At Carolina Smiles, we pride ourselves on offering a wide variety of services to meet all your needs. If you have missing teeth, we have many replacement options, including dental implants. Implants not only make patients more confident with their smile, but they help preserve tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost.
Dr. Wilkes handles all of our implant procedures at Carolina Smiles. If you think you may be a candidate for implants, Dr. Wilkes will be happy to discuss treatment options with you at a consult appointment. Until then, read our information below about the basic design and functionality of implants.
Dental implant posts are titanium screws that are surgically placed in your jaw and serve as an artificial tooth root. Titanium is biocompatible, meaning it will bind with your existing bone and gums to make an even sturdier foundation for your new tooth. After the implant post has been placed, a custom crown will be attached to complete the dental implant. We will ensure your new implant feels, looks, and functions just as well as your natural teeth!
Getting dental implants begins with an assessment of your anticipated treatment goals, your current oral health, and a discussion of all your options. Dr. Wilkes will go over any underlying concerns with you and schedule some of the following additional treatment, if needed.
We have a state of the art cone-beam scanner in our office which allows Dr. Wilkes to get a more accurate image of your teeth, gums, and jaws. These scans show your teeth and surrounding area in greater detail than panoramic radiographs. With a CT scan, Dr. Wilkes can see and address any issues, such as insufficient bone density in your jaw, before you begin the implant process.
If the CT Scan shows a loss of bone density in your jaw, Dr. Wilkes will have to perform a bone graft. A bone graft uses organic or synthetic bone to strengthen either your lower or upper jaw. Usually, a loss of bone density occurs if you have been missing teeth in an area for an extended period of time. For an implant to be successful, your jaw bone has to be strong enough to support the implant post. If you need a bone graft, Dr. Wilkes will be able to perform the procedure right here in our office!
Once these services are done, we will place your implant with a temporary crown. We like to allow your gums and jaw time to heal, which can take anywhere from eight to twelve weeks. We will then place your custom implant crown, which will be indistinguishable from your other teeth!