Missing teeth create a wide range of dental concerns for both oral health and quality of life. Not only do missing teeth apply additional pressure to your remaining dental structures, but they can eventually lead to tooth shifting if left untreated. This is why we recommend that our patients seek tooth replacement options sooner rather than later.
Dental implants are considered the premier option for tooth replacement. They allow patients to replace a missing tooth, including the tooth roots. Learn more about the benefits of implant dentistry below.
We always recommend dental implants whenever possible. They’re the gold standard of tooth replacement because they’re the only option that replaces both the root and the crown. Because the implant post fuses with your jawbone, it stops the bone from deteriorating further after losing a tooth. This process also gives dental implants the stability that they’re known for. You get back 100% of your bite function with implants.
One of the biggest problems with removable tooth replacement options is that you have to worry about them falling out or slipping when speaking or eating. You don’t have to remove any foods from your diet with dental implants. Removable dental bridges and dentures must be readjusted or replaced throughout their lifetimes. The jawbone continues to degrade and change the fit of the restoration. This is never a problem with dental implants. They’re a permanent replacement.
Taking care of implants is as easy as taking care of your natural teeth. You simply have to brush, floss, and visit the dentist regularly as you would normally. There are no extra steps. Removable restorations require you to take them out and clean them separately. Dentures often require messy adhesives to stay in the mouth. Scrubbing and soaks are needed to clean them properly.
With all of our patients, we want to make sure they get the right restoration option for their specific case. If you want to replace your missing teeth, we’ll first schedule a consultation. Dr. Hudgens will perform a thorough oral exam and ensure you meet the requirements for dental implants. You have to be healthy enough overall to undergo the implant placement, as it is a surgical procedure.
Dental implants require a certain amount of healthy bone structure for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. If you don’t meet this requirement, we’ll discuss a bone graft. You’ll have to completely heal from this procedure before we can move forward with implant placement. This is also true for existing conditions. If you have broken tooth fragments or gum disease, we’ll have to take care of these and let them heal before moving forward.
Before the procedure, we’ll talk to you about your sedation options. Most patients choose to have sedation for the implant surgery. At our office, we offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral conscious sedation. Nitrous oxide takes effect and wears off quickly and is breathed through the nose through the procedure. Oral sedation is adminstered by a prescribed pill taken before your procedure. It’s a deeper sedation and you’ll have to be driven to and from your appointment.
We start by numbing the area around the implant site with local anesthetic. Then, the implant post is placed in the jaw. It takes around 3-6 months for the post to completely heal and fuse with the jawbone. We fit you with a temporary restoration until this healing process is complete. Once healed, we place an abutment on top of the post. A custom final restoration is made and finishes the implant process.
Schedule An Appointment
Are you missing one tooth or have several missing teeth? If so, learn more about your tooth replacement options by visiting the Charleston, SC dentist office of Dr. R. Edward Hudgens. Schedule an appointment online for a consultation on our implant dentistry services. We look forward to seeing you soon.