Restoring Your Stunning Smile at Auburn Family Dentistry
People live longer than ever now, and while regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost any number of teeth due to injury or disease, you can rejuvenate your smile and oral health with dental implants, the gold standard of restorative dentistry. Our experienced Auburn implant dentist Dr. David Painter and his team of dental professionals at Auburn Family Dentistry provide advanced implant solutions for our patients.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are biocompatible tooth roots surgically placed into the jawbone to mimic the natural structure of your tooth roots. The “root” is usually made of titanium — the same material in many replacement hips and knees and a well-suited metal to pair with human bone. Dr. Painter then finalizes the restoration by fixing a custom dental crown to the implant.
Single- or Multi-Tooth Dental Implants
If you’re missing one tooth, one implant plus one dental crown will do the trick. If you’re missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent dental bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or denture arch can be permanently supported by a strategic number of implants.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many reasons our Auburn dentist recommends dental implants for his patients, including:
- Improved Appearance: Dental implants are designed to look and feel like natural teeth, enhancing your smile and overall facial aesthetics.
- Enhanced Speech: Dental implants allow you to speak confidently, as they function like natural teeth, preventing slurred speech or mumbling that can occur with missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures.
- Improved Comfort: Implants are fused to the jawbone, providing a stable and secure foundation for replacement teeth. This stability eliminates the discomfort and irritation often associated with removable dentures.
- Enhanced Chewing and Eating: Unlike removable dentures, dental implants function like natural teeth, allowing you to bite and chew with greater strength and efficiency.
- Long-Lasting Solution: Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. They’re a durable and reliable option for tooth replacement, providing a permanent solution compared to other alternatives.
- Improved Oral Health: Dental implants don’t require alterations to adjacent teeth, as is necessary with dental bridges, preserving the integrity of your natural teeth.
- Convenience: Dental implants eliminate the need for messy adhesives associated with removable dentures. They become part of your mouth, eliminating the inconvenience of removing and cleaning dentures.
- Preservation of Bone and Facial Structure: After tooth loss, the underlying jawbone may deteriorate over time. Dental implants stimulate the bone, preventing bone loss, regenerating lost bone tissue, and maintaining the natural contours of your face.
- Improved Self-Esteem and Confidence: Dental implants provide a natural-looking and permanent solution for missing teeth, helping to restore your smile and boost your self-esteem. You can confidently engage in social and professional activities without feeling self-conscious about your teeth.
The Dental Implant Process
Before Dr. Painter can determine whether you’re a candidate for dental implants, you’ll need to visit our Auburn dental office for a consultation. Your Auburn implant dentist will discuss your dental health, medical history, and specific concerns and evaluate your oral condition, including the health of your gums and jawbone.
If you’re eligible for dental implants, Dr. Painter will create a personalized treatment plan based on your needs. This plan will consider factors such as the number of implants required, the location of missing teeth, and any additional procedures that may be necessary, such as bone grafting or tooth extractions.
In some cases, you may need to undergo supplemental procedures before implant placement. These treatments could involve extractions, bone grafting, or gum disease treatment to ensure a stable foundation for the implants. Dr. Painter will discuss these procedures with you and schedule them accordingly.
The next step is the surgical placement of the dental implants. Dr. Painter will numb the area with a local anesthetic or dental sedation to ensure your comfort. Then, the titanium implants will be surgically inserted into the jawbone beneath the gum line. Over the next few months, the jawbone will naturally bond and integrate with the implants in the osseointegration process, creating a strong and stable foundation.
Finalizing Your Treatment
Once the implants have fused with the jawbone, a minor surgical procedure may be required to attach abutments. Abutments are small connectors that protrude through the gums and act as anchors for the replacement teeth. From there, your personalized crowns will be attached to the abutments, completing the implant restoration process.
Dr. Painter will schedule follow-up appointments at our Auburn dental office to monitor your healing progress and make any necessary adjustments. Maintaining good oral hygiene and scheduling routine check-ups is crucial to ensure the longevity of your dental implants.
Caring For Dental Implants
Dr. Painter will advise that you treat dental implant restorations the same as natural teeth. They require the same twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and routine six-month checkups at Auburn Family Dentistry. Just like your natural teeth, the better you care for your dental implants, the longer they’ll last.
Frequently Asked Questions
The implant placement procedure is typically performed with the patient under a local anesthetic or sedation, ensuring a comfortable experience. Some discomfort and swelling may occur after the surgery, but you can manage it with pain medications prescribed by your dentist. Most patients report that the discomfort is manageable and subsides within a few days.
Dental implants are designed to look and feel like natural teeth. The replacement crowns are customized to match the color, shape, and size of your existing teeth, providing a seamless and natural appearance. Once the implants heal, they’re indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Yes, dental implants allow you to eat a wide variety of foods with confidence. Since implants function like natural teeth and are securely anchored in the jawbone, they provide excellent stability and chewing efficiency.
Dental implant surgery is generally safe, but as with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These can include infection, implant failure, nerve damage, or sinus problems. However, with proper planning, a skilled implant dentist, and adherence to post-operative care instructions, you can minimize the risks.
Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation with Dr. Painter
Don’t let missing teeth hinder your confidence and ability to enjoy life to the fullest. Dental implants with Dr. Painter are a long-lasting and natural-looking solution that can enhance your appearance and boost your self-esteem. Our team at Auburn Family Dentistry has the expertise and technology to ensure successful implant placement and a seamless restoration.
Schedule your implant consultation at our Auburn dental office by calling (260) 357-2380 or filling out our online contact form. We’re always happy to meet new patients from in and around Waterloo, Kendallville, and Garrett, IN.