additional weeks of healing before the final crown or restoration is made.
Implant Supported Teeth
- Secure confident smile
- Maintains jaw bone
- Creates a normal bite force
- Aids normal healthy digestion
- Maintains normal B12 folic acid and albumin levels
- Provides long-term stability
- No denture adhesive required
- No acrylic on the roof of your mouth
- Fixed, secure with no movement
- Enjoy your favorite foods again
- Causes loss (thinning) of jaw bone
- Reduces bite force
- Reduces normal healthy digestion
- Reduces normal B12 folic acid and albumin levels
- Increase mobility over time
- Denture adhesive required
- Acrylic on the roof of mouth
- Loose and mobile
- Limited food choices
What are the benefits of dental implants for my health?
After a tooth is extracted, unless that area is preserved with bone, you can lose significant amounts of jawbone. This makes future implant or even removable tooth replacement options MUCH more difficult and compromising. With dental implants, your chewing power is restored in a way that prevents jawbone loss, and best of all it feels almost like your natural tooth!
Are dental implants right for me?
Dental implants are the typically the best option for replacing missing teeth. However, every patient is different. Some health issues may prevent you from having implants placed, or may adversely impact your implants’ success rate. A few of these health concerns are listed below, be sure to mention them to your doctor so that the team can plan accordingly, take any necessary precautions, and provide the most successful outcome possible.
• Poor physical health
• Poorly controlled Diabetes
• Cancer or radiation treatment history
• Osteoporosis or bisphosphonate therapy
• Smoking habit
• Anti-depressant medications
• Gum (or periodontal) disease
• Insufficient jawbone or long term tooth loss without implant replacement
• Unable or unwilling to wait 3 to 6 months for tooth replacement
• Unable or unwilling to take care of and maintain your dental implant(s)
• Unable or unwilling to return for multiple appointments, follow-ups, and regular cleaning appointments
3D Digital Implant Planning
Why Atlantic Dental Group for my dental implant(s)?
Atlantic Dental Group is proud to have served the Wilmington area with quality dentistry for over 50 years, and it is our mission to continue this trend. By planning each case and every implant utilizing 3-Dimensional digital implant planning technology, we can ensure that our implants our placed with extreme accuracy. Furthermore, we proudly use the best materials and labs available when it comes to replacing your missing teeth.
For more complex implant or surgical cases, we work side by side with surgical or restorative specialists to ensure that we achieve the best result possible. At Atlantic Dental we appreciate and value your trust in the care that we provide. We look forward to helping you find the implant solution that is best for you!
How do I take care of my implant(s)?
A seemingly common misconception is that you do not have to care for implants as much as you do natural teeth. Although dental implants cannot get cavities and do not have nerves like natural teeth do, they are susceptible to gum (or periodontal) disease just like natural teeth are. If you have a history of periodontal disease or gingivitis, or if you have any of the risk factors mentioned above, it is IMPERATIVE that you take meticulous care of your dental implant(s). If gum disease or infection occurs around an implant (see peri-implantitis), it is very difficult to replace the dental implant with the same success rate. Dental implants are here to help restore your health, so it’s important to do your part and help keep them as clean as possible!
Popular and Effective Cleaning Strategies:
• Floss as with natural teeth
• Soft or proxy-brushes
• Electronic toothbrush (Sonicare)
• Regular cleaning and maintenance as instructed by your Doctor
Aren’t implants expensive?
In our practice at Atlantic Dental, we base treatment recommendations on the needs of our patient and what is in their best interest regarding their health. While we understand insurance can be helpful at times, we do not want to allow insurance companies to limit treatment possibilities for our patients. We take pride in the quality of dental care that we provide, and we use the best technology available – all in order to provide outstanding care, customer service, and treatment outcomes.
Given their proven long-term success rate, dental implants are a very cost effective long-term way to improve your smile and oral health. Although the cost of dental implants has reduced over the years, we understand that this cost plays a significant role in how patients decide on treatment. For this reason, we have excellent treatment planning and patient care coordinators that work very hard to ensure that you find and select the best option within your budget. Additionally, with the help of long term financing options such as Care Credit and Wells Fargo Financing you can seek out the treatment you need within a monthly budget of your choosing. Talk with one of our treatment planning coordinators today, they will be more than happy to help you! (the italics are not for certain yet – need to consult with front desk about this)