Missing teeth can now be replaced with the most life-like option using dental implants. Chapel Hill dentist Dr. Sarah Cook restores all types of dental implants for patients with one, several or a full arch of missing teeth. Edentulous patients and those with an ill-fitted denture can also receive dental implants to permanently secure a beautiful new smile.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Many patients are faced with choosing between treatment options when replacing lost teeth. From dental bridges to dentures, there is now a range of choices to take into consideration. Dr. Cook will meet with you to evaluate the condition of your teeth, gums, and jaw bone structure before recommending the most suitable options for your needs. She will discuss your concerns and aesthetic goals and provide details on the number of visits, cost and what to expect with different treatment options.
Dental implants offer several key benefits for the long-term health of your smile and your quality of life. It is important to consider all factors when choosing a tooth replacement option so that your end result meets your needs and goals.
Key benefits of implants to consider include:
Stable, permanent result
Reduces bone shrinkage in the jaw
No dietary restrictions
No daily adhesives
Confident, comfortable speech
Dental Implants What to Expect
The dental implant process has two phases, beginning with the surgical implantation of the post into the jaw bone. Dr. Cook will coordinate this part of your treatment with a local oral surgeon and follow up with you to monitor the healing process and schedule the next step in your treatment. The healing phase can take 3-6 months and varies from person to person. It is important that enough time is allowed to pass before attaching the abutment so that the post is well integrated into the jaw for a stable outcome.
Once the soft tissues have healed, an abutment will be attached to the post. This collar-like piece will eventually support your new dental crown or secure a bridge or denture. A short healing period is often needed before the final restoration or appliance is attached.
What Is A Dental Implant?
The dental implant consists of three parts, all of which work together to closely mimic the structure of your natural tooth.
Implant post: made of surgical grade titanium, the implant post is surgically placed into healthy jaw bone tissue. This part of the implant serves as a prosthetic tooth root and plays a key role in helping stabilize the bone tissue and minimize changes in the shape of your jaw.
Abutment: attached to the post, the abutment will secure the final restoration. There are other types of attachment possibilities for implant dentures depending on the type of denture used.
Restoration: a prosthetic tooth, or dental crown is placed on the abutment.
Caring for Your Dental Implants
Dental implants will look, feel and function like natural teeth. They should also be cared for daily with tooth brushing and flossing for long-term dental health. Routine dental visits will allow our team to monitor the condition of your implants and the health of surrounding tissue.
Dr. Cook will provide any specific daily oral hygiene or brushing advice for your type of implant or implant denture. Implants can last a lifetime with proper care and routine dentistry.
In most cases dental insurance benefits do not cover the cost of dental implants. Our office will work with you to determine if there is any benefit available and we will provide information on all associated costs for your consideration.