Dental Implants

If you happen to be missing one or more teeth, this procedure is perfect for you. Once you have procured a dental implant, you will be able to enhance your chewing abilities, eat your favorite foods and augment your appearance. Your teeth are an important part of your facial traits and play an intrinsic part in the impressions you make. Most of the time, a person’s smile is their business card and by submitting yourself to a dental implant, this can help you boost your self-esteem and confidence, changing the way you relate to others.

Fifty years of research have made dental implants the tooth replacement procedure of choice for thousands of dental professionals and their patients. Throughout the years, dental implants have been used very successfully and dentistry has come to rely on them for solving problems that could previously not be resolved.

A dental implant basically consists in a metal screw which is placed into the jawbone. This then acts as the base for false teeth, which can be placed in single or multiple sets, depending on the patient’s needs.

Dr. Lopez has performed over 3000 dental implants, and has specialized in oral surgery and prosthetics for over a decade. He and his staff have the educational background, training and expertise to place a single dental implant, several implants, or a complete implant denture in the case of a patient who has lost all of their teeth.

This dental procedure replaces the root of the missing tooth (or teeth) and is usually crafted using surgical-grade titanium alloy. Firstly, the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone; this can be done straight away after the tooth is lost or after some time has passed. Several bone enhancing surgeries can be performed preceding the implant in case there is insufficient bone to hold the titanium. At the moment of implant or after a certain period of healing, an abutment (which serves as a base for a prosthetic tooth, for example, a dental crown is then introduced into the implant.

In the original practice, patients were required to go without wearing their new dentures for two weeks after the introduction of the implant as a minimum. Throughout the years, this time period has been altered greatly, and in most cases, the patient can wear their teeth the same day that surgery is performed. Keep in mind that each patient is assessed individually and depending on the circumstances, it may be recommended for the person to refrain from wearing their prosthesis for a certain period of time. Usually, you have to be on a ‘soft diet’ for some days after the surgery.

Dental Implants are advantageous because…

They are the best choice for replacing missing teeth without affecting bordering teeth. As the jawbone shrinks, your chewing efficiency is reduced even more, making it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental implants, on the other hand, can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth. This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.

They preserve the jawbone and prevent bone loss.

They fuse with the jawbone and therefore, do not harm adjacent teeth. Fixed bridges, even for the replacement of a single tooth, may require the cutting down or shaping of adjacent, healthy teeth in order to give the bridge something to adhere to.

They improve the quality of life for adults of all ages, allowing patients to talk, eat, smile and live confidently and comfortably.

They are so natural-looking and feeling; you may forget you ever lost a tooth since they are anchored securely to your jawbone. Gum irritation and the pain of exposed nerves associated with conventional full or partial dentures are eliminated.

Considering having this surgery?

Any person who finds him/herself in moderate health conditions can be a candidate for this type of procedure. You must keep in mind that you must have enough bone in the region where you have lost your tooth for it to provide a base for the implants.

If this is not the case, then a bone graft (bone build up) may have to be performed prior to the operation. This is a very common procedure performed in dentistry and it also utilized for periodontal treatments around natural teeth. It actually works as a type of ‘bone implant’ where bone is taken from a donor site and placed where it is needed. The bone can come from another region of the patient’s mouth (performed by your dental surgeon) or other areas, such as the hip. When this last instance occurs, the bone is removed in the hospital by an orthopedic surgeon and is then transferred to the dentist who is performing the procedure.

People who have lost all their teeth are perfect aspirants for this surgery, however, due to advanced research; dental implants are now used to replace removable partial dentures, small bridges and missing teeth.

The success of they procedure depends on the area where the implants are inserted and the exertion which will be placed on them. Placements in the front portion of the lower jaw usually have the highest success rate (98-100%); however, in other regions of the mouth, such as the front of the upper jaw (90-95%), the back part of the upper and lower jaw (85-95%) the success rate can be slightly lower. Nonetheless, you have to keep in mind that Dr. Lopez had vast experience with this type of surgery and your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Health concerns

When it comes to dental implants, not many things can go awry. However, there is a risk of complication and you need to be aware of this before you decide on taking the operation. The implants may fail to incorporate into the bone and may end up being rejected, which means that they can break or fracture. There can also be problems with the union between the prosthesis and the implant.

When a dental implant is rejected, it can usually be replaced by a new implant, which is generally larger than the previous one. However, this condition happens in only 1-2% of the cases and replacements come free of charge.

In respect to infections, these can sometimes happens, resulting in the inflammation of the soft tissue and sometimes in the jaw bone. There is also some risk related to nerve damage in the nasal cavity.

However, you must remember that these complications are extremely rare and happen in less than 5% of all surgeries and if they do happen, they are easily corrected.

The above should be considered as an introduction to dental implants. If you have any more questions concerning the risks, costs and benefits of this procedure, please feel free to contact us directly at any time.

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Smiling dental patients.