What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a root replacement that replicates the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Because of the compatibility of the implant with the bone, a process called osseointegration, a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes the anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple missing teeth.
What Dental Implants Fix
Dental implants are far and away the best replacement for a missing tooth. Because the implant anchors into the jawbone, just as your natural teeth do, an implant will function and feel just like a natural tooth. Plus, an implant will usually last the remainder of the patient’s life.
If you are missing more than a couple teeth, implants dramatically improve bridges and partial dentures by providing an unparalleled anchor. A traditional bridge uses crowns on the adjacent healthy teeth on each side of the missing teeth to anchor the bridge. But to place those crowns, the healthy teeth need to be shaved down to make room for the crowns. If implants are used as anchors instead, the bridge or partial denture simply snaps down onto the implant. This is a much stronger way to support the prosthetic.
There are many reasons with you should consider a dental implant:
- Without the root structure of a natural tooth present, the jawbone will shrink. This shrinkage will make your face look older than it is.
- There are no loose parts to worry about moving or slipping. The dental implants are stable and comfortable. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
- Missing teeth lead to an unattractive smile, embarrassment from loose dentures and pain or difficulty eating.
- Traditional dentistry can provide replacements for missing teeth using bridges, removable partials and dentures, however, each of these has its problems. Bridgework usually involves altering teeth to provide a stable foundation for support of missing teeth. Partials and dentures can, at times, be very unstable leading to sores and speech difficulties.
- Dental Implants prevent bone resorption and bone loss that follows tooth loss
- Dental Implants protect the jaw bone from bone loss, protects the adjacent healthy teeth and allows you to maintain a more youthful natural look.
What is the cost of a dental implant?
The cost of your implant can vary depending on if your jawbone has lost mass due to the tooth being missing for a period of time. If this has happened, Dr. Rasmussen may need to use bone grafts to build your jawbone back up to enable the implant base to properly anchor. During your consultation, she can get a good idea of your unique needs and give you an accurate estimate of how much your implant will cost.
How long will a dental implant last?
Dental implants are the longest lasting dental prosthetic. In many cases they will last the remainder of the patient’s life. As long as you don’t allow gum disease to occur, your jawbone will remain healthy and the implant base will be firmly anchored for decades. The artificial tooth attached to the implant base may crack or become damaged over time, but it is simple to have a new porcelain tooth made and attached to the existing implant base and post.
What Our Patients Are Saying:
“I am a long time patient of Dr. Rasmussen and have very complicated dental needs. She is a true expert, problem-solving and coming up with solutions that other dentists would not have been able to even consider. Her work is impeccable and she always takes the time to make sure the work is exactly right. Her staff is excellent, with Sonja the creative temporary crown maker and assistant extraordinaire, and Alexis the hygienist, who will have you clean in no time and smiling along the way. I cannot recommend this practice strongly enough — no other dentist will ever touch my teeth!” – Madrone J.
Placing Dental Implants
Not everyone can have a dental implant, at least not immediately. If a person has been missing a tooth or teeth for some time, the jawbone below the gap may have resorbed to the point that there isn’t enough bone mass to safely hold the implant. In that case, Dr. Rasmussen will need to build up the jawbone with bone grafts before an implant can be placed. Otherwise, just about any adult of any age can have an implant.
The implant process involves four distinct steps:
- Implant placement — Dr. Rasmussen first locally anesthetizes the area. Then she exposes the jawbone. If needed, she drills a tiny hole into the socket that held the former tooth root. Now the titanium implant is screwed down into the socket.
- Osseointegration — The second step is what separates implants from other replacement options. Once the implant is placed, the jawbone is allowed to grow around the implant, making it part of the jaw. This process, called osseointegration, takes from three to six months.
- Attaching the post — Once your jawbone has adopted the implant you return and we attach a post, called an abutment, to the implant. Now it’s time for your gums to heal for approximately six more weeks.
- Attaching the false tooth — When your gums have healed around the post, you’re ready to have the crown (false tooth) attached to the post. Dr. Rasmussen uses only porcelain crowns in her practice, so it will beautifully match your surrounding teeth and provide unparalleled strength and durability. Once she attaches the crown, you can go out and immediately enjoy your new tooth.
What is the success of dental implants?
With more than fifty years of clinical experience and over a million patients treated, statistics have confirmed a success rate of 95% for individual dental implants, and even higher for the bridges they support. Implants provide an effective long-term solution to the problem of tooth loss. If you take care of your teeth and maintain good oral health, then there is no reason your implants shouldn’t last a lifetime. This makes dental implants a wise decision and an efficient long-term solution.
The following are some benefits of Dental Implants:
- Dental implant replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth.
- Sense of taste and consequently, appetite improve with dental implants.
- Dental Implants maintain a youthful, attractive smile.
- The ability to chew without pain or gum irritation is restored with dental implants.
- Dental implants reduce or eliminate bone shrinkage commonly associated with loss of teeth.
- With dental implants there is no worry of teeth slipping as with removable dentures or partials.
Dr. Rasmussen Answers Commonly Asked Questions Related to Dental Implants
Dr. Angela Rasmussen has over 34 years experience of providing high-quality implant dentistry. Please contact our Tampa practice for a consultation to see how dental implants can benefit you.