Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

Implant-Supported Crowns

Tooth loss can take a serious toll on your quality of life, making it difficult to smile confidently, eat properly, and speak clearly. If you have a single missing tooth, an implant-supported crown can restore the integrity of your smile. Implant-supported crowns are affixed to dental implants, which provide unrivaled support and stability. These restorations not only look and feel natural, but they also encourage jawbone regeneration at the site of a missing tooth.

The Structure of an Implant-Supported Crown

The Structure of an Implant-Supported Crown
An implant-supported crown is affixed to dental implants, which are secured directly in the jawbone.

Implant-Supported Crowns vs. Traditional Dental Bridges

A traditional dental bridge is comprised of one or more artificial teeth (pontics) nestled between two dental crowns. This restoration is designed to bridge the gap created by tooth loss and restore complete function and aesthetics. Adjacent healthy teeth serve to support the bridge, however, they must be reshaped to accommodate the restoration. As a traditional dental bridge rests atop the gums, it does not prevent further jawbone degeneration, which commonly occurs after tooth loss.

Implant-supported crowns not only look and feel natural, but they also encourage jawbone regeneration at the site of a missing tooth.

An implant-supported crown replaces an entire tooth from root to crown. This restoration is supported by a dental implant, which is surgically embedded in the jawbone. Dental implants provide a strong, solid foundation for a customized crown. In addition, they act as artificial tooth roots, stimulating the jawbone each time you bite down. This process helps to counteract bone degeneration and promote jawbone regrowth. While dental crowns will need to be replaced in the future, dental implants are designed to provide a lifetime of support.

Are You a Candidate?

You may be a candidate for an implant-supported crown if you:

  • Experience isolated tooth loss
  • Are in good oral health and free from periodontal disease
  • Are looking for a permanent tooth replacement solution
  • Do not smoke
  • Have a strong and stable jawbone

As implants are inserted directly into the jawbone, they require sufficient jawbone density for support. If you have sustained jawbone degeneration, you may require a preliminary bone graft or sinus lift to restore your candidacy for treatment. While these procedures can extend your treatment timeline by six to nine months, they are integral to the success of dental implants.

The Initial Consultation

During the initial consultation, your dentist may request x-rays or other advanced images to evaluate your smile and determine your candidacy. If you require any prerequisite procedures, your dentist can review the treatment process and timeline, as well as answer any questions you may have.

The Implant-Supported Crown Procedure

If you are ready to proceed with dental implant surgery, your dentist will begin by numbing your gums with local anesthesia. You may also discuss stronger sedation options with your dentist if you feel especially nervous about undergoing treatment. Once you are comfortable, your dentist can make a small incision in your gums, through which implants will be placed. Your dentist can then close the incision with sutures.

Over the next three to six months, the dental implants will fuse with your jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. After recovery, you can return to the office to receive the abutments, which will connect the implant to the crown. Impressions will then be taken of your smile and used to fabricate your custom crown. Once your restoration is ready, your dentist can check it against your bite to ensure the crown does not disrupt your occlusion. If no modifications are necessary, the crown will be secured, and you can leave feeling confident in your smile.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Implant-Supported Crowns

The cost of implant-supported crowns varies from patient to patient and depends on a variety of factors, including:

  • Dentist’s experience: A more experienced dentist typically charges more than a dentist new to the industry. However, a highly qualified dentist can often reduce your risk of complications and the need to undergo costly retreatment.
  • Number of implants: If you have intermittent tooth loss, you may require more than one implant. The more implants you receive, the higher the cost of treatment. A single implant costs between $1,600 and $2,200.
  • Preliminary procedures: If you require bone grafting, sinus lift surgery, or periodontal disease treatment prior to implant surgery, you can expect more expenses.
  • Restoration materials: Dental crowns can be fashioned from several materials, including porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and zirconia. The higher the grade, the more expensive the restoration. While zirconia is typically the most costly, it is also the most durable. Each crown can range from $500 to $2,500.

Dental implants are not always covered by insurance, however, many dental practices offer in-office payment plans or accept third party financing to help cover out-of-pocket costs. While implant-supported crowns are more expensive than other restorative solutions, they are a long-term investment in the health of your smile.

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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Charlotte Office

135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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