Missing teeth may be the result of lack of or improper formation, trauma, or decay or disease. Large gaps between teeth can be problematic to oral health. Missing components to otherwise uniform upper or lower teeth can create shift, leading to tooth misalignment. Crooked teeth create wear patterns that can cause excess wear of the teeth and cause irreparable stress of the structures. Lost teeth often leave behind large pits in the gums, making the tissue and surrounding teeth susceptible to bacterial infection. When the root of the tooth is no longer anchored in the jawbone, the bone can shrink. The loss of a few to several teeth can lead to advanced aging in the face due to this effect.
Tooth loss can also affect a patient’s quality of life. Without a full set of teeth, people can experience problems with their speech. They may also be unable to enjoy certain foods as the integrity of the remaining teeth change after loss. Tongue placement may feel uncomfortable and unnatural at times.
Aside from the complications and physical issues that can arise from tooth loss, most patients also have aesthetic concerns with their changing dentition. There are social issues surrounding tooth loss because this condition is common in poverty-stricken individuals, drug users, and those with poor hygiene. To avoid feeling self-conscious and less attractive, dental implants may serve as a boost to a person’s appearance. By replacing missing teeth with dental implants, Dr. Gaertner and his staff at Bliss Dental in the Miami suburb of Kendall, FL can address each complication described, and restore the function and look of the teeth.
Consultation for Dental Surgery in Miami
Before Dr. Gaertner’s patients undergo dental implant surgery, they must schedule an appointment to come to the office for a thorough dental workup. The overall health of the teeth will be assessed, X-rays will be captured of the bone and soft tissue in the mouth, and less commonly, patients may be required to undergo blood work. Any health issues must be disclosed to ensure patient safety during the surgical process. Some patients are concerned about their anxiety levels during the in-office procedure, so concerns for comfort are also a part of the consultation. When possible, Dr. Gaertner strives to subscribe to the Teeth-in-a-day method, where the patient receives same-day dental implants, avoiding the traditional 3-6 month placement process. This promotes a faster process with less time spent in the dental chair. In addition, Dr. Gaertner also specializes in sedation dentistry.
One of the prerequisites for undergoing a dental implant procedure is healthy bone structure. Because the artificial tooth will be secured into the jawbone, the anatomy must be able to support this process. Bone loss may need to be treated through a bone graft. In some cases, this may require a referral to a specialist for more extensive cases.
If Dr. Gaertner identifies any cavities or signs of gum disease, they must be treated prior to the dental implant procedure.
In certain cases where dental implants are not an option, Dr. Gaertner will devise a treatment plan based on the patient’s specific needs to address restoration, permanency, and most importantly, health.
Dental Implants Procedure for Tooth Replacement
Once a patient has been cleared for renewing their teeth with dental implants, the staff at Bliss Dental will take an impression of his or her mouth. It is from these molds that dental lab technicians can create a new tooth, or in dental medicine terms, a crown, that matches the shape, size, and color of the surrounding teeth. The goal is for the teeth to maintain a natural look where the natural and artificial teeth blend seamlessly.
The next step in the dental prosthetics procedure is for the synthetic tooth root to be placed. A metal post is implanted below the gum line and into the jawbone. Other tooth restoration procedures like bridges do not address this important component of the tooth structure, which is why implants are seen as the gold standard treatment. The upper jaw (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) are capable of exerting incredible force, and a manmade durable root system is comparable to that which is naturally found in human teeth. Within 2-3 months, the metal post will fuse with the jawbone to create the most secure and realistic biocompatible interaction.
When it comes to placing the crowns, patients requiring an extensive dental makeover may qualify for the All-on-4 dental implants or Teeth-in-a-Day. Rather than replace each individual tooth by a metal screw and crown, the full set of upper or lower teeth can be restored by just 4 screws. The teeth are connected to maintain the integrity of the structure and bite.
Those who require a single or just a few replacements may opt for individual implantation, where each missing tooth is restored by a screw and crown. The procedure is typically performed during two or more appointments to accommodate the metal screw, the abutment (the metal portion of the implant that connects the screw to the crown), and crown placement. If a patient is concerned about the look of their teeth during this process, they may be fitted for a temporary crown.
Implanted artificial teeth have been studied for the past four decades and modern procedures boast nearly a 100% success rate.
Dental Care After Implants
After installation, implant care is simple. Brushing and flossing regularly remain important to a patient’s oral hygiene routine for the health of the gums and bone as well as the surrounding teeth. However, the implants are entirely manmade and will not develop cavities. Once the procedure has been completed, the implants are fixed firmly into place and will not loosen in place or fall out. Patients should continue to schedule semi-annual dental examinations with Dr. Gaertner so he can provide great care for the remaining natural teeth and check the dental implants and other dental work.
Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Q: When two adjacent teeth require replacement, can one tooth be restored by an implant with a bridge to restore the other?
A: This technique is not generally recommended because implants should not be attached to natural teeth. Implants can be composed of one or more teeth, placed as a single unit or attached to another implant. Due to the strength of the metal anchor, multi units are a viable option from a single surgical implant. The final option is for Dr. Gaertner to restore each tooth with a full implant setup, including two different synthetic root systems.
Q: How can missing back teeth in the upper jaw lead to sinus issues?
A: Many people who have been missing these teeth have experienced sinus growth due to the lack of structure in the area. The maxillary sinus continues to grow with the maturity of the skull, and with tooth loss, can impact area bone. Patients seeking to replace upper back teeth might need to undergo sinus elevation to create room for dental implants.
Q: With significant loss of the jawbone due to dentures, are dental implants still an option?
A: Bone grafting or other preparations may be necessary, but implants can be an option for patients with changing upper and lower jaws. While the process tends to be more extensive than in a healthy, intact jawbone, modern techniques promote more inclusiveness for this type of treatment.
There are many indications that patients would have a better quality of life with the placement of dental implants. A patient’s dentures may begin to float due to structural deficits, leading to excessive application of adhesives. Those with denture problems develop regular mouth sores, often eat only soft foods, and lose the ability to taste certain foods. The bit can be affected, and any remaining teeth will likely have shifted significantly. One sign of a shrinking jawbone due to the lack of root structures is the lower third of the faces grows closer together, with the nose and chin positioned more closely together.
Q: With total tooth loss, will every tooth need to be replaced with an implant?
A: Florida dentist Dr. Gaertner can install implants using the Teeth-in-a-day or All-on-4 procedures, where four screws can be used to secure an entire row of artificial teeth. These options are available for certain cases, generally when a patient requires a full new set of teeth. Other patients may also qualify for fewer implants, while still receiving durable and permanent tooth replacements. Dr. Gaertner will let patients know which treatments they qualify for after a consultation, which consists of an oral exam, X-rays, and sometimes CT scans.
Q: What happens when patients have been told they lack adequate bone for implant installation in the jawbone?
A: Advancements in implant dentistry have made it possible for most patients to undergo dental implant surgery. Techniques have improved and new options have been developed over the years to serve a variety of cases, even those which may not have been eligible for earlier implant surgeries that have seen vast improvements. In difficult cases, additional procedures like bone grafting may be necessary. Existing teeth should also be in good health, receiving necessary procedures prior to dental implant surgery.
Q: How long is the healing time after dental implants are installed?
A: Preparation surgeries that occur prior to dental implants can prolong the recovery period, and this timeframe is dependent upon individual circumstances. Sinus lift surgery, also called sinus augmentation surgery, is a procedure that restores bone volume to the upper jaw near the molars. To accommodate the added bone, the dentist has to elevate the sinus membrane. Bone grafting occurs when the jawbone is too thin for an implant to be secured within in, and material must be added to the jaw. The bone may be grafted from the patient’s own body, or synthetic bone can be used.
After metal screws have been secured into the jawbone, patients may experience effects for the next week. This can include pain and swelling, which both prescription and over the counter medications can control. In can take a few months for complete osesointegration, which is when the bone fuses around the screw and creates the most secure artificial root structure possible.
In most cases, healing from dental implants lasts between 3-6 months, though this is a rough estimate. While there may be some restrictions during this period, the permanency of the new tooth or teeth are well worth any minor inconveniences.
About Bliss Dental in South Florida
Bliss Dental was established in 2008 by Belgium-born Dr. Andy Gaertner. As the son of a dentist, Dr. Gaertner’s passion for dentistry began at an early age. Following high school, Dr. Gaertner attended Nova Southeastern University in Florida where he earned his Bachelors of Science in Biology, then graduated with his Doctorate of Dental Medicine (D.M.D) degree. Dr. Gaertner has practiced dentistry in both the United States and his home country of Belgium, and now calls the Miami area home. Dr. Gaertner has expanded his expertise to include cosmetic and family dentistry.
To learn if implants are the best treatment solution for you, call 305-274-6500 to reach Dr. Gaertner and the staff at Bliss Dental. The team strives to create a friendly and welcoming, and take the time to inform each patient all available options. Dr. Gaertner will create a detailed and customized treatment plan specific to an individual’s needs. A smile transformation not only improves oral health; it also restores one’s confidence.
The office accepts the following payment methods: American Express, Cash, Check, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.
Dr. Gaertner has his staff serve the following counties: Kendall-Dade County, Broward County & Palm Beach County
And the following cities: Kendall, South Kendall, West Palm Beach, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, Kendall Beach.
Helpful Related Links
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID). What Are Dental Prosthetic Implants. 2013
- American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). Implants Defined. 2015
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2015
About our business, license, and website security
- Bliss Dental was established in 2008
- We accept the following payment methods: American Express, Cash, Check, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa
- We serve patients from the following counties: Kendall-Dade County, Broward County & Palm Beach County
- We serve patients from the following cities: Kendall, South Kendall, West Palm Beach, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, Kendall Beach
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