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Dental Implants

Learn About the Dental Implant Process in Columbia

The journey to a complete smile lasts anywhere from four to six months. While this length of treatment may seem daunting to some, many patients have remarked how much their dental implants were worth the wait. It only takes a few steps to have your complete smile again, so come take the first one today.

Steps to Dental Implants in Columbia, South Carolina

The road to dental implants can last as long as four to six months. We understand that this can be pretty daunting to our Columbia, South Carolina, patients, but many patients who have undergone this treatment have loved the results and found them worth the wait. A four-to-six-month long dental implant process is actually not as complicated as you think. Most of this time is devoted to healing, but let’s break down the timeline to get a better idea.
Step 1: The Consultation
Before starting any medical procedure, it’s best to speak with a medical professional. If you’re interested in dental implants in Columbia, South Carolina, consult with Dr. Riley to learn more about your candidacy for dental implants. During the typical consultation, Dr. Riley will examine your oral health, discuss your best treatment paths and ultimately help you make an informed decision. After you have been approved for dental implants, we’ll schedule you for the surgery and get started on completing your smile!
Step 2: Placing the Dental Implants
The dental implant consists of three pieces, each with their own separate procedure to be applied. The titanium fixture is the first to be surgically placed in the mouth, where it takes the place of the missing tooth and is left to undergo the process of osseointegration. This process can take many weeks for the bone to bond fully around the implant.
The abutment is the piece that caps the titanium fixture. It sticks out above the gums, alongside your neighboring teeth, and will eventually be the rest for the porcelain crown to come. After this piece is fixed, it may also require time for the gums to heal around it.
Step 3: Installing the Porcelain Crown
The final piece of the puzzle is the porcelain crown, a hand-crafted tooth that is placed over the abutment and will be the only piece that is visible in your smile. That means that we will also take great care to ensure that the crown looks realistic. Since it will be alongside your natural teeth, it’s vital to get the correct shape and shade of the tooth as well.
Step 4: Postoperative Care
After the surgery has been completed, it’s also vital that you follow Dr. Riley’s postoperative care instructions exactly. This is not only for your safety, but also to safeguard the success of your dental implant. Any damage done to the dental implant during this tender healing period could cause it to fail or even fall out. It’s normal for some bleeding and swelling to occur after the initial surgeries, but if you find you’re experiencing continual bleeding or swelling, or other painful side effects, be sure to let us know at Columbia Dentistry as soon as possible.

Supplemental Procedure: Bone Graft

What if you found out that you have insufficient jawbone support for the upcoming dental implant? Don’t worry! If that’s the case, Dr. Riley may recommend you for a bone graft, a unique surgery that is meant to revitalize the jawbone and create a firmer foundation for the dental implant to be placed in.
For more information on how this bone grafting procedure is done, click here.

Take the First Step in Columbia, South Carolina

The journey to a complete smile starts with the first step, a consultation with Dr. Riley at Columbia Dentistry. If you’re ready to find out your candidacy for dental implants, then contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our patients have loved their new smiles, thanks to dental implants, and we can’t wait to help you discover yours as well.

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