Dental Implants – Cary, NC

The Ultimate Tooth Replacement Solution

If you’re suffering from tooth loss, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that an astounding 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Now, dental implants are widely considered to be the most ideal solution and it’s easy to see why. In addition to having a 95% success rate, dental implants in Cary closely mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth and feature lifelike stability. And with advanced training and experience, Dr. Darren Koch can handle the entire restorative process after the implants are placed by an oral surgeon or periodontist. Want to know how implants can benefit you? Give us a call today to schedule a consultation!

Why Choose Darren G. Koch, DDS, PA for Dental Implants?

  • Partnered with Expert Oral Surgeons
  • Dentist That Emphasizes Quality
  • Dental Team That Helps You Feel at Home

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a revolutionary tooth replacement solution that accounts for the entire missing dental structure, which includes the roots. They are essentially metal posts that are meant to be placed in the jaw and join with the bone. Implants can be used to support single crowns, bridges, or even full dentures; the number of implant posts you get depends on the type of restoration they’ll support, and that in turn depends on how many teeth you’ve lost.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

When you decide to get dental implants, it’s important to remember that the process can take several months to complete. Also, we will refer you to a local oral surgeon when the time comes to have your implant posts placed in your jaw. This is to ensure that you receive the highest quality care possible during each phase of the process. Here is a brief summary of the four main steps that will need to be completed to rebuild your smile.  

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dentist holding model of dental implants in Cary, NC

When you visit us for your initial dental implant consultation, we will need to make sure that there aren’t any issues that could prevent you from having dental implants placed. To that end, we’ll examine your mouth and review your medical history. Depending on what we find, we may determine that you will need bone grafting or another kind of preliminary treatment before you can have dental implant surgery performed. In the event that you are a viable candidate for dental implants, we’ll explain what the rest of the process will look like.

Dental Implant Surgery

Patient leaning back in chair, oral surgeons performing a procedure

Your dental implant surgery will be handled by a trustworthy local specialist. They will take a number of steps to help you stay comfortable (such as administering a local anesthetic to numb the area) before making an incision in your gums in order to work with the underlying bone. The surgery will be planned very carefully; each dental implant post will be placed in precisely the right spot in your jaw. After your gums are sutured closed, a protective cap will be placed over each post. Before you leave, you will be given instructions for taking care of your mouth to avoid issues during the recovery process.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

Model of a dental implant in Cary, NC in the jawbone

Osseointegration is a natural process that begins once your dental implants have been inserted into your jaw. Over time, the posts will gradually fuse with the bone around them. You can usually expect the osseointegration process to last several months; bear in mind that it tends to take longer for people who received multiple dental implant posts.

Once osseointegration is finished, you will need to have a second surgery performed. This one will involve attaching abutments to your dental implant posts. The abutments are important since they are what will ultimately allow your new teeth to stay anchored in place.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

Illustration of a single dental implant in Cary, NC with a crown

The final restoration could be a crown, a bridge, or a denture depending on the extent of your tooth loss. Once it’s ready, you will return to our office to have it attached to your dental implants. Once it’s in place, we’ll double-check to confirm that it isn’t causing any problems with your bite. If everything looks good, then all that’s left is for you to head home with new teeth that will let you eat, speak, and smile with confidence.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Man taking a look at his smile in a handheld mirror

Dental implants aren’t the only possible solution for missing teeth, but they do provide several unique benefits thanks to their ability to mimic your missing tooth roots. There are several reasons why Dr. Koch often recommends dental implants over traditional tooth replacement methods. Are you trying to figure out whether dental implants are right for you? To help you make your decision, here’s a look at several of the advantages that dental implants can bring with them.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Smiling woman standing at home and holding a tablet

Dental implants can help improve your everyday life in a variety of ways. Here are just a few examples:

  • Superior Function and Chewing Strength: Just like the roots of natural teeth, dental implants are fused with the surrounding jawbone, allowing them to provide enhanced chewing power. This means you can eat hard, tough, or crunchy foods with ease. With the superior function of implants, you’ll be able to eat your favorite foods without worry.
  • Confidence from Having a Beautiful Smile: Your new dental implants will look so much like your own teeth that no one will know you lost teeth to begin with. And since they’re so stable and secure, you won’t have to worry about embarrassing slips the way you would with a denture. While a dental bridge or partial denture will replace the missing crowns of your teeth, nothing will look or feel as natural as dental implants
  • Simple Maintenance: Are you worried that once your teeth have been replaced, you’ll have to start learning complicated new oral hygiene practices? This very much won’t be the case with dental implants; you can give them the same kind of care that you would your natural teeth, such as brushing them twice a day.

Health Benefits

Man in light blue shirt sitting outside and smiling

Having dental implants placed can be good for your oral health in the long run for the following reasons.

  • Preserve Your Jawbone and Facial Structure: When a tooth is lost, the body responds by slowly beginning to “resorb” the jawbone that once surrounded the root. Since a dental implant takes the place of the missing tooth root, it can help preserve the jawbone. This not only benefits your long-term oral health but also helps you maintain a more youthful appearance after tooth loss.
  • Keep Your Natural Teeth Safe: Teeth have a tendency to shift whenever there’s empty space in the mouth. Having dental implants placed to completely fill any gaps in your grin will help keep your remaining teeth properly aligned.
  • Lower Risk of Oral Health Issues: As noted above, dental implants are very easy to take care of. This can indirectly benefit your oral health by making it easier for you to get rid of the harmful bacteria that can cause problems for your dental implants and the rest of your smile.

Long-Term Benefits

Senior woman with glasses smiling with her arms folded

There are several long-term benefits of dental implants that are worth keeping in mind when comparing them to other forms of tooth replacement:

  • Highly Successful: Studies have shown that dental implants maintain a success rate of 95% even after they have been in the mouth for two decades.
  • Longevity: Are you not looking forward to having to get a new dental bridge or denture every 7 to 10 years? Dental implants are much less likely to need replacement since they can last for decades.
  • A Wise Investment: The fact that dental implants don’t need to be replaced as often as dentures and bridges means that they can end up saving you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Female dental patient giving a thumbs up

Dental implants can be a viable tooth replacement option in a wide variety of circumstances. Our team can help you figure out whether the treatment is right for you by taking a close look at your mouth and carefully evaluating your oral health. Not only can we confirm whether you’re eligible for dental implants, but we can also give you an idea of the number of implant posts needed to help you fill all the empty space in your smile.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Man in white shirt standing in office and smiling

Adults who are missing any number of teeth can be considered for dental implants. You will likely qualify for the procedure if you meet the following criteria:

  • Good Oral Health: Your mouth is currently free of gum disease and other types of oral health problems.
  • A Strong Jawbone: Dental implants can only succeed if they’re able to bond with the jawbone. As such, it’s necessary to confirm that there’s a sufficient level of bone density in the parts of the jaw that will support the implant posts.
  • Good Overall Health: In order to get dental implants, your body will need to be in good enough shape to have surgery performed.

There are steps that can be taken to make dental implants viable even for patients who do not currently qualify for the procedure. For example, a lack of bone density can often be corrected with a bone grafting procedure.

Missing One Tooth

Illustration of tooth and dental implant in Cary, NC

It should be no surprise that only one dental implant post is needed to replace a single missing tooth. The post will be inserted in the spot where the tooth used to be and allowed to fuse with the surrounding bone. Eventually, it will be ready to support a crown, which will be created using high-quality materials that can mimic the appearance of your natural teeth.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Illustration of dental bridge and dental implants in Cary, NC

When replacing multiple teeth, the goal is to use as few dental implant posts as possible to completely fill in the empty space. Gaps left by three or more consecutive teeth often require just two posts, which will be used to support a dental bridge. Choosing an implant bridge over a traditional one can be a great choice for your smile, as it can eliminate the need to remove enamel from the natural teeth that you still have.

Missing All Teeth

Illustration of dentures and dental implants in Cary, NC

Thanks to implant dentures, you can replace an entire arch of teeth from the roots up. The implant posts will give your new teeth a level of stability and chewing power that you wouldn’t see from traditional dentures. On top of that, your new teeth won’t slip due to being firmly anchored to the jawbone. And if you choose to get fixed implant dentures, you won’t have to worry about removing your prosthesis to clean it; you can just brush it as if it were a natural part of your mouth.

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Dental implant treatment plans can vary quite a bit depending on many factors, including how many implants are needed and whether preliminary procedures such as extractions or a bone graft are necessary or not. That’s why the best way to get an idea of your individual cost is to schedule a consultation so Dr. Koch can evaluate your needs and determine what your treatment plan would include.

With that said, we can say with 100% confidence that implants are one of the best investments you’ll ever make. In addition to giving you a smile that feels incredibly natural, you’ll be able to enjoy your new teeth for a lifetime and eat all your favorite foods with ease.

Dental Implant FAQs

Are you considering dental implants in Cary? Do you feel confident moving forward with treatment? Do you feel you’re fully informed about the entire process? Many patients who have chosen dental implants to replace their missing teeth come to us with multiple questions, all of which Dr. Koch and our team will happily answer. No matter where you are in the decision-making process, we want you to have all the information you need to ensure you are making the right choice for your dental health. Below are common questions we’ve received from patients about dental implants. Please review the following information, and if you do not see your question listed or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our dental office today.

Is it possible to develop an infection after having dental implants placed?

Yes, but it is very rare. Dental implants are just like any other type of dental surgery in that there is a risk for potential complications. Because the process involves surgically placing these titanium posts into the jawbone, it requires opening the gum tissue and exposing the underlying bone. Once they are put into place, you should have no issues other than some mild to moderate soreness and/or discomfort while recovering at home. However, it is possible there is a slight chance you could develop an infection that would require you to undergo additional treatment. There could also be nerve bruising that results in temporary numbness of your lips, cheeks, or tongue.

How long will it take for my dental implants to heal?

Each patient is different, so it’s important not to base your recovery time off of someone else’s experience. On average, you can expect to spend 3-4 months healing at home after your implants are firmly in place. If you require a bone graft before undergoing dental implant placement, your timeline for receiving your finalized restoration will take longer because of the added healing needed to ensure a firm foundation for your implants.

Can dental implants fail?

Yes, it is possible for dental implants to fail, but it is very rare. Dental implant placement carries a high success rate of 95% or more. When seeing a trusted professional who exhibits proven experience or works closely with specialists who are equipped and trained to surgically place implants, you can expect your treatment to be a success.

However, there are instances when implants do fail, some of which include:

  • An improperly placed dental implant
  • An infection within the bone and soft tissues
  • Smoking or using tobacco products while recovering at home
  • A compromised immune system

Can I switch from dentures to dental implants?

Many patients have found great success by saying “so long” to their dentures and hello to dental implants. But before you set your sights on this transition, your dentist in Cary will need to perform a thorough examination of your oral cavity and facial structure to determine if you are an eligible candidate. If you have good oral health, do not smoke, and have adequate bone density, making the switch should not be a problem. However, if your jawbone density is insufficient, it will be necessary for you to undergo a bone graft to help strengthen the weakened areas of your jawbone.