Are Dental Implants Right for You?Jan 29, 2021 10:15AM ● By Robert J. Yu, DMD
If you have missing teeth and are looking for a way to improve your smile and quality of life, dental implants might be a great option for you. Dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth and provide a fixed solution to having a removable partial or complete dentures. Implants also provide excellent support and stability for dental appliances that may be replacing teeth lost over the years.
Once placed, dental implants become fixed to the jawbone. Even though the lifespan of a dental implant will vary with each patient, many have lasted for over 30 years. With good oral hygiene and regular cleanings, dental implants could last a lifetime. In contrast, the average lifespan of a traditional fixed bridge is 10 to 15 years.
Benefits of dental implants:
- Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth
- Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space
- Restore a confident smile
- Restore chewing, speech and digestion
- Restore or enhance facial tissue
- Support a bridge or denture, making it more secure and comfortable
In the past, titanium implants have been used with great success to replace missing teeth and there is long-term data to support this. Titanium is a safe and very reliable option and a top choice with most dentists because it is very strong, has longevity and integrates well with the bone.
For those allergic or sensitive to metal or who prefer to practice a more holistic way of living, ceramic implants are an excellent alternative. If you have done any research on ceramic implants, you may have come across zirconia implants. You can be assured that these are one and the same. Zirconia dental implants are made from special industrial, high impact-resistant ceramic (zirconium oxide, ZrO2) that is customarily used in aerospace engineering because of its high resistance to fracture and heat.
While there are several companies that produce this alternative implant, Tampa Bay Dental Implants and Periodontics continues to research and use time-tested makers in the industry. To provide their patients with the best quality, Dr. Yu currently uses both the Ceraroot Implant System, a global leader in metal-free, holistic and esthetic implant dentistry, as well as Straumann Pure implants.
Ceramic implants have already made their mark in Europe and South America. Studies show that the osseointegration (process of bone growing right up to the implant surface) of zirconia and titanium implants is very similar, and that zirconia implants have a comparable survival rate to metal implants making them an excellent alternative.
If you are curious about implants or would like to see if you are a candidate, the process is straightforward and stress-free. Dr. Yu recommends scheduling a consultation appointment in his St. Petersburg office where he will evaluate your overall oral health and determine if ceramic implants are right for you. This appointment will take about an hour as you ask any questions and address any concerns you might have about your oral care and the implant placement itself.
Since Dr. Yu feels that one of the keys to dental implant safety and success is advanced radiography, a cone beam (3D) image may be taken. Cone beam digital imaging provides high resolution scans of facial anatomy from different angles. It affords precise measurement and ensures that every possible precaution is made to reduce the risk of involvement of the nerves in the lower jaw and the sinuses and nose in the upper jaw. Until recently, 3D images were done only in hospitals or medical facilities. Today, Tampa Bay Dental is one of the few in the U.S. with the latest in 3D digital imaging.
In October 2019, Dr. Yu had the privilege of being the first to perform Navident on the west coast of Florida, unique in that this process uses a CBCT image as a map, just like using a GPS system for the road. This dynamic navigation technology gives the surgeon the ability to place implants three times more accurately than typical freehand.
If you are thinking that a ceramic implant may be the choice for you, contact Tampa Bay Dental Implants and Periodontics for a consultation. The office is located at 6700 Crosswinds Dr., Ste. 200-B, St. Petersburg. For more information and an appointment, call 727-384-9122 or visit tbperio.com.