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

Mini Dental Implants

Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat comfortably, enunciate clearly, and smile with confidence. Fortunately, dental implants and restorations can replace missing teeth and restore the structural integrity of your smile. For patients who do not qualify for traditional dental implants due to jawbone atrophy, mini implants provide an excellent alternative. Mini dental implants are smaller in diameter and do not require as much jawbone tissue for support. These posts can create a solid foundation for restorations without the need for a preliminary bone graft or sinus lift.

The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth

Normally, the jawbone receives stimulation from the tooth roots with actions like chewing and biting. However, once a tooth is lost or extracted, the jawbone is no longer stimulated and can begin to deteriorate. Bone atrophy can result in more widespread tooth loss and shifting teeth, as well as structural changes to the face. Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots and stimulate the jawbone, preserving its structure.

Minis vs. Traditional Dental Implants

Traditional dental implants consist of two pieces, a post and an abutment, or connector device. They range in diameter from 3.5 to 6mm. Implant posts are surgically inserted into the jawbone, where they bond with nearby tissue. Once the gums heal, the implants are uncovered and the abutment is attached. As posts are supported by the jawbone, you must have sufficient jawbone density and volume. However, bone loss is common after tooth loss, and not everyone qualifies for traditional dental implants.

Mini dental implants can support restorations and renew dental function without the need for a preliminary bone graft or sinus lift.

Mini dental implants are smaller in form, ranging from 2mm to 3.5mm in diameter. Unlike traditional implants, minis are a solid one-piece screw. A mini implant features a post and a ball-shaped connector device, which sits above the gum line. Due to their size and composition, dentists can often place mini implants in a single appointment.

Explore Your Candidacy

If you are not eligible for bone grafting or simply wish to avoid more extensive surgery, you may be a good candidate for mini dental implants. To qualify, you should have good oral health and be free from periodontal disease. Although the procedure is not as complex as that of traditional dental implants, surgery is still required. You must be healthy enough to undergo surgery, without conditions that may compromise your rate of healing.  You may also wish to pursue dental implants if you are looking for a more permanent tooth replacement solution. While restorations will need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime.

The Mini Dental Implants Procedure

Mini dental implants can often be placed using only local anesthetic and without sutures. If you are especially nervous about undergoing treatment, you may also elect to receive deeper forms of sedation. Nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and intravenous (IV) medication are all safe and reliable options. Once you are comfortable, your dentist can carefully insert the implants into your jawbone. Impressions of your smile will be taken, and these will be used to manufacture your restorations. In many cases, a temporary can be attached immediately after surgery. When your final prosthesis is ready, you can return for placement.

What Do Mini Dental Implants Cost?

As the procedure is less complex and typically requires fewer visits to the office, the cost is often lower than that of traditional implants. However, there are several factors that can affect the cost of mini implants, including the number of implants placed, the dentist’s experience, and the materials used. Many insurance companies will cover part or all of the cost of dental implants. However, many dental offices also offer financing options to help cover out-of-pocket expenses.

Caring for Mini Dental Implants

Caring for mini dental implants is much like caring for natural teeth. You should floss daily, brush at least twice a day, and rinse with an dentist-recommended mouthwash. It is not uncommon for gum sensitivity to persist for the first few months. Use gentle brushing techniques and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums or disrupting the implants. You should also be sure and visit the dentist for any follow-up appointments and routine cleanings. Checkups can help maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.

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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