Approximately 35 years ago, doctors began using dental implants—and restorative dentistry has never been the same!
In the past, bridges and dentures were the only options for dealing with tooth loss, but they couldn’t replicate the functionality of natural teeth because they don’t fit into the mouth in the same way. That’s what makes dental implants so different: they offer fully functional replacements for both the crowns and the roots of missing teeth.
Dental implants are different because they fuse to your jaw bone, giving you a replacement that feels and acts more like biological teeth. Some of the benefits of implants are their stability, permanence, and comfort.To learn more, call our San Diego California office at (858) 455-9151 and schedule a dental implant consultation with Dr. David Eshom.
What are Dental Implants?
Implants are composed of a base and crown, just like the root and crown of a natural tooth. The base is usually made of titanium, as it is non-toxic and well tolerated by the human body. Implant surgery is really a two-part process, since a final, permanent crown or denture cannot be attached to the base until the gums have healed, which usually takes two months. During the healing period, a temporary crown is worn.
During this time, the implant fuses with the bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration. Once the titanium base is permanently embedded in the jaw, any type of attachment may be added: a single crown, a bridge, or dentures. For a full arch of dentures, four implants are usually recommended. The replacement teeth are typically made of the same materials used in traditional dental crowns, bridges and dentures.
Types of Implants
Single Teeth – These are ideal for patients who have lost only one tooth, due to an accident, facial trauma, or failed root canal. After an implant base is established and the gum tissue has healed, a dental crown will be attached. It can be made of porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). Dr. Eshom prefers to use only porcelain, since it mimics the appearance and reflective qualities of natural teeth so well. The result is a permanent replacement tooth that looks natural and blends in with your other teeth.
Bridges – For patients missing two or more teeth, implant-based bridges offer many advantages over traditional bridges. Implant-based bridges do not rely on (or damage) the structural support of adjacent healthy teeth. Since the implants have titanium roots for support, the healthy teeth nearby are not altered in any way.
Dentures – Implant-supported dentures can be made for full or partial arches. The denture clicks into place on the four implant bases. This means no more dental adhesives, no more slipping plates and no more re-fittings! Implant-supported dentures will only come out when you detach them for cleaning. Since they are anchored in the jaw, your biting and chewing patterns will be more natural, as well.
Another benefit to dental implants is that they do not lead to bone loss and facial collapse, as traditional dentures do. Without implants, the jawbone of the denture-wearer slowly recedes over a period of 10-20 years, since there are no roots left to trigger the body’s natural process of bone regeneration. Not only will this change the appearance of your face, it will also make eating and speaking more difficult, as the changes in the soft tissues of your mouth periodically alter the fit of your dentures. With dental implants your facial appearance and structure remain youthful.
To be recommended for dental implant surgery, you should already have good overall and oral health. Patients with gum disease may need a series of periodontal treatments to reduce inflammation and bring their mouths to a healthier state, before implant surgery can be considered.
If you’ve already experienced bone loss due to missing teeth, a bone graft may be necessary before or during dental implant surgery. Explore our website to learn more about dental implants and the costs associated with dental implant surgery.
Ask Dr. Eshom if you are interested in dental implants. For patients in good health, the success rate is very high and many people have been pleased with their results. Contact our San Diego, California dental office at (858) 455-9151 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Eshom.Leave a reply