Dental Implant Treatment in Columbia, SC
At the office of Dr. Gregg W. McKenzie, DDS, we're proud to help patients throughout the greater Columbia, SC area achieve beautiful, complete smiles through comprehensive dental treatment. One of the most versatile and powerful treatments we offer at our office are dental implants – effective, long-lasting replacement teeth that blend in with the smile and promote long-term dental health. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime, making them a great option for patients who lose teeth to trauma or periodontal disease.
The Difference Between Dental Implants, Crowns, & Dentures
Dental implants aren't the only treatment for replacing teeth – dental crowns, bridges, and dentures all offer effective ways to replace teeth. However, over the long-term, dental implants often offer a better solution for many patients. Here are just a few of the advantages that dental implants have over other treatments:
- Unlike bridges, dental implants don't require us to alter adjacent teeth as support. This helps leave your natural smile untouched and maintains your natural teeth over the long-term.
- Dental implants possess the unique property of osseointegration: once placed, the titanium in dental implants will literally fuse with your jawbone. This helps distribute bite pressure evenly and naturally, preventing the bone loss that can come from dentures.
- Because implants fuse with the jawbone, they naturally have powerful structure and support, making them a more stable solution that conventional dentures or bridges.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Implants are a versatile solution and can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire dental arch. Because of this, the specifics of your procedure will vary based on the exact type of treatment you're getting as well as other factors like the strength of your jawbone. Dr. McKenzie will talk with you to help you choose the best treatment for your situation and understand every part of the process.
At its core, a dental implant is essentially a screw-like titanium post that's inserted into the socket of a missing tooth in the jawbone. Once placed, the implant is given 2-6 months to heal, during which time the implant fuses directly to the jawbone. Once the implant is finished healing, Dr. McKenzie places a dental crown over the implant that's custom-shaped and color-matched to your existing teeth.
Depending on the specifics of your case, Dr. McKenzie may place just one implant to replace a single tooth or place multiple implants to replace multiple teeth throughout the mouth. If you need more extensive replacement, you may receive implant-supported dentures. Often, we can use only 4-6 implants to support an entire dental arch, making for a simpler and more convenient procedure. Because the implants fuse to the bone, they're able to absorb bite pressure in the jaw instead of pushing down on the jawbone, as traditional dentures do. This prevents bone loss and helps to keep your entire mouth healthier for years to come.
Caring for Dental Implants
Caring for implants is fairly simple – just care for them the same way you would your natural teeth through daily brushing and flossing. While the dental implant itself will never decay, bacteria can infect the gum tissue surrounding the implant of the adjacent teeth, causing serious problems and weakening the implant. However, with proper oral hygiene, you can prevent this issue and keep your implant – and your smile overall – strong and healthy for a lifetime.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Columbia, SC Periodontal Dentist
Implants are a powerful, versatile, and long-lasting treatment for a variety of dental problems. If you'd like to learn more about dental implants or find out if they're right for you, we would love to help. Call us today at (803) 788-0900 with any questions or reach out to us at our contact page to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you achieve a beautiful, complete smile through dental implants.