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Dental Implants

The Comprehensive, Long-Term Solution to Tooth Loss

woman admiring her reflection after getting dental implants in St. Albans, WV

Even a single missing tooth can lead to multiple problems over time for a person’s confidence and oral health, and these issues only worsen as more teeth are lost. If missing teeth are making it hard for you to smile confidently or eat your favorite foods, then you’ll be happy to know that our team at Warnick and Semder Dentistry has just the solution you need: dental implants in St. Albans, WV. Dental implants go one step above traditional options by recreating the root structure of the tooth, leading to a replacement that feels more comfortable, looks more natural, and lasts longer. Our dentists can even complete the dental implant process entirely in-house for added convenience. Contact us today to learn more about this comprehensive, long-term solution to tooth loss!

Why Choose Warnick & Semder Dentistry for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

X-ray of a patient with a dental implant

A natural tooth has two parts: the crown that you can see, and the root that is embedded under the gumline and in the jawbone. Traditional tooth replacements like dental bridges and dentures only bring back the crowns of missing teeth because they simply rest on top of the gums. Dental implants, on the other hand, replicate the entire tooth structure for a more lifelike solution.

A dental implant refers to a small, screw-shaped titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone where a missing tooth’s roots once were. Titanium is biocompatible, so the implant encourages the jawbone to grow around it until it basically becomes part of your anatomy. Above the gumline, we install a small connector piece called an abutment onto your implant, which can support a dental crown, bridge, or denture, depending on the number of teeth you’re missing. In the end, you have a complete smile that looks, feels, and functions just like it did before tooth loss!

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

dentist placing a crown on top of a dental implant in a model of the jaw

Unlike many general dental offices, our dentists are experts in every stage of dental implant treatment. You can get the entire process completed under one roof! This makes your appointments more convenient and makes communication of your needs easier within our dental office.

As part of your consultation, we’ll go over all of your specific needs in greater detail. Most patients experience the same four basic steps of the dental implant process: the consultation, dental implant surgery, osseointegration, and the placement of your final restoration.

Benefits of Dental Implants

senior woman smiling while crossing her arms and looking off into the distance

The comprehensive structure of dental implants enables them to provide a tooth replacement that has longevity, incredibly natural esthetics, stability, and restorative benefits. After the implant has integrated with your existing bone tissue, you can expect your tooth replacement to last between 25 years and a lifetime. Just make sure to practice daily oral care and avoid tobacco products at all costs.

Furthermore, eating the foods you enjoy doesn’t have to be a struggle when you have dental implants. Even tough or crunchy foods like steak or apples are easy to eat with dental implants! And, because blood flow and bone stimulation are taking place after an implant restores your smile, you can avoid premature facial sagging of your face and maintain the most amount of biting force possible.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

dentist showing a dental implant to a patient

Practically any healthy adult who is looking to replace their missing teeth can benefit from dental implants. Whether you’re lost one, a few, or all of your teeth, there’s a way that we can help! We’ll come up with a unique treatment plan based on the extent of your tooth loss.

Missing One Tooth

single dental implant restored with a crown

Replacing a single tooth requires only one titanium implant placed inside of the jaw, which is then given time to heal. After all of your oral structures have healed around the implant, a porcelain crown is placed on top of an abutment, which connects the components together.

Missing Multiple Teeth

two dental implants restored with a dental bridge

Replacing multiple consecutive teeth can be done with an implant-supported bridge. Instead of relying on existing teeth to hold the bridge, which would require removal of tooth enamel, implant bridges use a pair of dental implants to hold either a three- or four-crown bridge. Through this method, you can expect a more stable and reliable restoration.

Missing All Teeth

four dental implants restored with a full denture

Fitting a series of dental implants with a full denture is a surefire way to create a more reliable and stable fit overall. Plus, we only need to place four to six dental implants to hold a full denture, so your treatment is not nearly as complex as you might initially expect. With implant dentures, you can enjoy replacement teeth that stay firmly in place and restore more chewing power than a conventional prosthetic.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

smiling dentist holding a pink piggy bank

No two dental implant treatments are created equal, which is why determining the price of your tooth replacement must start with a detailed consultation. During this appointment, we’ll discuss all of your needs, including the number of implants you need placed, the type of restoration(s) you need to restore your smile, and the preparatory treatments that may be necessary before dental implants can be viable. Even though treatment can be expensive, dental implants are considered to be a long-term investment that lasts for decades, which cannot be said for other forms of tooth replacement.

Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions

senior couple smiling and wearing matching gray sweaters

After your dental implants have been placed, it's important to follow these recommendations to ensure their long-term success.

General Care

woman holding a cold compress to her cheek

  • To control minor bleeding, apply moderate pressure with gauze pads or a clean, moist tea bag wrapped in a gauze pad.
  • Limit yourself to calm activities for the first three to five days to keep your blood pressure stable and reduce bleeding.
  • If you usually wear a removable denture or partial denture, we will give you specific instructions about wearing it while your implants heal.

Tobacco Use

person breaking a cigarette in half

  • Don’t use tobacco for at least 24 hours, and avoid tobacco as much as possible for several months. Tobacco slows healing and increases the risk that your body will reject the implants, and it’s the leading cause of implant failure.

When to Call Us

man sitting on his couch and holding his cheek in pain

  • Call us right away if you have heavy or increased bleeding, you have pain or swelling that increases or continues beyond two or three days, or you have a reaction to medication.
  • Call us if the implants gradually show through the gums, so we can check them.
  • You can also call us with any questions or concerns.

Chewing and Eating

woman standing in her kitchen and eating yogurt

  • Avoid chewing until the numbness has worn off completely. If we placed a temporary restoration, avoid chewing for one half-hour to allow the temporary cement to set.
  • For the first 24 hours, drink lots of liquids and eat soft, nutritious foods, chewing on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • After the first 24 hours, you can begin to return to your usual diet, but continue to chew on the opposite side. Avoid very hot or spicy foods until your gums are healed. We’ll evaluate your situation to determine how soon you can chew on the implant.

Brushing and Flossing

woman in a white bathrobe brushing her teeth

  • For the first 14 days, gently wipe the implant site with the gauze or a cotton swab. After that, brush the area gently with a soft toothbrush.
  • Don’t floss the site for four weeks. We will evaluate the healing and adjust your brushing and flossing timetable as necessary.
  • Brush and floss your other teeth normally.
  • If we have recommended a mouth rinse, use it as directed.

Medication and Discomfort

woman taking pain medication

  • If antibiotics or other medicines are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.
  • To control discomfort, take pain medication before the anesthetic has worn off or as recommended. It’s normal to experience some discomfort for several days after surgery.
  • To reduce discomfort or swelling for the first 24 hours following surgery, use ice packs, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off.
  • To reduce discomfort after the first 24 hours, apply moist heat.

To further reduce discomfort after the first 24 hours, you can rinse your mouth very gently three times a day with warm salt water. Use about one teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water.

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