Have your missing teeth caused you to miss out on eating some of your favorite foods? Or have you become embarrassed to smile or speak in front of others. Regardless of the reason for seeking tooth replacement, it’s important that you know your options. In the past, patients were often left to choose between dental bridges or removable dentures, but modern dental technology has allowed us to offer a fully integrated solution that looks and feels like natural teeth. Dental implants are considered a permanent solution for missing teeth and can give you the ability to enjoy your favorite foods and smile with confidence again. The team at West Portal Family Dentistry in San Francisco, CA has years of experience providing patients with beautiful, long-term dental implants.
Dental implants are designed to replace the missing natural tooth root for a solution that looks, feels, and functions just like natural teeth. The dental implant itself looks like a screw-like post that is surgically placed into the jawbone and left to heal. The implant becomes the anchor, or root, for the dental prosthetic. Patients who need just one tooth replaced can complete their implant with a dental crown, while patients who are missing multiple teeth will have a bridge or denture that physically attaches to the implant via an abutment (connector).
Yes, dental implants can require a much higher initial investment than other tooth replacement options, but that is for good reason. Dental implants offer benefits and functionality that simply aren’t possible with other options. In addition, dentures and bridges must be replaced as often as every ten years. Dental implants can last a lifetime when cared for properly. Some of the other notable advantages of dental implants are:
Whether you are missing teeth already or are facing extraction, the first step when choosing dental implants is an evaluation. During this appointment, we will take a full health history along with a physical exam and x-rays. It’s during this appointment that we can determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. To qualify for dental implants, patients will need to have sufficient bone density and be in good overall health.
If we determine that dental implants are the right course of action, we can schedule your procedure. For patients missing only one tooth, a tiny hole is created into the bone where the implant is then surgically placed. Patients who are missing multiple teeth or an entire arch of teeth will have several implants placed. At this point, many patients are given a temporary restoration to preserve functionality and appearance while the bone fuses around the implant.
When the fusing is complete, patients can return for placement of their final restoration. In the case of a dental crown, the artificial tooth will be fabricated to look just like nearby teeth and will connect to the implant with an abutment. Patients who are receiving dentures will receive a high-quality prosthetic that looks just like natural teeth. Because the dentures will physically attach to the implants, patients do not have to worry about denture adhesive or the fear of their teeth moving around or falling out.
To ensure that your dental implants last long term, it’s important to eat a healthy diet, practice good oral care at home, and maintain regular dental visits.
In the end, while the dental implant procedure takes longer than other restorations, they truly are the most reliable and long-term solution for missing teeth replacement. If you are tired of missing teeth and are ready to start your journey to a complete smile, contact the team at West Portal Family Dentistry today. Dr. Nguyen and the team have years of experience working with dental implants. To schedule your consultation, call us at (415) 604-9292.
A graduate from UC San Francisco with a Doctor of Dental Science degree, Dr. Terri Nguyen has over 20 years of expertise in the field of dental practice. She is known for her caring and passionate nature towards her patients whilst having a wealth of knowledge and technical skill.
Dr. Nguyen continues to update herself with newer and tested treatment methods and technology to ensure that she is capable of delivering the best possible service to her clients. Her areas of specialty include root canal therapy, implant dentistry and cosmetic treatment. She is also a prestigious member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Dr. Laura Huynh dedicates herself to providing the highest level of dental care to patients of all ages. While she has over 15 years of experience in all areas of general practice, she especially enjoys pediatric dentistry and cosmetic dentistry for adults.
A UC Irvine graduate, Dr. Huynh obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Arthur Dugoni Dental School at University of Pacific. She stays on top of the latest trends and technologies in dentistry by following continuing education courses annually. She is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and San Francisco Dental Society.