Life-changing Treatment for Patients with Missing Teeth
A single missing tooth or extensive tooth loss can create obstacles in your everyday life. You may notice difficulty eating your favorite foods, changes in your facial structure, or a desire to hide your smile. Dental implants are an optimal solution for replacing missing teeth from the root to the crown. Dr. Chadwick J. Harris and Dr. R. Brent Culpepper can coordinate your dental implant surgery with a trusted oral surgeon and later provide a custom crown, bridge, or denture which suits your oral health needs for years to come. Our Laurel, MS, practice has been working with a local lab for nearly a decade to create stunning restorations that help complete your dental implants.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Although a single missing tooth may seem minor, tooth loss can have serious effects on your oral and overall health. When left untreated, missing teeth can cause:
- Jawbone atrophy: Your jawbone receives regenerative signals through your tooth roots. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone almost immediately begins resorbing and losing volume.
- Soft tissue collapse: Missing teeth can make your face look sunken, giving you a more aged appearance.
- Misalignment: Your remaining teeth may shift in order to fill the gap caused by a missing tooth, resulting in misalignment.
- Excessive wear: Since the chewing force is no longer distributed evenly across your smile, a missing tooth can lead to excessive wear and the need for additional restorative treatment on surrounding teeth.
- Nutritional deficiency: Extensive tooth loss can make it difficult to enjoy your favorite crunchy, nutritious foods.
In most cases, the negative effects of missing teeth worsen over time. Therefore, it is important that you seek treatment for a missing tooth as soon as possible.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Given the technological advancements in implant dentistry, virtually anyone with missing teeth is a candidate for dental implants. Patients with reduced jawbone tissue can even receive dental implants with All-on-4® treatment, an approach that uses fewer implants than traditional placement to restore a full arch of teeth in one day. Generally, in order to be eligible for dental implant treatment, you should have:
- Good oral health: Gum disease has been linked to peri-implantitis, an infection around the implant site that can lead to implant failure.
- Good overall health: Implants are placed during oral surgery, therefore, patients should be healthy enough to undergo a surgical procedure.
- A healthy lifestyle: Smoking has been linked to higher complication rates for patients healing from implant surgery.
- Sufficient jawbone tissue: If you are missing jawbone tissue due to tooth loss or trauma, we can coordinate bone grafting to help reinstate implant eligibility.
During your initial consultation, we will evaluate your oral health and review your medical history to determine whether dental implants are the best option for you.
If you have been told you are not a good candidate, we encourage you to visit our office to learn about the advancements in implant dentistry that may help your case.
What to Expect during Treatment
On the day of your surgery, you will be placed under a level of sedation you are comfortable with. For patients with severe dental anxiety or particularly complex cases, the oral surgeon we work with can provide intravenous (IV) sedation to help you fall into a deep state of relaxation during surgery. To place your implants, the surgeon will create an incision in your gums and place the titanium screws directly into your jawbone. The number and type of implants you receive will depend on your needs, budget, and desired outcomes.
Once your implants are in place, the surgeon will suture the incision site and send you home for recovery. Your jawbone and implant posts will then undergo osseointegration. Osseointegration allows the biocompatible titanium or ceramic implants to fuse with your jawbone and provide a stable foundation for your restorations.
After four to six months of healing, you will be ready for placement of your permanent restoration. During your visit to our office, we will create impressions of your smile and send them to our local lab. Your crowns, bridges, or dentures will be carefully designed to match your surrounding teeth and complement your facial features.
Schedule Your Consultation at Harris Dental Clinic
Even if you have been told you are not a good candidate for dental implants, we encourage you to visit our office to learn more about the advancements in implant dentistry that may help your unique case. We are able to oversee your treatment from start to finish and work with a trusted lab to help meet your final expectations. Schedule your dental implant consultation today by contacting our team online or calling Harris Dental Clinic at (601) 649-3344.
“Thanks to Dr. Culpepper and Tori for making it a comfortable atmosphere. My dentist and assistant are the best. Always feel like I'm with people who care and not there to just accept my money.” Michael Hill