A missing tooth can be more than just an embarrassment. An incomplete set of teeth can make it difficult for you to chew your food or even speak. In the past, the only option for replacing missing teeth was getting dentures. However, nowadays, a visit to an experienced San Diego dentist practice like A+ Family Dentistry can present you with a better solution: dental implants.
Natural-looking San Diego dental implants have several advantages over having dentures. First is the obvious fact that implants are not going to suddenly pop out of your mouth. Once in place, implants can last you a lifetime, though occasional adjustments might be needed.
Second, dental implants have a positive effect on your jaw bone. Leaving a space between teeth can lead to bone tissue deterioration and loss because the jaw isn’t supporting a tooth. An implant stimulates bone growth and preserves the jaw’s integrity.
Third, an implant doesn’t imperil the surrounding teeth. Bridges and dentures sometimes require that neighboring teeth need to be ground down to get a proper fit or support. Dental implants go directly into the bone, ensuring a proper fit and stopping them from shifting without the presence of other teeth.
Finally, you can eat and speak in a more natural manner. No need to be careful about crunching down on tough foods or speaking too fast, as you can be assured of the replacement’s durability.
Installing a dental implant is a complicated process. This is why you’ll want a skilled dentist to do it. The first step is a thorough evaluation of whether your jaw can receive an implant. This usually involves an x-ray to check the state of your jaw bone along with the preparation of a full treatment plan. If your jaw bone is too thin or too soft, a bone graft may be needed before the procedure.
Once your bone is ready and the treatment plan is finalized, your surgery can start. Once a hole has been drilled into the jaw, a metal post (usually made of titanium) is then inserted into the opening. The post is then usually covered by your gums to facilitate the healing process and letting the implant integrate with your bone.
The next step usually happens months after the implantation. Dentists regularly check on the post whether it has properly healed and adapted. Once it has, the gum covering is removed and an abutment is placed into the post; this is what will actually hold the replacement tooth. More healing is required until the last step, which is the final placement of a replacement specifically crafted for the job.
(Source: Dental implant surgery, Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center)