Dental Implants

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Dental Implants in Greenville SC

Dental implants have revolutionized the way that we replace teeth. Whether you currently wear full or partial dentures or need to replace one or more missing teeth, dental implants are permanent false teeth that give you that same look, feel, and function as natural teeth.

Who is a Good Candidate For Implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. You should have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant or be a candidate for bone grafting. You should also be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits to ensure dental implants’ long-term success and health.

Dental Implant Restoration

Occasionally, the crown on a dental implant can crack or loosen from the implant due to injury or prolonged stress such as teeth grinding or chewing on fingernails. At Trail West Family Dentistry, we also offer dental implant restoration to get your dental implant back in working order. Crown restorations are done using dental bonding, or full crown replacement depending on the severity of the break. If you suspect your implant might be broken or it feels loose, call our office for an examination.

Types of Dental Implants

There are two different types of dental implants:

  1. Endosteal implant: These are the most common type of dental implant. Endosteal implants are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone, where they take the place of tooth roots. One implant can be used to anchor one or several teeth. They’re made from body-safe materials such as titanium and usually resemble small screws. 
  2. Subperiosteal implant: These implants are often used with patients who don’t have enough healthy bone to support an endosteal implant. Subperiosteal implants are inserted under the gum – they are placed above or on the bone rather than in it. A metal frame is fitted onto the jawbone below the gum tissue, and as the gums heal, the frame becomes fixed to the jawbone. Posts attached to the frame protrude through the gums, and artificial teeth are then mounted to the posts. Dental implants can be used for single or full teeth replacement.

Single Tooth vs. All-On-4 Dental Implants

  1. Single tooth implants: This is great for those who have one or a few missing teeth. A single implant can fill in the gap and create a seamless look and perfectly functioning teeth.
  2. Multi tooth implants (all-on-4): This is the best option for patients who have lost all their teeth on the upper and/or lower arch. The All-On-4 dental implants provide permanent teeth replacement that is comfortable and stable (not removable) using a minimal number of implants. The implants are strategically placed in areas of good strong bone, and a thin denture prosthesis is screwed into place.

Implant Procedure

Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages, with healing time between procedures. The process of placing a dental implant involves multiple steps, including:

  • Exam: The first step in the dental implant process is an exam. Our dentists will examine your teeth, gums, and jawbone to determine whether you have enough healthy jawbone to support the implant. If your jawbone isn’t thick enough or too soft, you may need bone grafting before having dental implant surgery. A bone graft can create a more solid base for the implant. Your gums must also be free of periodontal disease.
  • Placing the implant: Getting a dental implant requires oral surgery, which can be done using local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia. For this procedure you’ll be referred to an implant specialist by our dentists. After this procedure, you’ll still have a gap where your tooth is missing, but if you choose, we can place a temporary removable denture over the hole for aesthetic purposes until the permanent tooth can be attached to the implant.
  • Healing: Once the metal implant post is placed in your jawbone, it will take anywhere from 2 to 6 months before your bone heals and enough new bone growth occurs around the screw. This process is known as osseointegration and keeps the implant firmly secured to the jaw to function as the artificial tooth’s root. Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post, called an abutment, is attached to the post to hold the new tooth securely in place. It will take several weeks for the gums to heal and contour around the abutment. You’ll get a temporary crown while the gums finish healing around the abutment.
  • Placing the tooth: Once the healing is complete, you’ll have impressions made of your mouth and remaining teeth. We use these impressions to make the crown — your natural-looking artificial tooth. 

Cost of Dental Implants

Dental implant costs can vary based upon the number of teeth you’re replacing, as well as the extent of each procedure. The good news is most dental insurance providers cover some of the costs for implants. Contact our office for details on what your specific provider will cover.

Schedule Your Dental Implant Appointment Today!

Because they fit, feel, and function like natural teeth, dental implants are an effective long-term solution for people who have missing teeth, failing teeth, or chronic dental problems. Our dentists, Dr. Philip Gould, DMD, and Dr. Terry Willis, DMD, and the exceptional dental team at Trail West Family Dentistry, will design a customized treatment plan to help you get the smile you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your implant consultation!