Dr. Robert Cain is a periodontist in Knoxville, TN that offers his patients quality dental implants under one roof. Dr. Cain will begin the process with a thorough evaluation of your dental health and discuss your cosmetic goals to ensure that affordable dental implants are right for you.
The next step is the creation of a personalized treatment plan that is customized to your needs and goals. The dental implant process, from evaluation to securing the dental restoration, usually takes five to eight months, and most patients don’t experience a disruption to their daily lives.
The Dental Implant Treatment Process
The process takes place in three phases; dental exam and creation of treatment plan, surgical implantation of the implant, and attachment of the replacement tooth. As a periodontist, Dr. Cain is qualified to perform all steps of the dental implant process at his Knoxville, TN dentist office.
Creating a Treatment Plan
Once Dr. Cain has determined if dental implants are a good fit for you, he will create a very specific treatment plan tailored to you and your needs. No two patients are alike, and each situation involving damaged or missing teeth is unique. Dr. Cain will discuss the plan that takes into account the number and condition of missing teeth and the condition of your jawbone.
We want to ensure that dental implants are the best choice to meet your tooth replacement needs. We’ll talk to you about your smile goals and budget, as well as conduct a thorough oral examination. If you have remaining tooth fragments in the mouth, we’ll extract them before moving forward. You also have to have enough healthy bone structure to support the implant. If not, a bone graft will need to be performed, and you’ll have to wait until this is healed before getting your implant surgery.
Through strategic planning, Dr. Cain will determine the best placement for your dental implants and schedule your surgery date. If Dr. Cain diagnoses you with gum disease, you will need to undergo treatment for that before you can continue on to your implant surgery. It is important to be as healthy as possible in order for the implants to be successful.
Placing the Implant
If a tooth extraction is needed, that will be performed first. Then Dr. Cain will surgically place the dental implant, a tiny titanium post, into the bone at his Knoxville, TN periodontist office. The titanium post is designed to fuse with the jaw bone for a permanent bond that will support natural bone regeneration.
The healing process can take anywhere from 3 – 5 months. Dr. Cain may provide you with a temporary restoration to restore temporary function while the implant heals and integrates with the bone.
Restoring the Dental Implant
While the dental implant is healing, a dental laboratory creates your dental crown, denture, or dental bridge according to our specifications. We ensure that the lab has impressions and knows the size, shape, and shade so that your restoration blends in perfectly with your smile.
Once the dental implant has fully fused with your jaw bone, Dr. Cain will attach the abutment to the implant post. Then we secure the dental crown, dental bridge, or denture to the dental implant abutment for a permanent restoration. As with any dental restoration, there’s an adjustment period for dental implants. It’s a foreign structure in your mouth, and it takes some time to get used to it being there.
Implant placement is a surgical procedure. You’re going to feel some soreness, particularly for the first week or so after getting them. Take over-the-counter pain medications and use an ice pack to reduce any swelling you may experience. Speaking will be different as well. It can take around two to three weeks to get used to talking with your new implants. We can provide you with exercises you can do at home to adjust to them.
For the first few weeks, you want to be careful with your diet. Your mouth is going to be sore, so stick to soft foods that require minimal chewing. Foods that are hard or sticky can both cause pain and damage the restoration. Make sure that you’re keeping up with your oral hygiene, too. The implant site can become infected if you’re not taking care of it properly. Brush and floss as you normally would, and consider using warm salt water rinses as well.
Sedation Dentistry for Dental Implants
During your dental implant surgery, you will have the option to choose sedation dentistry for your maximum comfort. For patients experiencing dental anxiety or fear of the dentist, sedation dentistry can help ease their concerns making it possible to receive the dental care they need to restore function, health, and beauty to their teeth and gums. Our office provides three different sedation options so that we can determine the best one for your needs.
Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is the mildest sedation option. It takes effect and dissipates quickly, meaning that you’re able to drive yourself to and from your appointment. You’ll inhale the gas through a cannula in the nose throughout the length of the procedure. Nitrous oxide relaxes you and produces a euphoric feeling throughout the procedure.
Oral conscious sedation is a deeper sedation option. You take a prescribed pill before coming into our office to have your procedure. Because it’s deeper, you’ll need a ride to and from your appointment. The effects of the pill take longer to wear off. You’ll be extremely relaxed throughout the procedure and may not remember parts or all of it.
Lastly, Dr. Robert Cain is certified to provide IV sedation at our office. This is the deepest form of sedation that we offer. It’s provided through the IV, and you’re monitored the entire time. You’re not put completely to sleep, but you likely won’t remember anything from your procedure.