Replace missing teeth with dental implants for a natural look and feel in Greenville, SC
Anyone can be affected by tooth loss at some point in their life, whether it is due to dental decay, gum disease, or traumatic injury. When you are facing the loss of a tooth, it can be difficult to determine what tooth replacement option is best for you. At Palmer Distinctive Dentistry in Greenville, SC, Dr. John Palmer works with guests to help them understand their choices. Dental implants are considered the “gold standard” to replace missing teeth because they offer unparalleled function and feel. Below, Dr. Palmer explains what dental implants are and how they are used to restore missing teeth.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are posts that are surgically placed in your jawbone to replace the root of your tooth. After it has been placed, the implant actually fuses with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration, so it truly becomes a part of your mouth.
While dental implants are typically made from titanium, Dr. Palmer takes a cautious approach when it comes to using metals in the mouth due to their known toxic effects on the body. Instead, he uses Z-Look3 dental implants, which are one-piece implants made from zirconia. Made by Z-Systems, the Z-Look3 implant helps prevent the issues with gums, soft tissues, and plaque buildup that can occur with traditional titanium implants.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants made from zirconia have many benefits over other tooth replacement options.
- Because the tooth root is what keeps your tooth sturdily in place in your mouth when you are eating and talking, replacing that portion of the tooth with an implant provides a strong foundation for your replacement tooth (typically a porcelain crown placed on top of the implant)
- The material is white and looks like your natural tooth for a beautiful smile
- Implants can last for the rest of your life when you take good care of your mouth
- You can forget you even have an implant because it is so comfortable and feels natural
- Other tooth replacement options can result in the loss of bone over time due to the lack of a tooth root; since implants become part of the jaw, they help stimulate your bone and prevent bone loss
- Zirconia implants don’t result in dark gray lines in your gums like metal implants or bridges can
- You don’t have to worry about what you eat
- You can take care of your implant tooth just like the rest of your healthy teeth
- The surrounding healthy teeth do not need to be altered as they do with other restoration options (such as dental bridges)—the treatment truly only affects the lost teeth
Process for placing dental implants
Getting a dental implant placed is a multi-step process, but guests find that it is truly worth the wait. The first step is to consult with Dr. Palmer to determine whether an implant is a right choice for you. He will perform a 3D scan to examine the density of your jawbone, the location of the nerves and dental structures in your mouth, and to take note of any other issues that need to be considered in implant placement. Based on these images, Dr. Palmer will plan out your implant so that you can spend less time in the dental chair on your actual procedure date. Sometimes, if a guest’s jawbone has deteriorated too much, a bone graft may need to be performed to provide ample bone for the implant to integrate with.
When it is time to place the implant, the procedure is done with anesthesia, so you feel little pain or discomfort. The dentist will insert the implant into your jawbone, and then you will need to let it heal for about three to six months. It is during this time that the true benefit of the implant occurs—the implant fuses with the bone. Once that process has occurred, then a crown, bridge, or denture can be placed on top to complete your beautiful smile transformation.
Schedule a consultation
If you have an upcoming tooth extraction or have suffered tooth loss already, we encourage you to call Palmer Distinctive Dentistry to learn more about your tooth replacement options and whether dental implants are right for you. To schedule a consultation at our Greenville, SC office, call (864) 879-6494 today!