What are dental implants?
Dental implant treatment is a form of tooth replacement that addresses all aspects of the missing tooth. Dental implants are small titanium posts that resemble a screw. This post is situated in the jawbone, just like natural teeth roots are. Here, bone grows around the post, anchoring it as a new artificial root onto which a crown, bridge, or denture can be affixed.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
There are several reasons why dental implant treatment is considered the gold standard for tooth replacement. Patients enjoy benefits including:
- Optimal stability: Because dental implants do not sit on the top of the gums like a bridge or denture, there is no “wiggle,” no clicking, no rubbing. This allows patients to eat and speak properly.
- Permanence: With appropriate placement and good aftercare, dental implants can be a permanent tooth-loss solution.
- Minimal upkeep: Unlike a dental bridge, implant care does not require special tools. The implant and artificial tooth are just like natural teeth. Brushing, flossing, and routine dental checkups and cleanings can maintain oral health for a lifetime.
- Oral Health Support: Getting a dental implant does not require any reduction or alteration of surrounding teeth. This is ideal due to the preservation of the natural structure. The presence of one or more dental implants in the jawbone also minimizes the bone resorption that typically occurs after tooth loss.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Many adults who have lost one or more teeth are good candidates for dental implants. This procedure can help people who have recently lost a tooth, have diseased teeth that need to be extracted, and also people who have had a denture or dental bridge for years. Ideal patients have good bone structure, strong gums, and are in good general health. Smokers and people with unmanaged diabetes may not be good candidates due to poor circulation.
What is the dental implant procedure?
There is a series of steps involved in the dental implant process, including:
- Consultation: A thorough consultation is needed to begin the dental implant process. This appointment includes a discussion about concerns and goals. Our dentists provide the information each patient needs to make the most educated and confident decision about how to replace missing teeth.
- Placement of the Implant: The implant procedure is performed after a local anesthetic is carefully injected into the gums. Patients are comfortable throughout the placement of their dental implant into the jawbone. After the titanium post is situated, the gum tissue is stitched over the area. This allows the implant to sit undisturbed through its healing phase.
- Osseointegration: The healing phase in which bone tissue grows around the implant post. This can take several months to complete. During this time, patients may be encouraged to eat softer foods to minimize the vibration of chewing through the jawbone.
- Abutment Placement: This occurs once the implant has become fused in the bone. The abutment is a small metal piece that connects the top portion of the implant post with a special crown, bridge, or denture. After the abutment is placed, the gum tissue is stitched around it. This needs to heal for a few weeks.
- Restoration: The final crown, bridge, or denture can be affixed to the implant’s abutment once the gums had healed and strengthened around the abutment. The dentist carefully evaluates bite and appearance before securing the restoration.
What results can dental implants achieve?
Dental implants are intended to permanently replace missing teeth in a way that feels completely natural. The process can take some time, but once the final restoration is in place, patients can eat their normal diet. In time, the restorations may wear down and require replacement. However, the implants that have integrated with bone tissue can remain functional indefinitely.
Is there recovery from getting dental implants?
There are two periods of recovery during the dental implant process. The first is after the titanium implant is inserted into the jawbone and is covered by gum tissue. The second is after the abutment is placed and gum tissue must heal around it. Fortunately, the recovery from these phases of treatment is minor. Patients can eat comfortably, though they may need to avoid hard and crunchy foods for a short time. Discomfort is also uncommon. Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken if the jaw feels sore or the gums feel tender.
Is the dental implant process painful?
Getting dental implants is not painful. The procedure is performed using an anesthetic that numbs the area of the mouth being treated. There are no nerves in the bone, so the insertion of the titanium implant post here does not cause pain. Many patients feel well enough to return to the work the day after their implants are placed. If discomfort occurs, it is usually very mild and can be decreased with over-the-counter pain medication.
What are the risks of the dental implant procedure?
The dental implant procedure is the gold-standard because the success rate of this treatment is above 95%. There are very few risks associated with dental implants, and most can be significantly decreased by following post-operative instructions carefully. Implant failure is rare. Additional risks include infection, persistent tingling or numbness due to nerve damage, and harm to surrounding teeth during the procedure.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“I have been a dental patient of Dr. Gonzales for over 4 years. During this time I have always received prompt and excellent care. I personally have over 40 years experience working in healthcare. In my opinion, Dr. Gonzales and her staff are some of the most professional and compassionate healthcare providers I have encountered.” -R.C
“The best dentist office I’ve ever been to they are so patient they are very detail and very knowledgeable they take the time to listen to you they give the best recommendation council and is very detailed they make sure you understand there is no pressure and they give you step-by-step details of what ever procedure that needs to be done.” – C. W
If you would like to know more about dental implant treatment, contact our Pembroke Pines office at (954) 432-4800. We’re happy to schedule a visit for you!