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Medically Reviewed by Lisa A. Turner, DDS, MSD

Life’s moments are made better with a smile, but you may avoid smiling if you have a missing tooth. Missing teeth also have an impact on how you eat or talk and allow other teeth to shift. Eventually, a single missing tooth can change the shape of your face and alter your appearance. The worst consequence of a missing tooth is the deterioration of the bone where the tooth used to be, leading to severe complications with your oral health.

Fortunately, with the assistance of Dr. Lisa Turner of Venice Periodontics and Implant Surgery, those missing teeth are temporary. Dr. Turner is board certified in both Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery through the American Board of Periodontology

Facts About Implants

  • Until recently, the only cosmetic and functional options available for people with missing teeth were removable dentures or bridges. Today, advancements in technology offer a more permanent solution for missing teeth called dental implants. Dental implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.
  • Dental implants are tiny titanium posts, which are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a solid foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant called abutments, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.  The replacement tooth is a porcelain crown that is permanently applied to the post and looks and acts just like a natural tooth. 

What Conditions Require a Dental Implant?

The following conditions may require dental implants:

  • Missing teeth due to injury or a congenital disorder
  • A crown that can no longer be replaced due to insufficient natural tooth support
  • A crack in the root of your tooth causing pain or sensitivity requiring extraction
  • Existing, removable dental work that needs to be replaced with a fixed solution

What Kind of Dental Specialist Should I See?

When considering Dental Implants, you need to be sure you see the best provider for your care. Dentists, periodontists, prosthodontists and oral surgeons may all be able to place your implants, but they do not have the same experience and skills.

The best option is to have a specialist board certified in periodontology and implant dentistry. A periodontist like Dr. Turner is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease and oral inflammation. Moreover, periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance and repair of dental implants. 

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are a great choice to replace missing teeth. There’s no fuss with removable dentures, and the implant looks like a natural tooth to restore your confidence in your smile. Implants are generally made of titanium roots with a dental crown on top. When the bone heals, it fuses tightly around the implant, creating a strong, secure root for your beautiful crown. In the case of many missing teeth, implants can be used to support partial-mouth dentures or a bridge as well.

There are many benefits to replacing missing teeth with a dental implant. This list is from  The American Academy of Implant Dentistry and Dr. Turner:

  • Permanent: Dental implants are permanent and don’t require any special care.  Unlike dentures, implants are strong and durable, so you never have to worry about removing or repairing them. They may even last for a lifetime.
  • Natural Look: Dental implants look and feel like real teeth.
  • Helps your speech: Missing teeth can lead to slurred speech.  Getting dental implants will fix this problem. 
  • Easier to Eat: With dental implants, you can properly chew and eat food.  You don’t need to avoid certain foods and can eat without worrying about pain or sensitivity.
  • Maintain your looks: A face without teeth may begin to look sunken, but dental implant treatment allows your face to retain its natural curves and smile.
  • Comfort: Dental implants become part of your jaw, eliminating the discomfort of removable dentures.
  • Avoid malnutrition: Missing teeth keep you from eating certain foods, which may keep you from getting the right amount of vitamins or other essential nutrients.  
  • Avoid weakening jaw muscles: If you are missing teeth, you may only chew with one side of your mouth, leading to weakened muscles on the other side. It also may cause TMJ or other similar issues. 
  • Avoid jawbone deterioration: The jawbone naturally loses bone density and deteriorates when a tooth or teeth are missing causing the bone to lose its strength and function.    
  • Keep teeth properly aligned: If one tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth may start to shift, causing problems for your bite. Shifting teeth may require braces or aligners to fix.

With dental implants, there’s no worry about artificial teeth sliding out at inopportune moments, which can cause difficulty eating, speaking, and overall frustration. There will no longer be a need for dental adhesives or the hassle of taking teeth out to clean them thoroughly. Dental implants can be brushed and flossed the same as natural teeth, making maintenance simple! They are very strong, and with proper care, will last for the rest of your life. 

What Other Facts About Implants Should I Know?

Most patients do well with implants. The recovery for implants is usually pretty simple, with some swelling and tenderness around the area. The patient may also need to eat softer foods for a few days until the pain and tenderness subside.

The success rate for dental implants is around ninety-four percent. Implants should be treated like your natural teeth. Routine brushing and flossing are essential to keep your entire mouth healthy. You also need to continue to visit the dentist so that you don’t end up with peri-implantitis, which damages the soft tissue and bone around your implant.

Over 3 million people have dental implants, and they are becoming more popular, at a rate of around 500,000 procedures a year. The success rate for dental implants is 98.4 percent. Implants don’t slip and never have to be removed. Unlike dentures, implants are durable enough to last a lifetime.

Dr. Turner and Venice Periodontics and Implant Dentistry have the skills and experience to handle your dental implants. Call our office today at 941-497-5591 or us online to schedule an appointment today.