Statistics show that over 120 million American adults are missing at least one tooth. If you fit into this category, you know that your ability to speak, chew, laugh, and even smile can be impacted.
Dr. Fred Tepedino and the team at Dental Arts of Florida offer several tooth restoration options including dental implants.
In this article, we'll explain more about dental implants including how long you can expect them to last.
Dental implants are the "gold standard" of tooth restoration. Implants look, feel, and function more like natural teeth than other options. This is because a small titanium screw is inserted into the jawbone, which acts as an artificial tooth root. An abutment is attached to that, which will secure the crown (or other prosthetic teeth) to the implant.
The process for getting dental implants takes a minimum of several months, depending on how quickly your body heals. Here's what this process looks like:
Every procedure at Dental Arts of Florida in Jacksonville begins with a consultation. At this time, Dr. Fred Tepedino will perform a comprehensive exam, which will include taking some x-rays. This will give us a picture of where your oral health is and what your dental needs are.
We will also discuss any questions and concerns that you may have, as well as your expectations for treatment. If you have dental anxiety, this is the time to let us know so that we can include sedation in your treatment plan.
We will take the information we get from this visit to create a personalized treatment plan for you.
If you require additional procedures such as extractions, gum disease treatment, or bone grafting, we will complete those at this time. Implants have a 95% success rate, as long as they are placed into a healthy mouth.
If you are getting full mouth restoration, with an implant-supported bridge or denture, we will take an impression of your mouth once these procedures are complete.
When it is time to place the implants, we start by administering the appropriate anesthesia. All patients are given local anesthesia to numb the area. If you need sedation, that will be given. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, we will get started.
We start by making a small incision in the gum and then drilling a small hole in the jawbone. The screw will be placed in the jawbone and the incision closed up. This will be repeated with each implant that is needed.
Once the implants are placed, you will be sent home to heal. This may take up to 6 months, depending on how quickly your body heals. During this time, osseointegration will be taking place, which is the process of the jawbone healing around and fusing with the implant. This is what secures the implant in place, making it like a tooth root.
Once osseointegration is complete, we will place the abutment. We will open up the incision and place this piece on the implant. Then, we will place a healing cap on top to prevent the gum from healing over it. An impression will be made so that the lab can create your custom crown or other implant-supported restoration. This usually takes a couple of weeks
Finally, when we receive the restoration, we will schedule an appointment for you to come in to have it fitted. Once we ensure that it fits properly, we will secure it in place. If you have a removable restoration, we will show you how to remove it and put it back in. If your restoration is permanent, you won't have to worry about anything except caring for it just like your natural teeth.
Dental implants look, feel, and function more like natural teeth which means this restoration offers a variety of benefits, including:
implant surgery is a standard procedure. Dr. Tepedino has the experience and expertise to make the process easy. Most of the time, patients only need local anesthesia. However, sedation is an option for patients who have anxiety.
since implants are secured in the jawbone, they look more like natural teeth. In fact, most people won't even realize you have artificial teeth unless you tell them.
implants keep your jawbone healthy, which prevents facial sagging and premature aging.
implants do not require any special care- simply brush and floss just like your natural teeth.
your teeth impact the way that air flows through your mouth, so missing teeth can cause you to have difficulty pronouncing certain words. Implants can restore your ability to speak clearly.
implants restore natural bite and chewing ability, so you can eat what you like. You will be able to maintain a healthy diet because you will be able to chew healthy foods.
Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, with proper care and maintenance. In some cases, depending on your lifestyle habits, the crown or prosthetic may need to be replaced after about 15 to 20 years. However, this too can last a lifetime if cared for properly.
There are two types of implants: traditional and mini. Mini implants are slightly smaller than traditional implants and used for patients who have a smaller mouth or who do not have enough bone density to support traditional implants. Both have a similar life expectancy.
There are several factors that can have an effect on the longevity of your implants:
Dental implants should be cared for just like your natural teeth. There are no additional requirements.
Brush twice daily- once in the morning and once before bed. This will get rid of any food debris and other bacteria buildup to prevent complications with your implants.
Floss once daily- this will remove debris from between the teeth. You may find it more effective and gentler to use a water flosser instead of dental floss.
Visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning. This will help us to identify any issues before they escalate.
According to dental health experts, more than 120 million American adults are missing at least one tooth. This can lead to a variety of oral and overall health issues and can also have an impact on your mental health. Therefore, when you are missing teeth, it's important to explore your tooth restoration options.
Dental implants are the "gold standard" of tooth restoration because they look, feel, and function more like natural teeth than other options. Implants are placed in the jawbone and act as artificial tooth roots.
The process of getting dental implants does take time because the jawbone must heal around and fuse with the implants. However, once healed, you will experience a variety of benefits including improved aesthetics, comfort, speech, oral health, and more.
While dental implants are designed to last a lifetime- this depends on proper care and maintenance. You must practice proper oral hygiene to keep your mouth healthy and avoid issues that could cause implant failure.
Dr. Tepedino and the team at Dental Arts of Florida want patients to be fully involved in their treatment. Therefore, we are happy to address any questions or concerns that may arise. Below are some of the most common questions we hear when it comes to dental implants:
Yes, dental implants are designed to be a permanent tooth restoration. This is because the implant is inserted into the jawbone, acting as a tooth root.
A dental bridge is a tooth restoration designed to replace several missing teeth in a row, supported by natural teeth or by dental implants on either side of the gap.
A dental implant is a screw that is inserted directly into the jawbone, to replace a single missing tooth or act as a support for a multi-tooth restoration.