in Mission Valley, CA
At Cassell Dentistry we understand how hard it can be to deal with tooth loss. It becomes more difficult to eat and speak properly, things that you once took for granted are now a source of constant discomfort. For this reason, we offer our patients the very best in tooth replacement options. Dental implants offer those who have experienced any level of tooth loss a way to replaced their teeth fully and permanently.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is surgically inserted dental prosthesis that restores every aspect of a lost tooth, or many lost teeth. The first portion of the implant we place during a surgical procedure. After the implant heals for some time, we will be able to use it to anchor the implant restoration. Dental implants are extremely versatile because they can be used to support a wide variety of dental restorations, from single tooth crowns, to multiple consecutive missing teeth (bridges), even full arch solutions that take the place of dentures can be supported with dental implants.
Parts Of Dental Implants
A dental implant is made up of three separate parts – the implant post, the abutment, and the implant restoration. The post is surgically placed and allowed to heal for several months before we place the abutment and implant restoration.
Dental Implant Post
The dental implant post is usually made of titanium because titanium is a biocompatible material. When something is said to be biocompatible, it means that the human body readily accepts and grows around it. This is important because a dental implant is placed into the bone of your jaw, which will eventually grow around it and support it, allowing it to perform all the same functions that your natural tooth would. The implant post acts in much the same way that the root of a natural tooth does.
Dental Implant Abutment
The abutment and the implant restoration is placed once the implant post has had time to heal in your jaw. Once we are certain that osseointegration (the bone in your jaw grows around the post to form a mechanical bond) has taken place, it will be time to place the abutment. The abutment screws into the top of the dental implant and is fixed in place permanently with a dental adhesive. The purpose of the abutment is to act as an anchor, or support, for the implant restoration.
Dental Implant Restoration
The implant restoration is the last part of the implant to be placed and is cemented onto the abutment with permanent dental adhesive. Implant restorations can be used to replace a single missing tooth with a dental crown, multiple consecutive missing teeth with a dental bridge, and even a full arch of missing teeth with a permanent denture. Because these restorations are supported by an implant that is placed into the bone of your jaw, you will never have to worry about denture adhesives or special cleaning practices as you would a removable tooth replacement option.
Health Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are the very best tooth replacement option on the market today because of their long life and many health benefits. When a tooth is lost and not replaced with a dental implant, the bone in your jaw will stop receiving tactile feedback from the root of your tooth. When this feedback ceases, the bone in your jaw will eventually start to recede, resulting in bone loss. Bone loss in your jaw can easily lead to further tooth loss. If more teeth are lost and not replaced, more bone loss will occur. This is a cycle that we see often, and it should be avoided if at all possible.
Comparing Dental Implants to Dentures
Dental implant supported full arch solutions provide a wide array of benefits over dentures. While dentures are a fantastic way to replace a full mouth of missing teeth quickly and cost-effectively, dental implants are a much more practical long term solution. Let’s take a look at the differences between dentures and dental implants.
Dentures have some special care instructions and requirements that can make dealing with them a bit of a chore. Dentures must be held in place by a denture adhesive that has to be applied every day. Many people find that their denture adhesive must be applied more than once a day to be effective. Dentures must be removed and stored in water or a soaking solution at night. They also must be cleaned carefully and with special, denture cleaning products. Dentures only replace the crown of the teeth because they sit on the palates of your mouth. Because they don’t replace the root of your teeth, the bone in your jaw receives no benefit from dentures.
Dental implants require no adhesives, no removal, no special cleaning products or methods. They are placed in your mouth and permanently affixed. Because dental implants replace the root and the crown of your teeth, you receive tremendous health benefits from them. Overall, the choice between dentures and dental implant supported restorations is clear, dental implants provide much higher value.
Dental Implant Placement Procedure
The first step in any procedure at Cassell Dentistry is to make sure that you feel comfortable so we will start by administering a localized numbing agent and whatever sedation option you would like. Once we are certain that you are comfortable, we will make an incision in your gums to gain access to the bone below. We will prepare the bone to receive the dental implant post using a special dental drill and place the implant post in your jaw bone. We will finish the placement of the implant post by suturing your gums closed around the implant site and send you home with post-operative instructions.
After several months the implant post will have healed in your jaw, and it will be time to place the abutment and the dental implant restoration. We will screw the abutment into the top of the dental implant and affix it permanently with a dental adhesive. The implant restoration will be placed on top of the abutment and similarly attached permanently with a dental adhesive.
Please call us today at 619-220-7475 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you smile!