Dental Implants

Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jaw bone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.

Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.

Evaluation for Dental Implants

If like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by either Dr. Chowning or by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon referred by our practice. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.

Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jaw bone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.

For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jaw bone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jaw bone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your restorative dentist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.

After the implant has bonded to the jaw bone, the second phase begins. The surgeon will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Dr. Chowning can then start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are designed to work as a long-term solution for tooth replacement. You can help preserve your implants the same way you’d preserve your own teeth–by practicing good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing will keep your gums healthy, and your dental implants free from erosion and decay. Studies show that implants can last for an average of 20 to 25 years, depending on certain factors.

Extend The Life Of Your Implants

By keeping your body healthy in general, you greatly increase the chances of long life for your dental implants. Habits like excessive drinking and smoking can damage your implants the same way they’d damage your natural teeth. Practicing healthy lifestyle habits can help keep your dental implants healthy. 

It’s important to choose the right dentist to place your implants. Because dental implants are a high-skill procedure, you want to make sure that you choose a quality dentist with an excellent reputation in oral surgery. At Timberlake Dental, we have the best in the business. Dr. Chowning’s experience and care will ensure that your implants stand the test of time better than a run-of-the-mill dentist.

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

During the procedure, anesthesia is used so no pain will be felt at all. During recovery, most patients report only minor discomfort that can be relieved with over-the-counter medicines like Advil or Tylenol. 

As for the long term, many patients share that implants are far more comfortable than they ever expected. Less painful than a tooth extraction, dental implants provide a long-term and  confident smile.

How Do I Care For My Dental Implants?

You’ll treat your dental implants just as you would your natural teeth. Brush and floss regularly, use an antibacterial mouthwash and see your dentist for routine check ups and cleanings.

How Long Does It Take To Recover After Getting Dental Implants?

Everyone’s recovery is different–let’s break down an average recovery timeline. Immediately after the procedure, you may notice some dizziness or nausea. These are natural side effects of the anesthesia and should wear off within a few hours.

48 to 72 Hours After the Procedure

You may notice some bleeding at the site, similar to or less than what you’d see for a simple tooth extraction. You may have some bleeding from the nose if your surgery was on the upper arch. For 2 to 3 days, you might see some bruising and swelling in the facial area. Cold compresses should help the swelling subside. 

A soft food diet is recommended over this period. The mouth may feel unusual, as you have something new in the jaw. A sore throat and trouble swallowing are also common at this time, but should be gone by day four.

Ongoing Healing

The stitches should dissolve within 1-2 weeks, with little to no discomfort. Your dentist may recommend OTC medicines like Tylenol or Motrin, although many patients don’t find they need it. The osseointegration process should be complete between 5 and 7 months.