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Dental ImplantsTampa, FL

With an estimated 120 million people in the United States missing teeth, you can imagine why there is a great need for effective tooth replacement options like dental implants. Implants have been a staple of the cosmetic dentistry field for some time. Every year, these permanent prosthetic teeth change lives, giving brilliant smiles back to those who lost teeth.

The mouth begins to go through changes when a tooth is lost. Adjacent teeth migrate toward the space naturally, trying to fill the gap in the bite. The opposing tooth to the space will loosen over time and eventually fall out. Oral health begins to decline sharply directly after a tooth is extracted (or falls out).

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What are dental implants?

Dental implants are the most durable, long-lasting and lifelike methods for replacing teeth. The procedure involves inserting a screw-like titanium post into the jawbone. Other methods like bridges and partial dentures do not utilize the jawbone. Instead, these methods use the surrounding teeth and gums for support. Because the jawbone is not being used in all other methods beside dental implants, it begins to deteriorate.

With dental implants, you not only get the cosmetic benefits of a brand new tooth, but health benefits as well. The dentist will place the post into the jawbone, where it fuses with the bone over a period of six months. It is then a permanent fixture of the jaw and mouth, acting as the new tooth roots and preventing jawbone loss.

When to consider getting dental implants

Many people can benefit from the implementation of dental implants. Implants are best for those who:

  • Are missing one or several teeth
  • Need to have teeth extracted
  • Have lost teeth due to gum disease, physical trauma or severe tooth decay
  • Want a realistic-looking new tooth that is low maintenance
  • Want to invest in the future of their oral health
  • Have enough jawbone density or are able to receive bone grafting
  • Have otherwise good oral health

  • Rather than reaching for a cheaper option like a denture or bridge, consider dental implants. Dental implants tend to run slightly more expensive than other options. When taking into account the future costs related to health issues from cheaper options, dental implants are still the clear winner for budget-conscious patients as well. Dental implants will not only give you a brand new tooth but will preserve your future oral health.

    If you are missing all of your upper, lower or both sets of teeth, there are still dental implant options for you. Single dental implants with a crown attached are best used for those who are missing a tooth here or there. Using new dental implant technology, we can now restore complete arches of teeth with just 4 dental implants per arch and a prosthetic set of custom teeth.

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    What are dental implants made of?

    Dental implants are composed of three separate parts:

  • The post
  • The abutment
  • The restoration
  • The post

    This screw-like titanium object serves as the new artificial tooth root and sits below the gumline. Titanium is a unique metal; it is light and mimics tooth roots so effectively that it is able to fully integrate with the jawbone around it in a process known as osseointegration.

    The abutment

    The abutment is a connector between post and restoration. This peg-like structure sits just above the gumline.

    The restoration

    As the top part of the dental implant, the restoration is usually a crown for single implants. This is the part of the implant that is visible, giving you a beautiful, complete smile. Ceramic crowns are most often used because of their similarities to natural teeth in shape, color and hardness.

    Dental implants are separated into parts so that if one part of the implant fails in the future, only one part will need to be replaced rather than the whole implant. This makes implants cost effective as well as functional.

    How do dental implants work?

    The dental implant procedure has a very high success rate, as long as there is enough jawbone volume to support the post. If there is not enough bone left, bone grafting can be done prior to the surgery to ensure success.

    The procedure

    During the surgery, the oral surgeon will first prepare the area and administer the anesthetic. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, the surgeon will begin carefully placing the post into the jawbone where tooth loss has occurred. After attaching the abutment atop the post, an impression will be taken of the mouth in order to create the custom crown. A temporary crown will be secured in place atop the abutment. A second appointment will be made a number of months in the future.

    After the surgery, the titanium post begins fusing with the bone. During a period of about 6-12 months, the implant becomes a permanent fixture of the jawbone. This is when the second appointment will take place, and the permanent crown will be bonded to the implant. Just like that, you have a beautiful, complete smile that will last a lifetime.

    How long does the surgery take?

    Dental implant surgery time depends on a variety of factors. Simple surgeries can be as short as 30 minutes, while more complex surgeries with extractions and multiple implants can take up to four hours. General anesthesia (where the patient is under) is usually only used on complex procedures. Local anesthesia that numbs just the area is the most commonly used anesthetic during this procedure.

    Care for dental implants

    One of the many benefits of dental implants is the low maintenance associated with caring for them. This is essentially the only tooth replacement device that can be treated like a natural tooth. Anchored in the jawbone, the implant will act so much like a natural tooth that you may even forget it is there.

    Brush and floss your implant daily, just like you would natural teeth. Although these artificial teeth are resistant to decay, the gums and surrounding teeth are still susceptible to bacterial attack. Dental implants will last you a lifetime with proper care. If you want a beautiful, complete smile and to stop bone disintegration in its tracks, consider getting a dental implant.