Tooth Implant to Restore Smile & Function
The tooth implant is currently regarded as the most successful tooth replacement option. Unlike traditional alternatives, dental implants provide a single-tooth solution for a single-tooth problem, while also preserving your overall oral health. As a board-certified prosthodontist in Miami, FL, Dr. Todd B. Barsky specializes in tooth implant procedures.
What is a Tooth Implant?
A tooth implant – or dental implant – is a small screw fabricated from surgical-grade titanium. The implant is strategically placed within the jawbone during an oral surgery procedure. Implants mimic the roots of natural teeth. Therefore, they stimulate the nerves in the jawbone and prevent bone recession from occurring over time. Dental implants are extremely versatile. Used in a variety of situations, they can be restored with dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.
Who is a Candidate for a Tooth Implant?
Patients who are missing any number of teeth can be considered for a tooth implant. The best candidates are in good overall health, and free of serious dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. In order to have implants placed, you must have adequate bone density. In other words, your jawbone must have enough height and width to successfully house an implant.
If you are deficient in bone density, a bone grafting procedure can be performed to make you more eligible for implant placement. This procedure can add a few months to your total treatment, but it is necessary for a predictable outcome.
Tooth Implant Treatment Process
Receiving a tooth implant is a straightforward process for most patients. The day of your implant surgery, you will be escorted to a treatment room. Local anesthesia will be administered to numb your teeth and gums and ensure your comfort during the procedure.
Once you are comfortable, a small opening will be made in the gum tissue to access a portion of the jawbone. Using special dental instruments, a hole will be created in the jawbone. The hole will be gradually widened until it reaches the proper diameter. Once the site is prepared, the implant will be inserted and tightened into place. At the end of the procedure, dissolvable stitches will be used to promote healing and protect the surgical site.
Recovery Following Tooth Implant Surgery
Most patients experience minimal pain and discomfort following tooth implant placement. Prescription medications should be taken as directed. To address swelling and discomfort, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can be taken. Cold compresses can also be applied in 20-minute increments to reduce inflammation.
After the initial healing is complete, the implant typically requires a few months of healing before the restoration can be connected. During this time, a process called osseointegration occurs, in which the jawbone fuses to the titanium implant. This process takes approximately two to six months, but can vary with each patient.
Once the implant has integrated with the jawbone, the restoration, such as a dental crown, can be attached. Once the restoration is in place, the implant can function just like a real tooth.
Restoring health, function, and aesthetics to your smile, dental implants can help you eat, chew, and speak with complete confidence.
Schedule a Consultation with Us Today
If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants could be the optimal solution for you. To find out if you qualify, schedule a visit with Dr. Barsky. You can call our office at (786) 542-1071 or contact us online.