Dental Implants are an excellent option for those who are looking to replace a missing tooth. Dental implants look and function just like a natural tooth, and when properly cared for can provide decades of confident smiles. Continue reading for the complete patient’s guide on dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium device that is placed directly into the bone of the jaw. The implant is designed to replace the tooth’s natural roots, and once it has been placed into the jaw, a crown is placed over the top to fill the patient’s smile line.
There are typically three different options for replacing a missing tooth:
- A dental implant: Titanium device that is placed directly into the bone of the jaw and topped with a dental crown
- A dental bridge: A three (or more) unit crown that is cemented over two anchor teeth with a “fake” tooth in the center to replace the missing tooth
- A removable partial denture: Clips into place around anchor teeth in the mouth and provides a “fake” tooth in the space where the tooth has been lost
In many aspects, the dental implant is the most ideal method of replacing a missing tooth, as they look and function just like a natural tooth does.
Partial dentures are removable and can be quite a headache for some patients, and dental bridges provide a more permanent solution, but they require alterations to be made to the surrounding healthy teeth. If a dental bridge fails, the patient faces the risk of losing all of the teeth that are involved with the restoration.
What’s more is that losing a tooth puts you at risk of bone recession; once there is no longer a tooth in the bone, the bone begins to recede. Since the implant rests directly in the bone just as the tooth roots do, the presence of a dental implant helps ensure that the patient does not experience bone recession as a result of losing a tooth.
Types of Dental Implants
When you choose to pursue dental implant treatment, you typically have a few different options:
- Single Dental Implant: One single dental implant which is used to replace one single natural tooth. This option is ideal for patients who are only looking to replace just one or two lost teeth.
- All-on-Four Dental Implant: Four implants are placed into the jaw bone. A bridge of teeth (usually the entire arch) is placed over the top of the implants. This option is usually ideal for fully edentulous patients (patients who have no teeth).
Why Should I Get a Dental Implant?
For most people, a large motivational factor for deciding to pursue implant placement is the fact that they are nearly indistinguishable from a natural tooth. The shade of the crown that is placed over your implant is hand-picked to match as closely as possible, and once your treatment is complete, it will be nearly impossible to tell which of your teeth is natural, and which is the implant.
Another factor to consider is the fact that the placement of an implant helps retain bone structure that would otherwise be lost, which could ultimately compromise your oral health as a whole.
The moment a tooth is removed from the mouth, the bone in the jaw that once surrounded the tooth begins to regress. When this is not intercepted and treated, the patient may eventually begin to experience loose teeth and eventual tooth loss throughout the mouth. Placing an implant helps retain the patient’s bone, making this treatment method almost invaluable to the patient’s future dental health.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have many benefits, including:
- Implants are a permanent treatment option; once they are placed in the bone and the crown is cemented over top, implants can last upwards of decades – sometimes a lifetime – when properly cared for.
- Improved confidence and self-esteem: A missing tooth can be a large source of embarrassment for many people. Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant can restore the smile line and, in turn, your confidence.
- Prevent bone recession (preserve the health of both bone and other teeth)
- Implants look and function just like natural teeth
- Improve your oral health, which in turn improves your overall health
- No special care needed; simply brush and floss as you would with a natural tooth and attend your regularly scheduled dental appointments
- No need to struggle with removable dentures or denture adhesive
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
While dental implants are often the best option for replacing missing teeth in the mouth, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone is an ideal candidate.
Before beginning your dental implant treatment, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination. A three-dimensional x-ray will be taken of your jaw; this x-ray will help your dentist determine if you have an adequate amount of bone structure that will successfully support the placement of a dental implant. If it is discovered that you do not have adequate bone structure, your dentist may recommend pursuing other treatment options.
Some other factors that may have an impact on your candidacy for dental implants include:
- Pre-existing health conditions
- Osteoporosis or other bone diseases
- Gum disease
- Tobacco use
- Overall poor oral or general health
Your initial consultation with your dentist will help you determine if implants are right for you.
Reza Dental Care: Implant Dentist in South Gate, CA
Moving forward with the information you have learned here, you will have a strong understanding of dental implant treatment, and how it can benefit you. Reza Dental Care is here to help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile; we are proud to provide comprehensive dental implant placement and care in South Gate, California. Searching for a “dentist near me”? Our team of professionals is here for you. For more information about dental implants in South Gate or to get scheduled for an appointment in our South Gate dental office, book an appointment online or give us a call at 323-457-8787.