Technology makes dental implants affordable and less painful.

At the mention of dental implants, most people imagine an expensive, involved and painful experience. Not so, said Dr. Joe Gillespie of Dental Implant Centre, and he’s trying to change the public perception from silver fillings and scary drills to a much smoother and affordable process.

“It’s inexpensive and so worth it for your quality of life and confidence,” he said.

Gillespie treats patients for a myriad of issues: young people whose teeth didn’t develop naturally or adults who – thanks to eating too much sugar when they were young – had cavities and fillings and now the problem has progressed.

Sometimes it’s an accident or trauma to the mouth that knocked out a tooth or even previous dental work, such as a root canal that stopped the blood flow and hydration to the tooth so now it’s brittle and breaks.

For others, it may be a simple case of genetics for people who inherited softer teeth more prone to problems, no matter how much they brush and floss.

“Patients carry around a lot of sadness and gloom because our teeth are tied to our identity,” said Gillespie, who trains dentists from around the world in these implant techniques.

He noted a study that found 50 percent of people notice a person’s smile when they first meet.

“Teeth are a big portion of how you go out and greet the world,” he said.

A dental implant can be a permanent replacement, giving patients relief and a complete smile.

“That’s the nice thing about modern dentistry – in one day, we can resolve decades of issues,” Gillespie said.

When a tooth and the underlying root are removed, a titanium plate is implanted under the tooth to play the role of the now-missing root. The bone holds the implant in place, acting as an anchor to keep it stable, Gillespie explained. A crown – the visible white tooth – is then cemented to the titanium implant.

Patients can be sedated during the process or in a relaxed “twilight” state to minimize the pain and anxiety of the procedure. Sometimes patients need only two visits – one consultation and one treatment day – to fix an issue that may have been plaguing them for years.

The Dental Implant Centre in Mount Pleasant offers on-site financing and a range of affordable payment options.

Implants truly provide a definitive, long-term solution. Outfitting a patient with implants and new teeth not only improves their outward appearance but their overall health as well. Gillespie said removing the disease and bacteria around the damaged teeth bolsters the patient’s immune system and eliminates bad breath and bleeding around the gums.

Full dentures also are available at Dental Implant Centre. Instead of floating dentures that simply rest on the gums, Gillespie puts dental implants in the patient’s mouth first. Those implants act as anchors to hold the dentures in place so patients can once again eat hard foods, better chew their food and avoid embarrassing denture mishaps.

For so many patients, the real benefit is having their smile back, Gillespie said: “They just break out in tears of joy.”

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