Dental ImplantsPort Orange, FL
Dental implants are a form of tooth replacement for patients experiencing dental conditions, oral trauma, and missing or extracted teeth. The implant acts as a tooth’s root and holds a restoration, such as a replacement tooth, permanent bridge, or denture, in place. Endodontists receive specialized training in applying dental implants and treatment focusing on inner-tooth treatments.
Dental implants look and feel similar to natural teeth and are highly durable. At Sondra Avant DDS, we offer dental implants for patients needing an artificial tooth replacement. Our team can diagnose and treat the area through a custom treatment plan involving implants. To learn more about the procedure or schedule an appointment, call (386) 304-4620 today.
What is an Implant?
Implants are a dental prosthesis used to support an artificial tooth and serve as a replacement for tooth roots. The implant consists of a titanium screw that stimulates the jaw bone and a post that anchors the artificial tooth in position. Titanium is biocompatible, allowing the implant to fuse with the surrounding bone and become a solid foundation for the screw and restoration that attaches to it.
Natural tooth roots contain nerves that feel sensations, such as heat, cold, and exerted pressure. Since implants replace tooth roots, patients will experience some loss of feeling in the tooth and the gums beneath. However, patients will still be able to feel stimuli in and around the surrounding teeth and gums. Aside from losing sensation, dental implants function the same way as natural teeth.
When an Implant Becomes Necessary
It is important to replace a missing or severely decayed tooth as the gums, roots, and jawbone tissue can become infected from increased bacteria in the area. Also, if there is no tooth root to stimulate that area of the jawbone, the body will undergo resorption in which it takes calcium from the jawbone to use in other areas of the body. Dental implants help prevent that from happening and provide a customizable artificial tooth replacement.
An untreated missing tooth or tooth with non-restorable decay (cavity), severe gum disease, a failed root canal, or accidental damage beyond repair can cause further damage to the surrounding teeth, gums, and jawbone, including:
- Shifting: Teeth adjacent to a space where a tooth has been lost often tend to shift or tilt into, causing instability among the neighboring teeth and misalignment issues.
- Gap Filling: Teeth in the opposing jaw will often begin to grow further up or down to make contact with a new tooth, making the gum tissue in the area of the lost tooth the surrogate.
- Resorption: To compound resorption, the jawbone where the root(s) of the missing tooth used to sit shrinks away slowly.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone, replacing the roots. The titanium material fuses with the jawbone, making them highly durable, stable, and fixated. The strong material prevents slipping, damage to the bone, and decay since the implant and restoration eliminate the entry of harmful bacteria due to being artificial.
Dental implants may be beneficial for patients that:
- Have one or more missing teeth
- Have a jawbone that has reached full growth
- Have adequate bone to secure the implants or are able to have a bone graft
- Have healthy oral tissues
- Do not have health conditions that will affect bone healing
- Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
- Want to improve their speech
- Are willing to commit several months to the process
The Implant Process
Prior to dental implantation, we will need to determine if the patient's jawbone is strong enough to support the implant. If so, we will thoroughly clean the empty area and insert the specially-crafted implant into the socket, so it has time to fuse to the jawbone and heal. Once healed (after 6 to 12 weeks), a small connector post, called an abutment, is attached to the post to securely hold the artificial restoration.
If the jawbone is not strong enough, a bone graft may be necessary to strengthen the jawbone. There are two types of grafts, an allograft and an autograft. An allograft procedure uses tissue or bone from a donor of the same species to increase the jaw bone. An autograft will use the patient's tissue from somewhere else on the body to support and restore the jaw. Once placed, the implant will need time to go through osseointegration and fuse with the jawbone.
Implant Success Rate
Implants have a success rate of 95% and higher and a longevity of up to fifteen years for most patients. Dental implants are permanent teeth replacement solutions and can last upwards of 25 years as opposed to 5-10 years with alternative options. Each case’s success depends on the area of the jaw an implant is placed in and the patient’s overall oral health status.
When an implant fails, it means it was misplaced, moving out of place, or not stable in its position. Implant failure is most commonly due to infection and bone loss resulting from poor dental hygiene. We will discuss proper hygiene habits that the patient should execute after an implant treatment and hold follow-up appointments as needed.
Schedule a Visit Today
Dental implants are available at our office. Our team looks forward to treating you and improving strength and overall jaw health. Call our office at (386) 304-4620 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
What is the main reason for needing a dental implant?
There are a number of reasons why many patients choose dental implants, but the main reason could be their advantage of preserving natural tooth tissue. With proper and successful treatment, the dental implant fuses into the surrounding bone and tissue, allowing it to function as a normal, healthy tooth root. They also have the added benefit of not needing to cut down any adjacent teeth for bridgework as they are positioned to fit securely as replacements for damaged roots.
What are signs of a failed dental implant?
Failed dental implants can cause bone loss and tissue deterioration as the implant becomes fully integrated with the bone. Implant failure can also cause severe pain and discomfort, gum recession, difficulty chewing, loosening or shifting of the implant, and swollen gums. As an endodontist, we monitor and check for any signs of failing implants and can help treat a failed dental implant.
What will happen to a missing tooth that is not replaced?
Teeth have a tendency to move and shift, especially when there is a missing or loose tooth. When there is a gap between teeth, surrounding teeth shift closer into the gap to help keep teeth aligned and gums and jaw line straight. Tooth replacements, such as dental implants, help keep the oral cavity healthy, improves oral function, and keeps your teeth and jaw aligned.
How are dental implants beneficial for oral health?
An implant is used to replace a missing or damaged tooth that needed extraction. Once the damaging tooth is removed, the tooth starts healing itself. A dental implant is the safest and most effective tooth replacement option as it fuses into the bone and functions as a natural tooth root to hold a restoration. Therefore, a successful implant and restoration feel and act as a normal tooth.
How long do successful implants last?
A successful implantation treatment renders the screw viable for a lifetime. The crown or restoration used may need to be replaced after 5-15 years, depending on the patient’s oral hygiene care. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups can maintain a dental implant and restoration for up to 15 years.
Who is not a good candidate for dental implants?
Patients taking immuno-suppressant medications, such as steroids, may not qualify for a dental implant. Also, individuals with Bruxism, a condition that causes extreme grinding and clenching, may not be a good candidate for implants as the condition can cause too much pressure and tension on the implant, which can have damaging effects later in life. Patients with oral health conditions, such as periodontal disease, those who smoke, and those with diabetes are also not good candidates for implants.
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