Whether your tooth loss is the result of disease, decay, or injury, it can make you appear older than you really are and take a toll on your self-esteem. Tooth loss can also cause major challenges when eating or speaking. Fortunately, dental implants can offer you a comfortable and long-lasting solution to tooth loss so that you can feel confident in your own skin and improve your overall quality of life.
Dr. John Paul Gallardo, of Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, has performed countless successful dental implant procedures in the Miami area. Dr. Gallardo is passionate about helping patients improve their smiles and their lives by replacing their missing teeth with dental implants.
- Dental Implants Defined
- Benefits of Dental Implants
- Good Candidates for Dental Implants
- Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery
- What to Expect During Dental Implant Surgery
- Recovering From Dental Implant Surgery
- Implants Don’t Damage Neighboring Teeth
- Dental Implants Last a Long Time
- Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
- Why Choose Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
- Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation at Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Dental Implants Defined
Dental implants are defined as artificial tooth roots that offer a permanent base for fixed, replacement teeth known as “crowns”. They are an effective and popular solution for patients who have lost one or more adult teeth. Since dental implants fit, feel, and function like natural teeth, they are considered the gold standard of dental restoration procedures.
There are three parts that comprise dental implants. The actual implant is a screw that serves as a root for the new tooth. Its purpose is to permanently anchor the new tooth to the jaw. The second part is called the abutment. It’s a permanent connector that can be removed and supports a tooth or set of teeth. The third part is the crown and the part of the tooth that is visible. In most cases, crowns are made out of porcelain to ensure durability and an attractive appearance.
Dental implants may be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a complete set of damaged teeth.
* Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants stand out from other restorative dental treatments because they replace the entire tooth, including the root. When patients receive dental implants, they will feel as if their natural teeth are in their mouth. They’ll be able to function normally and will likely forget they have dental implants in their mouth most of the time.
Additionally, dental implants are long-lasting, especially when patients adhere to good oral hygiene practices. They offer a natural and beautiful appearance, do not lead to tooth decay or sensitivity, seamlessly integrate into the jawbone. Implants can even strengthen the jawbone, preventing facial collapse and bone loss.
Good Candidates for Dental Implants
Good candidates for dental implants are individuals who would like to replace one, several, or all of their teeth and are not interested in bridges or dentures. They should have healthy gums and be an adult with a jawbone that has completed the growing phase. Anyone who smokes, uses alcohol excessively, has uncontrolled gum disease, diabetes, or cancer may not be a good candidate for this procedure. Dr. Gallardo will evaluate each patient’s condition on an individual basis and let them know whether dental implants are a viable treatment option.
Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery
To ensure a successful dental implant procedure, Dr. Gallardo recommends that patients adhere to several pre-surgery instructions. They should prepare smoothies, soups, and other softer foods in advance so that they have something to eat when their gums are tender and they may not be able to chew hard foods after the surgery.
Patients should also refrain from planning important events until at least a week after dental implant surgery. Fasting for a few hours before the procedure and arranging for a ride home are vital as well.
What to Expect During Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery involves a three-phase process that typically takes several months to complete. It begins with Dr. Gallardo numbing the site by administering local anesthesia. Then, he places the implant over the jaw and covers it with gum tissue. The dental implant will need to integrate into the jawbone for three to six months after this process is completed. Temporary crowns will be placed to cover the implant posts.
In the next phase, Dr. Gallardo attaches a post to the implant and allows the gum tissue to grow up around it. Sometimes, the implant and post will be placed at the same time.
During the last appointment, a customized, permanent crown is attached to each implant post. After this, patients can enjoy their new smile and care for the implants just as they would their natural teeth.
Recovering From Dental Implant Surgery
Following dental implant surgery, Dr. Gallardo will provide special aftercare instructions. Patients will need to refrain from rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. They should expect some bleeding or redness for 24 hours. In the event of excessive bleeding, patients are encouraged to bite on a gauze pad that is placed directly on the wound for half an hour.
In order to reduce swelling, which is another normal side-effect of dental implant surgery, Dr. Gallardo recommends that patients apply an ice bag or towel filled with ice on the cheek in the area of the incisions. If possible, the ice should be applied as much as possible for the first 48 hours after the procedure.
Patients are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids and avoid hot foods or liquids for a short period of time after the surgery. Soft foods should be prepared in advance and eaten on the day of the dental implant procedure. To alleviate any pain, pain medications are suggested and will be prescribed as needed.
Lastly, patients must practice good oral hygiene to ensure optimal healing. Dr. Gallardo will explain how they can properly care for their teeth and gums and may prescribe a special oral rinse.
Implants Don’t Damage Neighboring Teeth
A dental bridge is often an option when people need to replace multiple teeth. A major problem with a dental bridge is that it affects the teeth on either side of it. To place a bridge, the dentist often needs to grind down the neighboring teeth, before attaching the replacement tooth or teeth to them. Since dental implants are secured using posts placed into the gums and jawbone, there is no need to touch the teeth on either side.
Dental Implants Last a Long Time
One last reason to consider getting dental implants over other options: they last a long time. If you’re lucky, dental bridges last for a about a decade before they need to be replaced. Dentures can last for about 10 years, sometimes less, if you take good care of them.
Implants, on the other hand, can be lifetime devices. As long as you keep up a good oral hygiene routine, see your dentist regularly, and take great care of your teeth, you can expect your implants to be with you for the rest of your life.
* Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Factors that Determine How Long Implants Last
The general consensus is that implants can last approximately 25 years or longer. Additionally, your dental crowns may last between 10 and 15 years before needing replacement. However, certain factors play into the longevity of your replacement teeth. These factors include:
- Implant Location: Believe it or not, the implant location affects how long it will last. Similar to your natural teeth, implants positioned at the back of your mouth (molar implants) will come under more pressure and stress from chewing, crushing, or grinding compared to side (premolar) or front teeth (canines and incisors). As such, implants at the back of the mouth are likely to fail far more quickly than those at the front.
- Oral Hygiene: First off, dental implants do not decay like your natural teeth can. This doesn’t mean you should not care for them. You should brush and floss implants at least two times a day and see your dentists at least twice a year. Failure to practice good oral hygiene allows bacteria-filled plaque to collect on the implant crowns and gum beneath. A bacterial infection known as peri-implantitis (similar to periodontitis) may develop as a result. The infection of the gum tissue surrounding the affected implant can lead to rapid bone loss and loss of the implant.
- Chewing and Lifestyle Habits: How you use your teeth will also affect how long your implants last. Chewing or biting down on hard items, such as ice, a pencil, or crown cork, will only shorten the lifespan of the implant. Other unhealthy habits, such as smoking or heavy drinking on a long-term basis, can also damage your replacement teeth.
- The Expertise of the Periodontist: Your implants can last as long as the average 25 years or more lifespan if they are fixed in place by a well-trained and experienced periodontist like Dr. John Paul Gallardo DDS PA. In fact, studies show that the survival rate of implants placed by an implant specialist such as a periodontist was 95.5% compared to 73.0% for implants placed by inexperienced practitioners. The training and expertise of the periodontist can make a significant difference as he will know how to properly diagnose and treat you.
- Treating Pre-existing Conditions: If you decide to get implants at Gallardo Periodontics, Dr. Gallardo will address preexisting dental conditions, such as gum disease or periodontitis, that may reduce the survival rate of the replacement teeth. We will also determine whether it’s best for you to have the implant fixed in the gum or the bone and whether we should augment the jawbone. An implant tends to stay in place longer when there’s adequate jawbone height. We will also ensure the osseointegration stage (healing of the gum) is complete before proceeding with the final stages of implant surgery.
Dental Implants are Designed to Last
Dental implants are strong and snugly fitted into the jawbone or gum. They won’t shift or fall out, except in the case of trauma to the teeth or poor dental hygiene. They can also be surgically removed. Although dental implants do not come with a lifetime guarantee, you may very well be stuck with them for life!
These advanced prosthetic teeth can withstand decades of stress and they do not rot. Because of their potential for longevity, they make an excellent choice for single or multiple teeth replacements. Just care for your implant daily and keep your appointments for regular dental check-ups and your brilliant smile can last forever.
- Do Dental Implants Have An Expiration Date?
- Spring 2020 – Dental Implantology: Numbers Clinicians Need to Know
- Recommendations for the Maintenance of Implant-Based Restorations
- Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
- What Causes Dental Implants to Fail?
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
One of the greatest benefits of dental implants is that they feel and function like natural teeth. Therefore, you’ll be able to eat and speak as you normally would. You won’t have to worry about slipping or sliding and will enjoy the freedom of eating your favorite foods without any discomfort.
Once your dental implants are secured in place, they will last many years as long as you keep your mouth in optimal condition and prioritize good oral hygiene. You’ll need to brush and floss your teeth each day and visit your dental professional on a regular basis for routine exams and cleanings.
Fortunately, most of our patients report that their dental implants led to minimal pain. Dr. Gallardo uses a variety of advanced techniques and offers detailed aftercare instructions to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during and after the procedure.
There are a number of materials that can be used to make dental implants. However, titanium and zirconia are typically used because they are biocompatible and can create a strong foundation for replacement teeth.
Every patient is different. However, dental implants are typically recommended to patients over removable dentures for a number of reasons. The main reason is that they can make chewing easy and restore 70% or more of your natural ability to chew.
Dental implants are popular because they offer a natural-looking and natural-feeling replacement for missing teeth. They do not slip or click when talking, laughing, or eating. With dental implants, you can feel more confident in social situations while maintaining the health of your jawbone and keeping your facial structure intact long term.
The number and placement of your missing teeth will dictate the number of dental implant posts you’ll require. Dr. Gallardo typically recommends one implant to support a single dental crown and replace one tooth, two implants to support a fixed bridge restoration and replace two or more teeth, and three to six implants to replace any number of missing teeth.
Fortunately, dental implants have a 98% success rate. However, since they do involve surgery, there are some risks involved that include injury to the adjacent teeth, infection, and loss of the implant. Dr. Gallardo is a dental implant specialist and uses advanced techniques and safety measures to reduce the risk for complications.
While dental implants are a great option for many patients, they are not ideal for those who do not have a strong and sturdy jawbone. If your jawbone is weak or you do not have the proper jaw structure and strength for a dental implant, Dr. Gallardo may suggest a bridge or dentures instead.
Why Choose Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Dr. Gallardo of Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry is a huge advocate of dental implants. He has successfully completed many dental implant procedures in the Miami area and makes it a top priority to get to know each and every patient’s unique situation so that an individualized restoration plan can be designed.
If you are seeking a highly qualified and experienced periodontist to perform dental implant surgery, Dr. Gallardo is an excellent choice. He will take the time to get to address all of your questions and concerns and ensure that you end up with the beautiful, long-lasting results you’re hoping for.
Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation at Gallardo Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
If you are self-conscious about your missing tooth or teeth, we encourage you to schedule a dental implant consultation at our modern Miami area office as soon as possible. We look forward to learning more about your needs and can’t wait to help improve the aesthetics of your smile as well as your oral health. Call us at 305-547-8687 to schedule a private consultation today.