Missing Teeth Replacements through Dental Implants
If you are missing teeth or need a tooth extraction, you should not overlook the importance of replacements. Without all your teeth, you could face functional issues with proper chewing and speaking. Additionally, there could be long-term dental health issues if you allow gaps to remain in your smile. Dr. Terri Nguyen and the West Portal Family Dentistry team in San Francisco welcome you in to address these issues. Dr. Nguyen has been performing successful dental implant procedures for years. As a result, patients in San Francisco consistently walk away with beautiful smiles. Let’s look at what a dental implant is, why you may need it, and what to expect from the procedure.
What is a dental implant?
The modern dental implant was invented by Per-Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, in 1952. Since then, dental implants have become the standard by which dentists replace missing teeth. A dental implant, in today’s world, will usually be manufactured from titanium. Titanium offers a number of benefits, including being lightweight and incredibly strong, and durable. The dental implant procedure is surgical in nature. Your dentist will surgically insert the implant into the jawbone allowing the jawbone to fuse with the implant. This provides durability and strength. It can take several weeks to several months for the jawbone to completely fuse to the implant. This process is called osseointegration. Titanium works great in this process because your body does not view this material as foreign, so the chance for rejection of the implant is very low. The implant acts similar to how the roots of your natural teeth would. It provides stimulation to the jawbone and allows for it to remain healthy and strong. Once your implant has fully fused with the bone, you will return to your dentist for the rest of the work.
Now that the jaw has fused to the implant and you are fully healed from the procedure, you will return to your dentist for the placement of the abutment. The abutment can be described as a screw that is attached to the implant. This abutment allows for the replacement tooth (this is almost always going to be a crown) to then be attached to the implant. Your crown will be custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of your remaining natural teeth. Once this is completed, you will be able to show off your smile to family and friends without them ever suspecting you have a false tooth in place.
Why do you need a dental implant?
Dental implants are the standard in tooth replacement technology. They provide strength and durability while restoring full functionality to your smile. If you are missing teeth, you may be experiencing trouble properly chewing or speaking. Beyond functionality, there can often be dental health repercussions if you do not replace a missing tooth. Choosing an implant for replacement is best because of its ability to mimic an actual tooth’s roots. When your jawbone no longer has the stimulation created by a tooth being firmly in place, it can begin to deteriorate. This will result in bone loss and physical appearance issues. When jawbone is lost, your face can take on a sunken-in appearance. Putting an implant into place will ensure that this stimulation remains in place due to the implant acting as the replacement tooth’s “root.”
Implants are not just for replacing a single tooth either. Modern dentistry offers implanted dentures as well. Implanted dentures are commonly placed on three to four implants on both the top and bottom of the mouth.
If you are looking for a tooth replacement option that is going to restore functionality and offer strength and durability all in a lightweight package, look no further than dental implants. Please reach out to West Portal Family Dentistry and Dr. Terri Nguyen by calling (415) 604-9292. Dr. Nguyen would love to go over implant options with you.