A dental implant is the preferred replacement for a missing tooth. Dental implants are more permanent than a natural tooth. Additionally, a dental implant can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. Unlike their conventional counterparts, an implant-supported dental bridge or implant-supported dentures are permanent. Experienced implant dentists, such as Dr. Thad Vincent can provide various implant-supported options.
At Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, our doctors both place and restore traditional and mini dental implants in Sumter, SC. If you are missing teeth or would like to stabilize poorly fitting dentures, dental implants can provide a reliable, permanent tooth replacement. Our dentists handle the entire dental implant process at our office, from exam and design to surgery, restoration, and maintenance. The level of comprehensive care you will receive at one of our convenient locations from our skilled team is unsurpassed.
Traditional Dental Implants
Dental implants are small, titanium posts surgically placed in the jawbone. Most often, healing occurs over two to six months. During healing the implants fuse with the jaw. Once this process, called “osseointegration,” is complete, your implant dentist will attach the abutments.
Then, your final restoration – a crown, bridge, or full or partial denture – can be attached to the implants. The entire traditional implant procedure takes between three months and a year, depending upon healing time.
Preparing for Dental Implants
Placing dental implants can involve one or more surgeries, depending on the health of your jaw and the type of implant you choose. Dr. Thad Vincent and his team at Palmetto Family Dentistry can perform all aspects of dental implant treatment at our Sumter, SC, dental office.
During your initial consultation at our practice, your doctor will perform a thorough assessment and take digital x-rays to determine your candidacy for implants. Your medical history will also be reviewed in detail to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo oral surgery.
Patients who have lost jawbone density over time may require bone grafting to become candidates for dental implants. Other patients who have a low-lying sinus cavity may require a sinus lift before implant placement. We can provide ridge augmentation in some instances.
If decay or gum disease is present, these issues will need to be resolved before your dental implant procedure. Other factors must also be considered, including:
- The number of teeth that require replacement
- Whether extractions, bone grafts, or other preparatory procedures are necessary
- The condition of your jawbone
If you qualify for the dental implant procedure, our dentists will provide with a detailed list of pre-operative guidelines, which may include:
- Rinsing with a special antibacterial mouthwash
- Taking antibiotics a few days prior to your dental implant procedure
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced breakfast the morning of your surgery (unless you are going to be sedated)
- Temporarily discontinuing certain medications, such as blood thinners
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants involve a commitment that most patients believe is entirely worthwhile, as dental implants offer so many advantages:
- Patients can eat any food, even sticky foods that would dislodge conventional dentures.
- Patients can enjoy the peace of mind that dentures will not slip out of place at an inopportune moment.
- Denture adhesive is no longer necessary, nor are denture care routines.
- Implants are permanent and will not require refitting or replacement.
- Implants prevent bone degeneration that can occur with tooth loss by stimulating jaw tissue.
- The restored implant can fill out the soft tissues of your face, giving you a renewed, more youthful appearance, and boosting your confidence.
Mini Dental Implants: A Less Invasive Implant Option
Sometimes, patients do not qualify for traditional dental implants due to insufficient jawbone tissue. Also, some patients do not want to undergo a bone grafting procedure. In either case, you may want to consider the benefits of mini dental implants.
Mini implant restorations allow for less complicated surgery and quicker recovery time. At Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we have the most experienced implant dentists in Sumter, SC. Our doctors can place both mini and traditional dental implants. We provide other implant-supported restorations to repair lost dental function and restore the appearance of your smile.
What Are Mini Implants?
Similar to traditional implants, mini dental implants are made out of titanium and can be embedded into your jawbone to support crowns, bridges, or dentures. Generally, conventional dental implants are 3.4 to 5.8 mm in diameter. On the other hand, mini implants have a diameter of 1.8 to 3.3 mm and 10 to 15 mm long. As a result, more patients can experience the benefits of implant-supported restorations.
However, miniature implants do not offer the same level of stability as traditional implants. Since regular implants are more substantial and placed in the dense bone, they tend to last longer and provide better support. If you grind or clench your teeth, mini implants may not be right for you. The best way to determine if you are a candidate for mini implants is to schedule an initial consultation at Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. We can take detailed scans and x-rays of your jaw and recommend the optimal treatment plan for you.
Recovering from Implant Surgery
Immediately following your dental implant procedure, it is reasonable to notice some degree of discomfort, bleeding, and swelling. You may manage the side effects of implant surgery with over-the-counter medications. Intermittent application of a cold compress can also be useful for reducing inflammation during the first 24 hours.
For the first 48 to 72 hours, we recommend abstaining from strenuous activity and heavy lifting. Elevated heart rate can result in increased postoperative bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. Patients should also eat a soft food diet for the first few days, then introduce more solid options as comfort levels improve. Swelling and other side effects typically subside a few days after surgery.
Caring For a Dental Implant
Schedule Your Consultation
Call today to schedule your consultation at one of our Sumter offices. Our skilled doctors are experts in every facet of dental implant surgery. They will work with you to develop an implant treatment plan that meets your needs. If you have been told you do not qualify for an implant-supported restoration, you may still be a candidate for mini dental implants.