Before dental implant technology existed, patients with missing or damaged teeth had to choose either a bridge or a crown to restore their smiles. However, as more and more patients learn about the benefits of dental implants, they’re quickly becoming one of the most popular options for patients throughout the Triad, offering permanent solution for missing teeth that mimics the stability and function of natural teeth.
Considering getting dental implants to correct your smile? Learn about the different implant options available (as well as what’s involved in the actual placement procedure) below.
Kinds of Dental Implants
Basic Dental Implants
Traditional dental implants are a great option for patients with missing or damaged teeth who are in good oral health and have sufficient jawbone (either naturally or as a result of a bone-grafting procedure). Placement generally involves a series of visits during which the extraction, implant placement and prosthetic placement take place in between periods of healing.
Immediate Load Implants
Also called same-day implants, immediate-load dental implants can be an option for patients who have sufficient jawbone that is able to support the dental implant right away without requiring additional healing time. Using the latest dental technology, these implants are placed during the same visit that the damaged tooth is extracted – a convenient option for patients looking for quick restoration.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are typically used to stabilize lower jaw dentures. They fit in a more narrow area than traditional dental implants, and can be placed in about an hour without cutting the gums and with no stitches to remove later. (Note: Only certain dentists may perform this procedure, so make sure to review your dentist’s accreditations prior to making an appointment.)
Implant-retained dentures allow patients who wear dentures to enjoy the comfort, stability and performance of dental implants. Rather than resting right on the gums, implant-retained dentures snap into place overtop titanium rods implanted into the jawbone (similarly to dental implants) for a more secure and confidence-boosting fit.
Tooth Extraction & Dental Implant Procedure
What your dental implant procedure will entail and how long it will take will depend on the kind of implant you’ll be getting. Below, we break down the process for most traditional dental implant procedures:
First, the damaged tooth is extracted.
After the extraction, the patient will need time to let their jawbone heal before the implant is placed. In cases where patients do not have sufficient jawbone to support an implant, bone-grafting may be required.
Once the jawbone has healed, the patient will return to have the titanium rod that will be used to support the implant embedded into their jawbone. (These rods will function as the “root” of your prosthetic tooth, holding it into place to keep it secure.)
After the implant has been placed, the patient will take several months to heal, during which the jawbone cells will begin to attach directly to the titanium surface, locking the implant into the jaw (a process that’s called Osseointegration).
After the jaw has healed and the implant is sturdy, the patient will return to have a porcelain crown placed over the titanium rod, which is designed to mimic the appearance of your natural teeth.
With traditional dental implants, the entire process can take several months from start to finish. However, for patients who are eligible for immediate-load implants, the process is much shorter, with the steps above completed in one visit without the healing time between (which is made possible through a combination of advanced dental technology and the strength of the patient’s existing jawbone).
Think dental implants may be right for you? Contact Drs. Macdonald & Whaley at Triad Cosmetic Dentistry and schedule your consultation today. We serve patients all throughout Greensboro, High Point, Winston Salem, Archdale and surrounding areas – and our 99.9% success rate on over 700 dental implants far surpasses the industry standard 95%.