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Dental Implants — Greensboro, NC

The Foundation of a Better Smile

When you’re forced to live without your teeth, the harsh realities of the situation are quickly realized. Where you once ate freely without any reservations, you now have to be methodical and calculated with every morsel of food you bite into. In addition, not having a full set of teeth doesn’t bode well for your self-esteem. As a solution-oriented dentist, Dr. Fisher provides patients with dental implants in Greensboro to fully restore their lives to normal, allowing them to once again flourish. To take control of your destiny, contact our Greensboro office today to schedule an initial examination and consultation!

Smiling couple with dental implants in Greensboro

Why Choose Dr. David M. Fisher, Jr. For Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

Diagram of how dental implants work in Greensboro

Dental implants are clearly the best solution for tooth loss because they replace not only the visible crown portion of the tooth, but the underlying root as well. The implant itself is inserted directly into the jawbone and later topped with a crown to make it look and function just like a natural tooth. Your implant will stimulate your jawbone in a way that crowns, bridges, or dentures alone simply cannot. This prevents the bone from deteriorating and making your facial appearance become hunched over time. Fortunately, dental implants can easily solve this problem.

4 Step Dental Implant Process

Young woman learning about dental implants in Greensboro

Unlike dentures or a dental bridge, restoring your smile with dental implants is a multistep process that spans several months. However, both patients and dentists agree that the long-term benefits are well worth the time and effort! When you come to see us, we’ll walk you through your entire treatment plan step by step. Essentially, there are four main stages of getting dental implants.

Greensboro implant dentist and patient discuss dental implants

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

After you’ve booked a consultation, Dr. Fisher will sit down with you to discuss your smile goals. He will evaluate your teeth, gums, and jawbone health to figure out if you’re a good candidate for this procedure. It’s crucial that your oral health is in good condition before we place dental implants. If we determine that you don’t have enough healthy jawbone to support a dental implant right now, Dr. Fisher may recommend a bone graft first to strengthen your jawbone. After this or any other needed treatments have been conducted, your dental implant surgery can begin.

Greensboro implant dentist explaining how dental implants work

Dental Implant Surgery

While many other dental practices need to refer their patients to an unfamiliar specialist for this step of the process, Dr. Fisher has all the training and expertise to perform every step of your dental implant treatment personally. First, he’ll make small incisions in your gums to access your jawbone. He will then create holes where the implants will be placed. Although this process sounds painful, Dr. Fisher will make sure you are nice and numb with local anesthetic, so you don’t feel a thing. We might even recommend sedation dentistry for our more anxious patients so you can receive the treatment you need without any worries. You may be sore for a few days after the surgery, but that is to be expected and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen.

Diagram of how dental implants work in Greensboro

Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment

Dental implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible material that blends well with the human jawbone. Over a period of three to six months, your jawbone will actually grow around the implant post until it essentially becomes a part of your own anatomy. During this time, Dr. Fisher can place a temporary crown over your implant to restore the appearance of your smile. Once your implants are fully healed and integrated with your jawbone, we will attach abutments, or metal connectors onto which we can place permanent restorations, like crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Woman admiring her new dental implants in Greensboro

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

After your implants have healed and your abutments are placed, you’re ready to receive your custom-made implant restorations. Depending on the number of teeth you’re missing, we will suggest either a crown, a bridge, or dentures. Your restoration will be crafted by a team of experts who will make sure it seamlessly blends in with the rest of your smile. While the dental implant process in Greensboro seems long, it’s well worth it for a completely beautiful and functional smile that can last a lifetime.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dentist pointing to model of dental implants in Greensboro

Because dental implants in Greensboro mimic original teeth in strength and function, they are able to deliver multiple advantages over more traditional tooth replacement options. Not only do they solve the obvious problem of having noticeable gaps in your grin, but they come with several benefits for your health and overall quality of life. Read on to learn some of the reasons why dental implants are often considered the best way to replace missing teeth!

man admiring his smile in a hand mirror

Day-to-Day Benefits

  • Eat without worry – People with dental bridges or dentures tend to avoid foods like steak, apples, and corn on the cob because this solution only renews about 20-30% of your original biting power. In contrast, dental implants restore 70% or more, allowing you to eat anything on your plate with ease.
  • Drink all of your favorite beverages – Due to the materials they’re made from, traditional dentures usually warp when exposed to hot drinks like coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Dental implants, on the other hand, maintain their shape at every temperature, so you can enjoy all of your favorite drinks.
  • Smile confidently – Your implant dentist in Greensboro will design your restoration to look exactly like your natural pearly whites. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about them loosening, slipping, or falling out. You’ll be able to smile confidently with a smile that looks and feels perfectly natural!
close-up of a woman smiling with a dental implant

Health Benefits

  • No sensitive teeth or irritated gums – Dental bridges rely on the surrounding teeth for support, weakening them and leading to sensitivity. As dentures lose their fit over time, they move around and cause sores and irritation on the gums. Dental implants are self-supporting and secured in the jaw, preventing both of these problems.
  • Preserve your jawbone and stay looking young – After teeth are lost, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. Eventually, it can no longer adequately support the facial structures, leading to a sunken and wrinkled appearance that ages you. Since dental implants stimulate the jawbone like real tooth roots, they keep it strong enough to help you stay looking youthful and vibrant for years to come!
  • Keep your mouth and body healthy – Dental implants are easy to care for, so they reduce your risk of gum disease and other oral health problems. Because gum disease has been linked to diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, and more, dental implants can help you maintain a healthy body as well as a healthy smile.
happy elderly couple sitting on their couch

Long-Term Benefits

  • Reliable, lasting results – Even after more than 10 years, the risk of dental implant failure is less than 5%. With the right maintenance, they could even last the rest of your life. Fortunately, caring for dental implants is often as simple as brushing, flossing, and attending dental checkups regularly.
  • A cost-effective solution – One of the most important benefits of dental implants in Greensboro is their ability to save you money over the years. While they cost more upfront than dentures and bridges, they won’t break down and have to be replaced every few years. They’ll save you valuable money (and time) that you might otherwise spend on dental appointments due to their impressive long-term success rate.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Young woman admiring her dental implants in Greensboro

No matter how many teeth you’re missing, we can help you complete your smile with dental implants. During your consultation at our Greensboro office, Dr. Fisher will carefully examine your mouth, gums, and any remaining teeth to evaluate your oral health. From there, he will fully explain all of your options as well his recommendations.

Confident man with dental implant sin Greensboro

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Not every patient who visits our office for dental implants is an ideal candidate for the procedure right from the get-go. In fact, many of our patients need preparatory procedures to help restore the structure and health of their mouths to ensure that their implants last as long as possible. With that in mind, here are some qualities that an ideal candidate would have:

  • Sufficient jawbone density.
  • Good oral health.
  • Are free from autoimmune disease.
  • Don’t excessively drink alcohol or use tobacco.

If you don’t quite possess these qualities yet, Dr. Fisher will work with you to develop a plan so you can. All you need to do is schedule an initial consultation with him.

Dental implants can solve any type of tooth loss, including:

Missing 1 Tooth

For one missing tooth, we’ll likely suggest getting a single dental implant to replace it. The titanium post will act to replace the root of your missing tooth, and a customized dental crown will be placed on top.

Missing Multiple Teeth

For consecutive missing teeth in a row, a bridge can be attached to two or more implants to replace them. Unlike a traditional dental bridge, your existing teeth won’t need to be altered in order to secure it, keeping your healthy pearly whites untouched.

Missing All Teeth

When you’re missing all of your teeth along an arch of your mouth, it may require the placement of four to eight dental implants to hold a complete denture. They will provide you with additional support, making it easier to chew and speak again.

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

a dentist explaining the different parts of a dental implant by pointing at a model

Dental implants may have a higher up-front cost than traditional restorations, but countless patients and professionals will agree that they’re well worth the investment. When taken care of properly, you’ll be able to enjoy a smile that can last a lifetime, which is absolutely priceless. There’s no set price tag attached to the procedure, so the cost is determined based on a variety of factors that your implant dentist in Greensboro, Dr. Fisher, will break down for you during your initial consultation.

a computer illustration showing the different parts of dental implants

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

If you require any preparatory procedures, like a bone graft, sinus lift, or gum disease therapy, these will be added costs to your treatment. They’re necessary because, without a healthy foundation for your smile, you may be at a higher risk of implant failure.

Once your oral health is up-to-par for implant surgery, you can start your journey to a complete and fully functional grin. Dr. Fisher conducts the surgery in-house, so you won’t have to worry about travelling to another professional, and this process will incur its own separate cost. The price of your surgery can go up if you require sedation or anesthesia, or your implants need to be placed in a difficult position in the mouth, like the front, visible area.

a notebook with a page that says “invest in yourself”

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

There are a few additional factors that can impact the cost of your procedure, including:

  • The number of implants that you need to have placed. Typically, crowns are placed with one implant, bridges are secured with two, and dentures can be secured with anywhere from four to eight.
  • The type of restoration you need and the materials that you’d like to have them crafted from.
  • The materials that your dental implants are made from.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask our team during your consultation. We’ll be happy to breakdown costs and try our best to keep your treatment within your budget.

building blocks with coins on them that spell out “health” and “wealth”

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

Dental implants are well worth the investment. They offer countless unique benefits to your everyday life that make them priceless. While there are additional tooth-replacement options available, none of them offer the stability, strength, and longevity of dental implants. Plus, because they’re easy to maintain, you won’t have to worry about discomfort, oral sores, or developing oral health problems. Since they replace the entire structure of your missing teeth, they’ll feel and look completely natural, boosting your confidence when you talk or eat. Not to mention, since dental implants can last up to four times longer than traditional restorations, you won’t have to spend as much money or time at the dentist’s office replacing and repairing your restorations.

plants growing on stacks of coins, signifying a lifelong investment

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Even though most dental insurance plans don’t cover the cost of dental implants, they may cover other portions of the treatment, which is why it’s always worthwhile to check. Depending on your individual benefits, they may cover a portion or all of the cost of anesthesia, your custom restoration, or the initial consultation. If you need help getting in touch with your insurance, our team would be more than happy to help.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Dental insurance paperwork for the cost of dental implants in Greensboro

Since the jawbone will usually start to lose its density once your teeth are gone, there’s a good chance that you’ll lack the bone height necessary to receive dental implants at first. However, you might still be a candidate for the procedure after receiving a bone graft or a sinus lift. Both surgeries involve transplanting new bone tissue to your jaw and encouraging it to heal and rebuild itself. A sinus lift is specifically performed on the upper jaw and can also move the sinuses so that they don’t get in the way during implant post placement.

Patient and dentist discuss advanced dental implant procedures in Greensboro

Bone Grafting

The jawbone relies on the pressure and chewing stimulation provided by your teeth to remain strong. Once you’ve suffered tooth loss, the unused portion of the bone will start to break down, much like how an unused muscle will atrophy. This is a problem when getting dental implants because there needs to be enough bone to support the posts.

That is where bone grafting comes in. During the procedure, replacement bone tissue is transplanted to your jaw, which in turn encourages your body to start creating new bone tissue. This effectively reverses the damage caused by bone loss. The replacement tissue often comes from elsewhere in your body (likely the hip or the back of the jaw), though it may also be provided by a human or animal donor.

The bone grafting surgery can take about 45 to 90 minutes. Your mouth will need time to heal after bone grafting before the dental implant surgery can be performed. This process can take anywhere from 3 months to a year, depending on the patient and the extent of the damage. There are situations where only a small amount of grafting is required, and you might be able to receive dental implants on the same day in those cases.

X-Ray after bone grafting in Greensboro

Sinus Lifts

Sinus lifts are only used for the upper jaw. Like bone grafting, it can be used to replace bone height that was lost due to missing teeth. It may also be necessary to move your sinuses if they’re too close to the jaw for dental implants to be placed. (The shape and size of the sinus is different for everybody, and it tends to get larger as you age; that is why it may or may not be an issue for certain patients.) This procedure has become more common in recent years, in part thanks to the growing popularity of dental implants.

During the procedure, a small incision is made where the teeth used to be. A window is then made in the bone, exposing the membrane between the sinus and the jaw. The membrane is pushed up and away, and grafting material is placed in the empty space. It normally takes about 4 to 9 months for the grafted material to fully mesh with the bone. Dental implant surgery can proceed after recovery is complete and the proper level of bone density has been restored.

Dental Implant FAQs

Diagram of sinus lift in Greensboro for dental implants

Do you still have unanswered questions about dental implants in Greensboro? With so many tooth replacement options available, it can be overwhelming making the decision that implants are the right choice for you. Our team of dental professionals is here to help by answering a few common questions we receive from patients who are considering this modern restorative procedure to complete their smile.

Does It Hurt to Get Dental Implants?

Patients who want to replace their missing teeth in Greensboro but who are iffy about how painful the procedure will be won’t have to worry when they visit our office. Dr. Fisher uses every technique available to him to make sure that his patients’ dental implant surgery is pain-free. The first thing he will do is numb the area he’ll be operating on with local anesthetic. If you’re still anxious about the thought of having your implants placed, we also provide sedation dentistry so you can arrive to our office feeling relaxed and completely comfortable.

What Is the Recovery Process Like After Dental Implant Surgery?

The recovery process of your dental implant surgery largely depends on a couple of factors, including how many dental implants you need placed and where they’re located in your mouth. If you only need one implant, the surgery will be less intensive and you should be able to make a quick recovery, getting back to your daily routine within a day. However, if you need multiple implants, you may require a couple of days of rest while your gums heal. You can speed this process up by following Dr. Fisher’s aftercare instructions, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating a soft diet.

How Long Will It Be Before My Permanent Replacement Teeth Are Placed?

Every patients’ dental implant procedure varies depending on several factors that can either shorten or lengthen the treatment process. However, most patients don’t have their permanent replacement teeth placed until several months after their implant surgery. This is due to the fact that there is a long healing period required before you can have your abutments placed. During this time, your implants will naturally fuse with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration, which provides your restorations with strength, support, and stability. Although this procedure requires an investment in your time, patients and professionals agree that it’s well worth it.

Can Dental Implants Fail?

Dental implants boast an astonishing success rate of over 95%, ever 10 years after they’ve been placed! This is largely thanks to their secure position in your jawbone. However, there is sill a remote chance for dental implant failure due to:

  • Injury: If you play sports, make sure your dental implant is fully protected with the help of a custom-made sports mouthguard.
  • Bad chewing habits: Chewing on hard objects like pen caps, ice, or your fingernails and using your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles can potentially damage your restoration and loosen your implant.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Regular brushing and flossing is essential for keeping your gums and the connective tissues that help hold your dental implant in place healthy and strong.
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco: Tobacco slows down your healing process, damages your oral soft tissues, and puts you at a much higher risk of gum disease, oral cancer, and other issues that could cause your implant to fail.

Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions

Male dental patient sitting in chair and smiling

When you have dental implants placed, we’ll be sure to discuss everything you’ll need to do after the surgery. Proper aftercare is the key to avoiding problems while your mouth is recovering, allowing you to look forward to the next steps of the dental implant process without having to worry about your oral health. Below are some of the post-op instructions you can expect to receive; we may provide further advice depending on your needs.

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

When taking care of your mouth after dental implant surgery, you need to be sure not to disturb the blood clot at the implant site. Said blood clot is an important part of the healing process, so the last thing you want is for it to be disturbed. Some common activities that could dislodge a blood clot include:

  • Smoking.
  • Using a straw.
  • Spitting.
  • Touching the site with your fingers or tongue.

Be extra careful to avoid these activities during the recovery process.

Common Side Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

Some discomfort might occur after dental implant surgery. It should be minor enough that you can control it with pain medication. You may notice some swelling as well, so be sure to periodically hold a cold compress over the area. If any bleeding occurs, put pressure on it with some gauze until it stops.

While the side effects discussed above are normal, they should only be temporary. Let us know right away if they don’t seem to get better over time.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

Soft foods are typically the best choice after any type of oral surgery. Some good examples of soft foods include pasta, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and yogurt. Make sure that your fridge and pantry are well-stocked ahead of time so that you’re ready to make the switch to a soft food diet immediately after your surgery is complete.

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene should always be one of your top priorities. However, it becomes even more important than usual when your mouth is healing after dental implant surgery; you need to be proactive if you want to keep your risk for infection to a minimum. Here are some basic oral hygiene steps to follow during your recovery:

  • You can continue to brush normally as long as you aren’t too harsh when cleaning near the implant site(s).
  • Rinsing with salt water can help keep your mouth clean. Don’t forget that you need to avoid spitting; once you’re done rinsing, lean forward over the sink so that you can let the water pour out of your mouth.
  • Only use non-alcoholic mouthwash. Alcohol can interfere with the healing process.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

Unlike with dental implant placement, there’s no extensive recovery process to worry about after your final restoration has been attached. At most, you may need a pain reliever to deal with gum sensitivity, but other than that, you will be well past the hard part.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Smiling, happy couple with dental implants in Greensboro

With a success rate as high as 95% and the potential to last a lifetime, it’s not hard at all to see why dental implants have become the gold standard of tooth replacement. Of the around 5% of dental implant cases that fail, most of them are caused by failing to properly maintain and care for them. The good news is that this is easy to prevent – dental implant care in Greensboro is about as straightforward as caring for real teeth. Below, you’ll find the five steps you need to take to ensure your dental implants last.

blue toothpaste spilling out in the shape of a tooth

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Yes, it’s true that dental implants can’t get cavities. However, you’ll still need to brush them, along with any remaining teeth, twice a day. Otherwise, particles of food could linger on them and attract bacteria that infects your gums. Gum infections are the leading cause of dental implant failure, so you’ll want to avoid it at all costs. In addition to brushing, you should also floss and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once daily.

woman eating a salad

Eat a Healthy Diet

Another way to minimize bad bacteria in your mouth is to stick to a nutritious diet. Overindulging in sugary foods and beverages gives these bacteria ample fuel to inflame the gum tissue that supports your dental implants in Greensboro. Swap out these items for ones that will promote great jawbone and gum health, such as leafy greens, lean meats, and dairy products.

woman sitting at a desk and chewing on a pencil

Break Harmful Habits

Most of us have bad habits, but some of them can damage your smile more than others. Chewing on pens or pencils, eating ice, smoking, and using your teeth to open containers or packaging can loosen, chips or break your teeth (both real and artificial). Not only can this be stressful and painful, but you might end up having to get expensive treatments. You already made a huge investment by getting dental implants, so make sure to protect it by quitting bad habits that could harm your smile.

blue mouthguard in a person’s hand

Protect Your Dental Implants

If you like to play sports or you grind your teeth when your stressed or sleep, you’ll want to wear a protective mouthguard. Your implant dentist in Greensboro can custom-make one of these appliances, which are designed to comfortably fit over your teeth and shield them from sports-related injuries or wear and tear from teeth grinding.

man at a dental checkup

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Even patients who have no natural teeth left should still attend routine dental checkups. After all, when it comes to your smile, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Dr. Fisher will check for any signs of problems with your implants, gums, and remaining teeth. The sooner our team catches these issues, the easier (and more cost-effective) it will be to treat them.

Dental Implant Failure and Salvage

When everything goes according to plan, dental implants can stay firmly anchored to the jaw for decades at a time. If they come loose or start to cause severe pain, it’s a sign that something has gone seriously wrong. Luckily, we do have options for dealing with dental implant failure. You can always rely on us to do everything we can to try and salvage your dental implants while also keeping the rest of your smile safe.

Learn More About Dental Implant Failure and Salvage

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