Dentures Vs. Dental Implants

As an adult, it is disheartening to lose a single tooth, a few teeth or all the teeth of the upper and/or lower arch. For decades, the only option for replacing these teeth involved the use of a removable flipper, partial or denture; however, there are more permanent options available today that closely resemble the natural teeth. These options include the dental implant, implant-supported overdentures and fixed dentures. At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, we eliminate the need for removable flippers, dentures and partials with natural-looking, permanent solutions.

Types of Dentures

Flippers, Full Removable Dentures and Partial Removable Dentures

Flippers are removable appliances that are used to replace a single tooth, full, removable dentures are used to replace all the teeth on the upper and/or lower arch. Removable partial dentures replace several teeth that are missing on the same arch.

Implant supported overdentures are different from the traditional removable dentures in that although they are removable, overdentures are more stable due to the support of implant fixtures. Lastly, fixed dentures on the upper and/or lower arch remain in place permanently with four implants to anchor them.

Overdentures

When compared to traditional dentures, overdentures have many advantages. Overdentures allow an individual to bite and chew more naturally. They are comfortable because these dentures are anchored, which translates into less movement. The implants preserve the jaw bone that remains; whereas, traditional dentures do not.

Fixed Dentures

Overdentures can be removed and fixed dentures are designed to be permanent. Just like the overdentures, implant fixtures are used as the anchors for fixed dentures. The procedure that Dr. Lamas uses is referred to as ‘All on 4.’ By using the All on 4 procedure, the dental prosthesis used can be slimmer. Due to its slim design, a fixed denture appears more natural than the traditional removable denture does. With a fixed denture, the teeth slipping out of place are no longer a concern. In addition, these dentures are much more comfortable than their traditional counterparts.

The Benefits of Permanent Implants

Traditional dentures may fit poorly and move around as an individual chews and speaks; therefore, when the dentures feel loose, dental adhesives may be used. However, these adhesives are messy and can be difficult to remove from the inside of the mouth as well as from the dental appliance. Permanent dental implants stay in place; thus, eliminating the need for messy dental adhesives.

The American Academy of Implant Prosthodontics (AAIP) states that dental implants:

  • enable proper chewing techniques;
  • reduce the movement of crowns, bridges and/or dentures;
  • offer support for a fixed bridge or removable denture, which greatly improves stability;
  • promote self-confidence (as concerns related to speech and appearance diminish); and
  • feel more like natural teeth than traditional dentures do.

Who is a Good Candidate for Overdentures or Fixed Dentures?

Healthy individuals who need to replace all or the majority of their teeth at the same time are good candidates for fixed dentures or overdentures: Individuals who currently wear traditional dentures may be good candidates for these kinds of dentures as well.

The overdenture is ideal for those who lack adequate bone support to hold their traditional denture in place. With an overdenture, the prosthesis is removable: Just like the traditional denture, an overdenture must be removed prior to retiring for the evening and the same technique should be used to care for them. However, unlike traditional dentures, the overdenture is secured in place with implant fixtures, which means there is no need for messy dental adhesives.

Dr. William P. Lamas takes great pride in crafting his patients beautifully-designed dentures that are functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Who is Not a Good Candidate for Fixed Dentures or Overdentures?

If a patient is a heavy smoker or drinker, dental implants are not the right choice because the likelihood of a successful result decreases. Additionally, conditions that negatively affect an individual’s ability to heal can make it difficult to achieve success with a dental implant.

Insufficient Bone is No Longer a Problem for Those Wanting Dental Implants

Previously, if an individual had a substantial amount of bone loss in the jaw due to years without anchored teeth, dental implants were not recommended. They were not recommended because without adequate bone to hold them, the implants would not be reliable. However, technological advancements within the industry, in combination with ridge and sinus augmentation, have provided a solution for this problem: The development of new bone.

Implants Consist of Biologically Compatible Materials

The AAIP states that the dental implant materials used consist of biologically compatible materials that have been tested extensively for several years. Furthermore, since the materials used for dental implants have never been living tissue, the likelihood of an antigen-antibody response to these implants is of no concern: This is very important because it is the antigen-antibody response following an organ transplant that causes the body to reject the donor organ.

Types of Dental Implants:

  • An Artificial Bone Substitute

    – This implant is designed to help rebuild a shrinking ridge and provide support for dentures. This synthetic bone substitute is fitted on top of the patient’s jawbone. Since it consists of the same mineral found in a natural bone, the artificial bone substitute implant bonds with the existing jaw bone.

  • Endosteal Implants

    – Dr. Lamas inserts this type of implant directly into the jawbone. An endosteal implant serves as the root for a dental prosthesis (e.g., crown, denture, partial).

  • Subperiosteal Implants

    – This implant is used when an individual can no longer wear traditional dentures. This lightweight metal implant is specifically designed to fit on the patient’s existing bone.

Reconstructing Your Smile: Which Option is Right for You?

Today, Dr. Lamas can replace an entire arch of teeth using a single prosthesis; therefore, if all the teeth on the upper and/or lower arch are missing, he can use either an overdenture or an All on 4 Procedure to reconstruct your smile. Ultimately, it comes down to whether you would like your dental prosthesis to remain within your mouth permanently or if you would like to remove the prosthesis nightly.

Each Patient Receives a Custom-Designed Implant Treatment Plan

At Lamas Dental Specialists, we create each of our patients a custom-designed treatment plan that meets his or her specific needs: To accomplish this, we take the time to get to know our patients, learn about their smile goals as well as listen to, and then address any concerns they have.

An Initial Consultation for Dental Implants with Dr. William P. Lamas in Miami

During the initial consultation, Dr. Lamas will want to know about your medical history. This information should include any previous surgeries, medications that you are currently taking as well as any conditions that could affect your body’s ability to heal(e.g., diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, etc.). He will also want to know about your dental history. If you have current dental X-rays, please bring them with you to your initial consultation. If you have allergies to latex or medications, please inform Dr. Lamas of these at this time.

All the questions that Dr. William P. Lamas and his staff ask during your initial consultation are important; therefore, it is essential that you are candid when answering every question. In addition, please feel free to ask questions because Dr. Lamas encourages his patients to do so.

Once your examination is complete and Dr. William P. Lamas has a good idea as to what your dental implant procedure should include, the cost of your dental implant procedure may also be discussed.

Some dental insurance plans will cover a portion of the dental implant procedure: We are always happy to work with our patients to ensure they receive the benefits their dental plan covers.

Preparing for Your Dental Implant Procedure

Once you decide that you want to move forward with your dental implant procedure, there are a few things that you can do beforehand to make for a smooth recovery afterwards.

Prior to your dental implant procedure with Dr. Lamas in Miami, you should:

  • Go to the Store

    – Visit the grocery store and stock up on the foods you will be eating after your surgery. For a few days after your procedure, the foods that you eat need to be soft. Consider choosing foods like soups, smoothies, pasta, breads, yogurt, gelatin, eggs, pancakes and applesauce. If you have a juicing machine, this is a great time to use it to supplement those foods that you are unable to eat early on after your procedure. If you do not have a juicer, choose some pre-made nutritional shakes (e.g., Ensure) to get the vitamins and minerals you need as you heal.

  • Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

    – Creating casseroles, pasta dishes, homemade soups and mashed potatoes ahead of time, and then freezing them makes for an easier recovery.

  • Avoid These Supplements

    – Certain supplements should be avoided for at least two weeks before your dental implant procedure. These supplements include Ginseng, Garlic, Fish oil, Gingko Biloba and Vitamin E.

  • Double-Check Your Medications

    – For about a week before your surgery, you need to stop taking any medications that could cause excess bleeding. These medications include aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, Indocin, Celebrex and Zorvolex.

  • Discontinue Taking These Prescription Medications

    – If you take prescription blood thinners (Xarelto, Eliquis or Coumadin), these medications should also be discontinued for a few days before surgery; however, you should never discontinue any prescription medications without the approval of the prescribing physician. Dr. William P. Lamas will speak with the prescribing physician prior to your procedure. They will work together to determine what is best for you. If you have osteoporosis and currently take a bisphosphonate, please let Dr. Lamas know: These medications include Aclasta, Boniva, Actonel, Fosamax, Didronel, Skelid and Reclast.

  • Avoid Scheduling Events Within the First Week of Your Recovery

    – Following your dental implant procedure, you will need time to recover; therefore, avoid planning any important events within the first week of your recovery.

  • The First Three Days

    – Although some patients are able to return to school or work sooner, on average, the first three days of recovery are devoted entirely to self-care and rest.

  • Contact Your Employer to Schedule Your Time off

    – The same day that you schedule your dental implant procedure with Dr. William P. Lamas, you should request at least four days off work: The day of the procedure and the three days following the procedure for recovery. If you are only having one implant placed, you may be able to return to work the following day; however, take the time off and then if you feel up to it, you can always return to work earlier than intended.

  • Find a Driver

    – Since you will be sedated during your dental implant surgery and then taking pain medication afterwards, you will not be able to drive yourself home; therefore, you need to bring a licensed driver (who is at least 18 years of age) with you on the day of your procedure.

  • Stop Smoking

    – Smoking seriously affects your body’s ability to heal. Talk to your physician about helping you stop smoking before your dental implant surgery.

  • Eat Well

    – Being in good health before your implant procedure will make recovering easier.

  • Do Everything You Need to Do in the House Before Your Procedure

    – When you come home from your surgery, the last thing you want to deal with is a dirty house. Clean the house and do your laundry before your procedure so you can rest comfortably when you return home.

Make Sure Your Financing is In Order

As you prepare for your dental implant procedure, make sure that everything related to financing your surgery is intact:

  • Dental Insurance

    – If your insurance will cover a portion or your dental implant surgery, contact them to ask if they need anything from you, or Dr. Lamas prior to your procedure.

  • Financing with CareCredit

    – CareCredit is a great way to finance your new smile with monthly payments that fit your financial situation.

  • Credit Cards

    – We also accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover.

The Day of Your Dental Implant Procedure

Whether you are receiving a single dental implant, several implants, an overdenture or an All on 4 dental prosthesis, there are some things you can do to make this day the best it can be.

You should:

  • Get a Good Night’s Sleep

    – The night before your surgery try to get a good night’s sleep. Coming to your appointment fully rested ensures that you will have the strength you need directly following surgery as you begin the healing process.

  • Fast

    – Since you will be sedated, you must avoid eating prior to your surgery. The fasting time frame can vary; however, it is usually from 4 to 12 hours. Dr. William P. Lamas will provide you with specific information regarding the amount of time you need to fast before your dental implant procedure in Miami.

  • Take Any Pre-Surgical Medications as Prescribed

    – If Dr. Lamas has given you any medications to take prior to surgery (e.g., antibiotics), please follow the instructions provided with the medication.

  • Dress Comfortably

    – Wear loose fitting clothing and slip on shoes to your surgical appointment. If applicable, remove any makeup, lotions, jewelry and nail polish prior to arriving for your dental implant surgery.

The Dental Implant Procedure at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

The titanium implants we use are designed to replace the missing root; therefore, these implants are placed within the jawbone: To accomplish this, Dr. William P. Lamas performs an outpatient surgical procedure. Although some patients will require two procedures to complete their dental implants, the majority of Dr. Lamas’ patients are candidates for the Same-Day Dental Implant Procedure.

The Dental Implant Procedure with Dr. William P. Lamas in Miami

Sedation is used to make sure patients remain comfortable throughout their dental implant surgery.

A Same-Day Dental Implant Procedure Typically Includes:

  • removing the teeth that are being replaced (when applicable);
  • replacing the missing roots with the implant fixture;
  • attaching small posts to the titanium implants; and
  • anchoring the prosthetic to the posts.

If metal-free implant fixtures are being used, there are no posts because they consist of a single piece.

The Two-Step Process for Dental Implants

Step One: Placing the Implants and Temporary Prosthesis

Patients who are having their dental implants placed in two sessions should expect to leave the office with their implant fixtures in place. Patients may also have stitches, which allow for faster healing and reduce the risk of infection. At this time, Dr. Lamas may place a temporary prosthetic for the patient to wear until the permanent prosthetic is created and applied.

Healing Time

Once the titanium implant fixtures are in place, it will take from three to six months for osseointegration to occur. Osseointegration is the biological process in which the jawbone regenerates itself through the creation of new bone tissue. This new bone tissue fuses with the surface of the implant fixture. It also threads itself through tiny holes in the surface of the fixture, which helps to permanently pull it into place. It is this osseointegration process that has led to the ability of a dental implant to effectively replace a missing root.

Step Two: Creating the Permanent Prosthesis

Once the implants bond with the jawbone, the permanent replacement tooth or teeth can be created. An impression is taken. This impression provides Dr. William P. Lamas with a replica of the mouth and implant location, which is necessary to create the patient a custom-designed, permanent dental prosthesis.

Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery: What You Need to Know

Now is the Time to Rest

In general, the number of implants placed determines a patient’s entire recovery time. Therefore, if you only had a single implant placed, you may be able to return to work or school the same day of your procedure; however, if you had more than one implant placed, you need to devote the initial three days following your dental implant procedure to resting.

Give Your Body the Nutrients It Needs to Heal

Keep in mind that your diet following surgery is limited, so you may need to find nourishment through other means. Ask Dr. Lamas which supplements and products he recommends.

Avoid Strenuous Activities

While it is tempting to return to your normal workout routine, strenuous activity must be avoided until Dr. William P. Lamas releases you to participate in these types of activities. Following this recommendation is essential because strenuous exercise can actually slow the healing process.

Following these guidelines will help you prepare for your upcoming dental implant procedure as well as move through the recovery process with less stress.

At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, we are dedicated to providing each of our patients with the beautiful, gleaming smile they desire: We accomplish this by embracing the most recent technological advancements and innovative products available in the field of Implant Dentistry. If you are missing teeth and would like to learn more about how dental implants can change your life, contact us today at 305-440-4114 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Lamas Dental Specialists is located at 2645 SW 37th Avenue, Suite 304, in Miami, Florida.

 

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