A Beginner’s Guide to Dental Implants
It’s easy to smile without thinking– until you find yourself missing a few teeth, anyway. Tooth loss is a serious issue that leads to loss of confidence, low self-esteem, and difficulty performing even basic tasks like chewing and talking.
Fortunately, your smile is within your control, even if you’re missing teeth. Dental implants have emerged as the Gold Standard in tooth replacement technology thanks to their durability, reliability, and natural appearance.
By finding a San Diego dental expert who specializes in dental implants and full mouth reconstruction, it’s possible to reverse years of damage and restore an attractive, fully functional smile!
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth designed to look and feel exactly like a real, natural tooth. Unlike dentures or crowns, which sit on top of the gums, implants become a permanent part of the composition of your mouth.
Each individual implant is made of three pieces that fit together to replace your missing tooth: the screw, abutment, and crown.
- The implant itself is a titanium screw placed deep into your gum tissue. Over the span of a few months, the screw permanently fuses with the jawbone to act as a replacement for missing tooth roots. This creates a sturdy, immovable base that supports the other parts of the implant.
- The abutment creates a “connector” between the screw and the visible tooth called the crown.
- Each crown is the visible portion of the tooth, customized to fit the shape and color of your smile perfectly
Using this process, dental implants make it possible to replace an individual tooth, a few teeth, or your entire mouth if necessary!
Are Dental Implants Right For You?
Not all patients are strong candidates for dental implants, so it’s important to know whether you meet the basic requirements for dental implant work.
Overall, the best dental implant candidates want a tooth replacement solution that’s more permanent and durable than standard dentures. They also have the following three characteristics: healthy gums, sufficient general health, and strong bone density.
Dental implants are inserted directly into your gum tissue, so healthy, disease-free gum tissue is essential. If you do show signs of periodontitis, your dentist may recommend laser gum therapy or root scaling and planing to improve your gum health and make implants a viable option.
Sufficient Bone Density
Strong bone density is just as important as healthy gum tissue during the implant process. Without sufficient bone density, the titanium implant screw won’t have anything to hold it in place. If you don’t have enough bone density currently, you may have the option to undergo bone grafting to regrow enough bone for dental implants.
There are other health factors that could prevent you from getting implants. Heavy smokers, pregnant women, children, people with chronic diseases, and people taking steroids may not be candidates for implants. It’s possible for you to adjust your lifestyle habits in order to make dental implants an option as you pursue lasting oral health.
How Does the Dental Implant Procedure Work?
Dental implant surgery is a multi-step process. It occurs in stages to allow for healing time between each step.
Depending on the number and type of implants you receive, the entire process may take months. Though each procedure is customized to the condition of the patient’s mouth, you can expect to undergo the following steps:
- Extraction of damaged teeth
- Placement of titanium screw(s) into gum tissue and jawbone
- Period of healing
- Placement of abutments and crowns
Important Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer incredible benefits that extend far beyond the aesthetic improvements they achieve. The truth is, dental implants can revitalize your quality of life. It’s no wonder that more than 3 million people in the U.S have implants.
Implants Last a Lifetime
Implants aren’t like standard bridges, dentures, or veneers that must be replaced every 10-15 years due to damage or wear and tear. As long as you properly care for your implants, they can last the rest of your life! The titanium implants fuse with your jawbone to create a permanent base, and the durable crowns can endure any normal eating, talking, and biting activity.
Implants Look and Feel Natural
Your implants will look so real that you might forget they’re not! The entire implant procedure is designed to restore the natural appearance of your smile. You will look and feel like an even better version of yourself by the time your implant process concludes
Implants Protect Your Facial Bones and Oral Health
This is a benefit of dental implants that most people don’t realize. In addition to improving your aesthetic appearance and restoring the functionality of your mouth, dental implants also protect your jawbones from sinking and drooping inward.
Without a full set of teeth, your jawbone doesn’t receive the stimulation it needs to remain strong. Over time, an unstimulated jawbone becomes too weak and damaged to maintain the healthy structure of your cheeks and jaw. Implants prevent this problem from occurring and keep your jawbone strong and durable. .
What About Hybridge Dental Implants?
Dental implants can be implemented in many different forms, including Hybridge Dental Implants. The Hybridge system is unique because it’s a prosthetic designed to replace all of the teeth on your upper jaw, lower jaw, or both.
Instead of using individual dental implants to replace each missing tooth, the Hybridge process attaches a full bridge of new teeth to four or five dental implants. In this way, Hybridge Dental Implants offer the best of both worlds: they restore full function and aesthetics to your mouth in a shorter amount of time.
Hybridge isn’t for everybody, but it could be a great solution if you’re seeking full mouth rehabilitation.
How to Begin the Process of Dental Implants
Not every dentist offers dental implant restoration. You need to find a specialist who knows exactly how to perform the dental implant procedure to give you the best results possible.
At Cassell Dentistry in San Diego, Dr. Jon Cassell, DDS specializes in implant dentistry. In fact, he is one of the few dentists in the area to offer full mouth reconstruction for patients who have experienced significant issues with tooth loss, infection, damaged jaw bone, and other complications.
Dr. Cassell combines his expertise with state-of-the-art technology to help his patients restore their confident smiles. Contact Cassell Dentistry today to schedule your consultation and begin your journey to a healthier, happier mouth.