In a recent blog post, we provided a high-level overview of the different types of dental implants. In this article, we spend a bit more time outlining information about endosteal dental implants and what you should know.
If you have questions about endosteal implants and if they may be a suitable option for your needs, continue to read on and of course, call our office at (305) 665-1263 to get in touch with one of the best oral surgeons in South Florida for endosteal implants.
What are Endosteal Dental Implants?
A common question we hear from patients is, “What are endosteal dental implants?” Endosteal implants, or endosseous implants, are the most common type of dental implants. These implants include small screws that are placed into a dental patient’s jawbone and serve as an artificial root to hold the new, replacement tooth. The small titanium screws protrude through the gum to hold the new tooth in place.
You may be wondering, why is titanium the metal of choice for dental implants? Compared to stainless steel, titanium is both stronger and lighter while being resistant to corrosion and less likely for the body to reject.
What Does the Endosteal Implant Process Entail?
The endosteal implant process is done in stages and will take several visits over a period of several months from start to finish. Let’s review the endosteal implant process.
1) Consultation With Your Dentist
The process will begin with a consultation from your trusted dental professional to see if you are a good candidate for endosteal implants.
2) Removal of Your Damaged Tooth and Bone Grafting
Once deemed a good endosteal implant candidate, you’ll make an appointment to remove the damaged tooth and perform bone grafting if and as needed. During the actual endosteal implant surgery, local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia is used so no pain should be felt during the implant procedure. The type of anesthesia used is something you should discuss with your oral surgeon during your consultation.
3) Preparation for Inserting Your Implant
Once numb, a small incision is made in the gum, and a drill is used to go into the jawbone where the screw will be placed. On top of the screw, an abutment is used, which extends the metal post where the new tooth is actually attached. Your jawbone will grow into the implant, which is known as osseointegration. This growth process can take anywhere from two to six months until a solid base is formed for the new tooth. Oftentimes, a temporary denture can be used to eliminate the gap while the screw and jawbone fuse and heal.
4) Attachment of an Abutment
Once the titanium implant has taken hold, your dental professional will once again make a small incision to attach the abutment. This is the part that extends just above the gum and what the new tooth will be attached to. Sometimes, the abutment is added during the first endosteal implant procedure, eliminating the need for a second surgery. This is something that should be discussed with your dentist during the implant consultation.
5) Taking Impressions to Make Your Crown
Two weeks after the abutment is placed, you can expect to head back to your dentist for impressions to make the crown. The artificial tooth created can either be removable or fixed. A removable tooth includes an artificial tooth, in the shade of your teeth’s natural color, it will snap securely into place and can be removed for daily cleanings and repairs. With a fixed tooth, it is either screwed or cemented into place on the implant abutment. Oftentimes, with this option, each crown is attached to its own dental implant. It is possible that several teeth can be replaced by one implant if bridged together. Once the artificial tooth or teeth are in, you will visit your oral surgeon again to complete your endosteal implant with your new tooth.
Deciding on a removable or fixed tooth for your endosteal implants should be a conversation to have with your oral surgeon to identify the best option for you based on your health, lifestyle, and preferences.
Are Endosteal Implants Right for Me?
It’s imperative that you consult a top endosteal implant dentist prior to moving forward with dental implants. Some of the qualifications to make for a strong endosteal implant candidate include good overall and dental health, healthy gums (no periodontal disease), a fully developed jaw as well as a jaw with enough bone or disinterest or inability to wear dentures. In addition, as a patient, you should not use tobacco products.
Before opting for endosteal implants, you also need to understand that this is a process that involves a large investment of your time, and you should be ready and willing to plan accordingly. Dental implants provide a great alternative to dentures and bridges and have very high success rates.
How do I Care for My Endosteal Implants?
Of course, good oral hygiene needs to be maintained which includes routine and professional teeth cleanings, regular brushing, and flossing. Using silica toothpaste can help eliminate bacteria as well. Your oral surgeon may also recommend staying away from any hard or chewy foods, tobacco products, and prescribe an antibiotic. Other than that, most patients experience great success with long-term benefits and complications are rare.
Looking for a Top Endosteal Implant Dentist in South Florida?
If you feel that you may be in need of dental implants and looking for a dentist in South Florida, look no further. Dr. Lawrence Lesperance and his team, including the best South Florida oral surgeons, are a top endosteal implant dental practice in Coral Gables.