Miami Dental Implants Specialist – Dr. William P. Lamas
For many, the loss of a natural, permanent tooth is overwhelming. If a front tooth is lost, there will be visible gaps when an individual smiles. Frequently, this causes a feeling of self-consciousness, which leads to the purposeful hiding of teeth during a smile or while laughing. Besides cosmetic changes, tooth loss also affects the way an individual speaks and chews; thus, reducing his or her overall quality of life.
Unfortunately, even if the tooth loss occurred in an area not directly visible when one smiles, as time passes, this empty space causes the remaining teeth to shift. This shifting of the teeth may also change the characteristics of an individual’s smile and negatively affect the way he or she speaks, and chews.
Dental Implants Before & After Photos
Is Tooth Loss Common?
Yes, nearly 200 million Americans have at least one missing tooth. Whether you have one missing tooth, multiple missing teeth or no teeth whatsoever, Dr. William P. Lamas can replace these missing teeth with dental implants at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami.
Missing Teeth Lead to the Deterioration of the Jaw bone
As time passes, if nothing is being anchored in the jawbone, it begins to deteriorate. This deterioration can cause the face to appear sunken in. Besides making an individual appear older than he or she actually is, this loss of bone can make eating difficult. The good news is that dental implants can solve this problem because just like the root of a natural tooth, the titanium implant is anchored in the jaw bone; thus, preserving its structure.
Tooth Loss and Food Consumption
Lost teeth may make certain foods nearly impossible to eat. For example, consider the loss of the two front teeth (i.e., the central incisors), biting into an ear of corn or even a sandwich becomes a challenge. Furthermore, following tooth loss, feeling comfortable in social situations can be difficult: Especially since the majority of social gatherings involve some kind of food consumption. Men and women are realizing that with dental implants, they can eat the foods they love, and feel confident about their smile.
What Causes Tooth Loss?
As children, one of the first things we learn about caring for ourselves involves good dental hygiene. By following a strict oral health regimen, we can avoid developing gum disease. However, there are some things capable of leading to gum disease that we have difficulty controlling or have no control over.
Common causes of tooth breakage and loss include:
- Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
- Acids/Sugars in Foods and Beverages
- Poor Oral Hygiene Leading to Gum Disease
- Injuries (Frequently Related to Participating in Sporting Events)
Most people will clench and/or grind their teeth occasionally: These actions are usually performed on a subconscious level during times of stress or anxiety. Although occasional clenching and/or grinding is not considered harmful, when these actions occur regularly, excessive strain is being placed on the tissues surrounding the teeth as well as on the gum and the bone. Furthermore, the teeth themselves begin wearing away. While anxiety or stress can cause bruxism, an abnormal bite as well as missing or crooked teeth can also be to blame.
At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, Dr. William P. Lamas can determine why an individual is grinding his or her teeth and then recommend solutions, and/or preventative methods.
The Acid/Sugar Levels in Foods and Beverages
Every time an individual eats or drinks, acid levels in the mouth rise. Once these levels rise, it takes an hour for them to return to normal. If the levels of acid in the mouth are continually raised as a result of eating sweets and drinking sugary and/or acidic beverages, the likelihood of tooth decay increases.
To protect your teeth, limiting sugary snacks is ideal. However, if you decide to consume a sugary snack or beverage, the food/beverage should be consumed during one sitting: This ensures that the acid levels in your mouth are only raised once by the acidic/sugary snack or beverage, not again and again all-day long.
The Journal of Periodontology states that genetics can play a role in tooth loss and, when compared to other groups, 35-year-old males have an increased risk for developing periodontal disease. While gender and age are uncontrollable, following a good oral hygiene regimen and quitting smoking can make a difference.
Poor Oral Hygiene Leading to Gum Disease
When professional dental care is disregarded, and an oral hygiene regimen is not followed, the development of gingivitis is probable: Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Symptoms of gingivitis include: red, swollen gums that bleed during brushing or flossing.
If left untreated, gingivitis leads to periodontitis. Once gingivitis transitions into periodontitis, pockets of bacteria develop around the teeth and these bacteria begin destroying the jawbone. As these pockets continue filling with bacteria, jawbone deterioration begins, which leads to the teeth becoming loose and the onset of receding gums. Once an individual reaches this stage of gum disease, tooth loss is likely.
Injuries (Frequently Related to Participating in Sporting Events)
Unfortunately, playing sports and injuries to the teeth frequently go hand in hand. If necessary precautions are not taken, a basketball or elbow to the mouth could lead to tooth loss. The good news is that tooth loss/injury during sporting events can be prevented if an athlete wears a custom-designed mouth guard while participating in these kinds of activities.
In the event of a lost tooth:
Keep in mind that if a tooth does get knocked out, place it in milk (if none is available, saliva will do) and head directly to Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami. Chances are, Dr. Lamas can reinsert the tooth; thus, eliminating the need for a dental prosthesis.
Risk Factors for Tooth Loss Related to Periodontal Disease
Avoiding any risk factors for periodontal disease that you possibly can is beneficial to your overall health.
Risk factors include:
- Gender – males are more likely to suffer with periodontal disease.
- Smoking tobacco – may currently smoke or be a previous smoker.
- Being 35 Years or older.
- Neglecting to seek dental care.
- Never brushing his or her teeth.
- Having high blood pressure, diabetes and/or rheumatoid arthritis.
What is a Dental Implant?
A natural tooth consists of the visible portion of the tooth and a root. The root extends into the jawbone to secure the natural tooth. A dental implant is essentially a prosthetic replacement for the root of the tooth. Needless to say, without a natural root, the visible portion of the natural tooth cannot survive; therefore, the tooth will also need to be replaced. The tooth is replaced with what is referred to as a crown. Whereas previously each tooth required its own titanium root, today, we can use a single root to anchor multiple teeth.
What Are Implants Made Of?
The dental implants that we use today resemble a screw and usually consist of titanium. Titanium is a bio-compatible metal with the ability to fuse directly to bone: This unique fusion process is referred to as osseointegration.
At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, we use implants to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all the teeth missing on an upper and/or lower jaw. In addition, we can use implants to support a fixed or a removable denture.
The parts of a dental implant include:
- The titanium implant that is inserted into the jaw bone to replace the natural root.
- The abutment, which is a piece designed to connect the titanium implant to a removable denture, fixed bridge or crown.
Who Should Consider Dental Implants?
An individual who is unable to eat the foods that he or she loves, who tries not to smile or laugh in public, and/or who feels self-conscious around others due to missing teeth is an ideal candidate for implants. Additionally, men and women who have removable partials, flippers or full dentures are good candidates for dental implants.
Who is Not a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Unfortunately, there are individuals who should not consider implants. For example, individuals without proper bone density and/or those with a weakened immune system are not good candidates for this procedure.
Dental Implants or Traditional Dentures/Removable Prosthetics: What is the Difference?
For years, removable dentures, partials and flippers have been the solution used to address the loss of teeth. However, there are many disadvantages associated with the functionality of these removable dental prosthetics.
One of the main problems with dentures (and other removable dental prosthetics) is their unreliability: Dentures are known to slip, slide and even make clicking noises. Another downfall to dentures is that they affect an individual’s ability to taste food and feel its texture. However, since dental implants closely mimic the natural tooth in form and functionality, these enjoyable sensations are not lost after implant surgery.
Disadvantages of dentures and other removable dental prosthetics:
- Dentures/Partials are removable, which is why messy adhesives are frequently used to keep them in place; however, these adhesives are not foolproof. When the adhesive neglects to keep the dental prosthetic secure, they can slip and slide around as the individual chews. This limits the kinds of food that he or she can eat.
- Too much adhesive leads to the product oozing out the sides of the denture or partial when it is placed into the mouth and too little adhesive does not make an adequate seal; thus, allowing food to become trapped between the denture/partial, the gum and, in the case of upper dentures, the roof of the mouth.
- Dentures/Partials can look and feel unnatural.
- As dentures/partials rub across the gums, sores are created.
- It can be embarrassing if a removable dental prosthetic becomes unstable while an individual is speaking, laughing and/or eating.
- Dentures and partials greatly reduce an individual’s ability to enjoy the taste, and feel of the food being eaten.
- Dentures are a temporary solution and will eventually need to be relined or replaced.
- Dentures, partials and flippers need to be removed and cleaned daily. This cleaning process usually involves the messy job of removing the adhesive from the dental prosthesis as well as from inside the mouth.
- The chewing power of dentures is approximately 10 percent less than the power of natural teeth.
The advantages of choosing dental implants:
- The chewing power of dental implants is comparable to that of natural teeth.
- Implants look and feel like natural teeth.
- With dentures, bone loss occurs; however, dental implants mimic the natural teeth, which prevents bone loss.
- Implants can also be anchored to a metal framework on the jawbone: This framework provides the foundation for the permanent bridge or the synthetic crown.
- Due to deterioration of the jawbone, tooth loss can cause an individual to appear older than he or she actually is (up to 10 years for some); however, since implants preserve the jawbone, they can prevent deterioration and improve the structure of the face.
- Patients can still enjoy the way their favorite foods taste. In addition, implants allow patients to feel the textures of the foods they eat.
- Implants usually consist of synthetic materials like ceramic or metal: Both of which are biocompatible.
- Implants with crowns and implants used with a bridge are not removable. These dental prosthetics are cared for just like natural teeth: The only exception is that the area between the natural gum and the crown or bridge must be cleaned as well.
- Implants can be used to attach dentures.
- Once dental implants are in place and have healed, the patient can eat the nutritious foods that he or she has had to avoid.
- Implants are reliable and offer a long-term solution to tooth loss.
Dental implants are the next best thing to the natural teeth. Patients who choose implants can feel confident when they smile, as they engage with others socially and while eating because their teeth look, feel, and function just like their natural teeth did.
The success rate of dental implants that are properly cared for is typically longer than the other removable dental prosthesis options available. In addition, as the technology and techniques used to place implants continue to improve, the success rates and longevity of these dental prosthetics should as well.
These advantages make dental implants an excellent choice for long-term value and oral health.
Are There Any Risks Associated with the Dental Implant Procedure?
The risks associated with implant surgery are the same as with any other type of surgery.
- Damage to surrounding structures
- Nerve damage
That said, choosing an experienced Periodontist in Miami, like Dr. Lamas, greatly reduces the likelihood of a complication occurring before, during or after implant surgery.
This procedure is considered safe as long as there are no significant health issues to be concerned with: Significant health issues include uncontrolled hypertension, serious cardiac issues and/or uncontrolled diabetes. However, that is not to say that a patient with these conditions cannot have dental implant surgery, Dr. William P. Lamas will want to meet with the patient’s primary care physician or specialist prior to starting dental implant therapy.
The Benefits of Choosing Same-Day Dental Implants
At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, patients can have their dental implants completed in a single session. With Same-Day Dental Implants, Dr. William P. Lamas uses just 4 implants (titanium screws) per arch. Once the dental implants are in place, they look and feel just like natural teeth.
This innovative technique has made it possible for individuals who have lost bone due to gum disease to attain a beautiful new set of teeth, without the need to undergo painful bone grafting procedures.
During Same-Day Dental Implant Procedures, Dr. Lamas takes full advantage of the patient’s available bone; therefore, the need for a bone-grafting procedure (to replace lost bone) is extremely unlikely.
Since implants are almost identical to natural teeth, they are easy to care for and are designed to be a permanent solution for tooth loss. Patients state that although implants are pricier than dentures, the one-time expense for the numerous benefits they receive is well worth the cost. Here in Miami, the patient response to these revolutionary dental prosthetics has been tremendously positive.
At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, we take great pride in providing our patients with the beautiful, natural-looking smile that they desire. With years of experience in the field of Periodontology, Dr. Lamas and the dental professionals at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, have the knowledge and skill necessary to accomplish this task.
The Same-Day Dental Implant Procedure, Explained
Very few dentists in South Florida offer sedation dentistry; however, Dr. Lamas’ years of experience with anesthesia use during implant surgery allows him to give his patients peace of mind.
This surgical procedure typically takes several hours. What makes Same-Day Dental Implants so unique is the method used to secure the implants: Just 4 implants are needed for each arch. Once in place, these 4 implants can secure large, non-removable dental bridges.
This method is unique in that previous techniques required at least 6 implants per arch to secure the dental prosthetic and provide patients with a full set of teeth. This previous technique was time-consuming and costlier than the Same-Day Dental Implant method that Dr. William P. Lamas uses at his office in Miami today.
Sedation options at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami include IV conscious sedation (frequently referred to as ‘twilight’ sedation), inhalation conscious sedation (aka laughing gas) and orally administered sedation. The goal of anesthesia is to help the patient feel calm and comfortable during the implant procedure. The needs of the patient determine which type of anesthesia Dr. Lamas recommends. Sedation is extremely beneficial for individuals who experience a significant amount of anxiety while having a dental procedure; however, anyone who has had a tooth pulled without complications should have no problem during an implant procedure in Miami.
After the sedation is administered and the patient is comfortable, the surgical session can begin. It is at this point that experience placing dental implants is the most crucial. To achieve the optimal result, implants must be placed strategically and at a specific angle. Furthermore, the alveolar nerve and sinus cavities must be avoided during placement of the implant.
What to Expect After Your Same-Day Dental Implant Procedure
After your implant surgery, you will need to take some time to recover. However, the technique used during Same-Day implant surgery offers a much shorter recovery period than is seen with other, more traditional implant techniques.
Initially, in order to allow the tissue to heal, you will need to be on a soft diet: This diet may include mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, gelatin, scrambled eggs, yogurt, pudding, protein shakes, oatmeal, etc. Dr. Lamas will inform you how long you need to remain on this diet (usually no longer than 2 weeks’ time).
Our patients arrive for their implant procedure in the morning and then leave in the afternoon with their brand new, natural-looking smile.
Other benefits following implant surgery with Dr. Lamas in Miami:
- You will enjoy natural-looking results directly after the procedure.
- With proper care, your results are permanent.
- You may notice an increase in your self-confidence level.
- Once healing is complete, you can once again eat the foods that you have avoided due to dentures, partials or tooth loss.
- Your speech may significantly improve.
- You can laugh without worrying about your smile.
For many patients, implant surgery greatly improves the quality of their lives. And if a patient properly cares for his or her dental implants, they should last a lifetime.
Caring for Your Dental Implants
Patients receive specific instructions following their procedure; however, just like natural teeth, implants must be properly cared for. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is essential to maintaining a healthy mouth. Some of our patients find oral irrigators helpful in keeping their implants and gums healthy and clean.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
While initially dentures seem more affordable than implants, once you consider the cost of buying special cleaning solutions and adhesives, paying for denture relining services, and replacement dentures, the price of dentures begins to rise. That said, each patient is unique; therefore, the only way to determine how much your dental implant surgery would cost is for you to schedule your initial consultation at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami. At this appointment, please feel free to ask questions: Many of our patients find it helpful to write their questions down and then bring them to first appointment.
Will Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Typically, insurance does not cover implants; however, Dr. William P. Lamas encourages his patients to contact their insurance providers to find out what their specific plan covers.
How Can I Determine if Same-Day Dental Implants Are an Option for Me?
Scheduling an appointment with a periodontist who has experience performing Same-Day Dental Implant procedures is the only way to find out if implants are the right option for you.
Although dental implants are a big investment, the inconveniences associated with dentures, partials and flippers are many, which is why people are choosing Same-Day Dental Implants instead of the less-expensive removable dental prosthetics. If you are interested in learning more about our same day implant procedure, please contact Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami at 305-440-4114 to schedule your initial consultation. At this appointment, you can learn more about the implant procedure, estimated costs for the procedure as well as the financing options available. Let us help you attain the new, beautiful, natural-looking smile you have always wanted.
Our office is located at 2645 SW 37th Avenue, Suite 304, in Miami.
Dr. William P. Lamas Reviewed by Elena Garcia
“Dr. Lamas THANK YOU for your great service your dedication and your passion for what you do!! I recommend him to any one who is seeking a great periodontist!! No case is too difficult or too complex for him!! Great office, Great doctor and awesome Team!!“
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