Common medical questions and answers through blogs and articles

Does A Dental Implant Work?

In the past, the usual fix to the missing tooth dilemma, was to be fitted with a dental bridge, an often ill-fitting wire which was hooked onto your existing teeth, wherein a false tooth (or teeth) filled in that gap in your smile.

Today, however, the preferred method of tooth replacement is a dental implant.  Dental implants have many superb qualities, among them: they replace missing tooth roots and form a stable foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Additionally, dental implants help preserve the remaining bone by providing the stimulation previously provided by the natural tooth roots.  There is a 95% success rate for dental implants.

How does a dental implant work?

The most-popular dental implant is called a “root form implant”; this type of implant greatly resembles a real tooth in that it mimics the shape of the roots of the teeth.  The beauty of a root form implant is that it can be used to support individual teeth or to help anchor removable dentures.

Is the procedure painful?

The dental implant procedure is a routine dental procedure; if you have any concerns or are afraid of the dentist you should talk to a top cosmetic dentist, dentists in Clearwater will ensure that the procedure is as painless as possible.  The dental implant procedure merely requires a local anesthetic and oral sedation, then the implants are surgically placed under the gum and into the bone.  The healing period for dental implants depends upon the location of the implant and the health of the bone, thus, it varies from as little as six weeks to as much as four months.  Once the implant is biologically attached to the bone, a post called an “abutment” is inserted inside the implant; this post becomes the extension to which a crown will eventually be attached.

Stages of a dental implant

The dental implant process involves a series of steps that transpire over a time period that averages from immediate placement and loading to six months.  You can qualify as a candidate for dental implantation as long as you are healthy enough to have a natural tooth removed.  The procedure will, of course, depend on several factors, such as:

A pre-treatment consultation:  After a careful evaluation of your dental and medical history, your dental practitioner will make a determination of whether or not you are a good candidate for a dental implant.  If you are, you will then have a thorough consultation before your treatment begins.

An initial implant placement:  Your dental practitioner places the dental implant into your jaw while you are under either local or general anesthesia.  Over the next several months, the bone will heal to the surface of the implant, anchoring the prosthesis into position.   Depending on your particular case, an additional minor procedure creates an opening through which your artificial tooth will emerge.

An implant prosthetic attachment:  During this phase, your dental practitioner painlessly attaches a prosthetic post to the implant.  An impression will be taken, and soon after, an artificial replacement tooth will be created for a natural restoration.

State-of-the art procedure

To create the “root replica”, a fixture made of titanium is inserted in the channel created in the jaw by precision instruments that control heat, speed and any variable that could affect a successful outcome. After “Osseo integration”, another word for the process wherein the surrounding bone has bonded to the implant, a replacement tooth is secured to the top of the implant.  This new tooth is identical in look, feel and performance, similar to your natural tooth (or teeth).

Will the dental implant last forever?

Dental implants are very durable – they are made of titanium after all!  The compound is a bio-compatible material which cannot decay.

So … the implant itself is around for many years, and that is good news, but, additionally it also helps to stimulate bone growth and thus preserve your existing teeth and bone structure and prevent future bone loss.

Just like your own natural teeth, modern dental implants must be maintained to ensure durability.  Even though the implant is titanium, it does require some care after the implant procedure.  Regular check-ups with the dentist and good daily dental hygiene are instrumental to a long-lasting dental implant.  Additionally, the longevity of the implant varies with factors of patient health (like diabetes, HIV and metabolic bone disease), patient habits (smoking and oral hygiene as examples) and structural overload.

The implant process

  • Dental implants can help prevent deterioration of the jawbone so your face retains its natural shape.
  • Dental implants eliminate the need to grind down healthy teeth when replacing one or more adjacent teeth, thus, your own natural healthy teeth remain intact and are not damaged.
  • Dental implants are permanent and do not slip or move, unlike dentures which often fit poorly and result in gum irritation or pain from exposed nerves. So, there really is no comparison to any other method of filling up the gap in your smile but a dental implant.  What’s not to like with its superior comfort, reliability, and freedom from embarrassment?

So, if you are debating whether or not to consider a dental implant of one tooth, or several, why not schedule a consultation with a top cosmetic dentist in Clearwater, Florida today?

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