Many people are missing some or even all of their teeth. Dental implants are the most ideal choice to replace missing teeth so that they look and feel as natural as possible. Daytime TV’s Maggie Rodriguez sat down with Creating Smiles’ Dr. Cindy Brayer and Dr. Cecilia Pereira from the American Academy of Periodontology to explain exactly what dental implants are and why they are often the best choice to replace missing teeth.
According to Dr. Brayer, “We recommend dental implants for patients who are missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural tooth and their shape, their function, and their aesthetics.”
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a metal post – usually titanium – that is placed into a patient’s jawbone. Next, we put an abutment on top of the post, which acts as a connector between the post and the prosthetic tooth, or crown. The crown is then placed on top of the abutment and is designed to look like the patient’s natural teeth.
Here at Creating Smiles, dental implants are placed by our compassionate and skilled periodontist, Dr. Cecilia Pereira. A periodontist is a dental specialist who focuses on the care of the gums, the underlying bone, and the placement of dental implants.
“As a periodontist, I work closely with restorative dentists like Dr. Brayer to ensure the best outcome of a case by going to her office and discussing with the patients the different treatment options out there. That way we ensure that we have 100% of communication,” explains Dr. Pereira.
Why choose dental implants?
Patients coming into our office with missing teeth have several options when it comes to improving their smile and overall dental health – crowns, dentures, partial dentures, dental implants, etc… So why do we recommend dental implants to many of our patients?
Like Dr. Brayer, Dr. Pereira believes that dental implants are the best option for many patients.
“Implants are the most ideal choice because they replace the missing tooth with a similar look-alike implant crown. Dental implants do not get root decay and they also preserve the bone around it. Implants also have a better long-term success rate than some other [options].”
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Whether or not a patient is a candidate for dental implants depends on a number of factors, including their general dental condition and the number of missing teeth.
Dr. Brayer describes several scenarios where dental implants might be ideal to replace a patient’s missing teeth:
- For a patient missing one tooth, we can replace it with a single implant.
- For a patient missing three or more teeth, we can replace them with an implant bridge.
- For a patient missing all of their teeth on either the upper or lower arch and who wants a fixed restoration, an implant-supported full arch fixed bridge is an ideal option.
- For a patient missing all of their teeth on both the upper and lower arch and who don’t mind a removable restoration, we offer implant-supported removable dentures.
The last option is very popular with our patients who already have full dentures, notes Dr. Brayer.
“They don’t like that their dentures feel very loose so they want to place implants to help snap those dentures in place and stay in place.”
Dental implants before and after
The difference that dental implants can make in a patient’s smile and dental health can be dramatic, as Dr. Brayer illustrates:
Patient A Before and After (above)
“[Patient A] was missing one molar in the back, and so we replaced it with a single implant. [For Patient B], we had to remove all of their lower front teeth and placed two implants and a fixed bridge. [Patient C] a patient for whom we had to remove most of their upper teeth, replacing them with six implants and two implant fixed bridges.”
Patient B Before and After (above)
Patient C Before and After (above)
If you would like to learn more about dental implants or find out if they are right for you, please request a complimentary new patient consultation. We offer both in-office consults and virtual consults for your convenience.
Creating Smiles is one of Pinellas County’s leading providers of cosmetic and general dentistry services, including Invisalign, teeth whitening, dental implants, and oral cancer screenings. To schedule your in-office or virtual new patient consultation please call our St. Petersburg office (727-323-0377) or Clearwater office (727-791-8823).