That missing tooth not only leaves a gap in your smile, it can also impact your confidence and health. There are many replacement options available, but most are less than ideal for one reason or another. Most likely, you just want your real tooth back. While that is not yet possible, dental implants are the next best thing. Triad Dentistry is an experienced dentist offering several options at his practice in Greensboro, NC, near Charlotte, Raleigh, Reidsville, Mebane, Winston-Salem, Durham, and Eden.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root. In appearance, implants resemble screws, though you will never see them once treatment is complete. They are surgically placed in the bone, creating a strong bond over time. This creates a sturdy, reliable foundation for custom-made crowns or other specially designed restorations.
The idea of dental implants is as old as civilization. Archeologists have found evidence of “teeth” made from materials such as shell, that were pounded into the jawbones of subjects. These primitive implants almost certainly failed more often than not, because the human body rejects foreign materials. It was not until the 1950s that dentists discovered the first truly reliable implant material and began refining the process.
Dental implant treatment has been widely used for decades, with an excellent record of safety, success, and patient satisfaction. Today, it is considered the gold standard treatment for replacing any number of missing teeth. Over three million Americans currently have at least one dental implant, and that number grows by more than half a million every year.
Dr. Hatcher and his team are the most compassionate care givers I have encountered during my search for a Dentist who would help me with my dental implants. They made be feel right at home the moment I walked in to their office, answered all my questions patiently and made the whole process as painless as possible. Thank you for treating me like your own family. Best to you all.
If you have lost one or more secondary (adult) teeth, or if you have any teeth requiring extraction, you are probably an implant candidate. The procedure is not appropriate for children. If a primary (baby) tooth is lost, your dentist may recommend a space maintainer. However, a secondary tooth will eventually emerge in that spot, so permanent replacement is not needed. For teenagers who have lost secondary teeth, implants are a viable option. However, we need to wait until the oral structure is fully developed, which usually occurs around age 16 to 18. There is not an upper age limit.
Before recommending implants, Dr. Hatcher will perform an examination and review your medical history. As long as you are healthy enough for minor surgery, implants should be a viable option. Individuals with naturally thin jawbones, or those who have experienced significant bone loss in the area, may need a prerequisite grafting procedure. If applicable, this will be discussed during your initial consultation.
Like all treatments in our office, dental implants begin with a one-on-one consultation. Dr. Hatcher will perform an examination and discuss your options. He offers traditional bridges and dentures for patients who aren’t healthy enough for surgery, or those who prefer not to get implants. During your consultation, he will discuss the pros and cons of each option and explain what to expect.
Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America. In the advanced stages, it also attacks the bone tissue. Once a tooth is lost, bone deterioration continues, because there is no root to stimulate healthy tissue regeneration. For these and other reasons, some people have a small amount of bone tissue in the area where implants need to be placed.
For some patients, grafting can be avoided by using mini implants, because they require less bone. However, even with their smaller size, mini implants still need a certain amount of strong, healthy bone. Additionally, some people aren’t good candidates for mini implants. Thankfully, bone grafting is a minor, predictable procedure with a low risk of complications. Bone tissue may be taken from another area of the body or grafting material may be used. It may take a few weeks or months for the graft to fully incorporate into the bone, at which time implant placement can proceed.
Once pre-requisite treatment such as bone grafting (if needed) is complete, we are ready to place the dental implants. Standard implant treatment is a two-stage process.
Dr. Hatcher and his team share a deep dedication to excellence and take great care to perform precision procedures. With state-of-the-art technology and extensive experience in implantology, you can rest assured that your new smile is in qualified hands. We offer full sized as well as mini implants, with options for replacing one, several, or all your teeth. Sedation is also available for patients who might need a little help relaxing during the procedure.
If you think that dental implant treatment may be right for you