Dental Implants Rock Hill

The Gold Standard for Replacing Missing Teeth

Group of men laughing together outdoors with dental implants in Rock Hill

If you’re tired of dealing with missing teeth and unreliable replacements, then dental implants may be exactly what you need. This state-of-the-art treatment replaces an entire tooth from top to bottom, creating a prosthetic that is practically indistinguishable from the real thing. Whether you are missing a single tooth, all of them, or a number in between, we can use implants to bring your smile back to life and restore your oral health for decades to come. The path toward new teeth is easy when you partner with our dental office, and you can get started simply by contacting us today to discuss replacing missing teeth with dental implants in Rock Hill, SC.

Why Choose Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill for Dental Implants?

  • Partnered with Local Dental Implant Specialists
  • Team That Treats You Like Family
  • Modern Office with a Friendly Atmosphere

What Are Dental Implants?

Dentist showing a dental implant model to a patient

Natural teeth have two parts: the crown you see above the gums, and the roots that anchor them in place. Traditional tooth replacement options like dentures and dental bridges only replace the crowns of missing teeth, which leaves a lot to be desired in terms of stability and comfort. However, dental implants are considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth because they restore every part of the tooth above and below the gumline.

A dental implant is a very short and thin titanium post that is placed directly into the jawbone in the space left by an absent tooth. There, through a natural process called osseointegration, it bonds with the surrounding bone, essentially becoming a new tooth root. This can then be used to support a patient’s dental restoration, including a crown, bridge, or denture.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

Illustrated dental crown and abutment being placed onto a dental implant

Unlike regular dental bridges or dentures, rebuilding your teeth from the roots up is quite complex. This means that the dental implant process requires multiple appointments that can span several months to a year or longer. In the end, though, you’ll have a beautiful, natural-feeling smile that could potentially last for a lifetime!

During your consultation with one of our doctors, they’ll go over what you can expect throughout your treatment and answer any questions you may have about how dental implants work in Rock Hill. Each patient’s journey is different, but for now, here is a basic outline of the four-step dental implant process.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dental patient holding a dental implant model with dentist

First, you’ll meet with our team to discuss the basics of dental implant treatment. We’ll review the specific goals you have for your smile and address any concerns. Then, we’ll go over your medical history and meticulously examine your mouth and jaw to determine whether you’re eligible for dental implants.

There’s a chance we may recommend preparatory procedures before you can schedule your dental implant surgery. Issues like gum disease and inadequate jawbone density can lead to dental implant failure, so you may need to undergo periodontal therapy or bone grafting beforehand.

Dental Implant Surgery

Dentist performing dental implant surgery

Once we have confirmed that you’re ready, we’ll refer you to a local oral surgeon who specializes in the placement of dental implants in Rock Hill. Partnering with experts for this procedure leads to the most comfortable experience, more predictable results, and greater peace of mind overall.

The procedure will begin with the oral surgeon numbing your mouth and administering sedation to ensure your comfort. Next, they’ll make tiny incisions at precise locations in your gums, through which they can insert the implant posts into your jawbone. The posts will be topped with caps to protect them throughout the healing process. Lastly, the surgeon will suture your gums closed, and you will be sent home to recover.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

Model of dental implant in model of mouth

Next comes osseointegration, the process of the biocompatible implant posts encouraging your jawbone to grow around them. While osseointegration is the reason why dental implants are so successful, it can take four to six months to complete.

When your implants are fully fused to your jaw, you’ll most likely undergo a smaller oral surgery. This time, small metal fixtures called abutments will be installed on top of the implant posts to hold your new teeth in place. It typically takes about two weeks to recover from abutment surgery.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

Illustrated dental implant in a row of natural teeth

At long last, it will be time to receive your brand-new teeth! Once your custom dental crown, bridge, or denture arrives from the dental lab, you will return to our office so that we can place it onto your abutment(s). Your implant dentist in Rock Hill will make sure your bite looks and feels good before sending you out into the world to enjoy your complete smile!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Woman in light blue blouse smiling

If you didn’t already know, dental implants are highly popular for treating tooth loss. In fact, they’re so well-regarded that dentists place over 500,000 of them every year! This popularity is justified, as the restorations have perks you can’t get from dentures or dental bridges. Patients even say the benefits of dental implants in Rock Hill boost their quality of life.

Fortunately, the Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill team can explain these advantages. Just keep reading to learn them, or call us for details.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Man eating a salad

Not long after getting implants, you’ll notice they have various everyday benefits. Among them, the most common ones are the following:

  • A Beautiful, Restored Smile – Thanks to their features, implants give you a full, beautiful smile. Custom-made for your mouth, they blend seamlessly with surrounding teeth in color, shape, and size. That effect, in turn, means they strengthen confidence and body image.
  • Better Eating Ability – Unlike dentures or bridges, implants fuse with your actual jawbone. As a result, they improve your bite and let you eat many of your favorite foods.
  • Easy Care & Maintenance – Implants are easier to care for than other restorations. Ultimately, you only need to clean them as you would other teeth. In other words, brush them twice daily, floss them twice daily, and rinse them with mouthwash.

Health Benefits

Man and woman wearing exercise clothes ourdoors

While not always apparent at first, dental implants offer perks to your health – not just your oral health, but that of your whole body. In particular, these upsides tend to include:

  • A Healthier Diet – As said earlier, implants let you have certain foods that you couldn’t otherwise. Besides making for tastier meals, this benefit also means you can eat a more varied, nutritious diet.
  • Tooth Support – Left untreated, smile gaps can tilt your other teeth and even cause them to fall out. Thankfully, implants fill those spaces and thus keep your pearly whites secure and straight.
  • A Stronger Jaw – Your jaw relies on teeth for stimulus, so tooth loss can cause your jawbone to erode. However, implants can fully substitute for regular pearly whites. In doing so, they stimulate your jawbone to preserve its bone density.

Long-Term Benefits

Senior man and woman hugging with trees in background

The long-term benefits of implants in Rock Hill make them especially worthwhile. In general, these are:

  • High Success – With little exception, implant placement nearly always succeeds in the long run. It’s to the point that implants’ current success rate sits at over 95%!
  • Long Lifespan – On average, your typical implant lasts 15 to 20 years. With proper care, that lifespan can extend to 30 years or more.
  • Savings in Time & Money – Given their lifespan and quality, implants don’t need replacing that often. Therefore, they can save you time and money that might’ve been spent on follow-up visits and repairs. That sets them apart from dentures or bridges, whose shorter lifespans mean their low upfront costs come with more recurring repair and replacement fees.

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Older man with glasses looking contemplative

To be a good candidate for dental implants, you need to meet just two requirements: you must have decent oral health, and your jawbone must be strong enough to support the new roots. Once these have been confirmed with an exam, we can help a patient determine which type of implant procedure would be right for them depending on how many teeth they are missing.

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Missing 1 Tooth

Illustrated dental implant with a dental crown

Bringing back a single tooth with a dental implant is relatively simple. A titanium root is placed between two healthy teeth, and this is topped with a porcelain crown. Unlike with a bridge, this approach doesn’t require the nearby teeth to be reshaped to make room for the prosthetic.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Illustrated dental bridge being placed over two dental implants

You don’t have to get an individual implant for each missing tooth. Instead, just one or two can be used to secure a bridge or partial denture to the jawbone that restores several teeth at once. These prostheses are much more secure and long-lasting compared to their removable counterparts.

Missing All Teeth

Illustrated full denture being placed over six dental implants

Even total tooth loss can be completely reversed with dental implants. Four to six posts can be placed along the jawbone to serve as the foundation for a full denture. Implant dentures are smaller and more comfortable compared to regular ones, but they also allow a patient to recover much more bite strength.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Dentist showing a model of a dental implant to a patient

One of the best parts about dental implants is their longevity. They’re able to last multiple times longer compared to traditional bridges and dentures while providing higher quality results, making them one of the best investments in all of dentistry. The cost of your implant procedure will be based on a few factors, including how many posts are needed, where they are located within the mouth, and what kind of restoration is used. We’ll go over all pricing information at your consultation so you’ll know exactly what to expect, and we can also help you sign up for financing to make the treatment more easily affordable.

Types of Dental Implants

Three dental implants with abutments and crowns laying on table

First of all, what exactly are you looking to accomplish with this treatment? Do you have a single missing tooth to replace? In that case, you’ll only need one implant along with a crown. On the other hand, if multiple teeth are missing, you may need a bridge or even dentures supported by an appropriate number of implant posts. Beyond that, there are a couple of different materials used to make implants, various manufacturers, and a number of different placement techniques. All of these variables will influence the final cost of dental implants in Rock Hill. We’ll discuss these details with you during your consultation so that you understand what needs to happen as well as what your options are.

The Stages of Dental Implant Treatment

Dentist placing crown on dental implant model

The dental implant process is divided into a number of stages, and each one carries a separate cost. You’ll need to plan your payments accordingly. Typically, after the consultation, we’ll schedule any necessary preliminary work such as bone grafts or extractions. Once those steps are complete, implant surgery can begin. It will take a few months for your mouth to heal after the procedure, at which point a small piece called an abutment will be attached to the implant. The final step is to place a crown, bridge, or denture on top of said abutment.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

Woman with red hair smiling outdoors

In one word, yes! Unlike other types of tooth replacement, dental implants can last for entire lifetimes, meaning you won’t have to pay for new ones every few years. This alone gives them greater value in the long term. There are also many benefits that you can only enjoy with dental implants, such as having new teeth that are strong and sturdy enough to chew practically any kind of food. The stimulation that implants provide also keeps the jawbone healthy, letting you avoid the complications that bone loss can bring. 

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Senior man and woman smiling at each other with trees in background

While many companies consider dental implants to be cosmetic and thus won’t pay for them, more and more companies are starting to offer coverage for the treatment. Many policies can also help pay for preparatory work or the final restoration. Check the specifics of your own plan to see what is offered and how you can use your benefits to cut down on your personal costs.

Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Illustrated side profile x ray of a person with a dental implant

Dental implants utilize modern techniques and technology to achieve outstanding results with an impressively high success rate of 95% after placement of five years. However, in rare cases, the threat of failure may loom, risking your smile’s overall health and function. In these cases, our team at Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill can help preserve and maintain your smile while collaborating with local experts so you can continue enjoying your dental implants in Rock Hill for decades to come.

Learn More About Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Smiling woman putting toothpaste on electric toothbrush

Dental implants in Rock Hill have the potential to last a lifetime with proper care. Fortunately, maintaining and caring for them is an easy task! Essentially, dental implants can be taken care of just like your natural teeth, with no extra steps or cleaning solutions. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a few bad habits can dramatically shorten the lifespan of your newly rebuilt smile. Read on as we cover the five best ways to make sure your dental implants last for decades to come.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Young woman flossing her teeth

The leading cause of dental implant failure is peri-implantitis. This infection in the gums attacks and destroys the connective tissues that help hold dental implants in place. Fortunately, we have a pretty solid grasp on what causes peri-implantitis: poor oral hygiene. Brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing daily, and rinsing with mouthwash regularly will keep your mouth healthy and strong, not to mention fresh and sparkling!

Eat a Healthy Diet

Person chopping vegetables

With dental implants, you’ll regain 80% or more of your natural chewing power. This means you’ll easily be able to eat all your favorite foods once again! Make sure you take advantage of this by eating lots of healthy foods that contain calcium and vitamin C. These nutrients will help strengthen your jawbone and keep your gums healthy, which in turn will ensure your dental implant maintains its strong, sturdy foundation.

Break Bad Habits

Person opening a bottle with their teeth

If you are replacing your missing teeth with dental implants, now is the time to break bad habits that can damage your new smile:

  • Quit smoking: While easier said than done, quitting smoking is one of the best ways to dramatically lower your risk of dental implant failure and keep your mouth healthy.
  • Stop chewing on hard objects: Chewing on pencils, pen caps, fingernails, ice, and other hard objects can damage your restoration or cause an infection in the gums.
  • Refrain from using your teeth as tools: It may be easy to use your teeth to open packages, hold your car keys for a moment, or tear off price tags, but doing so could send you back to our office with a broken dental implant restoration (or natural tooth) in the blink of an eye!

Protect Your Dental Implants

Close up of illustrated x ray of a dental implant

Dental implants are strong, but not indestructible! If you were to take a particularly hard blow to the face while playing sports, your dental implant could break or be knocked loose. That’s why you need to wear a custom-made sports mouthguard if you play sports. Additionally, if you have bruxism and grind your teeth at night, your dental implant can become worn down and loosen from the excess pressure. In these situations, you need to wear a personalized nightguard for bruxism to keep your smile safe while you sleep.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Woman looking at her smile in mirror

Whether you’ve replaced one tooth, several teeth, or both arches of pearly whites with dental implants, you should visit us every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. We’ll check to make sure your dental implant is holding up and that there are no small issues developing that you may not have noticed yet. Not only will we provide personalized preventive care, but we’ll thoroughly clean your teeth and implant(s) to minimize your risk of oral healthcare problems and make sure your smile stays dazzling.

Dental Implant FAQs

Dentist gesturing to a dental implant model a patient is holding

Do you want to know more about dental implants in Rock Hill before scheduling an initial consultation? Below are some of the most common dental implant questions we hear at Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill, along with our answers. We hope this handy FAQ section addresses your questions or concerns. If you want to speak directly with our expert staff about dental implants or feel ready to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact our office!

How Long Does It Take to Get Dental Implants?

In general, dental implant treatment can be completed in six to nine months and typically requires at least two trips to a dentist in Rock Hill. There are multiple factors that will contribute to your dental implant timeline, such as:

  • The number of teeth you want to replace
  • Which teeth you want to replace
  • Whether preliminary treatment, such as a bone graft or sinus lift, is necessary
  • Whether tooth extractions are required before implant placement

The best way to learn how soon you can show off a new smile with dental implants is to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Coombs, Dr. Ross, or Dr. Sourlis. They will carefully examine your teeth, gums, and oral structures to develop a personalized dental implant treatment plan just for you.

Does Dental Implant Surgery Hurt?

Does the idea of oral surgery scare you a bit? You can rest assured that patient comfort is always a top priority at Coombs, Ross & Sourlis Family Dentistry of Rock Hill, including during the dental implant procedure. In fact, in most cases, patients do not experience significant pain or discomfort during or after implant surgery.

Local anesthesia or dental sedation will help ensure you feel completely at ease while your implants are being placed. Following the placement surgery, over-the-counter painkillers can usually help manage any lingering discomfort. Prescription pain medication may also be provided, if necessary.

Can Dental Implants Fail?

Dental implant failure, although possible, is extremely rare. In fact, according to research published in The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98 percent! Factors that can increase the risk of dental implant failure include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Weak or insufficient jawbone
  • Gum disease and other oral infections

By practicing excellent oral hygiene at home, you can help prevent gum disease and other oral issues from developing and help ensure a smooth path toward a restored smile with implants.

How Long Have Dental Implants Been Around?

Modern dental implants have been in use since the 1970s, giving them a record of success that reaches back roughly 50 years! Even further back, however, archeological evidence suggests that early versions of dental implants made from carved bamboo pegs were used in ancient China. Thankfully, modern dentistry has advanced quite a bit since that long-ago era! Today’s dental implants are made from titanium – a highly durable, biocompatible metal.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?

Smoking tobacco can significantly increase the risk of dental implant failure. The nicotine in tobacco interferes with the healing process by reducing blood flow. This can delay or even prevent a dental implant from successfully fusing with the jawbone. If you routinely smoke cigarettes and are considering replacing your missing teeth with dental implants in Rock Hill, now is the perfect time to try to kick the habit!

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The lifespan of dental implants will usually depend on the oral health, diet, and lifestyle choices of the patient. If you want to make the most of your restorations, you’ll want to ensure that you brush, floss, and rinse with mouthwash regularly every day. You should also visit our team every six months for checkups and cleanings, as we’ll help prevent more serious issues from starting altogether. Keep away from chewing on foods that are too hard or sticky. With proper care, you can expect your implants to last several decades to a lifetime.

Will I Have to Take Off Work for Dental Implant Surgery?

While dental implant surgery is an extensive procedure, most people will only require taking a day or two off work to undergo their treatment. After your appointment, you will simply take the time to relax and recover. That said, if your job is more physically demanding, you may want to consider taking at least three or four days off. Heavy exercise or strenuous activity can divert blood from the implant site and hinder your healing process. Since every situation is different, your dentist will provide you with more specific suggestions based on your case.

Am I Too Young to Get Dental Implants?

Although there isn’t a set age limit for getting dental implants, most dentists won’t recommend undergoing the procedure if the patient is younger than 18. This is because a person’s jaw is still developing and strengthening before then. If dental implants are embedded in a jawbone that isn’t fully matured, it could risk complications in both the restoration results and further bone development. For this reason, it’s best to wait until young adulthood to get dental implants, as some people’s jaws may not mature until their mid-20s. Our team will discuss your situation and determine if this treatment is right for you during your consultation.

Can Dental Implants Get Cavities?

Dental implants are not made of the same organic material as your natural teeth, so they can’t develop cavities. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to still practice good oral hygiene. By brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash regularly, you can maintain your dental implants for much longer as well as avoid oral health issues. This will also preserve your gums and connective tissues, which are crucial in providing the stable foundation necessary for your new pearly whites. You’ll want to keep your gum tissue safe and healthy, as one of the biggest causes of dental implant failure is peri-implantitis—an infection in the gums surrounding the metal post. Keep up with your oral hygiene routine, and you’ll ensure longer-lasting results!