Do you have a missing or extracted permanent tooth? Is your removable bridge or denture not working properly or fitting comfortably? Dr. Denise Halliburton provides the final restoration for dental implants in Ellicott City, MD. Dental implants are a restorative dentistry solution for patients that need to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. They can be used alone or to secure dental bridges and dentures. Dental implants are a highly versatile and long-lasting solution for patients who require replacement teeth.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Even one missing tooth has a severe impact on your oral health. Right when the tooth goes missing, your jawbone starts to deteriorate. The facial muscles in the same area start to sag because they don’t have the support of the bone structure. This causes premature aging and you look much older because the skin is droopy. The jawbone continues to deteriorate unless the tooth root is replaced.
When there’s a hole in your smile, the teeth around it start to shift and fill in the gap. If you’ve had orthodontic treatment in the past, the result you achieved can be completely reversed by your teeth moving around. Your bite becomes uneven and the pressure of it isn’t distributed properly. Some of your teeth take on more stress than others. These teeth wear down faster and are more likely to chip or break. Then you have more oral health problems that you need to get taken care of.
An uneven bite also leads to problems with TMJ. When your jaw isn’t tracking properly, it doesn’t function properly. It may pop and click and you may have trouble opening or closing your mouth. The muscles that assist your jaw also are tense and strained. Pain radiates throughout your jaw, face, and head. Frequent headaches are one of the markers of TMJ disorders. The longer your bite is uneven, the longer you’ll have these problems.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many reasons why dental implants are the gold standard of tooth restoration. First, they’re the only tooth replacement option that replaces both the crown and the root. This makes it the only one that stops jawbone deterioration and helps the bone to actually regenerate in that area. The implant post has to fuse with the jawbone, acting as that tooth root. You won’t need to readjust or realign your restoration due to bone deterioration, saving you unexpected future costs. You also don’t experience the facial sagging that occurs when your jawbone continues to deteriorate.
Acting as the tooth root also gives implants more stability than other options. You get back 100% of your bite function. There’s no worrying about your restoration slipping or falling out when you’re eating or speaking in public. And you can continue to eat a completely balanced diet because you don’t have to eliminate any foods from your diet. You can bite into an apple and eat other hard foods with ease. Implants look and feel the most natural out of all tooth replacement options and they should last a lifetime.
Implants don’t require any extra maintenance, either. With dentures and other removable restorations, they require upkeep. The restoration must be taken out before you sleep so your gums can rest overnight. If you use adhesive for your dentures, you have to clean them thoroughly every night as well. Denture soaks and other methods are needed to keep the restorations clean and functional. With dental implants, you simply have to take care of them like you would your normal teeth.
With dental bridges especially, your natural teeth take on the brunt of the stress to support the bridge. These anchor teeth wear down faster and are more likely to develop tooth decay. If you let your missing teeth go, you’re also more likely to experience these oral health problems and lose more teeth. Dental implants help you avoid that. The implant post completely supports the restoration, without impacting your natural teeth.
Dental Implant Treatment
Dr. Halliburton works with a local oral surgeon to place dental implants. The oral surgeon will surgically insert your implant or implants into the jawbone. They may also provide you with a temporary restoration as the implants heal. During a three to six-month process called osseointegration, the dental implants fuse to the jawbone.
This process ensures that the implants are stable, just like natural teeth. You will return to our office once the implants are fully healed. We will add abutments and dental crowns to the implant posts. We will attach those restorations if you require a dental implant bridge or denture.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read answers to common questions many patients have about dental implants below:
How do you care for dental implants?
Dental implants can be cared for just like natural teeth. Gently brush and floss twice daily and schedule regular appointments in our office. Our team can keep track of your implants and the health of your remaining teeth.
Am I a candidate for dental implant treatment?
Most patients are implant candidates. This is because we can provide gum disease treatment or recommend bone grafting services to our patients. Patients with infected gums or insufficient bone to support implants can receive these services to ensure their candidacy. If patients already have healthy teeth and gums with enough jawbone for implants, then they are ready for treatment.
How do I prepare for dental implant surgery?
To start, ensure you have proper arrangements for a ride to and from the procedure. The oral surgeon will provide instructions for fasting before your surgery to ensure things go smoothly. For the first week or so after the procedure, you’ll need to stick to eating soft foods, so prepare soft meals or stock up on soft food. Be ready to rest, practice proper oral hygiene, and get enough sleep as you’re recovering.
Does getting a dental implant hurt?
The actual procedure shouldn’t be painful. The entire area is numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure takes place. An oral surgeon often has sedation options available to keep you relaxed throughout the whole thing. Recovery should bring minimal discomfort. Of course, a surgical procedure is going to cause some soreness as you heal. Over-the-counter pain relievers should be able to get you through recovery. By two weeks after the procedure, you should be feeling pretty normal.
How long does it take to get used to a dental implant?
Though dental implants both look and feel the most like your natural teeth, they do have an adjustment period. It’ll feel like a foreign object in your mouth for a bit until you adjust. For most people, this happens within about three weeks. It may be a longer or shorter period for you as it’s different for every unique patient.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are permanent dental restorations. With the right care, implants and implant-secured restorations can last many years. Implants can fail over time if the gums or surrounding teeth are infected. Scheduling routine dental care can prevent implants from failing and ensure that your restoration lasts.
Contact Our Dental Office
Do you want to restore your smile with dental implants or an implant-secured bridge or denture? Schedule a dental appointment with us on our website or call Halliburton Family Dentistry at 443.232.0656. Dr. Halliburton serves patients from Columbia, Ellicott City, Elkridge, and the surrounding areas of Howard County, Maryland.