Simple Guide to Dental Implants

Reasons to Consider Dental Implants

Many people focus on the aesthetics of missing teeth, but what happens under the surface is potentially worse. Whether the tooth loss is caused by injury, periodontal (gum) disease, or a congenital condition, the results can be the same. When a tooth is missing, pressure is no longer exerted on the jawbone in that location, so the bone begins to deteriorate. Dental implants help regenerate and maintain bone density in the long run. They also stand alone, so keeping surrounding teeth and gums healthy is easier.

What Makes a Good Candidate?

People with overall healthy teeth and gums tend to experience higher rates of success with dental implants. If the surrounding teeth and gums are healthy, the next consideration is the jawbone itself. Bone density is crucial since it holds the implant in place, but a bone graft may allow some people with insufficient bone structure to find success with implants. Although an implant cannot get cavities, gum disease is still a possibility, so dentists also look at the patient’s overall commitment to oral hygiene.

What are the Best Dental Implant Options?

Endosteal implants are the standard sized implants. They consist of a titanium alloy rod, an abutment, and a permanent crown. This type of implant can support individual prosthetic teeth, bridges, or even full dentures.

Mini implants sport a diameter about half that of the standard implants. These often work best when replacing teeth in narrow spaces, front teeth, small teeth, or pre-molars. They also allow some patients with bone loss to qualify for dental implants.

What Does the Procedure Involve?

  1. If any tooth structure remains, it must be removed before the implant process begins.
  2. A titanium alloy rod is surgically placed into the jawbone. Osseointegration is the process during which the bone and rod fuse together. Your dentist will keep an eye on the healing process.
  3. Once healed properly, the abutment (connector piece) is attached. A mold is taken, and a custom crown is created.
  4. During the final step, the crown is permanently affixed to the abutment.

Types of Pain Management

Most people tolerate the discomfort of dental implant surgery with local anesthesia. For many people, over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen suffice. Others may need prescription pain meds or antibiotics to get through the recovery period.

Care for Dental Implants

Since dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, their care is pretty straightforward. Brush teeth at least twice a day, and floss once. An antimicrobial rinse helps wash away any lingering bacteria to deter gum disease. Be sure to visit the dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups.

Plus So Much More!

Many Tampa Bay area patients who have already received dental implants express their surprise at how strong the implants are upon healing. Foods that were once taboo return to the menu. Weninger Dentistry has extensive dental implant experience, and we even offer in-house sedation dentistry options. Drs. Michelle and Scott Weninger are here to answer questions and determine if dental implants are right for you. Still have more questions? Consider downloading our FREE Ebook!