Dental implants are today's gold standard for tooth replacement. Comprised of a titanium screw, metal abutrment, or post, and lifelike porcelain crown, the single tooth implant spans smile gaps beautifully. It also supports surrounding teeth, prevents tooth drift and strengthens the jaw bone.
Effectively replacing a missing tooth from root to crown, the dental implant lasts for decade with proper oral hygiene, dental exams and professional cleanings. Plus, multiple implants can support bridgework or removable or fixed dentures.
Who Can Get a Dental Implant
Our expert Miami dentist determines if a person is a candidate for a dental implant. She takes x-rays and other imaging to see if the individual has healthy gums and sufficient jaw bone size and density to receive the implant device. Corrective procedures such as periodontal therapy or bone augmentation may be necessary before treatment with an implant proceeds. With the decision made, the dentist takes impressions to craft the implant device.
The Implant Procedure
Usually, a patient requires nothing more than local anesthesia during this in-office surgery. The dentist drills a pilot hole into the jaw bone and inserts the titanium implant device. The titanium exhibits an amazing affinity for the jaw bone and melds to it through a natural process called osseointegration. Osseointegration actually increases the strength and density of the bone, a process unique to the implant procedure.
After several weeks of healing, the doctor bonds a metal post to the implant and then attaches the custom-fabricated crown. After minor adjustments for fit and bite, the implant procedure is complete.
The Academy of Osseointegration, a group of dental professionals which studies and advances the dental implant process, maintains that more than 90 percent of these innovative procedures are successful and that more than 90 percent of implants stay in place for years. Additionally, patients report that their implants feel and function just like natural teeth.
Dental implant patients brush twice a day and floss daily, treating their artificial teeth just as though they were natural ones. Semi-annual exams and cleanings help us check the condition of teeth, gums and implants.
While dental implants cannot decay, they are susceptible to a condition similar to gum disease. Peri-implantitis is an infection that develops when plaque and tartar accumulate at the implant site. Smokers are more prone to this condition.
To avoid removal of an implant due to peri-implantitis, patients should:
- practice diligent home hygiene
- get 6-month exams and cleanings
- eat a healthy diet
- quit smoking
Contact South Florida Dentistry in Miami, FL to learn more about dental implants. Could they be the right tooth replacement option for you? Call (305) 227-5888.