A gleaming smile can give us confidence, both in how we look and in the choices of the foods that we eat. However, a missing tooth or teeth can rob us of that confidence. Unfortunately, the statistics show that around 178 million Americans are missing a least one tooth and approximately 40 million are missing all of their teeth.
Your teeth have many essential functions. They help us to chew and eat. They help us to produce sounds when we are talking. They also protect your oral and dental health. One of the most important functions your teeth have is to stimulate bone growth in your jaw. Each time we chew the pressure exerted through the roots on the jaw stimulates new growth strengthening the jaw bone. A strong jaw is essential in maintaining your face shape and providing a secure foundation for the rest of your teeth
When you are missing a tooth or many teeth then dental implants are an excellent choice to replace your teeth. They mimic real teeth in appearance and function. They consist of three parts:
A titanium post that’s surgically implanted into your jaw
A crown that is made to look like a natural tooth
An abutment that connects the other two parts together.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
As dental implants mimic natural teeth they provide many of the benefits that natural teeth provide. For example, the titanium posts act like the tooth’s roots and stimulate bone growth in your jaw. This will reduce the risk of further tooth loss and helps to maintain facial shape.
The secure bond between the implants and the jaw means that you can bite and chew crispy food without worrying about them breaking or falling out. Also, unlike dentures, they are easy to get used to. You don’t need to practice a new way of talking or eating because they are very similar to your natural teeth.
Another advantage over dentures is that you don’t have to worry about sticky glues or fiddly cleaning methods. You can continue your normal routine of flossing and brushing with a regular soft toothbrush and toothpaste. While your implants are free from getting decay you still need to take care of your remaining teeth and are still at risk of getting gum disease.
What’s the process to get dental implants?
Your regular dentist will work together with your oral surgeon to fit your dental implants. You will usually be required to attend a few appointments to complete the process. First, you will be required to have an X-ray and bone scan to see if your jaw is strong enough to support the implants. The surgeons at Vallejo Oral Surgery can perform a bone graft if your jaw is too weak.
Once the surgeon is confident that your jaw bone is strong enough to support an implant the surgeons will arrange to place the post(s) in your jaw. Some time will need to pass for the posts to bind with the jaw bone, usually a few months. This process is called osseointegration.
Next, the oral surgeon will attach the abutments to the posts and take pictures and make a mold of your mouth. The information is then shared with your dentist who will arrange for your crowns to be custom made to match and fit in precisely with the other teeth. Your final appointment will be with your dentist who will attach the crown to the abutments. He will also give them a polish so that they shine like natural teeth.
If you’re missing a tooth or teeth, contact Vallejo Oral Surgery to find out if dental implants are right for you.