Although tooth extraction usually is viewed by dentists as a procedure of last resort, there are times when it is required for patients. In cases where teeth are overcrowded or orthodontic treatments are planned, one or more teeth may be pulled to free up space in the mouth. When wisdom teeth are impacted, they may be removed so that damage to other teeth can be avoided. Also, when a tooth has suffered irreparable damage due to an accident or decay, extraction usually is necessary. Following this procedure, the questions often at the forefront of patients’ minds are whether the missing tooth can or should be replaced, and how that is best accomplished.
At SEDA Dental of Pinecrest, FL, there are several options available for replacing teeth that have been extracted. These can work to return proper form and function to the mouth. Our team of highly skilled dentists works closely with patients to determine which restorative device is best suited to meet their lifestyle needs and aesthetic goals.
Dental implants look and function exactly like natural teeth. A custom-made prosthetic tooth (or crown) is fixed atop a small metal post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth root. The posts, which vary in size, often are composed of the same strong titanium alloy material that is used to make hip, shoulder and knee implants. It acts as an anchor for a prosthetic porcelain, acrylic or composite-resin tooth.
Screw-shaped endosteal implants are the most commonly used style of dental implants. An excellent alternative for patients who previously have had removable dental bridges or traditional dentures, these implants are placed into the jawbone. Meanwhile, with subperiosteal implants, the metal post is placed below the gum line but above the jawbone. When a Pinecrest area patient’s jawbone is not healthy enough to support conventional dentures or endosteal implants, a subperiosteal implant may be considered.
During dental implant surgery, the area targeted for treatment is numbed and other sedation methods may be used to help keep patients comfortable. At SEDA Dental of Pinecrest, FL, incisions are made in the gums to access the jawbone, into which a small hole is drilled. Once the implant post is placed, the site is closed with sutures. It is temporarily covered and left to heal for several months. During this time, it will securely bond with the jawbone and the gums.
When healing is complete, your custom-made prosthetic crown will be attached to the implant and adjustments will be made to ensure a good fit and proper oral function. Fixed dental implants cannot be removed from the mouth and do not slip around while speaking or eating. Long-lasting implants are cared for like natural teeth, with routine brushing, flossing, and dental checkups.
A full arch of custom-crafted prosthetic teeth, All-On-4 dental implants are installed similarly to other dental implants with small, screw-like titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone. A pair of posts are implanted vertically near the front of the jaw while another pair is situated on an angle along the sides of the mouth. These four implants are used by the experienced dentists at SEDA Dental of Pinecrest, FL to create a complete set of upper or lower teeth. As many as eight implants may be used to restore the entire mouth. Arches of prosthetic teeth, made of composite resin, porcelain, or acrylic material, are placed atop the posts to restore proper function and a stunning smile.
Patients who have multiple missing teeth on either their upper or lower arch, as well as adequate jawbone density to support dental implants, usually are considered excellent candidates for All-On-4. This system can serve as an alternative for conventional removable dentures, which are affixed with an adhesive, require special care and tend to move around in the mouth while eating and speaking. Also, since pieces of food can become lodged beneath dentures, patients may be advised to refrain from enjoying certain sticky or hard-to-eat foods.
Because All-On-4 is secured to the jaw, the risk of experiencing embarrassing slippage is eliminated. The custom-made crowns closely resemble the appearance of natural teeth as glimpses of pink gums are revealed in the spaces between the prosthetic teeth. These durable, long-lasting devices also function in the same manner as natural teeth. With daily brushing and flossing, Pinecrest, FL area patients may easily care for their long-lasting All-On-4 implants.
Implant-retained bridges are ideal when several teeth have been extracted. Regular dental bridges are supported by the natural teeth that surround them. As a result, excess stress is placed on these teeth, which may cause them to become damaged. With implant-retained bridges, metal dental implants are placed surgically into the jawbone and affixed with dental crowns. Meanwhile, at SEDA Dental of Pinecrest, FL, the surrounding natural teeth are prepared to also receive crowns that ultimately help to secure and support the dental implant. This process also avoids the placing of undue stress on the implant itself. The custom-created bridge is then attached to the implant before being cemented to the surrounding teeth.
As with all dental implants, it is imperative that the gums of patients be healthy and that the jawbone is strong enough to support an implant-retained bridge. In such cases, it may be necessary to undergo bone grafting before a bridge can be installed. Besides those whose teeth are missing as a result of extraction, lifestyle choices, genetics or trauma, or patients who grind their teeth and clench their jaws (a condition called bruxism) may be good candidates to receive an implant-retained bridge.
Which implant style is right for you?
No one wants to learn that their tooth must be extracted. However, there are situations when this procedure is necessary. The highly experienced dentists at SEDA Dental of Pinecrest, FL are dental implant experts. They employ the latest techniques to restore patients’ teeth while also creating a dazzling smile. Schedule an appointment with us today and begin your journey toward having a gorgeous grin once again.