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

Dental Implants FAQs

How much do dental implants cost?

The price of dental implants varies significantly, based on a number of factors. The patient's health, and whether prerequisite procedures are necessary, certainly affect price. The number of implants required, as well as the type and quality of the prosthetic, also influence cost. Location, and local economy, are often factors in implant pricing, as is the doctor's training and expertise. The most important consideration for the potential implant patient should be peace of mind. You need to feel confident in your implant dentist and comfortable in his or her office. Ultimately, because dental implants greatly enhance quality of life and confidence, and because they can last a lifetime with proper care and good oral health, dental implants are a cost-effective, logical solution to replace missing teeth.

dental implants before and after
Dental implants can restore the function and appearance of your smile.

What is an implant dentist or implantologist?

 Implant dentist and implantologist are synonymous. Any general dentist can be an implant dentist and perform both surgery and placement of dental implant restorations. However, most general practitioners place implant restorations, meaning the crown, bridge, partial, or denture that fits on implant posts. A good number of general dentists prefer to refer the surgical phase of an implant case to an oral surgeon or periodontist.

Do I need an implant to replace each of my missing teeth?

No. One implant post can hold one implant restoration, or crown. Two implants may secure a bridge or partial. Four to six implants are often sufficient to stabilize an upper or lower denture.

Does implant surgery hurt? 

Like all oral surgeries, implant placement is performed with anesthesia. Some dentists use nitrous oxide and local anesthetic, while others prefer to deliver oral sedation, conscious sedation (oral and nitrous oxide), or IV sedation when placing implants. Most patients report post-procedure pain, and dentists commonly prescribe over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers and a special diet during the first few days after surgery. The diet should include a good amount of water, no use of a straw, and soft, cool foods that don't need to be chewed. Soups, yogurt, hummus, and guacamole are good examples of tolerable foods after implant surgery. Do not chew on the implant or implant restoration until the dentist tells you to do so. If your implant abutment or restoration dislodges, contact your implant dentist immediately so that it can be reattached.

A bit of bleeding or oozing is normal, and the patient can bite on gauze or a moist teabag for about a half hour to reduce bleeding or oozing. After implant surgery, smoking is strictly prohibited during healing. Stitches will naturally dissolve in about a week, but if they come loose before this time, the patient should not worry unless excessive bleeding occurs. Swelling will subside in approximately 24 to 48 hours following surgery and can be minimized by applying an ice pack to the outside of the cheek, over the area where the implant was placed. To aid healing, elevate the head at a 45-degree angle when lying down.

An implant patient should rinse the mouth with room-temperature salt water three times per day for about a week, and brushing can resume the day following surgery. Be cautious not to scratch or irritate the implant surgery site while the mouth heals. Dentures and partials should not be replaced without the consent of your dentist. Implant patients should attend all follow-up appointments on time, as directed by the dentist, to ensure optimal results from implant placement surgery.

Will implants make dentures more comfortable?

 With traditional dentures, the underlining rests on the gums, on natural ridges. For upper dentures, natural suction or adhesive creates stability; for lower dentures, adhesive is required. Over time, friction between the denture underlining and gums causes natural bony ridges to flatten. When this occurs, dentures must be relined for a more accurate fit. Ultimately, the gum ridges completely wear down, and the gums become smooth and flat, and dentures, even with adhesive, become chronically loose or wobbly. The potential for slippage increases. In other cases, patients never find a comfortable fit with a denture. Because implant-retained dentures snap or are affixed to posts anchored in the jaw, they will not loosen, wobble, or come loose. They usually fit comfortably, from day one. Furthermore, because of their stability, implant dentures make the patient feel more confident and comfortable in public, particularly when dining out.

Are implant dentures removable or fixed? 

Either. Your implantologist will discuss your preference and explain the pros and cons of fixed and removable dentures. You can then decide which option will work best with your lifestyle.

When are mini dental implants a good choice? 

Miniature dental implants are best reserved for older patients who have poor jawbone density, but cannot endure bone grafting surgery.

Will insurance pay for dental implants? 

Dental and medical insurance policies can be extremely diverse in their coverage. In some cases, dental insurance will cover all or part of the cost of prosthetics, and medical insurance will cover all or part of implant placement surgery. However, not all insurances cover dental implants. Most dentist offices accept credit cards and offer payment options through third-party banks or in-house financing.

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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