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Dental Implants

Dental Implants

While regular brushing, flossing, and checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth just can’t keep up. If you’ve lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.

An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium (the same material used in many replacement hips and knees), a metal that is well suited to pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.

The ideal candidate for implants is a non­-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.

Overview:

Overdenture:

Implant Bridge:

Single or Multiple Implants

Implants are versatile. If you are missing only one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.

Advantages Over Dentures or Bridges

Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, even less with root canals, whereas implants have significantly longer average lifespan.

Post-­Treatment Care

Consider your implant replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same number of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements the longer they will last.

Root Amputation

Root amputation is a specialized dental procedure, whereby one root is removed from a multi-­root tooth. The tooth is then stabilized and rendered fully functional with a crown or filling. The multi-­root teeth best suited to the root amputation procedure are the molars at the back of the mouth. These large flat teeth have either two or three roots depending on whether they are situated on the upper or lower jaw.

The general purpose of root amputation is to save an injured or diseased tooth from extraction. Most dentists agree that there is no better alternative than retaining a healthy natural tooth, and the root amputation procedure makes this possible.

When is root amputation necessary?

It is important to note that root amputation can only be performed on an otherwise healthy tooth. Even in the case of a “key” tooth, extraction will be performed if the tooth is diseased, badly fractured or otherwise injured. Suitable teeth for root amputation have a healthy tooth surface, strong bone support and healthy underlying gums.

There are several problems that may lead to root amputation including:

  • Broken, fractured or injured teeth and roots.
  • Embedded bacteria within the structure of the root.
  • Severe bone loss in a concentrated area due to periodontitis.
  • Tooth decay in a concentrated area of the tooth.

Sinus Augmentation Graft

A sinus augmentation graft procedure makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures.

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone. For this situation, Dr. Britten would recommend a sinus augmentation graft to create a stable bone environment for implants to be placed.

Lateral Sinus Lift:

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Indirect Sinus Lift

This procedure is less invasive than the direct sinus augmentation lift and is performed by preparing the bone for the dental implant as normal. Once the floor of the sinus has been reached, bone is gently packed in the preparation and pressed upward. This motion will tent the membrane of the sinus upward and create additional room for the full length of the implant.

As with the sinus augmentation graft or direct sinus lift, care will be taken not to damage the sinus and this procedure will have no effect on sinus pressure or affect people that suffer from seasonal allergies.

Sinus Lift:

IV Sedation

SEDATION

Dental anxiety affects many patients and can hinder them from taking the next step to achieve their oral health care goals. Dr. Britten is highly trained and certified in both IV conscious sedation and oral sedation. He is one of the few Periodontists in the Tampa Bay area who offers IV sedation. Sedation dentistry can provide a calming experience for patients who have experienced high levels of anxiety related to dental treatment.

IV CONSCIOUS SEDATION

Intravenous (IV) Sedation helps even our most anxious patients remain relaxed and comfortable during procedures. Many patients feel as though they, “went to sleep” during the sedation. The goal of IV conscious sedation is not to provide general anesthesia but instead to allow our patients to remain conscious and relaxed with minimal risk during the procedure.

IV Sedation:

ORAL SEDATION

Is a prescription medication that can relieve anxiety patients feel before and during their dental exam. It allows patients to respond verbally and physically to directions all while in a very “restful” state. Patients using oral sedation will need to be driven to and from the procedure.

You may be a candidate for Sedation Dentistry if you have experienced any of the following:

  • High Fear
  • Had traumatic dental experiences
  • Difficulty getting numb
  • A bad gag reflex
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • A fear of needles and shots
  • Aversion to the noises, smells, and tastes associated with dental care

LOCAL ANESTHETIC

For most periodontal procedures, a local anesthetic is utilized to numb the area being treated. Some anesthetics are short acting and others last several hours. Dr. Britten will determine which local anesthetics are best for the procedure.