What are Dental Implants?
One of your dentist’s primary goals is to help you avoid the loss of any teeth, or the need to have any teeth extracted. In some cases, a tooth may become so damaged or diseased that there is really no option except to have it removed. No matter the cause of your tooth loss, the tooth can typically be replaced with a dental implant.
Dental implants are small titanium screws, inserted into the jawbone to function as an artificial tooth root. Because titanium is a biocompatible metal, your body will readily accept it, with only the most minimal change of an adverse reaction. In these instances, alternate materials may be used.
The implant will heal into place, providing sturdy and durable support for an artificial replacement tooth. These dental prostheses can be made to look and behave just like your naturally growing teeth. Ultimately, dental implants can restore form and function following tooth loss. MOSAIC Maxillofacial Surgical Arts & Implant Centers is pleased to provide dental implant placement in the Clearwater, FL area.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
There are three components to any dental implant:
- First, there is the implant, which is the small titanium post that is inserted into the jawbone.
- A connective piece, known as the abutment, helps keep the crown firmly attached to the implant itself.
- There is also the replacement tooth, or crown, made to look just like your natural teeth.
The implant is inserted into the jawbone through a surgical procedure. Then, through a process called osseointegration, it fuses with the surrounding bone. Once it is secured into the bone, the implant is topped with an abutment and a dental prosthesis. This last part of the dental restoration process will typically be completed by your normal dentist.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are several reasons why dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement.
- Dental implants help prevent further bone loss. When you lose the stimulation of a tooth root, your jawbone can atrophy. Dental implants can help to prevent these unwanted changes to your facial appearance.
- Implants look and feel just like natural teeth. Implants create a stable foundation, preventing your implants from moving or slipping out of place.
- Dental implants are long-lasting and reliable. Clinical research shows that implants have a success rate exceeding 95 percent. In some cases, implants can last for more than 40 years.
- Implants can improve your ability to chew. Implants anchor dentures in place, so your implant-supported dentures would not slip or move when eating tough or sticky foods. This may make dental implants more comfortable than dentures.
Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants
The best way to determine whether you qualify for a safe and successful dental implant procedure is to schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon. Generally speaking, the best candidates for dental implants:
- Are missing one or more teeth or need to have teeth extracted
- Are in good health overall
- Are properly managing any chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
- Have sufficient bone density to anchor dental implants or are willing to undergo a bone graft procedure
To learn more about your eligibility for treatment, we welcome you to contact us to schedule a consultation.
What is the Process Like?
The process of getting dental implants can vary from one patient to the next. Here is a general outline of what you can expect.
- Examination. Using both a physical evaluation and medical imagery (such as X-rays), your oral surgeon will verify your qualification for surgery.
- Supporting procedures. To prepare for your dental implants, you may need to have unhealthy teeth extracted, a bone graft, etc.
- Implant placement. You will be placed under anesthesia for your implant procedure, ensuring your comfort. For a single implant, surgery can take as little as half an hour.
- Restoration. Once the implant fuses into place, you can have your abutment and prosthesis placed by the dentist.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Dental implants have been safely used for more than 50 years now, providing countless people with full smile restoration. Implants are made from biocompatible, non-toxic titanium, making the risk of an adverse reaction extremely slim. The risk of rejection is somewhere between two and five percent, while the risks associated with untreated tooth loss are much higher.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful?
Our surgeons strive to make the procedure as comfortable and relaxing as possible. We do this by providing a full spectrum of sedation and anesthesia options.
Typically, a local anesthetic is used to numb the implant site. Then, either nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or intravenous sedation is administered, ensuring your comfort during surgery.
What is Dental Implant Recovery Like?
Following your dental implant surgery, you can anticipate your jaw being sore. Over-the-counter pain relievers are usually more than sufficient for mitigating the pain. It will take several weeks for the implant to heal in place, and for the first part of your recovery, you will need to restrict your diet to soft foods and liquids. Full recovery and aftercare instructions will be provided at your initial consultation.
Learn More About Dental Implants in Clearwater, FL
Ready to find out more about dental implants for tooth replacement? Schedule a consultation with us today. Contact MOSAIC Maxillofacial Surgical Arts & Implant Centers by calling (727) 791-6529.