Word is getting around to prospective dental implant patients that implant use will stabilize loose teeth replacements. Also, it is becoming known that implants are preferable to fixed bridges for individual and multiple teeth that might be missing.

A lot of this information is very positive and encouraging. About the only down-side we hear sometimes is the extra time it takes to achieve a healthy, long-lasting result. This is mostly in the form of natural healing.

Interestingly, pain during or after any implant procedure is very minimal, if at all, and not considered by most to be a detriment. From the standpoint of lifestyle improvements with eating, appearance and self-confidence, these procedures are a solid long-term investment that is well worth the time and effort.

The most extreme miracle is the results with all fixed-teeth replacements for those who either have no teeth, or are going to lose multiple teeth due to gum disease or tooth decay.

Today’s procedures, which go by the names of “all on four” or “teeth in a day,” provide the closest simulation to having your own natural teeth. The chewing efficiency is very similar to natural teeth. Most patients with this procedure have cosmetic results that are stunning. Almost always, they have never had this before.

I believe it is surprising for patients to learn how quickly they can be promoted from painful, loose, unattractive teeth to a simile they have always dreamed about.

Once advanced planning is performed, the actual majority of the transformation does occur within the hours of a single day. There is a healing period for sure; however, the immediate result is so excellent compared to the “before” that “ecstatic” is not too strong a word to describe how people feel afterward.

Although it is extremely rare that any damage could occur to these teeth once inserted, the beauty of the design is that it can be removed by the dentist for any repair needed, as well as cleaning. A patient’s dream – having one’s dental treatment performed outside the mouth.

So much goes into the accuracy of the final product that there is up to a five-year warranty on most parts and components. This is an industry standard.

As with anything else, a lot of conditions show up similarly for a number of patients; however, each individual is unique and requires evaluation and examination. You can only get so much from Dr. “Google” when it comes to your dental care.

James G. Jenkins, D.M.D. is the owner of Bluffton Dental Care in Bluffton.