San Francisco, CA dentist explains the process of dental implants for smile restoration
Tooth loss can impact more than just the appearance of the smile. Tooth loss can also affect one’s ability to eat and speak, and it can cause bone loss in the jaw. Because of this, it is best that patients in the San Francisco, CA area work with a dentist who can provide tooth restoration solutions. Our dentist at West Portal Family Dentistry explains to patients the advantages of restorations such as dental implants, and she walks patients through the process of obtaining them from start to finish.
Understanding dental implants
When patients are advised on the benefits of dental implants, they are often anxious to learn if these restorations are right for them. Dental implants are titanium posts used by dentists as tooth root replacements. During oral surgery, they are strategically placed into the bone of the jaw. This stimulates a process of bone growth called osseointegration. The bone fuses to the dental implant to hold it firmly in place, ensuring it can support whatever restoration the patient needs. A dental implant, once osseointegration occurs, can stay in the smile forever with proper care and attention. This includes proper oral hygiene habits at home, as well as routine visits to the dentist for monitoring the implant. Dental implants are restored on top in several different ways. We may restore implants using a dental crown, a dental bridge, or a full denture. These versatile restorations are highly desirable for both dentists and patients!
Why choose dental implants?
Dental implants are in high demand for many reasons. This restoration is:
- Easy to care for
- Stable and strong
The process of obtaining dental implants
Not everyone is a viable candidate for dental implants. It is essential that patients understand the process of obtaining dental implants, so they can decide if it is right for them. Dental implants start with a consultation visit. During this time, Drs. Terri Nguyen and Laura Huynh will assess the bone of the jaw to determine if it can successfully hold a dental implant. This is done with x-rays. Once patients have been deemed appropriate candidates, they can book their oral surgery appointments. During this visit, patients will receive proper sedation and anesthesia to ensure comfort before the dentist accesses the jawbone through the gum tissue. The implant is put into the bone of the jaw, and the gum tissue is sutured around the implant. A temporary restoration may be placed over the abutment of the dental implant for aesthetics and protection while the process of osseointegration occurs. This bone growth does not happen immediately – instead, it occurs over the course of several weeks. Patients return to the dental office for several follow-up visits during which the dentists will assess the progress of osseointegration and ensure that the surgical procedure was successful. After osseointegration has completed, the implant is ready for restoration. Restorations such as crowns, bridges, and dentures are often placed over dental implants once they are stabilized in the jaw. These restorations are made of biocompatible and natural-looking materials such as porcelain. This completes the process of dental implant placement and tooth restoration but is not the end of the attention needed. Patients are urged to take great care in brushing and flossing their teeth (and implants) after every meal, and to visit the dentist at least twice a year to check the health of the smile and the implant.
Find out more about dental implants with Drs. Terri Nguyen and Laura Huynh
At West Portal Family Dentistry, our team of professionals provide restorative dentistry solutions such as dental implants to provide patients in and around San Francisco, CA with many ways to repair the smile. If you are interested in tooth replacement solutions available in our practice, we welcome you to book an appointment. Our team welcomes new patients at 26 West Portal Avenue, Suite #4. Call (415) 661-7779 for an appointment. Take the time to learn about the team of professionals ready and willing to care for and enhance your smile!