Expert Dental Treatment in Tuscaloosa, AL
At Dental Care South, our mission is to help each and every one of our patients achieve the smile of their dreams, and as a full-service dental practice, we’re proud to help patients all over the Tuscaloosa, AL area do just that. We provide a wide variety of dental treatments and services at our office, and we strive to personalize treatment to perfectly match the unique needs of each patient. We’ll help you achieve your dream smile no matter what your current dental situation – and dental implants present an effective way to replace teeth with a simple, streamlined process.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Placing dental implants is a minor, routine surgical procedure. While the entire process takes several months, you’ll generally only need to come in for 2 or 3 appointments to have the procedure done. While every patient is different, for a single dental implant, the process usually goes like this:
First, we’ll apply a local anesthetic to numb the area and keep you comfortable during the procedure.
At this point, the dental implant will be inserted into the jawbone where the tooth is missing.
After placing the implant, you’ll go through a healing period, allowing the area around the implant to heal over and giving the implant time to fuse with the jawbone. This period generally takes a few months or so.
Once osseointegration is completed, Dr. Skalnik will place a small abutment (connector) onto the implant to prepare it for the crown.
With the abutment in place, we’ll place your crown and fix it with dental cement. After a few final touches to shape and finish the crown, the procedure is complete and you walk away with a beautiful new smile!
Treatment Options for Dental Implants
At the most basic level, we can use a dental implant to replace a single tooth – but dental implants offer a flexible treatment option that we can use in a number of other situations. Dental implants are also an option for any of the following procedures:
Replacing Multiple Teeth
Implants offer a great option for replacing several teeth in the mouth. We can either use a single implant per tooth if we need to replace teeth throughout the mouth, or if we need to replace a few adjacent teeth, we can also use implants to support a dental bridge, providing a sturdy foundation for 3 adjacent replacement teeth. Using implants in this way prevents the weakening that can occur when natural teeth are used as supports for a bridge, providing a long-lasting, effective solution.
Replacing All Teeth Permanently
We can also use implants to permanently replace an entire dental arch. Depending on the strength of the jawbone, we can often use as little as four to six implants to support the entire arch, helping to keep the cost of the procedure low. Replacing teeth in this way prevents bone loss because the implant integrates with the jawbone, distributing bite force evenly and preventing the wear that comes with regular dentures. The replacement teeth won’t slip, will protect the jawbone, and will last a lifetime.
Support Removable Dentures
Finally, we can even use dental implants to support removable dentures, providing a more comfortable and longer-lasting solution. Traditionally, dentures rest on top of the gums, putting unnatural pressure on the jawbone anytime you bite down. Over time, this pressure can cause bone loss, causing serious damage to the integrity of the jaw in the long-term. Implant-supported removable dentures, however, distribute bite force throughout the jaw naturally, helping to protect the jawbone for a lifetime and providing a safer, healthier, and longer-lasting option for removable dentures.
Preparing for Your Dental Implant Appointment
Getting dental implants is a fairly minor, routine procedure, so preparation is usually minimal. We generally opt to use local anesthesia for dental implants, so you won’t have to fast for 8-12 hours as you would with an oral surgeon. Try to maintain good oral hygiene in the weeks leading up to your procedure, as this will minimize the amount of time we need to spend cleaning and preparing your mouth before placing the implants. Most importantly, take care to follow any specific instructions Dr. Skalnik gives you for your unique case.
Schedule a Consultation for Dental Implants in Tuscaloosa, AL
Dental implants can provide one of the most reliable, long-lasting options for replacing teeth, and if you’re ready to achieve the smile of your dreams and have it last a lifetime, they may be the perfect treatment choice for you. Call us today at (205) 752-1929 with any questions or schedule your appointment online for a complimentary consultation. We’re excited to help you achieve your dream smile through dental implants!