Tooth loss affects millions of Americans per year – but whether it is due to traumatic injury, decay, gum disease, or other issues, you don’t have to live with a gap in your smile! At Shadowridge Dental Group, we offer patients in the San Marcos, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Escondido, Encinitas, and surrounding CA communities several tooth replacement options to fit a variety of needs. Dental implants have become a popular choice for patients who are replacing one or more teeth, and for good reason. They offer unparalleled stability and most closely mimic a natural tooth’s function, feel, and appearance in your smile.
Dental implants mimic your natural tooth root
What sets dental implants apart is the fact that they mimic your tooth’s natural root, which holds the tooth firmly in your jaw and offers a number of functional, aesthetic, and oral health benefits. A small screw-like implant is placed in your jaw bone in an outpatient surgical procedure. As the implant heals, it undergoes a process called osseointegration in which the implant fuses together with the bone to form a strong, sturdy foundation for your replacement tooth. Dental implants have a number of benefits for patients:
- Increases confidence: Missing teeth can have a dramatic impact on how you feel about your smile as well as cause a ‘sunken in’ appearance in your cheeks, making you look older than you are; with natural-looking dental implants, you can smile with confidence again
- Improves eating and speaking: Every tooth plays an important role in eating and speaking, and when you replace missing teeth with a dental implant, you restore the natural functionality of your smile—without worrying about your new teeth slipping or falling out
- Promotes bone health: With tooth loss, the jaw bone structure naturally deteriorates over time due to a lack of sufficient force being placed on the bone; however, dental implants stimulate the bone sufficiently to prevent this process from occurring
- Prevents other teeth from shifting: Teeth naturally tend to shift into any open gaps in the smile, which can cause a bite that is misaligned and unnecessary wear and tear on the teeth; by replacing missing teeth dental implants, your teeth can maintain their proper alignment and healthy tooth structure on neighboring teeth does not need to be altered (such as when crowns are placed to anchor a dental bridge)
Types of dental implants
Dental implant technology has rapidly improved in recent years, and patients who are interested in dental implants have more options than ever before for a tooth replacement experience that is tailored precisely to their needs.
- Single tooth implants: Single tooth implants can be used to replace one or more missing teeth in different locations in the mouth, and are typically topped with a dental crown for the final tooth restoration
- Implant-supported bridge: This is a great option for patients who are missing multiple teeth in a row; it works similarly to a traditional bridge, but instead of using crowns on the adjacent healthy teeth, dental implants are placed in the gap to secure the dental implant in place
- Implant-supported dentures: Also called full dental implants, this option allows patients to replace a full arch of missing teeth with a denture while gaining all of the benefits of dental implants; as few as four dental implants are strategically placed in the arch to firmly secure a full denture in place
Dental implants are titanium roots that are replaced within the jaw bones to resemble a tooth or a group of teeth. A screw is inserted through the gums and into the jaw bone. A porcelain crown is then attached to the screw to become the new tooth or teeth. They can be used to support dental prestices including crowns, dentures and bridges. Today’s treatments are so natural looking no one will know you had surgery. There is approximately a 95 percent success rate for all implants. With modern advancements in dentistry some implants can be restored immediately with life like all porcelain crowns. For more details ask your dentist.
In addition, patients can choose between titanium and zirconia implants. Each implant material has benefits and considerations that our dental team will discuss with you so you can feel confident about your path to achieving a healthy, beautiful smile.
To learn more about the tooth replacement options at Shadowridge Dental Group and which might be right for you, call our San Marcos, CA office today at (760) 284-8111.