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Dental Implants – Westchase, FL

The Best Solution for
an Incomplete Smile

Obviously, if you had a choice, you would keep your natural teeth forever. Sadly, this isn’t always possible, but if you do end up losing a tooth, a dental implant is the next best thing. Thanks to the fact that it can replace the root of a missing tooth as well as the crown, implant-supported prosthetics resemble natural teeth as closely as possible, putting them a step above traditional forms of tooth replacement. To set up an in-person consultation to discuss tooth replacement with dental implants in Westchase, FL with Dr. Ponnaganti, please contact us today.

Why Choose Happy Smiles for Dental Implants?

What is a Dental Implant?

Model dental implant supported dental crown

Dental implants, by themselves, are small posts shaped like screws. They’re normally made out of titanium, but some are composed of zirconium. In either case, they can fuse with the bone in your jaw through a process called osseointegration. After your mouth has fully recovered from this process, your implants will be able to support a restoration in order to replace any number of teeth. Unlike other forms of tooth replacement that occasionally need to be replaced, dental implants are considered permanent.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

dentist holding dental implant in Westchase

The process for getting dental implants in Westchase can take several months. Although that may seem like a long time, the stunning results are well worth it! Our team at Happy Smiles has undergone advanced training to be able to perform the entire dental implant process in one convenient location. You don’t have to worry about seeing an outside specialist! Dr. Ponnaganti and the team will be there every step of the way on your journey. While the exact process can vary from patient to patient, here’s what the four main stages of treatment will look like:

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

dental implant consultation

The first step on your journey towards a beautifully restored smile is a dental implant consultation with Dr. Ponnaganti. During this initial visit, she will conduct a thorough oral examination and explain your options for tooth replacement. She’ll ask about your oral health, overall health, lifestyle, and goals to determine your candidacy for treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the process – we’re more than happy to answer them for you! Once it’s decided that implants are right for you, you can begin scheduling your future appointments. Some patients may need preliminary work (i.e., bone grafting, gum disease therapy, extractions), so make sure that’s taken care of before advancing to the next step.

Dental Implant Surgery

dental implant surgery in Westchase

It may surprise you to learn that dental implant surgery is actually a fairly simple procedure. After Dr. Ponnaganti has numbed your mouth and administered sedation (if needed), she’ll make small incisions in the gum tissue to access the jawbone. The implants are inserted at precise locations and angles using advanced technology and techniques. Then, your gums are sutured shut. You may be fitted with a protective cap to protect your gums and implants throughout the healing process.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

3D rendering of dental implant in Westchase

Osseointegration is a natural process that allows the implants to fuse with the surrounding tissue, providing unmatched stability and a solid foundation for your new teeth. It’s a critical part of the healing process, taking about three to six months to complete. Once fully healed, you’ll return to the office for a second minor surgery to receive your abutments. They’re small metal connector pieces that are placed on top of your implants, serving as an anchor for your final restoration (i.e., crown, bridge, or denture).

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

patient smiling after getting dental implants in Westchase

While you recover, a trusted dental lab will create your final restorations (replacement teeth) using impressions of your natural smile. Each restoration is made from materials that mimic the tooth enamel, right down to the way they reflect light. Once your new teeth are attached to your abutments, you can start enjoying the many incredible benefits of dental implants!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Man discovers benefits of dental implants in Westchase

Did you know that according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are more than 5 million dental implants placed each year in the United States? That’s a lot of people who are enjoying the many great benefits of dental implants in Westchase. Unmatched by any other tooth replacement solution, these permanent prosthetics offer an endless array of advantages that cannot be achieved with dentures or dental bridges. From increased jawbone stimulation and the ability to eat nutrient-rich foods that promote healthy teeth and gums, to a prosthetic that can last 30 years or longer and has a high success rate of 95%, you will not find another restorative solution quite like dental implants.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Smiling couple with dental implants in Westchase
  • Ability to Eat the Foods You Love: Dental implants behave like your natural teeth, meaning they have similar chewing power and bite force. This allows you to eat the foods you love without worrying about your prosthetic slipping or falling out.
  • Improved Appearance: They are comfortable enough that many people can’t tell the difference between a natural tooth and an implant. Also, your restoration will provide a seamless blend into your natural smile because of the high-quality materials used to create it.
  • Easy Maintenance: Dentures that have been anchored to dental implants do not slip, and they do not have to be taken out of your mouth to be cleaned. This allows for greater oral health because you can brush and floss them just like your regular teeth.
  • Better Quality of Life: It is believed that 10% of denture-wearers avoid social situations while 20% admit they’re afraid to smile. Another 63% claim to have kept their dentures a secret from family, friends, and their spouses. With dental implants, you are free to smile with much more confidence and embrace a better quality of life.

Health Benefits

Dental implant in Westchase
  • Preserve Your Natural Teeth: With dental implants, your natural teeth do not need to be altered. If you were to have a dental bridge put into place, your dentist would need to file down your abutment teeth to allow for proper placement. Fortunately, your healthy teeth remain untouched when choosing implants.
  • Healthier Jaw: Dental implants in Westchase can stimulate the jawbone to prevent it from breaking down, which is a welcomed reality since jawbone shrinkage often causes facial collapse and additional tooth loss.
  • Natural Teeth Remain in Place: A properly placed and restored implant will prevent your other teeth from drifting into the gap, which can lead to necessary orthodontic treatment later on if not addressed promptly.
  • Improved Health: Systemic issues are a common concern when faced with tooth loss; however, dental implants lower your risk for health-related issues, making it possible to enjoy a healthier smile and body.

Long-Term Benefits

Woman smiling with dental implants in Westchase
  • High Success Rate: A qualified implant dentist in Westchase knows how to properly place a dental implant. In most cases, you can expect your new prosthetics to have a high success rate of about 95%. This percentage falls to 90-95% after 10 years as long as you continue to take proper care of your new teeth.
  • Longevity: A well-cared-for dental implant can last for the rest of your life while dental bridges and dentures have a much shorter lifespan. The latter often requires more frequent adjustments as well.
  • Cost Savings: Instead of spending additional money on adhesives, denture-soaking products, and frequent adjustments and replacements, you will instead, pay a larger upfront cost for dental implants but save more money in the long run.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Woman in an orange shirt and glasses leaning in a hallway smiling

Regardless of how many teeth you have remaining, potentially anyone who has suffered tooth loss can benefit from dental implants. Before you can proceed, you must have a consultation with Dr. Ponnaganti to make sure that it’s the best treatment for your unique circumstances. Continue reading below to learn what makes a good candidate, and feel free to contact us to schedule your appointment or request additional information.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

A happy and smiling senior man pointing out his new dentures

It’s important that you have a clean mouth before getting dental implants because bacteria can infect the site and lead to failure. During your consultation, Dr. Ponnaganti will gather your medical history and examine your mouth to look for:

  • Good overall health. Because the procedure involves surgery, our team must ensure that your body is well enough to undergo it.
  • Excellent oral condition. Tooth decay and gum disease can impact your results, so any areas of concern must be treated before you can proceed.
  • Sufficient jawbone density. Your jaw serves as the foundation for your dental implants, so it needs to be strong enough to support them.

If you’re not a good candidate for this treatment right away, you can be once any problems are addressed. For example, cavities will need to be filled, or you might require a bone graft to bulk up your jaw. Once these repairs are made, our team will suggest an appropriate implant treatment based on how many teeth you’ve lost.

Missing One Tooth

A senior man talking by speaker phone in his workspace

For those missing only one tooth, you’ll have a single titanium rod placed in the socket left behind. This will be capped with a dental crown that’s customized to match the shade of your natural teeth so no one can tell the difference. Unlike dental bridges, this restoration is a sturdy, stand-alone structure that doesn’t rely on neighboring teeth for support. That means we won’t have to remove any healthy enamel for it to fit correctly.

Missing Multiple Teeth

An older couple eating a healthy meal together

If you’re missing two teeth in a row, we can place two posts to support a dental bridge to fill in the gap. If the holes in your smile are spread out, several rods can be inserted into your jawbone to hold a partial denture in place. These solutions are also color-matched to your smile to flawlessly refurbish your grin.

Missing All Teeth

A dentist performing dental work on an older man

If you have no natural teeth left, you can still benefit from dental implants. In these cases, we can strategically position 4 to 6 rods to support full dentures. Your restoration will be permanently attached to the implants so that you don’t have to worry about it ever slipping out of place. This is a popular way to replace all your teeth simultaneously to maximize stability and functionality.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

implant dentist in Westchase with a hologram of a dental implant in their hands

Not all patients will end up paying the same amount for their replacement teeth. The cost of dental implants in Westchase can vary depending on whether you’re replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire arch. The type of preparations required also need to be considered. We’ll be sure to have an accurate estimate for you before moving ahead with the process. Remember that getting dental implants is an investment in a beautiful new smile that will last for decades, so this treatment can actually save you money in the long run!

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

dentist showing a patient their dental X-rays

When you meet with your implant dentist in Westchase, Dr. Ponnaganti will look over your smile to determine whether you can schedule your dental implant surgery right away or if you need one or more preparatory procedures first. It’s not uncommon for patients to have oral health issues like jawbone loss, gum disease, or severe tooth decay that need to be addressed before getting dental implants. If that’s the case, we can plan for bone grafting, periodontal therapy, tooth extractions, and any other procedures you may require. These treatments raise your total cost of treatment, but they also ensure that your new smile has a healthy foundation.

Fortunately, Dr. Ponnaganti is capable of completing every step of the dental implant process right here in our office. This saves you the expense (and time) of having to travel to a separate practice for your surgery.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

three dental implants with abutments and crowns

The implant posts – and the abutments that go on top of them – can be made from various materials, manufacturers, and brands. Each of these options is suitable for different cases, and our team will be sure to let you know why we’re making the specific choice that we are, as well as how it affects your final treatment costs.

The crown, bridge, or denture that we secure on top of your abutments will also have its own unique price. Generally speaking, your restoration will cost more if you require a larger number of teeth to be replaced. For example, a single crown necessitates less material, so it won’t cost as much as a full implant denture. Of course, we’ll go over this information in detail with you during your consultation.

Why Dental Implants Are the Most Cost-Effective Tooth Replacement

man putting coins into a pink piggy bank

When you look at the initial cost of dental implants, you might be skeptical that they could save you money. However, dental implants in Westchase pay for themselves several times over in the long run for a few reasons:

  • You won’t need to constantly purchase adhesives to keep your teeth in place.
  • Dental implants don’t require specialized cleaning products – just regular toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, etc.
  • Bridges and dentures have to be replaced every five to ten years, compounding their upfront lower cost. Because dental implants can last for 30+ years, they’re the smarter financial choice in the long term.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

dental insurance form on a blue clipboard

Not all dental insurance plans cover dental implants or the surgical procedure, but we’ll be sure to look over your policy just to make sure. In many cases, your insurance will offer some coverage for other parts of the treatment, such as your restoration or preliminary procedures. Happy Smiles is in-network with a great number of the country’s leading PPO plans, and we’re also happy to accept out-of-network plans.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

young woman talking to her dentist about the cost of dental implants in Westchase

Even uninsured patients can still save on dental implants when they visit Happy Smiles thanks to our other financing options:

  • CareCredit – This third-party company offers low- and no-interest payment plans based on credit approval.
  • Care-to-Share program – If you refer a new patient to our practice, you’ll receive discounts on your care.
  • In-house financing – We can go over your unique financial situation and tailor a payment plan specific to your needs.

We also offer a limited-time dental implant special in which you can get the compete procedure for as low as $199 a month! Contact us today to learn more!

Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions

dentist explaining dental implant surgery in Westchase

Many dentists refer their patients to separate specialists for the surgical portion of dental implant treatment, which leads to increased travel times and unfamiliar settings. That’s why we’re happy to offer every stage of this transformative process right here in-office with the same team you already know and trust. This comprehensive approach is convenient and comfortable without cutting corners on quality. After your dental implant placement surgery, we’ll give you specific, detailed post-op instructions to ensure the healing process goes smoothly. Below, we’ve gathered some of the most important information to keep in mind after dental implant surgery for your convenience.

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

Woman relaxing after dental implant surgery in Westchase

You should plan on resting for the remainder of the day after your dental implant surgery. It’s not uncommon to feel tired, especially if sedation was used. Resting is an essential part of recovering from dental implant surgery and a smooth healing process, so make sure to avoid strenuous activities for at least 24 hours. You should also avoid touching the implant site, drinking from straws, spitting forcefully, and eating solid foods.

Common Side-Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement

Closeup of pain reliever after dental implant surgery in Westchase

Once the anesthetic from your dental implant surgery wears off, you’ll likely begin to feel some discomfort in the surgical site. To mitigate this, we typically recommend that patients begin their prescribed pain reliever before the anesthetic completely fades away. Intermittent bleeding, swelling, and discomfort are the three main side effects that you will most likely experience in the week following your dental implant placement surgery. They should gradually get better on their own with time, but if it feels like any of these symptoms are getting worse, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

Colorful smoothies to drink after dental implant surgery in Westchase

In order to protect the surgical site as it heals, you should stick to a strictly soft diet. Make sure to choose nutritious items, and cold foods or drinks can help ease swelling and soreness. A few popular choices for patients to stock up on include:

  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Scrambled eggs

As your side effects begin to ease, you can gradually begin to add crunchier, more solid foods into your diet as you feel ready to do so.

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

Woman brushing her teeth after dental implant surgery in Westchase

Keeping your smile clean and healthy after dental implant placement surgery is key for preventing infection and dental implant failure. A few tips you should follow include:

  • The day after your surgery, you should start to brush your teeth as you normally would, as long as you’re gentle around the surgical site.
  • Rinse with saltwater or tap water several times throughout the day.
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

Man admiring his new smile after dental implant surgery in Westchase

Overall, it takes most patients a few days to a week to recover from dental implant placement surgery. However, your jawbone will continue to heal and integrate with your dental implant for several months. Once osseointegration is complete, you’ll return to our office to have your brand-new teeth attached. At first, you may experience some gum sensitivity, but it should be mild and easily manageable. Then, you should be all set to show off your amazing new smile!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

A woman preparing for dental implant care in Westchase

As you might know, dental implants tend to be highly successful. Their long-term success rate, in fact, is over ninety-five percent! However, they only work well when given proper care. There’s a good chance they’ll fail early without it. As such, we at Happy Smiles have listed some helpful tips on dental implant care in Westchase. Please read them over to ensure your new smile lasts a lifetime! If you’d like, you can also call our office to learn more about implant maintenance.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

A close-up of a woman brushing her teeth

Implants are artificial and won’t suffer cavities, but you still need to practice good oral care. If you don’t, you might suffer gum disease or tooth infections — conditions that can cause implant failure. Therefore, always remember the following:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss once per day with either traditional floss or a flossing tool.
  • Rinse your mouth once daily with fluoridated mouthwash.

With these practices, your clean smile will help your implants thrive!

Eat a Healthy Diet

A woman eating a healthy, nutritious meal

Implants strengthen your bite, so you can eat whatever you want with them. You’re thus free to eat a full and nutritious diet! That said, there are a few eating guidelines to consider.

For starters, you should try to lay off hard, sticky, or sugary foods. These products can cause gum infections or chip your prosthetic teeth. As you’d expect, such issues could then trigger implant failure.

If possible, focus on eating a “smile-friendly” diet instead. Foods high in protein, calcium, and vitamin C keep your jaw strong and your gum tissues healthy.

Break Bad Habits

A close-up of someone biting their nails

Bad oral habits affect all your teeth, not just your natural ones. In particular, they can make your implants break or fail. That being the case, play it safe and try to avoid them.

For instance, you should quit smoking. Among other things, the practice keeps implants from fusing with your jaw.

Nail-biting and ice-chewing are also not good ideas. They might damage your restorations if you aren’t careful.

Protect Your Dental Implants

A hand holding a mouthguard that prevents teeth grinding

While implants are strong, that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. Play it safe, then, by wearing a mouthguard for sports and a nightguard for bruxism. That way, you can protect your prosthetic teeth from injuries and natural wear.

If you’d like, talk to our office about getting a custom-fitted nightguard. Unlike store-bought varieties, it’d fit your mouth better and keep your teeth safer. We’d be happy to set you up!

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

A woman undergoing a dental checkup

Of course, you should always attend dental checkups and cleanings. However, these visits are even more crucial when you have implants.

You see, six-month checkups let a dentist monitor your implant and spot issues early on. From there, a practice can diagnose and treat a problem before it threatens the new tooth.

Checkups also ensure your implant is cost-effective. After all, preventing its failure saves you time and money otherwise spent on a replacement.

Dental Implant FAQs

Frequently asked questions about dental implants

Dental implants in Westchase are a great investment, but they are also a big commitment. Most patients have a few concerns before they are ready to agree to the treatment, but we’ll explain everything during your dental implant consultation. Here are the answers to commonly asked questions about dental implants to determine if they are right for you.

Are dental implants removable?

No, you can’t take out a dental implant because it replicates both the root and crown. As the only treatment to recreate the entire tooth structure, a dental implant is permanent. A titanium post will be surgically placed in your jawbone to mimic a root. Your bone will integrate with the post through a process called osseointegration. As a result, only a trained dental professional can remove it; however, some implant dentures can be taken out for easier cleaning.

What is the average lifespan of a dental implant?

Every case differs, but it’s common for dental implants to last for 30 years or more with the right aftercare, like maintaining your oral hygiene. Various factors affect their lifespan, like your oral and general health. It also depends on which teeth were replaced, such as the molars, because they undergo more wear and tear than the incisors. You can promote the longevity of your new smile by brushing, flossing, and using a daily mouthrinse. Avoid anything that may damage your dental implant, like hard/sticky foods, using your teeth as tools, or chewing on inedible objects. Don’t forget to visit your implant dentist in Westchase at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

Do dental implants hurt?

Many people worry about a painful procedure, but you won’t feel anything during your placement surgery. A local numbing agent is used along with a sedative to block pain signals. Not to mention, your jaw doesn’t have any nerve endings. You’ll be completely comfortable during your procedure, but you can expect some discomfort as the anesthetic and sedative wear off. You can manage it using any prescribed or OTC pain relievers. Your implant dentist will recommend eating soft foods to avoid discomfort. It’s also important to temperature check any foods or liquids while your mouth is still numb to avoid burns. Applying a cold compress to the outside of the face will numb the area while also reducing swelling and bruising. In 3 to 4 days, your discomfort should improve. If it worsens or doesn’t get any better, contact our office for further instructions.

What should I do if my dental implant feels loose?

Your dental implant should never feel loose. It’s a sign there’s a potentially serious problem brewing in your mouth, so you don’t want to ignore it. Your implant dentist will find the source of the looseness to provide an appropriate solution to restabilize your smile. If you wait too long to see a dentist, it can lead to dental implant failure. Contact our office right away if your dental implant feels loose, or you have pain, inflammation, and redness of the gum tissue near the post.

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