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Posts for tag: dental implants

By Heritage Dental Associates, PC
September 08, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Here's some good news: Teenagers are less likely than adults to lose teeth to dental disease. But there's also a flip side. Teens can still lose teeth, more likely from traumatic injury.

Fortunately, there are several options for replacing lost teeth like dentures or bridges. But the choice considered best by most dentists and patients is a dental implant. An implant tooth looks and functions like the real thing—and it's durable, capable of lasting for years, if not decades.

But there's a hitch with teens getting an implant: Even though they may have all their permanent teeth by adolescence, their jaws are still growing and developing. Natural teeth, with their attachment to the jaws by way of a periodontal ligament, can keep pace with this growth—but implants can't.

That's because an implant doesn't have this attachment to gum tissue like natural teeth, but to the jawbone alone. Hence, an implant tooth can't keep up with jaw development, and may eventually look like it's "sunk" into the gums in relation to the teeth around it.

It's best, then, to wait until a teen's jaws have fully developed before attempting an implant. In the meantime, though, they don't have to endure a smile marred by missing teeth, but can replace them with a temporary restoration. The two most common options are a partial denture or a modified bridge.

The partial denture is a lightweight version that's quite affordable. Although not as durable as other types of dentures, the appliance is only intended to last until the patient is old enough for a permanent implant.

The modified bridge is a prosthetic tooth with strips of dental material extending behind it that are bonded to the backs of the teeth on either side to hold it in place. It's likewise not as durable as a traditional bridge, but it can fill the bill until time to place an implant.

Although this adds an additional step in a teen's restorative journey after losing a tooth, it's necessary—waiting to place an implant after jaw maturity will help ensure a long-lasting result. In the meantime, a temporary tooth replacement will help them to enjoy a normal smile.

If you would like more information on dental restorations for teens, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants for Teenagers.”

By Heritage Dental Associates, PC
February 05, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants are not the only means to help restore your smile that your dentist possesses. But there are many benefits that the procedure has over others, as well as drawbacks. To learn much more please contact Dr. Jeffery Kendrick of Heritage Dental Associates in Fayetteville, GA.

Correcting Gaps

A missing tooth is more than an aesthetic concern, because of the empty spot surrounding teeth may shift and could lead to problems with spacing and alter your bite. If the teeth become too bunched together they can create hard to clean areas, which can make cavities all the more likely.

Your dentist can restore your smile and in deciding the type of treatment that best suits your needs, consider the benefits of dental implants.

Benefits Over Bridgework

Dental bridges continue to be a very reliable method of restoring missing teeth. The procedure requires using the teeth adjacent to the gap to be reshaped to accept a crown and act as support for the replaced tooth. Dental implants, however, are supported by a titanium post that's permanently implanted onto the bone and acts like a replacement root for your new tooth.


Of similar types of procedures, dental implants are the longest lasting and it all comes down to the way they work. The implant itself becomes permanently bonded to the bone through a process called osseointegration. The healing time for this to occur can take months but the results will last for many years.

Restoring Multiple Teeth

Just like they can restore a missing tooth dental implants can help when you need to replace multiple teeth. Whether it is a partial or a full denture it can be supported with dental implants. The best part is that you typically require fewer dental implants than the number of teeth you're replacing.

Dental Implants in Fayetteville, GA

Come into the office to discuss expectations and options and to find out if you're a candidate for dental implants. Make an appointment today with Dr. Kendrick of Heritage Dental Associates in Fayetteville, GA, by dialing (770) 460-9795.

By Heritage Dental Associates, PC
January 31, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

If you're thinking about getting dental implants, you may be curious about how long it might take. The answer depends on the health of your supporting bone.

Bone is an integral part of implant functionality as bone cells gradually grow and adhere to the newly placed implant to give it its characteristic strength. The implant also requires an adequate amount of bone to accurately position it for the best appearance outcome.

If the bone is sufficient and healthy, we can proceed with the surgical placement of the implant. The most common practice following surgery is to allow a few weeks for the bone integration described previously to take place before finally attaching the crown. With an alternative known as a “tooth in one day” procedure, we install a crown right after surgery, which gives you a full smile when you leave.

There's one caveat to this latter method, though—because the implant still requires bone integration, this immediate crown is temporary. It's designed to receive no pressure from biting or chewing, which could damage the still integrating implant. We'll install the permanent crown after the implant and bone have had time to fully mesh.

So, if your supporting bone is sound, the complete implant process may only take a few weeks. But what if it's not—what if you've lost bone and don't have enough to support an implant? In that case, the length of process time depends on the severity of the bone loss and if we're able to overcome it. In some cases, we can't, which means we'll need to consider a different restoration.

But it's often possible to regenerate lost bone by grafting bone material at the implant site. If the bone loss is moderate, it may take 2 to 4 months of regrowth after grafting before we can perform implant surgery. If it's more significant or there's disease damage to the socket, it may take longer, usually 4 to 6 months. It largely depends on the rate of bone regeneration.

In a nutshell, then, the health of your jaw's supporting bone has a lot to do with whether the implant process will take a few weeks or a few months. Regardless of the time, though, you'll gain the same result—new, functional teeth and a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on dental implant restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Implant Timelines for Replacing Missing Teeth.”

By Heritage Dental Associates, PC
September 29, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

A fair number of people with total tooth loss have arrived at this point after a long history of dental issues. It's quite likely they've had a series of bridges or partial dentures over the years to accommodate lost teeth at various times before moving to full dentures.

For many, it often seems easier to extract any remaining teeth at some point and simply move on to a total restoration. It's often better for oral health, however, to preserve any remaining teeth for as long as possible and update restorations as needed. Dental implants could make this type of staged restoration strategy much easier to manage.

Implants are tiny metal posts surgically imbedded in a patient's jawbone. Over time, bone cells grow and adhere to the implant's titanium surface, creating a strong and durable hold. Its most familiar application is as a replacement for an individual tooth.

But because of their strength and durability, this advanced dental technology is also used to support other restorations like bridges and partial or full dentures by way of a few strategically placed implants. And it's in that role that they can be useful in planning and implementing future restoration upgrades when needed.

Under this strategy, we add implants to supplement pre-existing implants from earlier restorations to support the updated dental work. For example, we might have previously placed an implant supporting a single tooth or a small bridge. When the need later arises for a partial denture, we can add additional implants to be used with the earlier one to support the new denture.

If the earlier implants have been well-placed, we need only to add enough implants necessary to support a full denture when the time comes. How many will depend on the particular type of denture: A removable lower denture may only require one additional implant with one already in place. A fixed upper or lower denture will require enough to bring the number to between four and eight.

Taking this long-term approach can be more cost-effective in the long-run. More importantly, it can make for a smoother path for the patient and help preserve remaining teeth for as long as possible.

If you would like more information on restoration options for lost teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Replacing All Teeth but Not All at Once.”

By Heritage Dental Associates, PC
May 13, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants  

If you’re scheduled for a tooth extraction or are already missing one or a couple of your real teeth, you might be weighing your tooth replacement options. One of the tooth restoration options to consider is dental implants. They are the most popular and sought after option due to the unparalleled benefits they offer when it comes to comfort, aesthetics, and functionality. Here at Heritage Dental Associates in Fayetteville, GA, Dr. Jeff Kendrick frequently uses dental implants to restore lost teeth.

How Can I Benefit From Dental Implants?

  • Functionality: The titanium dental implant tooth root will effortlessly fuse to your jawbone, preventing its deterioration, and creating a durable foundation for chewing.
  • Aesthetics: Dental implants look undeniably similar to your real teeth, especially when topped with porcelain dental crowns that will be customized to fit with and look like your other teeth.
  • Durability and Easy Maintenance: Implants need the exact same oral hygiene routine you do for your real teeth. This means that you just have to brush them and floss them thoroughly every single day and get them professionally cleaned and examined by your dentist in Fayetteville, GA, regularly. While dental implants won’t develop tooth decay, the gum tissues surrounding them could get infected or inflamed if you fail to care for them properly. When cared for properly, however, they could last for the rest of your life.
  • Comfort: Some people are not comfortable or just can’t wear other teeth replacement options due to gum soreness and other sensitivities. With dental implants, comfort won’t ever be an issue once the surgery site has healed.

When Should I Get Implants?

The longer you delay to replace a missing tooth, the faster the bone and gums below where your tooth was will deteriorate. Left unaddressed for a long time, you may have to undergo periodontal surgery or a bone graft surgery before having implants installed.

 If you still need to heal from another dental treatment or tooth extraction, you’ll have to wait until you’re fully healed to have the implants installed but if the gum tissue and bone in the site where the implant will be placed are generally healthy, then the procedure can be performed. 

Interested in Dental Implants? Talk to Us

Dial (770) 460-9795 to arrange an assessment of your case with Dr. Jeff Kendrick of Heritage Dental Associates here in Fayetteville, GA.