Did you know that by the time Americans reach 35 years old, 69% have lost at least one permanent tooth? Missing teeth can cause numerous oral health problems, such as shifting teeth and bone loss. But with dental implants at Bay Area OSM, our team of dental surgeons can replace your tooth and stop bone loss. Call one of our offices today or make an appointment online to see how dental implant surgery can help you.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a revolutionary procedure that places a titanium artificial tooth root in the place of your missing tooth.
After a healing period where your jawbone fuses around the implant, a dental crown is installed and looks just like the rest of your natural teeth.
In some cases, dentures can be installed on dental implants to prevent shifting and movement while talking and eating.
What are the benefits of a Dental Implant?
The oral surgeons at Bay Area OSM highly recommend implant surgery over conventional replacements or not replacing the tooth at all.
The following reasons explain why:
Many will not be able to tell the difference between your dental implants and your natural teeth. Teeth also provide structure for your face and lift the skin, giving you a more youthful look.
The implant screw forms a strong bond with your jaw and won’t slip around like a removable denture will. Therefore, they eliminate the causes of mumbling or slurring.
Removable dentures tend to need readjusting as they slip in the mouth. Yet, dental implants are fixed, eliminating the problem.
You can eat the same foods with dental implants as you can with natural teeth. That means you don’t need to avoid your favorite crispy or crunchy foods.
Dental implants look like your real teeth. That means embarrassment-free smiles and restored confidence.
Improved Oral Health
A tooth-supported bridge sometimes requires that you reduce your other teeth. Dental implants don’t require this procedure.
Your adjacent teeth are left intact, which will have long-term benefits to your oral health. The dental implant is fit to give easier access between adjacent teeth, improving oral hygiene.
When dental implants are cared for, they can last a lifetime. The materials are durable and last a long time.
Many complain that removable dentures have annoying maintenance routines.
Dental implants, on the other hand, don’t need to be removed or require being stuck in place with messy adhesives. You can continue to care for them just like your natural teeth.
Bone Loss Prevention
Bone loss usually occurs when you are missing teeth. Dental implants fuse with the surrounding bone, providing a stimulus that promotes bone growth.
What is the Dental Implant process like?
At the first visit, your surgeon will take X-rays and scans of your mouth and make sure you have enough jawbone density to hold the implant. If not, a bone graft procedure can be performed before you receive a dental implant.
This is common when the implant is to be placed in the maxilla (upper jaw) towards the back of the mouth. This is due to the location of the maxillary sinus (air-filled space found in the bones of the face).
A surgical procedure called a sinus lift can fix this by lifting the sinus floor and grafting bone into the sinus.
When the bone is strong enough, a titanium rod is implanted into your jawbone in an outpatient procedure. Anesthetics, and in some cases sedatives, can be used to minimize any pain or discomfort.
At this point, you need to wait until the implant fully fuses with your jawbone. This takes anywhere from three to six months.
At your last visit, your oral surgery specialist uncovers your implant and prepares the implant for the crown that your referring general surgeon will install.
Since your implant works just like a natural tooth root, your dental prosthesis won’t move or shift. With proper care, a dental implant will last your entire life.
Can anyone get dental implants?
If your oral surgeon feels you are healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or any other oral surgery, then it’s likely that you can go through with the dental implants procedure.
You must have healthy gums and the bone density of your jaw bone should be strong enough to hold the implant.
It is expected that you will maintain good oral hygiene after the surgery and schedule regular dental visits to follow up.
Tobacco users or those that suffer from uncontrolled chronic disorders, such as diabetes or heart disease, or have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area, will need to be evaluated on an individual basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS MADE OUT OF?
Dental implants are made of three individual components. The two principal parts are the screws that attach to the jawbone and the crown that makes up the visible part of the tooth.
The screw that fixes to the jaw is made of titanium or a titanium alloy. It has been discovered that titanium has the properties needed to bond with the bone in a process called osseointegration.
The crown is commonly made of porcelain or another tooth-colored material.