How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are one of today's best tooth replacement options. Implants function, look, and feel like healthy, natural teeth.

Dental implants replace the tooth as a whole, from the root to the crown. The implant post securely bonds with the jawbone, preventing deterioration and giving the crown a secure base. 

Advantages of Dental Implants

Natural Look

Today's dental implants are almost indistinguishable from natural teeth. They seamlessly fill gaps in your smile while providing a healthy appearance.

Easy Care

Single-tooth implants are easy to care for, requiring only brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits. Caring for implant-supported bridges and dentures varies depending on the type of restoration.

Preserve Jawbone Health

When the natural root system is missing, the jawbone loses the stimulation it normally receives from chewing. This problem leads to jawbone deterioration around the socket, causing a sunken facial appearance.

Prevent Other Teeth from Moving

If you have a gap in your smile, your other teeth will slide into new positions. They may become crooked or disrupt your dental bite. You may be more prone to gum disease and tooth decay because it is more difficult to keep crooked teeth clean.

Improve Chewing Ability

Restorations like crowns and bridges may come with food restrictions. Avoiding overly sticky or sugary foods is always a good idea with dental restorations, but within reason, you can eat what you like with dental implants. You can finally stop chewing around the gaps in your teeth. Chewy foods like steak, crunchy apples, and chips will no longer be a problem.

Improve Self-Confidence

Missing teeth may cause a loss of self-esteem. You may feel reluctant to show others your teeth, smiling with your mouth covered or shying away from photographs. When you feel you can freely share your smile, your confidence improves.

Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Types of Dental Implants

Single-Tooth Dental Implants

This type of implant replaces one tooth at a time.

Implant-Supported Bridges

Bridges can replace a handful of teeth at a time. Implants improve a standard bridge by providing a stronger, longer-lasting attachment point.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Implant-supported dentures may be your best option if you are missing many teeth or need multiple extractions. You can choose from partial, fixed, and removable full-arch dentures to meet your needs.

How Dental Implants Are Installed

Most types of dental implants require a multi-step installation process that can take several months to complete. The single-tooth implant process is as follows:

Step 1: Consultation

Sitting down with your dentist, you will discuss your needs and expectations. Your dentist will help you choose the best implant type to promote your oral health.

The dentist will conduct a comprehensive oral examination and take diagnostic images to help determine whether you need any preparatory work before getting implants.

Step 2: Bone Grafting

This step is optional and is for patients with lower bone mass in the jaw. Oral surgeons typically place bone grafts. A graft may take up to six months to heal enough to place an implant.

Step 3: Placing the Post

After any preparatory work has healed, the dentist will surgically place the dental implant post in your jaw. They will use a computer-guided system to make the process faster, easier, and safer. Over time, the post bonds with the bone in osseointegration, creating a solid attachment point.

Step 4: Placing the Abutment

Once the post heals, your dentist will place a stainless steel cap or abutment on top.

Step 5: Installing the Final Restoration

At the end of the process, the dentist installs your permanent restorations. After healing, you can chew, eat, and speak clearly without issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

How long does it take to get dental implants?

Dental implants may take several months, especially if you need preparatory work like bone grafts. Considering how much more durable implants are than standard bridges or dentures, this extra time is worth it.

What happens if you have a tooth pulled and don't replace it?

Missing teeth can damage your oral health. Food particles and plaque bacteria can accumulate in the gaps between teeth. Your teeth may shift, causing alignment problems or changing your dental bite. You may develop a prematurely aged facial expression due to losing natural jawbone mass.

Call Dunedin Dental Associates

If you want to learn more about dental implants and how they work, please schedule a consultation today. We can explain your options and help you decide whether implants are your best choice for tooth restoration. Please call our Dunedin, FL, office at 727-734-3321 to make an appointment.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

If you're considering dental implants you may be concerned about how long they will last.  By understanding their longevity and with proper care and maintenance, implants can last for decades.

Understanding the longevity of dental implants

When considering dental implants, patients often wonder about durability. Implants are designed to permanently replace missing teeth. With the right materials and proper placement, they can last a lifetime. Several key factors work together to promote implant longevity.

Implant Material: Dental implants are made from titanium, which fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. Titanium's biocompatibility with bone creates a sturdy anchor for the implant. This fusion gives implants both stability and staying power.

Surgical Skill: A dentist's expertise significantly impacts the success and lifespan of a dental implant. Patients should research practitioners thoroughly and choose an experienced implant specialist. A skilled surgeon will place the implant properly, facilitating osseointegration and minimizing complications.

Patient Self-Care: While high-quality materials and surgical precision set the stage for long-lasting implants, patients must uphold their end with excellent oral hygiene and routine dental visits. With proper daily care and maintenance, patients can enjoy permanently fixed implants.

Factors that affect the lifespan of dental implants

Dental implants are intended to permanently replace missing teeth. However, certain factors affect how long implants will last. Being aware of these factors allows patients to optimize the durability of their implants.

Oral Hygiene: Proper daily cleaning around implants is vital. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits remove plaque and tartar, preventing bacteria-caused inflammation and infection. Insufficient hygiene may lead to implant failure.

Lifestyle Choices: Habits like smoking and heavy drinking can impair the body’s healing abilities after implant surgery. Smoking especially heightens implant failure risks. Patients should discuss lifestyle factors with their dentists for guidance on supporting implant health through lifestyle changes.

Health Conditions: Specific medical conditions like diabetes and autoimmune disorders can also shorten the lifespan of dental implants. These illnesses hinder the body’s capacity to heal and integrate implants. It is essential to inform dentists of all health conditions prior to any implant treatment.

Long-term success rates of dental implant procedures

Studies validate the impressive long-term viability of dental implants. Success rates remain high over time, even over ten years post-placement.

In one review, 95.6% of implants were still successful after a decade. Further research determined a 97.8% success rate for 10-year-old maxillary front implants.

These robust numbers demonstrate implants’ staying power when placed and cared for correctly. An experienced, attentive dentist maximizes prognoses by using premium materials and precision techniques. Patients also play a role in maintaining implants with excellent at-home oral hygiene and follow-up visits.

The statistics speak for themselves – with the right protocol, dental implants deliver permanent tooth replacement with over 95% longevity. Patients can confidently choose this tooth replacement option for reliable, long-standing outcomes.

Dental Implants in Dunedin

Dental implants offer a long-term solution for missing teeth. Their durability provides patients with permanently fixed, functional teeth that restore beautiful smiles for decades.

With diligent daily care and routine maintenance from dental professionals, implants can thrive indefinitely. Practicing excellent oral hygiene, attending regular check-ups, and maintaining overall health all reinforce implants’ longevity. By understanding what keeps implants in optimal condition and committing to these practices, patients can rely on their implant teeth for life.

To learn more about dental implants in Dunedin, contact us at 727-734-3321

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the dental implant placement procedure painful?

This is a common concern among individuals considering dental implants. Typically, the implant placement procedure is performed under local anesthesia, ensuring that the patient does not feel pain during the surgery. Some discomfort and swelling may be experienced after the surgery, but this can be managed with prescribed medications. Patients can discuss pain management options with their dentist before the procedure.

How long does it take to complete the dental implant process?

The timeline for dental implant treatment can vary depending on several factors, including the patient's oral health, the need for additional procedures (such as bone grafting), and the type of restoration being used. In general, the entire process, from implant placement to the placement of the final crown or prosthetic, may take several months. Patients should be aware that the integration of the implant with the jawbone requires time for proper healing and osseointegration.

Are dental implants suitable for everyone?

While dental implants are a popular and effective tooth replacement option, they may not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as overall health, oral health, and the condition of the jawbone play a crucial role in determining candidacy for dental implants. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes or active gum disease, may need to address these issues before undergoing implant surgery. Additionally, there must be sufficient bone density in the jaw to support the implant. A comprehensive evaluation by a dental professional can help determine whether a person is a suitable candidate for dental implants.

The 4 Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are today's best replacement for missing or damaged teeth. Dentists refine the science behind dental implants yearly, and today's implants are much higher quality than in the past.

Dental implants have dozens of significant cosmetic and restorative benefits. This blog will focus on the top four benefits of implants as curated by our dental team.

1. Regain Chewing Ability

Dental implants restore your bite force and enable you to eat hard, sticky, and chewy foods that you must avoid while you have missing or fragile teeth. People who have had gaps in their teeth or lived with damaged teeth in the past are thrilled with their new ability to eat whatever they want.

2. Restore Your Appearance

People with problem teeth are often reluctant to smile in public or in pictures. You can smile, laugh, and express yourself again when you have implants.  

3. Prevent Bone Loss

Implants provide the jawbone with the same stimulation as a natural tooth, keeping the bone healthy. Missing teeth cause the jawbone to break down around the empty sockets. In a year or less, the bone could lose a full quarter of its density if you do not get implants.

4. Improve Oral Health

People who have dental implants enjoy better oral health. The natural teeth will not shift positions with implants, meaning that their orthodontic alignment will remain stable. Teeth will not become crooked, crossed, and challenging to keep clean. Gum disease is also less likely with implants.

Am I a Good Candidate for Implants?

Successful implant candidates share these characteristics:

Enjoying Your New Smile

Dental implants have many more benefits; your dentist can explain how they can enhance your smile and lifestyle. The implant post itself may last a lifetime, meaning that your investment in dental implants could pay off over the years.

Call Dunedin Dental Associates

Dental implants are long-lasting, beautiful replacements for damaged or missing teeth. We recommend implants to eligible patients who have missing teeth.

To learn more about our dental implants and how they can rejuvenate your smile, call Dunedin Dental Associates at 727-734-3321. We can set up a consultation appointment and answer your questions.