Miami – Tooth Replacement

A missing tooth can negatively affect an individual’s self-confidence level, which, due to his or her reluctance to smile, laugh, or even converse with others face to face, may lead to an avoidance of social gatherings.

Traditional options for replacing a missing tooth include the filing down of the teeth on either side of the missing tooth so that they can be used as an anchor for a bridge. Another option is a removable, acrylic prosthesis (i.e., flipper); however, removable dental appliances tend to move around a bit, which can make them somewhat unreliable. The good news is that today, individuals who are missing a tooth have another option, Single Tooth Replacement with a dental implant. At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, Dr. William P. Lamas performs a variety of single, multiple and full-teeth dental implant procedures.

The Prevalence of Tooth Loss in Adults

Although secondary teeth (aka permanent teeth) are meant to last a lifetime, there are a variety of issues that can lead to the loss of one (or more) of these teeth. While congenital defects, decay, trauma, mishaps or wear and tear can all contribute to the loss of a permanent tooth, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), periodontal disease is the main reason for the loss of teeth in adults.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 70 percent of adults in the U.S., who are over the age of 35, have lost at least one of their permanent teeth. However, despite the prevalence of this problem, missing a tooth can be embarrassing, which is why many people are choosing to have Dr. Lamas permanently replace their missing tooth with a single dental implant.

Traditional Replacement Methods

Whereas, the traditional methods are actually just a patch, a dental implant is designed to replace both the root and the crown; thus, preserving the jawbone and eliminating concerns related to bone resorption. Furthermore, dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth.

What is Resorption?

It is true that teeth are a critical aspect of speaking and chewing; however, they are also essential to the overall health of the jaw and mouth. Following the loss of a tooth, the jawbone itself begins to suffer as it is no longer stimulated in that area. This causes the alveolar bone, which is the bone responsible for supporting the teeth (aka the tooth’s socket), to begin deteriorating (shrinking).

Unfortunately, as this bone deteriorates, surrounding teeth become more susceptible to:

  • gum disease;
  • fractures; and/or
  • cavities.

The Benefit of a Single Tooth Replacement with a Dental Implant Over the Traditional Methods

Instead of grinding down neighboring teeth to anchor a bridge, an implant is able to successfully replace the missing tooth without the need to cause damage to the teeth surrounding it.

A flipper is a removable, acrylic dental prosthesis that can move around and slip as the jawbone beneath it begins deteriorating (resorbing). A dental implant is permanent and prevents resorption; therefore, it stays in place.

Dental Implants and the Osseointegration Process

A titanium dental implant is comprised of three components: the implant, the abutment and the crown; whereas, a Zirconium implant only consists of two components: the implant and the crown.

The titanium or Zirconium implant replaces the root and attaches directly to the jawbone beneath the gum line.

The visible portion of the dental implant is referred to as the crown. The crown is secured to the titanium implant via an abutment. Since the Zirconium implant has a one-piece design, an abutment for connection purposes is not required.

Once the implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone, osseointegration takes place. Osseointegration refers to a process in which the jawbone actually attaches itself to these implants, eventually fusing with them.

The Many Advantages of a Dental Implant for Single Tooth Replacement

Since dental implants closely mimic the natural teeth, they offer numerous advantages over the other more traditional restoration options frequently used to replace missing teeth.

Dental implants:

  • place no stress on their neighboring teeth;
  • offer the look, reliability and feel of healthy, natural teeth;
  • allow the patient to continue eating the foods he or she enjoys;
  • ensure the jawbone remains healthy and intact;
  • cause no adverse health effects to the teeth surrounding them;
  • are easier to clean than a bridge or a flipper;
  • eliminate the need to worry about cement washing away and allowing bacteria to decay the teeth anchoring it, which can occur with a bridge;
  • increase the patient’s self-esteem through an improved smile and confidence in his or her appearance;
  • do not require that damage be caused to surrounding teeth during the dental implant procedure;
  • eliminate any concerns related to receding gums, which can occur with bridges;
  • allow patients to speak clearly, without worrying about hiding a missing tooth, visible bridge or flipper;
  • consist of porcelain crowns that are custom-designed to match the color and shape of the patient’s natural teeth;
  • allow the patient to chew without gum irritation or pain;
  • can be used to replace both missing and misshapen teeth;
  • require no special care, just the usual flossing, brushing, biannual cleanings and checkups;
  • are a cavity-proof solution to lost or misshapen teeth;
  • usually allow patients to enjoy their food more because the food tastes better than it did when they wore removable acrylic dental prostheses like flippers;
  • provide patients with a permanent solution to lost teeth;
  • offer an extremely high success rate (up to 98 percent);
  • are as secure as natural teeth (possibly more secure after the osseointegration process is complete); as well as
  • prevent the shifting of the patient’s remaining natural teeth, which frequently occurs when lost teeth are not replaced.

A Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure – A Custom-Designed Treatment Plan

Prior to beginning the Single Tooth Replacement with a Dental Implant Procedure, Dr. Lamas will examine the patient’s mouth and take an X-ray or a Computed Tomography Scan (aka CT or CAT Scan) to determine if the patient has enough jawbone remaining to anchor the dental implant. In addition, these imaging tests will provide him with the information he needs to determine the ideal location for the patient’s implant.

Once Dr. William P. Lamas reviews the patient’s images and determines that a Single- Tooth Replacement Procedure with dental implants is the ideal solution, he will create a customized treatment plan. Each plan that Dr. Lamas creates is specifically designed to meet each of his patient’s specific needs. Unless Dr. William P. Lamas performs an extraction and immediately places a Zirconium dental implant, placing a single dental implant is usually a two-stage process.

The First Stage of a Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Placing the Dental Implant

1. During the first stage of the procedure, Dr. Lamas will use a specially-designed dental drill to create a small pilot hole in the jawbone. This pilot hole is created where the root of the natural tooth once existed.
2. He will then slowly and carefully widen this hole to allow placement of the titanium or Zirconium implant, both of which resemble a tiny screw.
3. Once the hole is wide enough, Dr. William P. Lamas can gently insert the implant.
4. To promote faster healing and reduce the likelihood of infection, patients may receive stitches.

Now, Dr. Lamas will give the implant a few months to bond with the jawbone. Allowing this time for osseointegration to take place is essential to ensuring that the patient’s permanent crown is securely anchored once it is placed.

During the osseointegration period, the patient does receive a temporary crown. This temporary crown assists with the healing process and provides the gum a model to shape itself around; thus, preparing it for the permanent crown.

The Second Phase of a Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure with a Dental Implant

After the osseointegration period, patients will return to Dr. Lamas’ office in Miami to receive their permanent crown.

Whereas, Zirconium implants consist of just two pieces (the implant and the crown), titanium dental implants consist of three; therefore, if the patient has a titanium implant, Dr. William P. Lamas will need to place an abutment on top of the implant before connecting the permanent crown. This abutment is used to connect the custom-designed crown to the patient’s implant.

Recovering from a Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure in Miami

Any discomfort associated with this type of procedure is usually minimal. Patients may experience slight inflammation. This inflammation is typically confined to the jaw; however, it may temporarily extend to the face. Minor bruising and/or bleeding in the area addressed during surgery is common, generally lasting no more than a few days.

Dr. William P. Lamas may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter medications to help the patient remain comfortable directly following the Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure. In addition, for the first week following their procedure, patients are required to eat a soft diet.

A soft-food diet consists of:

  • cottage cheese;
  • bananas
  • mangoes;
  • white bread;
  • mashed potatoes;
  • white rice;
  • avocados;
  • pureed fruits;
  • smoothies;
  • egg noodles;
  • yogurt (avoid granola and raspberry varieties);
  • instant oatmeal;
  • pudding;
  • gelatin;
  • scrambled eggs;
  • ice cream; and
  • broth-based soups.

Following a Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure with a dental implant, the patient must be committed to practicing good oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing are vital to maintaining the overall health of the mouth; furthermore, patients who smoke are encouraged to work towards living a smoke-free life. Following these recommendations is crucial in that smoking and poor dental hygiene are associated with implant failure as well as the onset of infection.

Who Should Consider a Single Tooth Replacement with Dr. Lamas in Miami?

Individuals who are having an extraction should consider having a Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure with Dr. William P. Lamas.

Some patients are able to have a tooth placed directly following their extraction, which is extremely beneficial as this speeds up the osseointegration process; however, some patients will have to wait until the area heals. Whether or not Dr. Lamas can immediately place a dental implant following an extraction depends on several factors, including whether the extraction site is too wide to hold the implant.

Other people who should consider a Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure with Dr. William P. Lamas at his Miami office include anyone who has:

  • lost a permanent tooth;
  • an adequate amount of bone and gum tissue; and
  • a fully mature jawbone (usually by the time an individual reaches 18 years of age).

Your Initial Consultation at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Your initial consultation is the first step towards your new, full smile. During this step, Dr. Lamas will examine your mouth, take X-rays and determine if a Single-Tooth Replacement Procedure will provide you with the results you desire. If, for any reason, he believes that this dental implant procedure will not meet your needs, Dr. William P. Lamas will recommend the procedure(s) he believes will provide you with the results you wish to attain.

Patients are encouraged to ask questions regarding all aspects of the Single Tooth Replacement with a Dental Implant Procedure. Please keep in mind that to ensure your procedure runs as smoothly as possible, some diagnostic tests may be necessary before your implant procedure.

The Cost of a Dental Implant for a Single Tooth Replacement in Miami

During your initial consultation, a general estimate as to the cost of your dental implant procedure for a Single Tooth Replacement with a dental implant will be calculated. In addition, a member of Dr. William P. Lamas’ staff will discuss the types of payments that Lamas Dental Specialists accepts (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover), Dental Insurance payments (when applicable) and third-party financing (i.e., CareCredit and GreenSky).

Although a dental implant costs more than a removable dental prosthesis does, implants offer patients numerous long-term benefits. As a permanent solution, with a success rate of up to 98 percent, they never need to be replaced (or adjusted). Dental implants are easy to care for and closely resemble one’s natural teeth. For these reasons, most of Dr. Lamas’ patients feel that dental implants are well worth the additional expense.

Risks Associated with a Single Tooth Replacement Using a Dental Implant in Miami

As with any procedure, there are a few risks to consider before undergoing a Single Tooth Replacement with a dental implant. There is a very small chance that the crown being used will come loose or that the implant itself will break, while troublesome, both of these issues can be professionally repaired. If a problem does arise with dental implants, it is usually caused by a failure to maintain proper oral hygiene. Not maintaining proper oral hygiene around the implant can lead to infection or Peri-implantitis.

Dental Implants are the Closest Restoration Option Available to Natural Teeth

The traditional replacement methods (i.e., bridges and flippers) do not have the ability to provide the patient with a solution that mimics the natural tooth close enough to stimulate the jawbone and reduce resorption; however, Single Tooth Replacement with a dental implant does, which is why many of Dr. William P. Lamas’ patients are choosing to throw away their removable dental prostheses, are avoiding dental bridges and opting for Single Tooth Replacement with a dental implant. In addition, individuals who have recently lost, or never had a missing tooth replaced are finding that dental implants are the closest option available to having their natural teeth.

With the comfortable, natural-looking and feeling dental implants available, there is no need to continue living with missing or failing teeth. Contact Lamas Dental Specialists at 305-440-4114 to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. William P. Lamas at his office in Miami. Dr. Lamas’ office is located at 2645 Southwest 37th Avenue, Suite 304, Miami. We look forward to seeing you smile!



Rating: 5Miami Periodontist- 5 Star Reviews

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!!