Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth in the mouth. Before you move forward with dental implants in South Gate, there are some important things to consider in order to fully understand this treatment method. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know before getting dental implants.
Dental implants are titanium, screw-like devices that are used to replace the natural roots of the tooth. Implants are a treatment option for filling a space in the smile line that has been created by a missing tooth.
A dental implant mimics the tooth’s natural roots, retaining bone structure and providing a stable base for an implant crown, which is specially designed to match the shade, shape, and size of the other teeth in the patient’s mouth. To the naked eye, a dental implant is nearly indistinguishable.
When it comes to replacing a missing tooth in the mouth, dental implants are the closest a dental restoration will come to mimicking both the look and function of a natural tooth. Implants require no considerable changes to the patient’s diet, and when properly cared for, dental implants have the potential to last decades.
They require no extra or specialized care on behalf of the patient; simple brushing and flossing – accompanied by regular dental check-ups and cleanings – will keep a dental implant strong and healthy.
To fully understand your dental implant treatment, it is important to learn how dental implants are placed in the mouth.
The first step of your implant placement will be the removal of the natural tooth if it has not been removed already.
In cases that the patient’s jawbone does not contain a sufficient amount of bone to support a dental implant, a bone graft will be completed prior to implant placement. During a bone graft, a small amount of bone – typically either synthetic, cadaver or bovine – will be placed directly into the jawbone to encourage the fusion of the bone material, creating an overall more dense bone structure.
If a bone graft is done prior to implant placement, a healing period typically consisting of 2-3 months will be given to allow the bone to fuse together and heal. Healing times may vary from patient to patient. Once your dentist has confirmed that your bone has healed, you will be ready for your implant to be placed in the mouth.
To begin the placement procedure, the dentist will ensure that the patient is fully numbed with a local numbing agent. The dentist will then make an incision in the gums retract them back to expose the jaw bone. They will then carefully and precisely place the implant directly into the bone.
After a healing period, a connective abutment will be attached to the dental implant. This abutment will allow the implant crown to be attached to fill the gap in the smile line.
Before moving forward with dental implant treatment in our South Gate dental office, it is important to weigh out both the pros and cons.
The pros of dental implants include:
- Looks and functions just like a natural tooth
- Fill a space in the smile line left by a missing tooth
- Permanent restoration; no need to remove from the mouth
- When properly cared for, can last up to 20 years
- While the initial cost may be a bit higher than other treatment options, they are the most cost-effective treatment option in the long term
- Preserves bone structure
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
The cons of dental implants include:
- Surgical procedure required for placement (may be a deterrent for some patients)
- Certain types of dental insurance may not cover the cost of dental implants
- The placement process tends to be a bit lengthy
- Certain patients may not qualify as ideal candidates for implant placement and may need to consider other treatment options, such as a partial denture or a bridge
When it comes to replacing a missing tooth in the mouth, there are a few alternatives to dental implants, including partial dentures and dental bridges.
A partial denture is a prosthetic device that is secured in the mouth by clipping into place around designated anchor teeth. The prosthetic provides “teeth” to fill the space wherever needed in the smile line.
Partial dentures are initially more cost-effective than the other options, but many patients may experience soreness or rubbing where the denture makes contact with the gum tissue. It may also prove to be a hassle to constantly remove and place back inside the mouth. The patient may also experience damage to the anchor teeth over time due to friction from the clasps.
Dental bridges are multi-unit caps that are used to provide a “fake” tooth to fill a gap in the patient’s smile line. The two teeth adjacent to the gap will be adjusted and capped, providing anchors for the “fake” tooth, which is clinically known as the pontic. Dental bridges are cemented into place and do not need to be removed, but their major drawback is that they require alterations to be made to the otherwise healthy teeth on either side of the gap.
Dental implants are often considered to be the best option for replacing missing teeth, as they require no alteration to be made to any other teeth in the mouth, and they provide a permanent solution for missing teeth that is long-lasting and easy to care for.
Moving forward with the information you have learned here, you will have a strong understanding of the things you should know before you get dental implants.
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.