photo2When you have missing teeth in Tampa, FL, implant dentistry from Donato Implant Dentistry can help you find the right replacement solutions for long-term health and beauty. Implants are the best possible replacement option we offer at our offices. Instead of fixing your smile with bridges or dentures, we can offer you a strong replacement that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth.

When you choose implants, you not only replace your missing teeth but restore the form and function of your smile. You are allowed to eat all types of foods comfortably and confidently. You also avoid the discomfort of dentures. Because you are using your mouth to masticate with a full set of teeth, you stop the gradual bone loss in the jaw associated with other prosthetics, like bridges. Natural replacements will also help you look and feel younger, increasing your self confidence in your appearance.

Tooth replacement using this method is a two part process. After teeth have been extracted or lost, artificial titanium roots are implanted into the jawbone. After the bone bonds to these artificial roots, a crown will be placed on top and permanently cemented into place. We make every effort to create replacements that match the form and function of your natural tooth for seamless integration into your smile. Once complete, you will have a fully functioning and beautiful smile.

Dr. Donato received his DMD from Boston University and has been practicing dentistry for over 15 years. With a commitment to continuing education, he is always improving his practice to provide the best possible care for his patients. As a respected professional in the field, he holds several state and national memberships with dental societies and associations.

If you are considering Tampa, FL implant dentistry, Donato Implant Dentistry is your best resource for oral health care and surgery. Please call our offices today for a free initial consultation. We look forward to exploring the possibilities with you!

Learn more about Implants Below!

An option for replacing missing teeth

If you are self-conscious about missing teeth or wearing dentures, there‟s an alternative that may be right for you: dental implants. Dental implants are one option for replacing missing or badly diseased teeth. A dental implant offers comfort and stability and, by virtue of the artificial tooth it supports, is a restoration that is the closest thing to a natural tooth.

WHAT IS AN IMPLANT? 

Implants are manufactured “anchors” that look like cylinders or screws. They are artificial replacements for natural tooth roots. Implants are used in upper and lower jaws. They are made of titanium and other materials that are well suited to the human body. They attach to the jawbone and gum tissue to become a stable base for one or more custom artificial replacement teeth, called dental crowns.

Dental implants have been used for several decades. Patients of all ages have chosen dental implants to replace a single tooth or several teeth or to support partial or full dentures. It‟s no surprise. Dental implants and their crowns help restore the ability to chew food. They help fill out a face that otherwise could look sunken because of missing teeth. Unlike dentures, implants and crowns are not removed for overnight soaking and cleaning. No adhesives are needed.

THE IMPLANT PROCESS 

Treatment generally is a three-part process that, takes several months.

In the first step, the dentist surgically places the implant in the jaw, with the top of the implant slightly above the top of the bone. A screw is inserted into the implant to prevent gum tissue and other debris from entering.

The gum then is secured over the implant. The implant will remain covered for approximately three to six months while it fuses with the bone, a process called “osseointegration.” There may be some swelling, tenderness of both or a few days after the surgery, so pain medication usually is prescribed to alleviate the discomfort. A diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup often is recommended during the healing process.

In the second step, the implant is uncovered and the dentist attaches an extension, called a post, to the implant. The gum tissue is allowed to heal around the post. Some implants require a second surgical procedure in which a post is attached to connect the replacement teeth. With other implants, the implant and post are a single unit placed in the mouth during the initial surgery. Once healed, the implant and post can serve as the foundation for the new tooth.

In the third and final step, the dentist makes a crown, which has a size, shape, color and fit that will blend with your other teeth. Once completed, the crown is attached to the implant post.

 See the process!

ARE IMPLANTS RIGHT FOR YOU? 

Who‟s a good candidate for implant treatment? You are, if you‟re in good health and have healthy gums and adequate bone to support an implant. You must be committed to thorough oral hygiene to keep your mouth healthy and to scheduling regular dental visits. Ask your dentist if implants are an option for you.

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is nothing more than a metal screw that is placed into the jawbone. It acts as an anchor for a false tooth or a set of false teeth.

2. What is the success rate of dental implants?

This depends very much on where the implants are placed and what they will be called upon to do. The best-case scenario is the placement of implants in the front portion of the lower jaw. Here success can be as high as 98-100%. In other areas of the mouth, success rates can drop significantly. According to figures that we have today, the success of implants in the front part of the upper jaw are anywhere from 90-95%. Success rates of implants in the back part of the upper and lower jaw can be in the 85-95% range. The success rate in my practice for the past five years has been 99+% for all implants placed.

3. Is there another way I can have a tooth replaced other than a bridge?

Yes. Dental implants can provide artificial teeth that look natural and feel secure. Dental implants can also be used to attach full or partial dentures. Implants, however, are not an option for everyone. Because implants require surgery, patients must be in good health, have healthy gums, have adequate bone to support the implant and be committed to meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If you are considering implants, a thorough evaluation by your dentist will help determine if you would be a good candidate.

4. What can go wrong with dental implants?

There are really not too many things that can go wrong with dental implants. They can fail to integrate into the bone and come out. They can fracture or break. There can be problems with the connection between the implant and the prosthesis. There can be an infection or an inflammatory condition in the soft tissue and sometimes in the bone as a result of the implant placement. There can be damage to the nerves in the lower jaw and there can be damage to the maxillary sinus or the nasal cavity. All of these complications are rare and usually account for less than 5% of all dental implant treatments. These complications can usually be easily corrected.

5. Why have dental implants become so popular? 

As our life span increases, the need for some type of permanent dental replacement system becomes very important to our overall health. Dentures and removable bridges have obvious problems: They are loose and unstable. Implants can provide people with dental replacements that are both functional and esthetic.

6. What is involved in placing implants?

First, surgery is performed to place the anchor. Surgery can take up to several hours, and up to six months may be required for the bone to grow around the anchor and firmly hold it in place. Some implants require a second surgery in which a post is attached to connect the anchor to the replacement teeth. With other implants, the anchor and post are already attached and are placed at the same time.

After the gums have had several weeks to heal, the next step is begun. The artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step can take one to two months to complete.

Implant surgery can be done either in a dental office or in a hospital, depending upon a number of factors. A local or general anesthetic may be used. Usually pain medications and, when necessary, antibiotics are prescribed. Your dentist will give you instructions on diet and oral hygiene.

7. How long after a dental implant is placed, can it be used to anchor my new teeth?

The protocol that was originally developed clearly states that we must wait three months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw before we can begin to construct the new dental prosthesis that will be supported by the implants. In recent years, however, there has been a movement within the profession to sort of speed up this process.

Today we believe that it is possible in selected patients to accelerate the healing time. We are even loading implants in very specific situations right away. However, the general protocol that I favor is 3 months in the lower jaw and 4 months in the upper jaw.

8. Does it hurt to have dental implants placed?

The actual procedure to surgically place a dental implant is done under local anesthesia and is generally not at all painful. Anesthetics, Oral Sedation, or General Anesthesia can be used to alleviate any discomfort during surgery.

When the anesthesia wears off about three or four hours later, you might expect some discomfort. The level of discomfort is quite different from patient to patient, but most patients do not have significant problems. Some patients do have varying degrees of pain or discomfort, which may last for several days. Swelling and bruising may also develop.

In cases where there is prolonged pain, you should see your dentist right away. Prolonged pain is not a good sign with dental implants and although it does not always mean failure, the cause of the pain should be determined as soon as possible. If an implant is not properly integrating into the adjacent bone or if an infection develops, the implant may have to be removed.

9. What happens if I have dental implants and they are rejected?

Occasionally dental implants do fail or, as some people say, they are rejected. In many instances, they can be replaced with another implant, usually of a slightly larger size. Failure rates should be about 1-2%. Each year I place 200 to 250 implants and each year 1 or 2 of them fail. I replace those at no additional charge.

10. Do I have to go without my “teeth” while the implants are bonding to my jawbone?

Once again, the original protocol called for patients to go without wearing their dentures for at least two weeks after implant placement. Over the years, this has been modified considerably and in most situations, patients leave the office wearing their teeth the day the implants are placed. Every patient and procedure is evaluated separately and there might occasionally be a recommendation that a patient go without their prosthesis for a short period of time. You may also have to be on a soft diet for a period of time after implants are placed.

11. Bone Graft

Sometimes when a dental implant is placed, it is necessary to build up the bone in the area to insure success. The procedure of building up the bone is known as Bone Grafting. Bone grafting is a very common procedure in dentistry and it is used quite a bit for dental implants and in periodontal procedures around natural teeth. In order to do bone grafting, we need a source of bone to place in the site.

The bone that we use can be one of three types. The best bone is bone that is taken from the patient that we are working on. This bone can be taken from other areas of the mouth or collected in our suction apparatus as we drill into the bone to prepare the sites for dental implants.

Occasionally this bone is taken from areas outside the mouth, such as the hip. When bone is taken from the hip, it is usually done in the hospital by an orthopedic surgeon and transferred to the dentist doing the implant procedure in the OR.

Another very common source of bone is bone taken from cadavers. This bone is harvested under very strict supervision at several bone banks around the country and it is used in many dental and medical procedures. There has never been a case of a transmitted disease with this type of bone. It is very safe and very useful in our work to help patients. A third type of bone is a synthetic type of bone taken. This has some use in dentistry but it does not seem to be as useful as the first two types of bone.

12. The cost of dental implants

In some situations today, we still pay for these services according to the number of implants used. Dentistry, however, has realized that the number of implants used for a given restoration is most important in terms of the success of the restoration, not the overall fee and we have begun to start charging patients according to the complexity of the overall procedure. It is certainly much more cost effective when the same dentist both places and restores a patient’s dentition, but this is not always possible. In the future, as dental implants are incorporated into the scope of general practice, implants will be not only much more widespread in their use, but much more cost effective for the patients.

13. A Bridge or a Dental Implant

Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions on this site is whether or not to use a fixed (“permanent”) bridge or a dental implant to replace one or two missing teeth.

Suppose you are missing your lower left first molar. If a fixed bridge were to be used, your dentist would cut down the adjacent teeth (the second molar and the second bicuspid) and fit a three unit fixed bridge over those two teeth. The missing tooth would be called a pontic and it would be effectively replaced by the three-unit bridge. If your dentist were to use an implant with a crown on it, he would place an implant in the site of the original first molar. He could do this immediately or at some date after the first molar was removed. There is no time limit here. The implant will take about 3 months to connect with the bone and then at that time, your dentist can construct a single crown on the implant to replace the missing first molar.

The cost of each one of these procedures varies from office to office, but a three unit fixed bridge costs about the same as an implant and a crown. The actual decision to do one over the other rests with you and your dentist. One technique is not inherently better than the other and each depends upon how you present and your dentist‟s skills. All things being equal, I would usually prefer to place the implant and crown over the bridge.

14. Is everyone a candidate for implant treatment? 

In general, anyone healthy enough to undergo routine tooth extraction or oral surgery is probably able to receive an implant. There are some health conditions that warrant special consideration. Certain chronic diseases, heavy smoking or alcohol abuse may contraindicate implant treatment. After careful evaluation of your health history, your dentist will alert you to any conditions that may affect your treatment. Remember, age is not a factor.

15. Will others know I have dental implants?

Today„s implant treatment enables you to have your new teeth look, feel and function like your own. Even though others will be unaware you have dental implants, many patients are so pleased they tell everyone they know. Dental implants offer some of the finest restorative results possible in modern dentistry.

16. Are implant-supported teeth as strong as my natural teeth?

Yes. Research shows that in many cases implants are actually stronger then natural

Testimonial

Dr. Donato is a great person; my whole family comes to his office. Before dental implants I was having a hard time eating a lot of foods, the process took some time but I was never without teeth. Now I am able to eat things that I never could. I have more confidence now and I get tons of compliments on my smile which I never use to. It’s the best thing that I have ever done. I love Dr. Donato, I would let him do anything he wants to me and it doesn’t hurt that he’s cute.

Hilda Gara