Good Oral Care Is Critical for Your Dental Implants

Even if you have undergone dental implant therapy, it is still important to maintain regular checkups with Harrell Dental Implant Center to ensure the health of your gums and bone. Even when you have full implants, gingivitis and gum disease can pose a serious threat ...
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Good Oral Care Is Critical for Your Dental Implants

Even if you have undergone dental implant therapy, it is still important to maintain regular checkups with Harrell Dental Implant Center to ensure the health of your gums and bone. Even when you have full implants, gingivitis and gum disease can pose a serious threat to your oral health and even your general well-being if you do not brush and floss on a daily basis. Get more details about the potential problems here:

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease caused by the buildup of plaque bacteria on the tissues that surround the teeth. Plaque, a naturally occurring biofilm containing bacteria, can lead to gingivitis if not removed by daily brushing.

Who Can Get Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is quite prevalent. But while almost 80% of adults will experience some symptoms of gingivitis, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inevitable. It’s important to note that occasionally there might be no noticeable pain or apparent signs, leaving people unaware that they have it. That’s another good reason to schedule regular checkups with your dental professional every six months so he or she can identify it and suggest treatment options.

Gingivitis Symptoms

Some symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Chronic gingivitis can lead to periodontitis and chronic bad breath. If these symptoms persist, it’s important to talk with your dental professional to determine the best treatment. In the meantime, learn what you can do to protect against gingivitis. More details at Oral B

No Early Symptoms But Unwelcome Results

Dental implant surgery patients are given a complete oral assessment prior to their procedure. Many are surprised to hear that they are at risk for developing gum disease because there is no bleeding, pain or discomfort. Your best bet to ward off any issues is to stay proactive in your oral health with daily brushing, flossing and swishing.

Are you at risk for gingivitis? Find out below:

Risk factors for gingivitis

The following are risk factors for gingivitis:

  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • diabetes
  • consuming certain medications (oral contraceptives, steroids, anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers, and chemotherapy)
  • crooked teeth
  • dental appliances that fit poorly
  • broken fillings
  • pregnancy
  • genetic factors
  • compromised immunity (such as HIV/AIDS patients) Continue reading at Healthline

Harrell Dental Implant Center Will Protect Your Smile

Dr. Robert Harrell and the entire HDIC staff believes in empowering and educating patients to be an equal partner in their dental and implant care. Having the proper information is the key to maintaining a healthy and brilliant smile after implant therapy. Here are more reasons to be diligent with your mouth care from

Peri-Implant Diseases

Peri-implant diseases are inflammatory conditions affecting the soft and hard gum tissues around dental implants. Similar to a natural tooth, bacteria can build up on the base of the implant, below the gum line. Over time, the bacteria irritate the gum tissue, causing it to become inflamed, damaging the tissue and if not caught early, causing the bone structure below the implant to deteriorate.

Peri-implant diseases are classified into two categories.

In peri-implant mucositis, gum inflammation is found only around the soft tissues of the dental implant, with no signs of bone loss. Generally peri-implant mucositis is a precursor to peri-implantitis. Evidence suggests that peri-implant mucositis may be successfully treated and is reversible if caught early

Peri-implant mucositis

In peri-implantitis, gum inflammation is found around the soft tissue and there is deterioration in the bone supporting the dental implant. Peri-implantitis usually requires surgical treatment. Additional info at Perio

Harrell Dental Implant Center is the Charlotte area leader for dental implant procedures of all varieties. Book your free consultation with us today to learn more about the benefits of implants, from single tooth replacement to full mouth restoration with an All-on-4 implant. Call 704-206-1330 or use the contact form on the HDIC website to make your appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.

Fascinating Facts About the Origin of Dental Implants

Harrell Dental Implant Center relies on the latest technology to replace missing teeth, ensuring a superior patient experience from start to finish. Modern dental implants are nothing short of a breakthrough in the field of smile restoration. They are able to repair (or even create) brilliant smiles that command attention. The ancient origins of tooth replacement are fascinating, as the following article reveals:

Egyptians used tooth-shaped shells and ivory to replace teeth. The Etruscans, living in what is now modern Italy, replaced missing teeth with artificial teeth carved from the bones of oxen. Further evidence of tooth replacement was found in 1931 while Dr. and Mrs. Wilson Popenoe, an archeological team, were excavating in Honduras. A mandible of Mayan origin was discovered that had tooth-shaped pieces of shells placed in the sockets of three missing lower incisor teeth.

Implants of the Past, Present and Future

It’s amazing to think about the unusual materials that were tried in the past to solve the dilemma of missing teeth. Unfortunately, this odd variety of items came up well short in the effort to help people chew and enjoy their favorite foods. That has changed completely with the development of modern dental implants. Today, Dr. Robert Harrell and his skilled team at Harrell Dental Implant Center restore patients’ smiles with implants that match the strength, stability and appearance of natural teeth.

Let’s take a closer look at how this technology has evolved over time:

Early Implants Emerge

In the middle of the 1600s periodontally compromised teeth were stabilized in Europe with various substances. From the 1500s to about the 1800s, teeth in Europe were collected from the underprivileged or from cadavers for the use of allotransplantation. During this period, Dr. John Hunter came on to the scene; for many years he worked with “resurrectionists” — people who acquired corpses underhandedly through the robbing of graves. By doing so, he was able to observe and document with great detail the anatomy of the mouth and jaw. In the 1700s, Dr. Hunter suggested transplanting teeth from one human to another; his experiment involved the implantation of an incompletely developed tooth into the comb of a rooster. He observed an extraordinary and astonishing event: the tooth became firmly embedded in the comb of the rooster and the blood vessels of the rooster grew straight into the pulp of the tooth.

The first evidence of dental implants is attributed to the Mayan population roughly around 600 AD where they excelled in utilizing pieces of shells as implants as a replacement for mandibular teeth. Radiographs taken in the 1970s of Mayan mandibles show compact bone formation around the implants-bone that amazingly looks very much like that seen around blade implants! Moreover, around 800 AD, a stone implant was first prepared and placed in the mandible in the early Honduran culture. More details at NCBI

A Tooth-Replacement Timeline

If you’d like to know more about the entertaining progression of dental implants — including more details on the bizarre assortment of materials that have used for them — you should check out this timeline from Hankering for History:

4000 years ago Materials: BambooIn ancient China, carved bamboo pegs were used to replace missing teeth. They are the first known society to use dental implants.

3000 years ago Materials: Copper and other precious metals
Remains of Egyptians have been discovered with pegs similar to the Chinese dental implants. However, they used precious metals like copper instead of bamboo. They are the first recorded culture to use a metal replacement to fix a jawbone. Some speculate that these procedures were done post-mortem.

2300 years ago Materials: Iron and Gold
In a Celtic grave in France, a 2300-year-old dental implant was discovered in the mouth of a skeleton. The decorative tooth was held in place by an iron pin, which would have been excruciatingly painful to have hammered in. Something similar has been discovered in the teeth of ancient Romans, who used gold pins. Archaeologists speculate that these kinds of implants were placed in order to enhance the wearers smile. Basically, it’s like an ancient “grill” to bling up someone’s teeth.

2000 years ago Materials: Animal or Human Teeth
A couple of millenniums ago, people tried to replace lost teeth with animal ones. They would also purchase teeth from slaves or poor people. Today, replacing a tooth with an animal one is classified as a heteroplastic implant, and a tooth from another human is called a homoplastic implant. In most cases, these kind of replacement teeth would be rejected by the host and would lead to infection.

1350 years ago Materials: Seashells
In 1931, archaeologist Dr. Wilson Popenoe and his wife discovered something fascinating in the lower mandible of the remains of a young Mayan woman from around 630 AD. In her mouth, 3 missing incisors were missing and replaced with pieces of seashell. Interestingly, there was bone growth found around 2 of the implants, showing that it was a successful procedure. The implants served as both a functional and aesthetic enhancement to the mouth. See more info at Hankering for History

If you are ready to boost your self-esteem and have the smile you deserve, call Harrell Dental Implant Center and schedule your free consultation appointment. Discuss the procedure options and get answers to your questions or concerns. We will be happy to show you why dental implants are your best option.

Call 704-206-1330 or use the contact form on our website to make your appointment. During your consultation a complimentary digital smile preview (an $85 value) will be created to show how you will appear when your implants are in place.


What’s On the Menu After Dental Implant Surgery?

One of the questions clients commonly ask while preparing for dental implant surgery is, “What should I eat after my procedure?” In a nutshell (definitely not these), for the first few days your best bet is to rely on soft foods that can be eaten at room temperature or above. Here are some excellent dietary tips compliments of One Healthy Lifestyle:

What to Expect Right after Your Implant Procedure

It is normal to have a lot of questions when you are about to go in for your dental surgery. One of the most common questions is, “What about eating after dental surgery?” Here is an outline of the typical recommendations given to patients who are just healing from dental surgery. These recommendations may be followed between each phase of the procedure as needed.

  • You can have liquids — room temperature or warmed (but not hot) is best because your gum line will be sensitive.
  • It is best to eat soft foods at first and for up to two weeks until you feel no discomfort while chewing.
  • Be sure not to eat any foods you think might be too irritating to your healing gums and jaw — such as citrus or very spicy foods. See more at One Healthy Lifestyle

Filling Soft Food Options

Shake up your diet during the healing process and experiment with some fresh, tasty smoothies. Juice, almond milk, yogurt and fresh or frozen berries provide a healthy base to deliver lots of vitamins and minerals that will aid the healing process. Check out this article for more helpful suggestions:

DIET: Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Avoid extremely hot foods. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is sometimes advisable, but not absolutely required, to confine the first days intake to liquids or pureed foods (soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.) Avoid chewing food until tongue sensation has returned. It is best to avoid foods like rice, nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the surgical areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods. It is important not to skip meals! If you take nourishment regularly you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor. More details at Oral Facial Surgeon

Make Your Grocery List Ahead of Time

Harrell Dental Implant Center is committed to ensuring an exceptional patient experience from start to finish. Your aftercare routine plays a significant role in your comfort and healing. We encourage our patients to plan ahead and gather their fresh groceries for smoothies and soups prior to the day of implantation. Having these items on hand when you’re back at home makes it easy to throw some fruits, yogurt and smooth nut butters into a blender for a quick and easy dinner smoothie. If you’re not the smoothie type, make a batch of your favorite cold soup ahead of time and freeze it. Offered below, courtesy of Coates Family Dental, is a recipe for a hearty and delicious, easy-to-eat homemade soup that’s sure to satisfy.

The day of your surgery and for the first 24 hours following, it’s a good idea to give your teeth a bit of a break. For this reason, cold soups, smoothies, jello/puddings, and cold drinks should be your main dietary intake. And remember, refrain from using a straw, because the sucking action can cause excess strain, move the newly formed blood clot, and delay your ultimate recovery.

Apple and Potato Soup        


  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 leeks (white part). sliced
  • 5 cups tart apples e.g. Granny Smith peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream, or half and half
  • 2 tsp. Calvados (or apple brandy)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, diced, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp. butter, for garnish


In a large saucepan. melt the butter. Sauté the leeks over medium heat, covered, for three to four minutes. Toss in the apples and cook, uncovered, for about five minutes, coating them well with the butter. Pour in the stock, add the potatoes, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. When the apples and potatoes are soft, puree the mixture in a blender — solids first — until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan, and slowly stir in the cream, Calvados, and cinnamon. Season to taste. In a separate pan, sauté the diced apple in two tablespoons of butter until soft, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain on a paper towel until ready to serve. Refrigerate if you are going to serve cold, in which case you will want to over-season a bit. When ready to serve, top the soup with the diced apple garnish.

Now that you have a better understanding of your post-implant experience, it’s time to call Harrell Dental Implant Center and schedule your free consultation appointment. This is your opportunity to learn more about the procedure options and get detailed answers to any questions or concerns you may have.

Nutritional Factors Influence Your Dental Implant Healing

Harrell Dental Implant Center, the Charlotte, NC implant leader, wants your dental implant experience to be smooth from start to finish. So, remember that the follow-up healing period is vital to your overall success. This study of how pre- and post-operative nutrition can affect your smile is worth reading:

Low intakes of vitamin C and low serum vitamin C are associated with greater clinical attachment loss in adults. Moreover, a high intake of vitamin C, at a level that meets or is in excess of the current dietary recommended intakes for vitamin C in North America, is associated with a decrease in periodontal disease progression. A few studies have reported the effects of other dietary components or foods with potential antioxidant activity such as β-carotene, Lycopene, and green tea and its extract. In a prospective study, those consuming the greatest amounts of β-carotene in their diet were associated with a 27% reduction in the risk of periodontal disease progression. Reductions in bleeding, gingival indices and plaque indices were recorded in healthy patients showing signs of gingivitis after taking 8 mg of Lycopene daily for two weeks compared to those who took the placebo. Green tea demonstrated similarly positive results. There was an inverse relationship between green tea intake and probing depth, clinical attachment loss, and bleeding on probing. This may have been due to the inhibition of periodontal pathogenic growth and production of virulence factors by green tea polyphenols as shown by in vitro studies. Chewing on eight pieces of candy with green tea extract daily resulted in improved sulcus bleeding and proximal plaque indices from week one to week three, while these values worsened for those who received placebo. See more at NCBI


Avoid Hot Liquids After Oral Surgery

While it is essential to stay well hydrated, Dr. Robert Harrell and the caring crew at HDIC remind clients not to have any hot beverages post op. Room temperature water is the absolute best and you can eventually enjoy some tasty natural fruit juices rich in vitamins. Read more:

Drink approximately 8 cups of fluid per day. Start drinking nutritious fluids such as juices, milk and milkshakes as soon as you are able to. Drink water too. Avoid using a straw, drink normally out of a glass. Avoid hot liquids like coffee and tea–let them cool first before drinking. Hot fluids increase the flow of blood and your wound can start to bleed again.

Consume more dark green and orange vegetables, and more servings of vegetables than fruits. Suggested foods include applesauce stewed or canned fruit or smoothies. Try soups, containing lower levels of sodium, made with lots of veggies. This should be well cooked or pureed, but not served very hot. Sweet potatoes, mashed vegetables such as carrots, turnip or other root vegetables are both filling and nutritious. Broccoli cooked until soft and served with melted cheese adds variety and allows you to incorporate a serving from the milk and alternatives group.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco as much as possible during the healing period of two weeks as both are known to delay the healing process. You may wish to take a multivitamin supplement as it may promote healing. See more at Oral Health Group

Boosting Your Vitamin C Intake

Vitamin C fights infection, aids in collagen and tissue formation and tastes delicious! There are a multitude of foods and beverages full of this fantastic antioxidant. Some clients prepare for their dental implant surgery and begin supplementation a few weeks or months prior to their appointment. Vitamin C is water-soluble so your body will flush out excess amounts as opposed to storing it. Brightly colored fruits and veggies are a delicious choice and there are many yummy chewable vitamin C vitamins on the market you may wish to explore before surgery. Always check with your family doctor prior to starting any new supplement routine. Review these excellent nutritional factors from

Getting plenty of vitamin C is one way oral surgery patients can ensure timely recovery. Patients who neglect nutrition might be tacking extra days onto their recovery time, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Deficiencies of vitamin C have been shown to significantly slow the healing process. AGD spokesperson Ludi Leibson, DDS, says he sometimes gives oral surgery patients high doses of vitamin C and multi-vitamin supplements before surgery.

A patient’s diet is crucial because adequate and appropriate vitamins, minerals, fats and protein are essential for the growth and regeneration of normal tissues.

“You’re going to delay the healing process and increase the possibility of infection if you’re not getting the proper nutrients,” says Dr. Leibson.

Nutrients function individually as well as cooperatively in the healing process. The energy needed for tissue maintenance and repair is supplied by carbohydrates, fat and protein. Along with vitamin C, vitamins A, E, B, K and D are all integral to the healing process and a speedier recovery time. For example, vitamin A significantly contributes to healing by reducing the inflammatory period of tissue repair. See more at Know Your Teeth

No other form of tooth replacement will give you back the look and function of your missing teeth like dental implants. They restore your smile, give you stability for chewing and speaking and keep your jawbone healthy. If you have one or more missing teeth or no teeth at all, dental implants are the answer you have been waiting for. To learn more, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Harrell at Harrell Dental Implant Center.

Call 704-206-1330 or use the contact form on the website to make your appointment. During your consultation a complimentary digital smile preview (an $85 value) will be created to show how you will appear when your implants are in place.

Regular Checkups Still Required After Dental Implant Therapy

It is interesting to note that many clients who undergo dental implant therapy are unaware that it is necessary to undergo regular dental checkups. If you have received dental implants, be sure to book your regular hygiene cleanings to stay proactive against gum disease. Plaque bacteria still needs to be professionally removed even after dental implant therapy.

If properly maintained, dental implants are a reliable, long-term solution for your mouth. But it is important to actively maintain dental implants, much as you would teeth, in order to ensure their longevity. This may seem obvious, but it is easy to assume that because dental implants are not real teeth, they do not require the same degree of care.

However, conscientious oral hygiene is vital for ensuring the full benefits of your dental implants. Such hygiene and regular dental visits are especially important during the first year of your dental implants.

Teeth Brushing: You should brush at least twice a day, which will prevent the growth of bacteria and protect your teeth from tooth decay and other oral diseases.

If you do not have an electric (or sonic) toothbrush, you should seriously consider acquiring one. Electric toothbrushes have been proven to clean teeth better, as well as be more efficient. Electric toothbrushes also do a better job at cleaning the harder-to-reach places in your mouth.

Moreover, the vibrations of electric toothbrushes may also be beneficial to your dental implants.  Chewing stimulates the jawbone, helping it maintain its density, and the vibrations of an electric toothbrush are similar to chewing.

Flossing: Even an electric toothbrush is no substitution for flossing. It is essential that you use dental floss or a water flosser regularly to remove plaque and food debris trapped between the teeth and implants. Flossing is equally vital for curbing harmful bacteria, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Flossing Is Necessary For Maintaining Your Dental Implants

Harrell Dental Implant Center reminds clients is essential to maintain a daily brushing and flossing routine once your dental implants have completely healed. Keep your mouth healthy and fresh for a lifetime of happy, vibrant smiles. Here are some great tips:

Looking After Your New Teeth

By far the most important thing needed for a satisfactory, long term outcome is careful adherence to dental hygiene and regular visits. It is now more important than ever to see that you clean your implant-retained teeth properly.

This is vital around the area of the abutment(s). You will be given instructions on how to care for your dental implants, but it will require motivation and commitment on your part.

If you are in the position of having to have dental reconstruction because you didn’t look after your teeth then this is a second chance. Dental hygiene and regular visits are now more important than ever.


In narrow areas, where the interdental brush is hard to use, floss is recommended. Clean the sides of your implant-supported tooth and abutment posts by passing floss (thick floss, Super floss) back and forth between the implant tooth and the neighbouring teeth, or through the spaces next to the abutment posts. See more at Norton Implants

Senior Woman With Manifying Glass Showing Teeth On Blue Background

Maintain Your Dental Checkups Every 6 Months

Dr. Robert Harrell and everyone at Harrell Dental Implant Center wants to help you enjoy the best oral health possible. Comprehensive dental checkups are vital to ensuring your dental implants are secure and problem free. Annual oral cancer screenings are part of your dental care. Missing out on oral hygiene appointments can lead to gum disease and avoidable, uncomfortable issues. Discover more aftercare tips here:

It is important that your dental implants are checked by your dentist regularly just like natural teeth.  We recommend that a dentist checks your implants after 6 months and at least once a year thereafter to ensure they are maintained and are healthy. In addition to your regular dental checks we would like to offer you some oral health advice you can implement yourself at home.

It is important that your dental implants are checked by your dentist regularly just like natural teeth.  We recommend that a dentist checks your implants after 6 months and at least once a year thereafter to ensure they are maintained and are healthy. In addition to your regular dental checks we would like to offer you some oral health advice you can implement yourself at home. See more at Acorn Dental

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