At Magnolia Falls Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center, your oral health and patient experience are our top priorities. In addition to creating beautiful new smiles, we want all our prospective and current dental implant patients to know what to expect from day one of their dental implant journey. Although our caring oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Brett M. Shigley will walk you through the entire process in person, we compiled this list of common questions and answers to provide you with helpful knowledge and reassurance in advance. We want to you to be completely comfortable before you even schedule your first dental implant consultation. We hope this dental implant FAQ in Powdersville, SC answers essential questions you have about this transformative tooth replacement option. Of course, we welcome you to call our office if you have additional questions and also encourage you to visit our dental implant surgery page.
Dental implants are made up of a post, abutment, and restoration that mimic the function of natural teeth. Secured in your jawbone, dental implants are considered the gold standard tooth replacement solution for replacing any number of missing teeth and restoring smile function and aesthetics. Once they fuse with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration, dental implants provide unparalleled longevity, functional benefits, and natural appearance.
Although healthy gum tissue and bone is optimal, as an oral surgeon, Dr. Shigley has vast expertise treating patients with extensive bone and tooth loss and those with medically challenging conditions. In fact, we often get referrals from other practices that cannot handle complex cases and are dedicated to helping these patients become suitable candidates when possible.
Dr. Shigley uses sophisticated CBCT 3D technology to determine the most optimal surgical placement of dental implants in your jawbone. From this 3D image, he creates custom surgical guides with in-house software that he uses the day of surgery. After dental implants are placed in your jawbone, they fuse and heal over a period of months. During this time, you’ll be provided with a temporary crown or teeth so you can function normally. Then you’ll return to our office to receive your permanent restoration.
The majority of patients report minimal to no discomfort with dental implant placement. Dr. Shigley offers nitrous oxide (laughing gas), IV sedation, oral sedation, and general anesthesia based on your anxiety level and personal preferences. In most cases, there is little to no swelling afterward so most patients effectively manage postsurgical discomfort with Tylenol. If necessary, we can prescribe antibiotics and pain medication that will alleviate potential postsurgical issues.
On average, most people feel discomfort in the treated area, face, and jaw for 10 to 14 days. Any swelling and discomfort start to decrease starting the third day after your procedure. In rare instances, pain and swelling can persist after 14 days, which may be a sign of infection. Should you experience this, call our office right away and we’ll work you into our schedule.
You shouldn’t spit, suck on straws, or smoke because this can dislodge blood clots and slow healing. You’ll need to limit your diet to soft foods the first 24 hours after surgery to prevent gum injury. We also ask that you don’t clean the implant area for a few days, although you can clean the rest of your mouth. We’ll give you an antibacterial rinse to help keep the area clean. You’ll return in 7 to 10 days so we can remove stitches and check your progress.
Dental implants are used to provide retention and support for a removable overdenture that snaps on the implants. Dental implants can also be used to create a fixed denture that is connected to the implants using titanium components. This type requires professional removal. Either way, implants reduce or completely eliminate the problems associated with traditional dentures, such as slipping, clicking, falling out, and foods limitations.
Research shows that dental implants have attained a success rate between 90% and 98% since their introduction decades ago. Dr. Shigley’s advanced skills and clinical experience, coupled with state-of-the-art technology and high-quality materials ensure a consistently high success rate.
The length of treatment time depends to a large extent on your bone and gum health. In general, it usually takes three months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw for the implant to fully integrate with your bone. If procedures are required to augment your bone, the total treatment time is usually somewhere between six to nine months.
When you have a missing tooth, your jawbone begins to become resorbed because your tooth no longer stimulates it through biting and chewing. Other issues that can cause bone loss include gum disease and misaligned teeth. Leveraging advanced technology, Dr. Shigley performs bone grafting procedures to rebuild the bone, which is essential for dental implants to fuse and provide a strong support for your new teeth.
In a very small percentage of cases, dental implants may not successfully integrate with the bone. This typically occurs in the first three months following the procedure. Because suboptimal bone and gum health are primary causes of dental implant failure, we always restore bone and gum health and allow proper healing prior to placing dental implants.
Various medications, radiation treatment, debilitating ailments that aren’t properly controlled (e.g. diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and osteoporosis), a weak immune system, tobacco use, and excessive grinding of the teeth (bruxism) have all been shown to potentially increase the risk of implant failure. Poor oral hygiene and preexisting conditions can result in peri-implantitis, an infection and inflammation of gum tissue surrounding your implants. If infection occurs, we advise you to call us as soon as possible because when peri-implantitis is treated in early stages, dental implants can nearly always be saved.
The cost of dental implants varies based on many factors, such as the number of missing teeth being replaced, the recommended treatment option, and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve successful aesthetic and functional outcomes. To help you afford treatment, our front office team will work with you to maximize dental benefits and get you set up with third-party financing.
Dental implants are designed to last for decades and have the potential to last a lifetime. Surgical technology, clinical experience, and your commitment to good oral hygiene all impact the longevity of dental implants. Choosing a skilled oral surgeon with clinical expertise and in-depth implant experience ensures more precise and accurate surgery and increases the chance of long-term success.
Dental implants require the same care as your natural teeth. Following good oral hygiene is key to ensuring the quality and lifespan of your dental implants. A single implant-supported crown is cleaned like a natural tooth, with regular brushing and flossing. If you received full mouth dental implants, we may recommend special brushes and floss. For removable implant-supported dentures, you’ll need to clean both the implants and overdenture. For all options, we recommend using an antibacterial mouthwash, seeing your dentist and hygienist twice a year, and scheduling a follow-up visit with Dr. Shigley at least once a year.
Dr. Shigley has in-depth expertise in all aspects of implant surgery and anesthesia. This enables him to provide tooth replacement solutions to people with preexisting medical conditions and those in need of complex care that a majority of dentists can’t handle. He has a proven track record providing successful tooth replacement options for patients with facial trauma, ill-fitting dentures, significant bone loss, and challenging medical conditions that negatively impact the healing process.