Miami – Metal-Free Dental Implants
When an individual has missing teeth, chewing and speaking can be challenging. In addition, if the missing tooth or teeth are located in an area that is visible to others, the individual may feel self-conscious and avoid social gatherings. Until recently, the only options to replace missing teeth were traditional removable dentures or partials and titanium dental implants; however, the newest alternative to replace missing teeth are the all-ceramic, metal-free implants. At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, we want our patients to have as many permanent tooth-replacement options as possible, which is why we offer titanium implants as well as the all-ceramic, metal-free implants.
Metal-Free Dental Implants and Prosthetics: Creating Zirconium
Metal-free dental implants consist of Zirconia (ZrO2), which is a natural ceramic material; however, to use this material in the dental industry, it must be stabilized. Stabilization is accomplished by adding yttrium oxide to the Zirconia. Once the Zirconia is stable, it is referred to as Yttrium stabilized Tetragonal Zirconium Policrystal (Y-TZP) or simply, Zirconium.
Why Use Zirconium for Dental Implants?
Zirconium is one of the strongest ceramic materials available on the market, which makes it ideal for creating metal-free dental implants and dental prosthetics. This durability makes these dental implants resilient to years of grinding, biting and chewing. Furthermore, while the color of titanium implants is silver, Zirconium metal-free dental implants are organically white, which allows them to effectively blend with the structures surrounding them.
Metal-Free Dental Implants Are Quickly Becoming the Implant Fixture of Choice
Metal-free Zirconium implants are surpassing the traditional titanium options in popularity. This trend toward a more holistic tooth-replacement approach is occurring for a variety of reasons: Metal-free dental implants offer patients the same benefits that are associated with traditional titanium implants, and then some.
The benefits of metal-free dental implants in Miami include that they:
- are aesthetically pleasing because they are naturally white as opposed to silver; thus, eliminating concerns related to the potential for a visible silver edge around the prosthesis;
- can resist bending;
- are durable, studies indicate that Zirconium bridges remain stable even after 50 years of use;
- are resistant to corrosion;
- have no metal beneath the prosthesis, therefore, using an all-ceramic implant for tooth restoration may provide the patient with a whiter prosthetic than could be accomplished with a titanium implant fixture;
- are biocompatible and hypoallergenic;
- consist of a naturally-occurring material;
- are readily accepted by the surrounding bone;
- consist of one piece that integrates into the jawbone, ensuring the prosthesis remains permanently stable;
- are made of ceramic, offering a more natural, holistic approach to addressing missing teeth; and
- are just as hygienic as their titanium counterparts (possibly more).
Metal-Free Dental Implants Vs. Titanium: What is the Difference?
Metal-Free Implants Offer Improved Aesthetics
Unfortunately, there are instances when aesthetic issues arise with traditional titanium implants: This is particularly true for individuals who have thin gums or gums that are receding. If the gums are thin, when the titanium implants are placed, the gums may appear gray because the color of the titanium is visible; however, since metal-free implants are white, they offer a more natural look for patients with these issues.
All-Ceramic Implants Are Truly Hypoallergenic
Although rare, if a patient should have a sensitivity to titanium, bone loss may result. This loss of bone can cause a titanium implant to fail. Since metal-free Zirconium implants are hypoallergenic, allergy issues and sensitivity are of no concern.
Zirconium Dental Implants Offer a One-Piece Design
Traditional titanium implant fixtures consist of two pieces that are joined together with a fixation screw. If these two pieces are placed under extreme pressure, they may move and even the slightest bit of movement can cause problems. This movement could lead to the formation of pockets at the gum line: Bacteria will begin colonizing in these pockets, which leads to infection. Infection causes bone loss and the possibility of implant failure.
Zirconium dental implant fixtures are created using a simple, one-piece design; thus, eliminating any concerns related to the slight movement of multiple pieces. Once these metal-free dental implants are placed, they will not shift; therefore, the likelihood of infection and implant failure is reduced.
Metal-Free Dental Implants Resist Corrosion
As time passes, a titanium dental implant fixture can corrode. In addition, the corrosion process accelerates if there is any other metal in the teeth (e.g., fillings). Moreover, fluoride speeds up the corrosion process. However, Zirconium dental implants consist of a biocompatible material that is resistant to corrosion; therefore, corrosion is unlikely. Furthermore, Zirconium does not trigger any chemical reactions within the body or conduct heat and electricity.
All-Ceramic Dental Implants Allow for a Shorter Surgical Procedure
Zirconium metal-free dental implants are designed to be placed directly after a tooth extraction; therefore, patients can have their dental implants placed during a single surgical session, which translates to one recovery period, as opposed to two.
Who Should Consider Metal-Free Dental Implants?
These dental implants are ideal for most of Dr. Lamas’ Miami patients. While these implants are a wonderful solution for those who currently have removable dentures or partials, Zirconium metal-free dental implants are extremely beneficial for individuals who still have quite a few healthy, natural teeth and just need a few replaced.
Patients interested in dental implant surgery with metal-free implants should be in good health, understand the procedure and have a fully-developed jaw.
Individuals who have a history of certain illnesses or who are taking medications known to affect the healing process, may not be good candidates for metal-free dental implants.
What to Expect During Your Complimentary Initial Consultation at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami
When you arrive for your complimentary consultation, please be prepared to discuss your medical and dental history as well as any current conditions you have (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc.). In addition, Dr. William P. Lamas will want to know about the medications, herbal supplements and vitamins that you take. It is vital that patients are candid with Dr. Lamas and his staff: Every question asked is essential to ensuring your safety before, during and after your dental implant surgery.
Your Mouth and Teeth Will Be Examined:
During your initial consultation at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, Dr. William P. Lamas will thoroughly examine your mouth and teeth to determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. Once the examination is complete, he will discuss your options with you.
If You Are a Good Candidate for Dental Implants:
Dr. Lamas will want to know what you would like to accomplish with dental implant surgery. Please talk opening about your desires as it is this information that guides Dr. William P. Lamas as he creates your custom-designed treatment plan.
Which Implant is Better, Titanium or Zirconium?
Each of these implants has its own pros and cons. The type of implant that Dr. Lamas recommends depends on the patient’s concerns and goals.
Some of the categories that help Dr. Lamas and his patients determine the type of implant that will serve him or her best include:
– For the majority of Dr. Lamas’ patients, titanium implants provide amazing results; however, there are some patients who have thin gum tissue or thin bone, for these patients, Zirconium implant fixtures would probably serve them better. Since the Zirconium implant is metal-free and naturally white, it will not show through the gum tissue.
Soft Tissue Healing and Osseointegration
– Titanium and Zirconium implant fixtures are biocompatible. Each integrates well with the gums and bone; however, titanium implants typically last for around 20 years and Zirconium implants have been shown to last 50 years.
– It is more expensive to manufacture Zirconium implants than it is titanium; therefore, Zirconium implant fixtures cost more.
– Titanium implant fixtures are extremely strong, have a high elasticity level and resist fracture; however, metal-free implants have a lower elasticity level, which makes them more prone to micro fractures, but they are also extremely hard and incredibly strong.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Zirconium Dental Implants?
Metal-free implant fixtures are considered safe and effective for the replacement of teeth. Furthermore, since there are very few problems associated with Zirconium implants, their long-term success is high.
What About the Dental Implant Surgery Itself, Are There Risks?
The risks associated with dental implant surgery are the same as with any other minor surgical procedure: the potential for infection, a reaction to anesthesia or excessive bleeding, etc.; however, by choosing a Dental Implant Specialist like Dr. William P. Lamas, the likelihood of experiencing a complication during or after metal-free dental implant surgery is greatly reduced.
Preparing for Your Dental Implant Procedure at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami
Now that you have made the decision to improve your smile with dental implants, you need to begin preparing for your procedure. Even though this is considered a minor surgery, you still need to take some time to heal.
Take Some Time off to Recover
Most patients take at least four days off work or school: The day of the dental implant procedure and the following three days. However, the number of dental implants that a patient has placed greatly affects his or her recovery time.
Once your surgery is scheduled, be sure to contact your employer or school to request time off. If you only have a single implant placed, you may be able to return to work or school the very next day; however, it is better to have additional days off scheduled ahead of time and then return to work earlier than expected than it is to call in sick.
Hold-Off on Social Gatherings
Typically, Dr. William P. Lamas recommends that his patients avoid scheduling any social events during the week following their surgery.
Make Your Recovery Easier by Preparing Ahead of Time
Since you will be eating soft foods for several days after your metal-free dental implant procedure, make sure you stock up on these items before your surgery.
Some foods that you should consider include:
- cottage cheese;
- potatoes (mashed);
- pancakes; and
- nutritional supplements (like Ensure®).
Find Yourself a Driver
On the day of your procedure, you will be anesthetized; therefore, you will not be permitted to drive. Ask someone that you trust (who has a valid driver’s license and is at least 18 years old) to bring you to Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami and then to take you home once your procedure is complete.
Clean Your House and Do Your Laundry
If you complete all your chores before your surgery, you can relax when you come home. Relaxing allows your body to concentrate on healing itself.
Prepare Meals and Freeze Them
Take the time to prepare some soft meals and then freeze them: You can make casseroles, lasagna, spaghetti and soups.
Eating healthy before your dental implant procedure will help your body heal faster.
Avoid Taking These Medications and Supplements
Approximately a week before your dental implant procedure, stop using medications that are known to thin the blood. These medications include naproxen, aspirin, Indocin, ibuprofen, Zorvolex and Celebrex.
Supplements you should avoid for at least two weeks prior to your surgery include Garlic, Ginseng, Vitamin E and Gingko Biloba.
If You Take a Prescription Blood Thinner and/or a Bisphosphonate, Let Dr. Lamas Know
Patients who take prescription blood thinners, including Coumadin, Eliquis and Xarelto, will probably need to discontinue taking these medications a couple days before their metal-free dental implant surgery. In addition, those who have osteoporosis and are taking a bisphosphonate, such as Fosamax, Actonel, Didronel, Boniva, Skelid, Alcasta or Reclast will also need to hold off on taking these for a few days.
Patients Need to Ask Their Physician Before They Discontinue Any of Their Medications
Patients should not discontinue taking any of their prescription medications without approval from the prescribing physician. Dr. Lamas will consult with the patient’s physician before the surgical procedure so they can determine what is best for the patient.
If You Smoke, Try to Quit Before Your Dental Implant Procedure in Miami
The chemicals in cigarettes affect your body’s ability to heal itself; therefore, Dr. William P. Lamas recommends giving up this habit before your procedure. Ask your physician about the tools that are available to help you quit.
Verify That Your Financing is Taken Care Of
Dental Insurance Coverage
– If your insurance covers a portion of your metal-free dental implant procedure, please contact them at least a week before your procedure to find out if there is anything that they need from Dr. Lamas or from you before your dental implant surgery in Miami.
– At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, we also accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
– Financing your new smile through CareCredit allows you to make monthly payments that are designed to fit your financial circumstances.
It’s the Big Day: What to Do on the Day of Your Procedure
The night before your dental implant procedure, you need to sleep well. By arriving at Lamas Dental Specialists well rested, you will have the strength you need to begin healing once your surgery is complete.
Take Pre-Surgical Medications
– If you received any medications that should be taken prior to your surgery, follow the instructions provided.
– Since you are going to be sedated throughout your dental implant procedure, you must fast. While fasting times vary, they usually last from 4 to 12 hours; however, Dr. Lamas will determine the amount of time that you are required to fast.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
– Dress comfortably: Loose clothing and slip-on shoes are recommended. In addition, please remove any nail polish, makeup, lotions and jewelry prior to arriving at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami.
A Metal-Free Implant Procedure in Miami
Zirconium implant fixtures are used to replace a missing root so that a tooth, bridge or denture can be placed. While some patients will require a two-step procedure, many are able to receive their dental implants during a single surgical session.
To ensure our patients remain comfortable during their procedure, our practice utilizes local anesthesia, IV sedation and nitrous oxide (i.e., laughing gas).
Placing the Zirconium Dental Implants: The Procedure
Many of the patients at Lamas Dental Specialists opt to have their metal-free dental implant placed directly into their jawbone immediately following the extraction of their tooth or teeth. While Dr. Lamas recommends this technique, it is not mandatory. He prefers this method because the implant procedure is completed in a single surgical session, which means that patients experience the least amount of discomfort possible.
If you are suffering from gum recession or jawbone deterioration, these issues must be addressed through supplemental treatment before we can move forward with your metal-free dental-implant treatment plan. However, once your supplemental treatment is complete, your metal-free dental implant procedure can be scheduled.
Following osseointegration, patients return to Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami for the final stage of their metal-free implant procedure, restoration. It is during this appointment that the aesthetic portion of the procedure takes place. Dr. Lamas will use dental crowns, overdentures, fixed dentures or bridges to replace your missing teeth. Each of these prosthetics is custom-designed to meet your specific needs.
By taking the time to tailor these pieces for each patient, the fact that they are synthetic is virtually undetectable to others.
If Dr. William P. Lamas is performing a Same-Day Dental Implant Procedure, he will:
- remove the patient’s teeth that are being replaced with dental implants (if applicable);
- use the all-ceramic dental implant fixture to replace the missing roots; and
- attach the prosthetic to the implants.
Supplemental Treatment (if Applicable)
Previously, individuals who did not have enough bone to support dental implants or who were experiencing gum recession were turned away; however, technological advancements in the world of implant dentistry have changed all that.
Dr. Lamas can use soft tissue augmentation techniques or bone grafting, to restore your deteriorated bone and/or gum. Once the supplemental treatment is complete, you are a good candidate for a dental implant procedure with metal-free dental implants.
A Two-Step Process for Metal-Free Dental Implants
The Implant(s) is Placed and a Temporary Prosthesis is Attached
Patients having their all-ceramic implant procedure in two sessions will leave Dr. Lamas’ office with the metal-free implant fixtures in place. In addition, stitches may be used to decrease the risk of infection as well as to allow for faster healing. Dr. Lamas may also provide the patient with a temporary prosthesis: This temporary prosthesis will be worn until the permanent prosthetic appliance is created and applied.
A Three to Six Month Healing Time
Once the metal-free dental implant fixtures are in place, the osseointegration process will begin. It is through this process that the jawbone is able to regenerate itself, creating new bone tissue. This tissue fuses with the all-ceramic implant and threads through extremely small holes in the surface of the implant, which assists with permanently pulling it into place.
Creating the Prosthesis
Once the all-ceramic implants have fused with the jawbone, Dr. Lamas can create the permanent prosthesis. He will take an impression of the patient’s mouth. This provides him with a mold of the mouth and the position of each implant. He uses this mold to create the patient a custom-designed dental prosthesis.
What to Expect During Recovery
Typically, it is the number of metal-free implants Dr. Lamas places that determines how long a patient will need for recovery. In general, patients should expect to devote at least three days to healing.
As You Heal, Nutrients are Important
Although your diet is limited directly after dental implant surgery, you can supplement your diet with drinks like Ensure®.
Do Not Participate in Strenuous Activities
Strenuous exercise can slow the healing process, which is why you need to avoid these kinds of activities until the healing process is complete.
If you are interested in learning more about the tooth replacement options available in Miami, contact Lamas Dental Specialists at 305-440-4114 to schedule your free initial consultation.
We are located at 2645 SW 37th Avenue, Suite 304, in Miami, Florida.
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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