Dental implants are the perfect solution for replacing missing teeth in your smile. Dr. Kwame Gyampo is happy to work with you to find just the right plan of treatment that can restore and rejuvenate your smile. If you would like to learn about dental implant placement in Durham, North Carolina, please feel free to call Providence Smiles today at 919-682-4861 and schedule a visit with our dentist.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are long-lasting and stable tooth replacements used to restore one missing tooth, several missing teeth or an entire arch of teeth. An implant not only replaces your missing tooth but also the tooth roots, creating a biocompatible bond between your natural bone and the dental implant.

What are the benefits?

Replacing a missing tooth can restore your oral health and function and the beauty of your smile. A dental implant is the best option for replacing missing teeth because it is designed to look, feel and function like natural teeth.

Dental implants fill out your smile again and give you back your ability to chew food and speak normally. They also promote better long-term oral health and function. When you lose a tooth, the supporting bone tissue will begin to resorb and deteriorate, which affects the health and stability of the teeth surrounding the empty area and the function of your jaw and facial muscles.

What is the process like?

The dental implant post is a screw made of biocompatible titanium that is surgically placed in the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. The dental implant procedure typically happens in two stages over several months: in the first stage, the implant is placed in your jawbone and in the second stage, the implant is allowed time to integrate and fuse with the bone.

What is the recovery like?

A period of healing is then often required to allow the bone to begin to bond with the biocompatible post. Following this healing period, you will need to get a restoration, such as a dental crown, dental bridge or complete or partial denture, on top to protect the implant and fill out your smile. Your dental implant restoration will be custom made to fit your smile as well as the implant post.
Please follow your post-op care instructions as closely as possible to help you recover quickly and avoid complications in your healing process. We recommend that you:

  • Do not rinse your mouth for the rest of the day after your procedure.
  • On the day following your procedure, begin rinsing with warm saltwater every two to three hours. (Use ½ teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of water.) Do this for several days. Then rinse after meals and at bedtime for two weeks.
  • Use prescribed medications, antibiotics and mouth rinses as directed.
  • Use mild pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, to relieve discomfort.
  • You may begin brushing your teeth the day after your procedure but avoid the surgical site for several days.
  • If a temporary crown was placed, do not bite down until given permission to do so.
  • Do not wear your denture, partial denture or other oral appliance until given permission to do so.
  • You will likely experience some swelling. Apply ice or cold compresses to the side of your face at 15-minute intervals for the first 48 hours. After 48 hours, switch to heat instead and continue applying heat until the swelling diminishes.
  • Keep your lips moist with lip balm or petroleum jelly to prevent cracking.
  • Do not operate machinery for at least 12 hours following your procedure.
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco products — they can cause your implants to fail.
  • If the cover screw or healing abutment of your implant falls out, call our office as soon as possible so we can replace it. Bring the cover screw or abutment with you to this appointment.
  • If you use oral contraceptives and have been prescribed an antibiotic, use an alternate method of birth control until you have completed your antibiotics.

Recovery will vary from person to person. However, most people can expect to feel some level of discomfort the first few days after the procedure. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

How long will my dental implants last?

If you practice good dental hygiene at home and visit our office for your dental cleanings and other preventive care, your dental implant post can last a lifetime. The dental implant post will remain anchored in your mouth as long as you keep it in good condition, but you may need to replace the restoration in the future if it wears out or breaks.

Please call or visit our office for a consultation to learn more about the benefits and process of dental implants and dental implant placement.