Dental Implants in Lake Worth, FL
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial root-like structures that are surgically placed in the jawbone, usually to support a new tooth. Most dental implants are made of medical-grade titanium. There are different manufacturers for dental implants.
Success rates can vary slightly but are high with any of the major implant companies. Constant advancements are being made in materials, surfacing, shape, etc. to provide the highest success rates. Palms Dental Care is committed to attending educational seminars and meetings every month to stay up to date with the latest changes in dental implant treatment.
Implant Generally Have Three Parts
(1) The Implant. This is the titanium artificial root that is surgically placed into the jaw and allowed to heal for the course of about 3 months
(2) The Abutment. This is a titanium connector piece that screws into the implant and remains under the permanent crown.
(3) The Crown. This is the part of the tooth that you see and function with. We typically make this out of Zirconia for long-term strength and aesthetics. The shade, shape, and contours are designed to match your adjacent teeth.
Single-Tooth Replacement Process
Dental implants are now being used on an everyday basis to replace teeth as the standard of care. When you present to Palms Dental Care for an evaluation, factors such as health, tooth location, patient desires, etc. will be considered to determine if dental implant treatment is right for you.
In general, the process is as follows: a tooth is removed and there is a remaining hole in the jawbone. Many times, the implant is placed into the hole plus a little further into the bone and covered up with stitches, and allowed to heal for several months.
In most cases, a tooth (abutment and crown) will not be placed in the implant (root) right away and so a temporary removable tooth (called a flipper or essix retainer) can be made during the healing phase.
Once healed, the implant may be uncovered and a small healing cover placed on top that extends up just barely above the gum tissue. The gum tissue is allowed to heal for one week. Then impressions, photos, and measurements are taken of the implant and surrounding gum tissue and teeth to make a beautiful and functional tooth.
Healing time is usually around three months for a single tooth implant or dental implant bridge. It is about 2.5 weeks from the time impressions are taken to when a final tooth is delivered.
Summary of Normal Sequence for Single Tooth Implant
- Implant placed, grafting if needed
- Three months of healing
- Impressions, photos, measurements
- Wait 2.5 weeks
- Delivery of new tooth
- Number of visits can vary depending on certain factors.
What Is Bone Grafting and Why Is it Recommended?
Bone grafting is adding bone to the jaws to make a more stable foundation for the dental implant. Bone grafting is usually from a tissue bank where bone mineral particles were harvested from cadavers and processed so that the mineral particles act as scaffolding for new bone to grow through.
In the end, these particles are resorbed by your body which replaces it with your own bone. There are artificial forms of bone but bone from a tissue bank works the best. You can also use bone from another area of your body.
Typical scenarios (but not limited to) where bone grafting is recommended:
- If a tooth comes out, and significant bone has been lost due to infection, gum disease or for any other reason, it may be necessary to rebuild the foundation prior to placement of the artificial root.
- If the implant is smaller than the tooth that was removed, grafting particles are packed into the gap so that the bone does not shrink down upon healing.
- In the back part of the upper jaw, the sinus floor can hang down and be in the way of placing an implant. In this case, it is lifted up and bone placed beneath it to make a good foundation for an implant.
- If a tooth is removed, and it is not a good site to place an implant right away (surgeons decision), the area is grafted and allowed to heal for future implant placement.
- Staging - if a patient cannot afford, or does not want an implant at the time, but may want one in the future, the area can be grafted to buy time.
What Are Those Same-Day Implants I Keep Hearing About?
Same-day implants are implants that are placed and teeth connected to them the same day. This is only when an entire arch (all top, and/or all bottom teeth are replaced at the same time. This allows us to connect all the implants together which provides enough strength to be able to chew without compromising healing (with limitations).