Dental implants contain a root and a crown, just like a natural tooth. The root consists of a titanium post that is anchored into the jawbone. This helps hold the tooth in place and helps prevent the jawbone from eroding away. Once the artificial root is placed and the bone heals, it becomes the foundation for the top dental restoration.
Once the site is healed, a restoration dentist will place an abutment and dental crown on top of the titanium post. However, temporary replacement teeth can be placed immediately after the root has anchored into the jawbone. Also, if all of your teeth have been lost, Semmel Oral and Facial Surgery can recommend a wide range of restoration treatments.
Single stage implants use some of the latest in dental technology to help make the implant restoration straightforward. With this technique, there is no second surgical procedure to uncover the teeth. Once the site has been allowed to heal, the artificial teeth can be placed on top. Depending on the situation, the implants can be placed immediately after the damaged teeth have been removed.
Our oral surgeon will work with a restorative dentist to create a new smile for you. Dr. Brady J. Semmel completes the dental extraction, surgical implant post and any necessary bone grafting procedures. The permanent or temporary prosthetic teeth will be made by a general dentist or restoration specialist. If you would like to learn more about dental implants in Wilmington, North Carolina, phone our office at 910-509-1422.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Replacing missing teeth can improve a patient’s speech, bite and ability to chew. They can also prevent wear and tear on the natural teeth, relieve headaches and even prevent reabsorption of the jawbone. Depending on your needs, any of the following may be recommended:
- Fixed bridges
- Metal partial dentures
- Dental implants
Dental implants allow our oral surgeon to restore a lost tooth without causing damage to surrounding teeth and provide a permanent, stable solution that will not slip or become uncomfortable.
Overview of Implant Placement
Implant placement will vary depending on whether there are multiple or single implants. An appointment to place one implant usually lasts a half hour or one hour. For more than one implant, the procedure may last two or three hours. Before treatment, the patient will receive a form of sedation and a local anesthetic. After these take effect, a minimal incision is made, and the titanium post will be anchored into the jawbone. After the procedure is completed, the site and gum tissue are allowed to heal. Our oral surgeon will recommend several follow-up appointments to prepare the mouth for restoration. While immediate replacement can be made, it is not always recommended for patients with extensive infection or damage to the bone.
Missing All Upper or Lower Teeth
When the entire dental arch has been lost, there are several ways for Semmel Oral and Facial Surgery to restore the teeth.
For the lower arch, the following restoration treatments may be recommended:
- Ball attachment denture, which “snaps” a denture onto ball-shaped implants
- Bar attachment denture, which permanently anchors an “overdenture” onto an implant-supported metal bar
- Screw-retained denture, which places the denture along five or more individual screws
- Individual implants, which replace each missing tooth individually
For the upper arch, the following restoration treatments may be recommended:
- Implant-retained upper denture, which can be removed and cleaned
- Individual upper implants, which are permanent replacements
Bone Grafting for Implants
If there is not enough bone to support a dental implant, our oral surgeon may recommend a bone grafting procedure. For more information on this procedure, read through our Bone Grafting page.
When patients have experienced extensive damage, our oral surgeon can help restore their smile. Our office has many options for patients to choose from, including implant supported dentures. While traditional dentures can come with disadvantages, such as instability, discomfort or overall inconvenience. If you are looking for a minimally invasive, cost-friendly treatment, ask about your options for implant-supported overdentures in Wilmington, North Carolina.
These restorations help create a stable restoration for your new teeth and can often reduce the need for bone grafting procedures. The prosthetic teeth can be attached onto one of several different anchors: a bar and clip, magnets, ball, or locator. Ask our oral surgeon about which can work best for you. Following the surgery, the site will need to heal before the permanent dentures are attached. However, our practice will provide a temporary set of teeth so patients can eat and speak normally.
Advantages of implant-supported overdentures include:
- Secure support for the dentures, often eliminating the need for bone grafting replacement
- Less time needed for healing and quicker placement of the dentures
- Fewer implants, decreasing the overall cost of the procedure
Based on clinical studies, implant-supported overdentures have helped patients have strong, lasting smiles.
After Implant Placement
What will I use while waiting for the restoration?
Between the initial placement of the implants and the placement of the restoration, the site will need to heal. While the site heals, our oral surgeon can secure a temporary bridge, denture or other restoration. If you are looking for a more stable restoration, temporary transitional implants can be placed right after the procedure. Additionally, some permanent implants can be placed almost immediately after the initial surgery.
Are there any problems I should look out for?
Patients should expect no severe pain and will be prescribed medication and antibiotics to help post-surgery. However, in rare cases, infection, nerve damage or damage to neighboring teeth can occur. The chance of these conditions occurring increases if supporting bone structure has been lost. We ask that you let us know if you experience any tingling or numbness following your procedure.
Will the implants last a long time?
Provided that the site heals properly or does not loosen, your first implant can last for years to come. For extensive restoration, patients usually enjoy an 80 to 90 percent success rate. For the replacement of 1 or 2 teeth, usually the success rate is over 95 percent. If an implant must be removed, a patient can have it replaced by our oral surgeon.
How long will I need to wait to have my permanent teeth attached?
In most cases, our patients will need to wait for their surgery site to heal before our oral surgeon can attach the permanent teeth. This allows for the bone to fuse to the implant and create a stable foundation for the implant. Depending on each case, our oral surgeon may be able to recommend placement either immediately or shortly after the surgery.
Much of the work of the implant requires making the restoration itself. Before the procedure can be completed, a bite impression and overall model of your teeth will be made. This will help make sure the implants fit comfortably and naturally. Based on these models, abutments (or support posts) will be made of a metal or tooth-colored material. An “off the shelf” or custom abutment may be recommended based on pricing or the patient’s individual needs. It is usually made after the site has been allowed to heal.
All these steps will be completed in a series of appointments with our oral surgeon. The duration and number of these appointments will depend on the implant procedure and the patient themselves. Each patient is different and needs customized, detailed care to ensure the success of their implant. If only a few teeth need to be replaced, only three visits may be necessary to complete a restoration. However, more extensive procedures, like removable dentures, may require as many as five appointments. These additional appointments will complete necessary steps such as impressions, bite models and overall adjustments to help ensure the comfort of the implant restoration.
In general, patients can expect their implant restoration to be completed in one to twelve months. Our office will provide an estimated timeline and cost before you begin treatment.
How do I maintain my implants?
Implants can be maintained just like your natural teeth. Patients should floss and brush daily and come in for regular appointments and cleanings with their dentist. If any adjustments, realignments or other repairs need to completed, come schedule an appointment.
Will I need to visit more than one doctor?
While our oral surgeon will provide all the surgical procedures and implant placements, he will work with your general dentist. Your dentist will provide the restoration work following the implant placement. Our oral surgeon will coordinate with your general dentist to make sure your restoration is properly finished.
What is the cost of implants?
Using a series of models, X-rays and surgical fabrications, our oral surgeon will work to give you an accurate estimate of your implant restoration cost. Patients may be charged for this initial diagnostic work-up as well as the overall procedure. The restoration cost will include the cost of the implants and abutment support posts, as well as any permanent or temporary prosthetics, such as crowns, bridges or dentures. Payment for implant restoration maintenance must also be taken into account.
The cost of the restoration may also depend on the individual doctors involved with your restoration. Our office will help estimate your ending cost based on these third parties, our own care as well as your insurance. Please check with your insurer to check their dental implant coverage.
Because each case is different, our practice is only able to give a general estimate of your implant restoration. If you would like to discuss your options more in detail, please contact us today.
Post-Op Implant Instructions
- Take it easy and elevate your head the day after your surgery.
- Keep hydrated and avoid hot drinks.
- To reduce swelling, alternate applying an ice pack every 20 minutes.
- Mild bleeding and discomfort is expected. Take any prescribed pain and antibiotic medications with food and avoid drinking alcohol. If bleeding is excessive, bite on gauze packs for at least 10 minutes or dampened tea bags for a half hour. If bleeding still does not stop, contact our office.
- Avoid drinking through a straw in the two days following your appointment.
- Do not smoke for one to two weeks following your procedure.
- Use a mouthwash following the procedure to help prevent infection. Do not spit out the mouthwash forcefully, as this can irritate the surgical site. Only discontinue using the mouthwash as directed by Dr. Brady J. Semmel.
- Continue brushing your teeth but avoid irritating the surgical site.
- Avoiding touching or forcefully stretching the lips or cheeks.
- If you also underwent a sinus lift, avoid blowing your nose for two weeks following the procedure. When sneezing, be sure not to keep the mouth closed.
- Only take in liquids and soft foods following your surgery. In the days after your procedure, take steps to gradually shift your diet until you can eat normally. For more information, speak with our oral surgeon.
- Dentures and other temporary restorative appliances may be worn with the permission of our oral surgeon. If at any time they become painful, remove them and contact our office.
Considering the Cost of Dental Implants
When considering whether or not you should invest in dental implants, patients should keep the following in mind:
Long-Lasting: Dental implants, if properly cared for, can last an entire lifetime and do not need to be replaced every five to ten years like other restorations.
Jawbone Health: Dental implants help prevent the deterioration of the jawbone, strengthening the tissue and maintaining the shape of the face.
Quality of Life: Implants help our patients enjoy a new smile that feels natural without the hassle that comes with dentures and other restorations.
Compare Quotes: When comparing the quotes from various dental professionals, keep in mind the following:
- Overall cost of exams and appointments
- Any extractions or removal of teeth
- Any tissue grafting procedures, such as bone grafting
- Placement of the root implant
- Crown or other restoration placement
- Any post-procedure X-rays or care
Paying for Treatment: Explore your options for treatment. Check with your insurance provider to see if there is any coverage for dental implants. Patients can also consult with health care credit companies to see about loans that require little to no interest.
Plan Your First Consultation: For a cost estimate, timeline and general overview of a dental implant restoration, call 910-509-1422 and get in touch with us today.