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Couple smiling at dentist for implants in Lakeland, FL

Ultimate Guide to Dental Implants

October 28, 2022
Posted By: Dr. Vernon Smith
Couple smiling at Hunt Fountain Park in Lakeland, FL

Among dentists, dental implants are the top recommendation when replacing teeth—either single implants or implant-supported prosthetics—and for excellent reasons. Your implant dentist in Lakeland, FL, is proud to offer this leading-edge tooth replacement technology and is ready to address the many questions people have about tooth implants.

Dental implants stand in for tooth loss, and they are like natural teeth in fit and function, giving your smile a real second chance.

Let’s explore everything you need to know about dental implants in Lakeland, FL through our ultimate guide.

What Are Dental Implants?

Many people believe that dental implants are artificial replacement teeth. In reality, they are artificial replacement roots made from durable titanium. Unlike other metals, titanium can integrate into the bone. In fact, it has been used for decades in joint replacement surgeries and dentistry.

Your dentist surgically implants your artificial replacement root, which integrates into the jawbone over the next several months. The resulting foundation can support a restoration tooth, commonly called a dental crown.

Similarly, your dentist can implant up to six dental implants to secure a prosthetic, including a denture arch or a bridge of restoring teeth.

Dental implants are the only tooth replacement options available today that offer a tooth root as part of the restoration.

What Is the Dental Implant Process?Dental implant replacing missing tooth in Lakeland, FL

Invasive dentistry always starts with a thorough evaluation in our dental office. This can include x-rays, a question-and-answer session, and a visual check of your teeth and gums. Your dentist in Lakeland wants to ensure that you understand your options and that implant dentistry suits you.

Impediments may include jawbone integrity and sinus placement. Sometimes, your dentist recommends pretreatments to address boundaries in the way of your implant success.

If you’re a dental implant candidate and choose to move forward, we take impressions to craft your prosthetic or tooth crown. Then, we ensure your crown complements your smile by matching your teeth. For full-mouth implants like implant-supported dentures, you choose the tooth color.

Then we surgically place your prosthetic tooth roots under anesthesia. From there, your new roots begin fusing into the jawbone to create the best foundation for a new tooth or arch of teeth. When the process finishes, you come in for crown or prosthetic placement.

While dental implant placement isn’t painful due to anesthesia, you may notice a day or two of slight swelling and discomfort. Most patients report needing only Ibuprofen or a similar over-the-counter medicine for relief.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Because dental implants are made from solid titanium and integrate into the bone, they typically last for decades. In some cases, they have even lasted for life. So even if you must replace the attached crown or prosthetic in the future, your implants should still be in good condition for new restorations.

However, healthy habits contribute to dental implant longevity. We recommend the following:

  • Brush your teeth after every meal, including your implant crown, or at least twice daily.
  • Floss your teeth at least once daily, including the spaces around your dental implant crown.
  • Never go to sleep with debris on your teeth or prosthetics.
  • Talk to your dentist if you suspect bruxism (teeth grinding) during sleep.
  • Wear a mouthguard fitted to your teeth if you’re playing sports.
  • Report all oral health changes to our dental team, including toothaches.Set of implant supported dentures in Lakeland, FL

We recommend the same steps for upkeep even if you don’t have dental implants—that’s how similar implants are to natural teeth! Of course, your implant can’t get a cavity, but failure to maintain oral hygiene can lead to gingivitis and gum disease, contributing to implant failure and future tooth loss.  

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants in Lakeland, FL?

Dental implants offer benefits not seen in other tooth replacement options. Let’s explore four essential benefits.

#1 Dental Implants Integrate

Because dental implants integrate into the bone, you can consider them part of your anatomy. As a result, they will never shift or require adhesives to remain stable. This is a massive advantage for people who speak in public or love to laugh.

#2 Dental Implants Diversify Your Diet

No other tooth replacement option restores your bite force to this degree. Dental implants allow you to indulge in all your favorite foods, including healthy and crunchy veggies, without worry.

#3 Dental Implants Are Maintenance-Free

Other than brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist every six months, there are no added steps to keep your dental implants in top shape.

#4 Dental Implants Promote Better Oral Health

Dental implants in Lakeland guard against bone loss in the jaw, a natural condition when tooth roots are lost. Additionally, implants prevent tooth migration. This is the habit of remaining teeth slipping toward welcoming smile gaps over time. Tooth migration puts your remaining teeth at risk.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

Dental implant placement occurs under general or local anesthesia, so it is not painful. However, you may notice slight pain later in the evening and for a few days after. But over-the-counter painkillers are typically enough to keep it at bay.

Placing your crown or prosthetic after integration is never painful because it is non-invasive.

If you experience ongoing pain, it’s essential to contact your dentist as soon as possible. However, pain is rarely significant or lasting.  

Are Dental Implants Expensive?Couple with dental implants smiling in Lakeland, FL

Dental implant costs vary. For example, a single dental implant is typically less expensive than an implant-supported denture or bridge. Cost considerations also include the complexity of treatment—bone grafting is a good example.

When considering dental implants near Lakeland, FL, it’s essential to consider them an investment in your oral health. Unlike most tooth replacement options, implants are long-lasting and don’t require maintenance in the dental office. They also promote improved oral health, which may save you time and money in the dental chair.

Your dentist always shares the cost with you following your initial assessment in our dental office. However, we work with CareCredit, a medical and dental credit card that allows you to finance your treatment. CareCredit decisions are usually prompt, and many programs are interest-free.

Are You Looking for a Dentist for Implants in Lakeland, FL?

It’s never too late to restore your smile. If you would like to arrange a consultation with your implant dentist in Lakeland or if you have any questions about our dental care, give Quality Dental Care of Lakeland a call today at (863) 858-3891.

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