23 South Main Street
Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Top 5 Benefits of Dental Implants

Top 5 Benefits of Dental Implants

In the past, dentures, partial dentures, and bridges were the only option for replacing missing teeth. Today, thanks to dental implants, there are alternatives to these prosthetics that offer more natural feel and functionality. Dental implants first came into widespread use about 30 years ago, and have since revolutionized how we deal with lost teeth. Rather than sitting over the site of missing teeth, as dentures and bridges do, implant-based prosthetics actually replace the whole tooth, all the way down to the root!

Would you like to learn more about dental implants? Contact our Travelers Rest dental practice at 864-836-8416 for an appointment. At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, Dr. Preston Hamrick will assess your oral health and help you determine whether dental implants may be right for you. 

A dental implant consists of a biocompatible titanium base, which is surgically embedded into the empty socket where a natural tooth root once sat. Once the site has healed and the implant has fused with the jaw bone, an abutment can be placed on the base. From there, either a porcelain crown can be attached (to replace a single missing tooth) or four or more bases can be used as the attachment site for implant dentures or partials.

Comfort and Dependability

This is perhaps the most important benefit to dental implants. Dentures often slip loose, as they are only connected to the gums via suction and adhesives. This can make eating and speaking with others an embarrassing proposition. It can also limit the different types of food you can enjoy. With implant-based dentures, however, these things will never happen. Implant dentures are securely attached to your jaw, and will feel and act more like natural teeth.

Traditional dentures can also be uncomfortable. The dimensions of your mouth change over time, which leads to an imperfect fit. This can lead to gum soreness and oral lesions if dentures are not relined. Since implant-based dentures prevent changes to your jaw bone, they will always fit perfectly.

Even with a single tooth, patients find that a dental implant means a tooth replacement that feels and acts like your original tooth.

Appearance

Since implant-based prosthetics function more like natural teeth, your appearance will not be altered negatively. No more will movement in the mouth call attention to slipping dentures, and no more will an unnatural looking bridge call attention to your teeth. Porcelain crowns are permanently attached to single implants, and sometimes even a dentist won’t even be able to tell the difference.

More Years of Dependable Use

The process for getting dental implants may be more involved than that of traditional prosthetics, but the payoff is years of seamless use. You won’t need to have dentures relined, and you won’t need to have a new bridge constructed to adapt to changes in your gum tissue. For many patients, once the process is complete, the restoration will last a lifetime.

No Diminishing Bone Tissue

The most unpleasant fact of losing teeth is jawbone diminishment. When tooth roots are no longer present in the jaw, our body initiates a resource-conserving process that slowly shrinks your lower jaw. The process may take ten or more years before major changes are seen, but it is one of the most dramatic signs of aging. Thanks to implants, you can avoid this negative outcome entirely. Since implants replace teeth, crown to root, your body will continue to support healthy bone tissue in the lower jaw.

A Versatile Solution

In the past, the only prosthetic option for a single missing tooth was a bridge. Bridges are excellent restorations, but in some cases they can put stress on the healthy teeth surrounding a gap. Today, a patient missing a single tooth has more options. Similarly, getting dentures often meant extracting healthy teeth if a partial denture was not an option. Today, however, dental implants supporting a partial denture can also be used for a full denture if it is needed in the future. Overall, this versatile tool means dentists have more flexibility in how they approach your unique situation. In many cases, implant solutions can be more conservative than those of the past.

To learn more about dental implants, contact our Travelers Rest dental practice at 864-836-8416 for an appointment. At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, Dr. Preston Hamrick will assess your oral health and help you determine whether dental implants are the right solution for you. 

 

 

 

Why Dental Checkups are So Important

Why Dental Checkups are So Important

At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, we want you to have the healthiest and brightest smiles possible. One of the most important ways to accomplish this is routine dental exams. Your daily oral hygiene regimen is certainly critical to avoiding tooth decay, but six-month visits are equally important, and we’ll tell you why!

Call Carolina Oaks if you need a dentist in Travelers Rest, SC. Dr. Preston Hamrick provides gentle and thorough care for every member of your family. Contact our office online or at 864-836-8416 to make an appointment.

Aren’t brushing and flossing enough?

Your home care regimen of brushing and flossing will clean away most mouth bacteria, but it is incapable of removing all of it. What’s more, bacteria are tiny. Any small crevice in your molars or other spot that can’t be reached by toothbrush bristles can harbor enough plaque and bacteria to initiate the start of a cavity. If teeth were uniformly smooth and perfectly cylindrical, then perhaps we could reach all those spots ourselves—but they are not. Even the most diligent of us simply cannot remove all the plaque and bacteria from our teeth.

When any spot of plaque remains on a tooth, no matter how small, it can solidify into insoluble tartar (calculus). If this tartar does not get removed it will lead to enamel demineralization, and ultimately a cavity. That’s why most people will get at least one or two cavities in their lifetime. The microscopic nature of bacteria means that toothbrush bristles simply cannot reach every surface where bacteria hide.

How do dental exams prevent cavities?

At a dental checkup, dentists and hygienists are trained to recognize the spots where tartar has accumulated and remove it with dental tools. We can also treat soft spots to remineralize and protect the enamel, so a cavity does not form.

The other important thing we do is identify small cavities that have already formed. As a patient, you may be disappointed to hear about small cavities, but we are always happy when we can catch a cavity in its earliest stages. Without regular checkups, cavities can form and grow to the point where extensive restorations (deep fillings and root canals) are needed.

My Teeth Are Fine!

A lot of people mistakenly believe that as long as they don’t have any pain, everything must be fine with their oral health. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. We understand why this attitude persists; with our bodily health we rely on pain or dysfunction to let us know when something is wrong. We also tend to take a wait-and-see attitude to aches and pains. It doesn’t work that way with your teeth and gums, though.

Tooth enamel is actually the second-hardest naturally occurring substance in the world (diamonds are the first). To be this hard, and function so well for us, the only nerves in the teeth are found in the innermost chambers of the tooth. By the time decay reaches the nerves, the cavity is too large to enact a fast and easy correction. Wait-and-see never works in this case, either, as teeth cannot self-heal. That’s why you need dental exams to help you catch cavities and restore them before a toothache starts.

What else happens during a dental exam?

Checking your teeth for cavities is important, but there are a number of other important things that happen during a checkup!

Dental exams include:

  • dental cleaning;
  • cavity detection;
  • preventive treatments;
  • screening for symptoms of oral health conditions;
  • patient/provider information exchange; and
  • oral cancer screening.

You may not even notice these things happening, but each dental exam includes a patient interview and a visual inspection for signs of oral health problems other than cavities. Oral cancers, gum disease, bruxism, and TMJ disorder are all conditions that are more treatable when detected in their earliest stages.

We also like to learn about your overall health during a checkup, since so many medical conditions can affect your teeth and gums. For example, diabetes, pregnancy, and acid reflux can have a dramatic impact on your oral health. Sharing information makes it easier for us to work together to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

Call Carolina Oaks if you need a dentist in Travelers Rest, SC. Dr. Preston Hamrick provides gentle and thorough care for every member of your family. Contact our office online or at 864-836-8416 to make an appointment.