Dental Implants

Much of our self-esteem and confidence is affected by our appearance. Loss of natural teeth can dramatically affect your appearance and interfere with proper mouth function. Thanks to implant dentistry you can get back a natural smile and regain your self-confidence.

Click here to book a dental implant consultation or call (305) 624-0009.

The MIAMI Institute specializes in restoration and replacement of missing teeth and their associated structures through the use of dental implants.

Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implant surgery replaces tooth roots with metal (often titanium) screw-like posts, and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that appear and function like natural teeth. The surgery additionally stops deterioration in the jawbone.

Dental implant procedures are performed in stages and may involve several procedures. The type of dental implant selected by the doctor is determined by the patient’s goals(ed note: replace with “aims to obtain”?) and the condition of the jawbone to which it will be anchored. The titanium in the implant fuses with the jawbone, so the implants won’t slip, make noise or damage bone the way bridgework or dentures may. The dental materials used here do not deteriorate.

Dental implants might be right for you if you:

  • have one or more missing teeth
  • have a fully developed jawbone
  • have adequate bone to keep implants secure
  • have good oral health
  • are free of conditions that could interfere with bone healing
  • want to improve your speech
  • understand that the entire process can take months

Some indications that dental implants may not be your best option for restoration include:

  • active chemotherapy
  • active infection or other disease at the implant site
  • medical conditions that prevent safe surgery
  • type II diabetes mellitus (not well controlled)
  • significant use of tobacco
  • history of radiation to the implant site

Dental Implant Consultation

The initial dental implant consultation with the doctor it typically a conversation in his office to learn about your smile goals and the procedure options available. The doctor uses models and patient before & after photos to demonstrate what is possible with dental implants. To determine if dental implants are right for you, the doctor will document your health history, medical conditions, medications and also perform a comprehensive examination.

A treatment plan is customized for your needs. The extent of surgery, condition of the jawbone, and many other factors are considered. Other healthcare professionals may be included for related issues such as clearance for surgery from your primary care physician.

Options for controlling comfort during surgery include local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia.

Stages of Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery is usually done as an outpatient, in stages:

  • The damaged tooth, or teeth, are removed
  • The jawbone is prepared for surgery, which may involve bone grafting
  • After the jawbone heals, the dental implant metal posts are placed in the bone
  • There is a healing period that may last a few months
  • The rest of the implant, called the “abutment”, is placed on the metal posts

After the abutment is placed, the gums must heal for one to two weeks, before the artificial teeth can be attached. Once the gums heal, more impressions will be made of your mouth and remaining teeth. The impressions are used to make the artificial teeth.

More on the Dental Implant Surgery Process

Once the metal implant post is placed in the jawbone, osseointegration begins. During the process, the jawbone grows into and unites with the surface of the dental implant. The process can take up to six months. It provides a more solid base for your new artificial tooth, as do the roots of your natural teeth.

Bone grafting may be required if your jawbone isn’t strong or is too soft to support the post and tooth. The powerful chewing action of your mouth exerts great pressure on the bone. If it can’t support the implant, the surgery could fail. A bone graft can create a more solid base for the implant. With bone grafting, a piece of bone is removed from another part of the body, often the hip, and is transplanted to the jawbone. It can take up to nine months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support a dental implant. At times, only minor bone grafting is needed, which can be done at the same time as the implant surgery.

Dental Implant Procedures

There are several implant procedures from which to choose. You and the doctor will choose the best option for you. The procedures include:

  1. Implant overdentures – the treatment of choice when all teeth are missing. This procedure will improve overall mouth functioning, which will ultimately improve general health and well-being. There are two options – conventional, removable dentures and implant supported dentures
  2. Implant crowns – the treatment of choice when a single tooth is missing is placement of a single implant and implant supported crowns
  3. Implant bridgework – the treatment of choice when multiple teeth in a row are missing

Click here to book a dental implant consultation or call (305) 624-0009.

Dental Implant Recovery

After each stage of surgery you may need to eat soft foods while the wounds heal, usually 10-14 days. Usually, your prosthodontist will use stitches which dissolve and don’t require removal. If not self-dissolving, they will be removed in about ten days.

You can help your remaining natural teeth, and your dental work, last longer if you:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Brush as you would brush your natural teeth. There are specifically designed brushes, such as an interdental brush that slides between teeth. Floss daily.
  • Regular checkups: See your dentist every six months.
  • Avoid damaging habits: Don’t chew hard things, such as ice, and hard candy which can break your crowns. Avoid tooth-staining tobacco and caffeine products. Get treatment if you’re grinding your teeth.

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