Our dental services at Vero VIP include dental implants and periodontics. Periodontal treatment protects the foundations of our patients’ dental health. No prosthetic is better than our original teeth, and we strive to preserve their health and the surrounding gum tissue. Unfortunately, accidents, aging, or long-term effects of gum disease cause inevitable tooth loss, and dental implants provide an ideal fix.
The dental implant involves the surgical placement of a metal post in the patient’s jaw. The dentist attaches the prosthetic tooth to the post. In order for the implant to succeed, the patient must have sufficient bone mass.
Improvements in surgical techniques have made implants available to patients who previously were not good candidates because of bone loss. Now bone regeneration and sinus augmentation make implant dentistry available to patients who previously were unable to receive implants.
Implants Are a Favorable Alternative to Dentures
Dentures don’t compete well with implants. Dentures are removable teeth replacements that fit over the gums where the teeth used to be. Partial dentures are held in place with metal clamps snapped. Full denture plates require sticky, messy denture adhesive that tends to catch food particles and place the wearer at risk for further gum disease and problems with remaining teeth.
If the gums are unhealthy or the lower/upper jaw bone structures have deteriorated, dentures can become ill-fitting and uncomfortable. Dentures must be removed and cleaned daily to prevent odor and gum disease. They shift and move about while eating and often interfere with speech enunciation.
Implants, on the other hand, are permanent. They don’t move about when eating, and don’t interfere with speech clarity. Implants also have a high (90% or greater) success rate and require just basic maintenance and cleaning attention. If maintained properly and accompanied by routine visits to the dentist, the implants can last a lifetime.
Osseointegration: How Implants Work
When the dentist does the implant surgery, the titanium implant is permanently anchored and eventually integrated into the surrounding bone. What eventually occurs after installing the implant posts is what’s known as osseointegration, where the bone forms around and integrates with the implant.
During the examination phase, the dentist takes x-rays to determine whether the patient’s lower and upper jaws have sufficient bone mass to support the implant post. If the dentist determines that the patient’s bone density cannot successfully support an implant, the patient will undergo bone regeneration.
Bone regeneration stimulates the growth of new bone. The dentist places bone grafting material at the location of the planned implant. The graft begins its growth until it integrates with the existing jawbone and forms a solid structure for the implant. The regeneration process can take three to six months, depending on the patient’s condition.
Sinus Augmentation May Be Required
Some patients may require sinus augmentation to successfully install an implant in the upper jaw. The sinuses are the eight hollow air cavities throughout the human skull that help filter the air we breathe, aid in smelling, and influence the sound of our voice.
If the expert at Vero Implants & Periodontics determines that the patient’s sinuses are liable to be perforated by the implant post, the next step is to lift the sinus away from the jawbone with sinus augmentation. This procedure avoids a host of unpleasant symptoms ranging from headaches, nosebleeds, and breathing difficulties.
How Sinus Augmentation is Done
The most common method for sinus augmentation is a bone grafting procedure. The dentist exposes the bone in the molar and premolar areas of the upper jaw and cuts a small circle into the exposed area. When the area is exposed, the bone grafting material is applied and the incision is closed. The healing process for a sinus augmentation could take between 4 and 12 months before the dental implants can be inserted.
Benefits of a Sinus Augmentation
In addition to allowing the dentist to do the implant, there are other benefits:
- The procedure prevents further bone loss and loss of teeth by creating additional support to existing teeth.
- Sinus augmentation regrows bone due to periodontal disease.
- Adding bone to the upper jaw helps improve the patient’s facial structure, definition, and appearance.
Want to learn more about our periodontics and dental implant treatments in Vero Beach or Melbourne, Florida? Contact us today to address your concerns and make an appointment.