Why do I need a Dental Implant?

If you have a tooth that has been damaged and no longer is functioning properly, or if you have a missing tooth, Dr. Do recommends that you consider replacing the tooth with a dental implant.

In years past, dentists responded to tooth loss by providing patients with bridges or dentures. These are artificial teeth that anchor either to other teeth in your mouth, or to your gums.

While dentures and bridges may solve the problem by making your smile look better, neither actually replaces your teeth in a way that feels natural or works just as your own natural teeth would. Bridges and dentures can also lead to other problems: pain, damage to your remaining teeth, and bone loss that changes your overall facial structure.

Dental implants are a revolutionary innovation for patients. They can replace your missing tooth with an artificial tooth root functions and feels perfectly natural.

What is a Dental Implant?

NaturalToothVsDentalImplant-ImageA dental implant is an artificial tooth that is anchored permanently into your jaw bone, and can support a variety of restorations such as a crown, bridge or dentures. Dr. Do also uses dental implants to replace teeth that are completely missing. The design of a dental implant typically has three parts:

A titanium post which is surgically placed into your jawbone. The post replaces your tooth root.
A titanium abutment or connector, which is placed on top of the post above the bone. The abutment sits just below the gum line, and provides the base for your implant crown.
A high-grade ceramic crown, which sits above the gum, anchored to the abutment, and looks and feels like a natural tooth.
What are the advantages of Dental Implants?

When you have missing teeth, it changes the way that you speak, eat and smile. Even if your missing tooth is a back tooth that isn’t easily seen, you will notice that it is more difficult to chew and to keep your remaining teeth clean and healthy. In addition, your remaining teeth can become stressed or crowded, and over time you are likely to suffer from bone loss in your jaw, which can effect your facial features.

While dental bridges or dentures can also be used to replace missing teeth, dental implants, correctly placed, are usually a superior replacement.

Here are some of the reasons that Dr. Do recommends dental implants:

Dental implants are extremely durable – Bridges and dentures become loose, wear out, and can even break over time. They can also cause strain and hardship to your remaining teeth. Implants, however, look and function like your natural teeth, and with good hygiene, you can expect your implant to last a very long time.
Dental implant prevent bone loss in the jaw – The bone in your jaw supports the roots of your teeth, and the very existence of the tooth root encourages the bone to regenerate cells and maintain its shape and size. Whenever you lose a tooth, the bone in the area of the tooth stops regenerating cells, and begins to recede. The loss of bone will effect the entire structure of your face and smile. Placing a bridge or denture on top of the gum will not reverse this process. Underneath, the bone is still not stimulated to produce cells, and it will continue to degenerate. Your bridge or denture may become loose and need refitting. Dental implants actually reverse this bone loss. As the implant inserted into your existing bone heals, it bonds to the bone, and stimulates the bone to replace cells and regenerate. The result, if the implant is properly placed and your body responds as expected, is that the bone in your jaw becomes stronger and healthier than ever.
Dental implants allow you to keep your remaining teeth – Bridges or partial dentures are dependent on the adjacent teeth to stay secure in your mouth. For example, in order to place a bridge, the supporting teeth need to be to cut down — sometimes perfectly healthy teeth — to fit them with a crown. Any solution that requires healthy teeth to be cut down places them at greater risk of decay and loss. Dental implants do not produce any of these undesirable effects.
What materials do you use for Dental Implants?

In our office, we use implants made from titanium. The posts are manufactured from pure titanium, which is a completely biocompatible material.

Who are candidates for Dental Implants?

Dental implants have been in use since the 1970s, and modern developments in technology have made it easier for almost anyone to use them to replace their missing teeth. Dental implants are minimally invasive and made from biocompatible materials. Dr. Do also has the advanced technology and training that is necessary to plan the implant placement procedure, and accurately place the implant with excellent predictability.

Are there things that could prevent me from getting Dental Implants?

Most people who are in good general health and able to withstand minor surgery are good candidates for dental implants. Sufficient bone is necessary to support the implant, and sometimes you may require bone-grafting in order for the implant to be advised.

Dr. Do does not recommend dental implants for young patients whose jawbones have not fully developed, or for pregnant women. Some existing medical conditions will also prevent us from recommending dental implants.

For the most part, if you can have routine surgery, you can have an implant placed. Even patients with such diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implants.

Certain medications may prevent you from getting dental implants. Steroids, blood thinners or drugs that suppress the immune system, for example, might make dental implant surgery something that Dr. Do will not recommend for you.

If I get a Dental Implant, how long do I have to wait until I get my new tooth?

Once your implant has been placed, Dr. Do will create a temporary crown and place it on the implant on the same day. As your implant is healing, Palm Harbor dentist, Dr. Do will work to create a perfectly fitting final tooth.

After the implant has fully healed and integrated with the jawbone (in 3 to 6 months), Palm Harbor dentist, Dr. Do will cement your new tooth to the implant. This new, permanent tooth looks, feels and functions just like any of your natural teeth.

Call us for more information or an appointment at (727) 787-1226 or click Request an Appointment to request an appointment online.