One of the most common dental issues among American adults is missing teeth. In fact, millions of American adults are missing at least one tooth. This can lead to a variety of oral and overall health issues, including:
- Difficulty chewing, leading to nutritional problems
- Difficulty speaking
- Malocclusion, or misaligned teeth
- Jawbone deterioration
- Additional tooth loss
- Reduced self-esteem
For many years, the primary was a dental bridge or dentures. While this effectively replaced the tooth, it did not prevent issues such as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants, on the other hand, replace the entire structure of the tooth including the root.
Mount Zion Dental in Miami offers a variety of dental services including dental implant placement. In this article, we’ll explain more about dental implants and help you decide if this restoration is right for you.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants have been named the “gold standard” in tooth replacement. This is because implants replace the entire tooth structure. Traditional dental implants are made up of three parts:
- Implant screw: tiny metal screw inserted into the jawbone to replace the tooth root
- Abutment: connector piece that secures the crown to the implant
- Crown: artificial tooth
Another option is mini dental implants, which consist of two parts:
- Implant screw/abutment
Mini implants are ideal for patients who do not qualify for traditional dental implants but still want a more permanent solution for their tooth loss.
Process of Getting Dental Implants
Typically, it takes a minimum of several months from start to finish to get traditional dental implants, whether you are replacing a single tooth or a full arch. The process starts with a consultation, which includes x-rays. This will determine your eligibility for dental implants, as well as help with placement.
If you need additional procedures, such as extractions, bone grafting, or gum disease treatment, those will be completed first. Once you have healed from these, if necessary, we can move forward with placing the implants.
We make an incision in your gums and drill a small hole in your jawbone for the implant screw. Once the implant is placed, the incision will be closed, and you will be sent home to heal. During this time, the jawbone will heal around and fuse with the implant, securing it in place and creating a firm foundation for your artificial tooth/teeth.
Once osseointegration is complete, the abutment can be placed. The incision will be re-opened, and the abutment will be attached to the implant. A healing cap will be placed on top to keep the gum from healing over it. An impression will be taken, and your crown, bridge, or denture will be ordered. You will choose the material and the color. Fabrication usually takes about 2 weeks.
Once we receive your restoration, you will return to the office. We will ensure that it fits properly and then secure it in place.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
There are several criteria that must be met in order to qualify for dental implants:
- Missing at least one tooth
- Adequate jawbone density or able to undergo a bone graft
- Healthy oral tissues
- Unable/unwilling to wear dentures
- Non-smoker/willing to give up smoking during the procedure and healing process
- No underlying medical conditions that could impact healing
Why You Should Choose Dental Implants
Dental implants offer several benefits over other options:
- Restores normal speaking and chewing ability
- Looks, feels, and functions more like natural teeth
- Independent support reduces stress on remaining natural teeth
- Preserves jawbone, making you look younger for longer
- Easy to clean/care for
Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation at Mount Zion Dental Today
If you are in Miami and missing one or more of your natural teeth, schedule your consultation with Dr. Maria Cook and the team at Mount Zion Dental. While you may not think that one missing tooth is a problem, it can lead to many more oral and overall health issues. Dental implants can restore your smile and your confidence.
We are located at 951 NE 6th Street Suite 208 in North Miami Beach. Our office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. We are available on Sundays for emergencies only and closed on Wednesdays.
Dental Implants FAQ
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that Dr. Cook and the team at Mount Zion Dental get. If you have any questions or concerns, we are more than happy to address those at any time.
Are dental implants painful?
In the past, oral surgery in general could be a painful process. However, with today’s advanced technology and pain relief options, dental implants are no more painful than any other procedure. You will be given local anesthesia to numb the area. As it wears off, you may have some discomfort, which can easily be controlled by an OTC or prescription pain reliever.
Are dental implants safe?
Yes, research has proven that dental implants are safe for most healthy patients. If you have an underlying medical condition, your risk of developing complications- such as implant failure- may be increased. The dentist will determine during your consultation if your medical conditions, treatments, or medications may pose a threat.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, which creates a stable base for an artificial tooth. A single implant can replace a single tooth, and 2 or more can be used to create a base for up to an entire arch.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, with proper care and maintenance. This includes proper oral hygiene:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss once
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash
- Visiting the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning
Why no dairy after dental implant?
Dairy products contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for your body- but this may not be the best choice following dental implant surgery. This is because dairy products are known to cause inflammation, which can interrupt the healing process. In addition, dairy can cause nausea and vomiting.