Dental Implants

Missing teeth aren’t just aesthetically unpleasing, they can inhibit proper function. And, with the latest dental technology, including dental implants, smile restoration is convenient and natural-looking.

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It can be hard to smile when you have missing teeth. You may feel embarrassed about the gaps in your grin and try to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile, or worse — you may try not to laugh or smile at all. The dentists at our Stuart, Florida, dental clinic want to help you feel like yourself again, so you can smile and laugh without worry. Dental implants not only improve your health, they can change your life.

Dental Implants: Safe & Effective

Most of our patients are familiar with dentures but may not know much about dental implants. Take it from our dentists, there is a big difference.

If you are missing a single tooth, you may be tempted to forego a tooth implant and get a different type of replacement tooth. While these other teeth replacement solutions may take care of the cosmetic aspect of a missing tooth, they do nothing for your health.

An acrylic partial removable denture, also known as a “flipper,” is an appliance built with one or more false teeth that patients can put in and take out themselves. Our dentists sometimes use these replacement tooth devices during the healing period after placing a dental implant. These teeth should be worn for cosmetic purposes only, and patients should not eat or sleep with them in.

Another solution for missing teeth is a dental bridge. To place a dental bridge, the two teeth on either side of your missing tooth must be shaved down. The bridge is constructed of three prosthetic teeth and is placed by cementing the two on either end over your natural teeth. This improves your appearance but does nothing for jaw health and will not last nearly as long as a tooth implant.

What Is a Tooth Implant?

There are three parts to a dental implant: the post, the abutment and the crown. The first step in the teeth replacement process is for our dentist to place the titanium post in your jaw. Once this is done, you must heal — usually for one to three months — before the procedure can be completed. During this time, the bone grows around the post, integrating it into your jaw. This is what makes dental implants so strong and durable.

After the healing period, the dentist places the abutment and the crown.

Bone Grafting

We know that it is important to get the best smile of your life. Before you can begin the dental implant process, you may need to get a bone grafting procedure. This surgical procedure helps restore an unhealthy jawbone—a vital component to anchor your dental implants.

Jawbone Health

Did you know that your jawbone can be severely impacted by missing teeth? This is because teeth are the support and foundation to keep your jawbone healthy and pristine. When you have a missing tooth, your jawbone will begin to shrink and recede. Therefore, you will likely notice premature aging setting in on your mouth and face as a result.

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Types of Bone Grafts

There are many types of bone grafts depending on the nature of your condition:

• Autograft
-patient harvested from a different part of the patient’s body
-comprises living bone
-able to regenerate on its own

• Allograft
-bone taken from a cadaver
-bone can’t re-generate on its own
-requires two procedures to collect the bone and the second to fill the jawbone

• Xenograft
-uses bone from a cow
-unable to regenerate on its own

Treatment

Once we’ve decided which bone graft is right for you, we will provide you with local anesthesia. Your specialist will make a minimal incision into your jaw and fill the affected area with the harvested bone.

Your graft will be pinned into place and stitched and bandaged. Always heed the advice of your dental care professional for maximum recovery.

Types of Implants

There are two types of implants to better suit your condition:

• Subperiosteal
-implant is anchored on your jawbone
-the implant head itself is visible

• Endosteal
-implant is anchored in your jawbone
-most common type

dental implants

Recovery Period

It is very important to us that you follow-up at our office and take care at home as well. The success of your newly anchored implants should abide by these recommended guidelines:

Day One

We recommend putting gauze in your mouth and biting down on them. This will aid in any bleeding that you may have right after getting implants. Always take care of your oral hygiene with your implant by brushing your teeth. An added bonus is to rinse your mouth with saltwater to thwart bleeding of the mouth.

benefits of dental implants

Day Two and Three

At this point, you may experience periods of swelling. Still, you should rinse your mouth with saltwater to prevent bacteria build up at least twice a day. We recommend applying ointment to your lips in order to avoid dry lips and. By day three, you will notice a significant improvement. Make sure that you follow-up so we can check on your progress!

Caring for Your Dental Implants

Dental implants require no special care. They are permanent and not removable like a denture, so you simply brush and floss your dental implants as you do your natural teeth. You will not have any dietary restrictions either — you may eat whatever you like. Denture wearers do not have the same luxury.

To learn more about teeth replacement options, including dental implants, call our Stuart, Florida, dentist office today.