Are you considering dental implants? This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the process, helping to alleviate any concerns and set clear expectations for your journey towards a healthier, more confident smile.
Dental implants in Hickory offer a permanent solution for tooth loss, providing a strong foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone, providing a stable base for the artificial tooth. The process of getting dental implants involves several stages, each tailored to your individual needs to ensure the best possible results.
Your journey begins with a consultation. Your dentist or oral surgeon will evaluate your oral health, which includes examining your teeth, gums, and jawbone. They may take X-rays or 3D images to assess the suitability of your jawbone for supporting an implant. This step is crucial as it helps in planning the procedure and identifying any pre-treatment requirements such as bone grafting if the jawbone is not strong enough.
Depending on your oral health, some preparatory work might be necessary. If you have a tooth that needs to be replaced, it may need to be extracted first. In cases where the jawbone is too soft or thin, bone grafting might be required. This procedure involves adding bone (or a bone-like material) to your jaw to strengthen it. The healing period for bone grafts can vary, sometimes taking several months.
Once you're ready for the implant, the dentist or oral surgeon will place the implant post into your jawbone, which acts as the tooth root. This is usually done under local anesthesia, and you might feel some pressure but no pain during the procedure. After the implant is placed, it needs to time to integrate with the bone, a process known as osseointegration. This can take several months.
After the implant has fused with the jawbone, the next step is the placement of the abutment – a piece where the crown will eventually attach. This is typically a minor surgical procedure done under local anesthesia.
Once your gums heal, it's time to choose your new teeth. These are custom-made crowns designed to match your natural teeth in color and shape. The dentist takes impressions of your mouth and the remaining teeth to create a crown that fits perfectly.
The last step is the placement of the crown. Once your custom crown is ready, the dentist attaches it to the abutment. This step is usually straightforward and doesn't require anesthesia. With the crown in place, your dental implant is complete.
At Hickory Heights Dental, we pride ourselves on providing personalized, high-quality dental care. Dr. Thomas Pardue is a skilled professional with years of experience in dental implant procedures. Ready to take the next step towards a healthier, more confident smile? Contact us today at 828-322-4627 to schedule your consultation for dental implants in Hickory. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice and helping you on your journey to better oral health.