Dental Implants Services and Information
Dental implants are artificial replacements for tooth roots and teeth that have previously been removed or lost. Patients may seek implant dentistry to improve their self-confidence and smile, or to increase their ability to speak or chew naturally.
Contrary to popular belief dental implants do not destroy or replace bone, but actually encourage new bone growth and prevent bone deterioration! Patients will be relieved to learn that this type of oral surgery ranks as one of the safest dental procedures available when performed by a trusted and experienced implant dentist such as Dr. Li.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are comprised of three parts:
- The body of the implant, which is a small metal rod that is inserted into the jawbone and acts as a base for the crown to rest on.
- A connector (also known as an abutment), which attaches the body of the implant to the crown.
- And the crown, which is custom made to match surrounding natural teeth for an organic appearance.
The most commonly used materials include titanium and zirconia, both of which are sturdy and reliable metals that can last for decades if the patient practices proper oral hygiene. It’s important to take proper care of yourself following the procedure. You’ll want to have soft foods while the gum tissue and mouth are healing, while also staying away from tobacco as it can increase the risk of infection. Be sure to speak with your dentist about foods and drinks to avoid during the healing process and proper at-home care.
Many patients choose dental implants over other replacement teeth such as bridges and dentures because implants provide a more natural look, feel, and function. Whereas dentures can slip or shift while eating, patients with dental implants report that speaking and eating feel very natural and secure. Another positive dental implants offer over other tooth replacement procedures is that they help to stimulate the natural bone replacement cycle. When a tooth falls out, the root no longer interacts with your jawbone, and this interaction between the two helps new and healthy tissue to replace old and damaged ones. Without this process, your jawbone can become thin and weak over time, causing damage to your other teeth. Denture and bridges don’t instigate the bone replacement cycle, though dental implants do.
Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is actually multiple procedures over a period of several months. Time is taken between each phase of the implant procedure to encourage new jawbone growth, and to allow the patient time to heal.
Dental implant procedures consist of:
- Removal of the damaged tooth (if necessary)
- Placement of the implant body into the jawbone
- Placement of the abutment
- And finally, installation of the crown
Some phases may be combined, or additional steps are taken, depending on the patient’s unique oral health circumstances and treatment plan.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
Dental implant patients report a high degree of satisfaction and much less discomfort compared to other major dental surgeries or procedures. Patients may experience anxiety about the dental implant surgery, but Dr. Li will listen to all of your concerns regarding implant placement, tooth replacement, and work with you to find a sedative or anesthesia method that will be right for you.
Patients should not feel any part of the dental implant procedure. Sedatives, general anesthesia, or a combination of methods will be used to ensure patient comfort during your dental care. After surgery patients may experience facial swelling, soreness in the cheeks or jaw, or minor bleeding or bruising. Dr. Li will prescribe pain medication as needed to help patients through recovery.
Dr. Li and her compassionate care team understand that you will have many questions about dental implants and dental restoration. During your consultation Dr. Li will conduct a thorough examination of your health history to identify if dental implants are the right choice for you to ensure the best success rates. We have numerous payment options available and if you have dental benefits, we will submit your claims on your behalf. We also welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, and e-Transfer payment methods to help make the dentist visit as pain-free as possible. We look forward to helping you reclaim your smile.