Missing teeth can make life difficult. People who have lost teeth often have trouble chewing and even speaking. They may only flash a closed mouth smile, if they smile at all. Some may see a loss of self-esteem and feel unhappy about their reflection in the mirror. Many will turn to dentures, only to find that they wobble and click when they talk, and can even fall right out of their mouth. You have another option to replace lost teeth.
Dr. David Eshom understands the troubles caused by missing teeth, and wants our patients to know that they do not need to suffer. With the aid of dental implants, the doctor can replace lost teeth, restore your smile, and help improve the quality of your life.
To learn more about the benefits of dental implants, call our San Diego, CA, dental office today at (858) 455-9151 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Eshom.
What Are Dental Implants?
When a patient loses one or more teeth due to decay, facial trauma, or gum disease, the jawbone loses stimulation in that area. The body senses this, and redirects calcium and other nutrients it used to send there to other parts of your body, causing the jawbone to deteriorate and shrink. Untreated, this shrinkage can lead to the collapse of your facial structure, leaving your cheeks looking sunken and hollow.
Dr. Eshom surgically places dental implants, tiny posts made of titanium that resemble screws, into the jawbone to replace the roots of missing teeth. The posts stimulate the bone, preventing the diverting of nutrients away from the jaw. The biocompatible implants fuse together with the bone as they heal in a process known as osseointegration, promoting bone growth in the jaw, and providing a sturdy, stable anchor for your restorations.
Dental implants support several types of restorations, from single crowns to full sets of dentures. Depending upon the number of teeth you need replaced, you may receive one of the following:
- Dental Crown – For a single dental crown, you will receive one implant.
- Dental Bridge – The doctor permanently attaches your implant-supported bridge to one or more dental implants, providing a secure restoration and eliminating the need to remove structure from healthy teeth.
- Partial or Complete Dentures – The most common type of implant-supported dentures, removable dentures snap on and off of your dental implants with ease.
- All-on-4® Dentures – All-on-4® dentures offer a solution to patients who may not qualify for traditional implant-supported dentures because of low bone density. The doctor places four implants in the front of the jaw, where the bone is naturally denser. Rather than snapping the dentures onto the implants, the doctor permanently attaches them. Only a dentist can remove these dentures once the places them. Patients who wear these dentures report that they most closely resemble having a full set of natural teeth.
Dental implants support restorations that many consider the next best alternative to natural teeth. They retain the feel, look, and function of the patient’s natural teeth. Implant-supported restorations are stable and strong, allowing patients to eat the foods they love without the worry of damage or accidental dislodging.
Studies show that implant-supported restorations last longer than conventional options. For instance, a traditional dental bridge has a projected life of up to seven years, but may last a little over ten years with proper care. Implant-supported dental bridges, meanwhile, should last a lifetime with proper care.
Maintain Healthy Tooth Structure
When you elect to have a dental bridge placed, you have the option of choosing between a traditional bridge and an implant-supported bridge. A traditional dental bridge consists of one or more pontics with dental crowns on each end to hold the bridge in place.
The dentist places the crowns over healthy teeth on either side of the gap created by the missing tooth or teeth. This requires the removal of part of the enamel layer on each tooth receiving a crown. An implant-supported dental bridge, on the other hand, requires no crowns and eliminates the need to alter the structure of surrounding teeth.
More Secure Dentures
We see many patients in our office who wear traditional dentures. They tell us about how difficult their dentures can make eating and speaking. These patients worry about their dentures clicking or wobbling when they talk or eat, and occasionally have issues with them slipping, or even falling out of their mouth.
They have to come in occasionally to have their appliances re-lined, because the slow degradation of the jawbone causes them to lose their snug fit against the gums. Implant-supported dentures securely snap onto implants that have fused with the bone of the jaw, providing a sturdy, stable hold that keeps the dentures from wobbling, clicking, or falling out. Patients can brush their dentures just like natural teeth, and the fit remains secure because the jaw experiences no deterioration.
Call Us Today
To learn about your options to replace missing teeth with implants or bridges, call our San Diego, CA, dental office today at (858) 455-9151 today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Eshom.
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