A beaming white smile is considered an image of beauty. However, 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and over 36 million Americans are missing all of their teeth.
Missing a tooth or several teeth does more than knock your confidence. Your teeth provide a structure that is essential for dental and oral health. Your teeth help you to eat and chew your food. They work together to keep each one in its proper place facing the right direction. If you have a missing tooth then the other teeth can start to move out of place. One of the most important functions of your teeth is that they stimulate bone growth in your jaw. A healthy jaw bone provides a strong and secure foundation for your teeth and helps maintain facial shape.
Dental implants are an excellent option to replace missing teeth because they replicate the function of real teeth. A dental implant is made up of three parts:
- A titanium post that’s surgically implanted in your jaw
- A crown that is made to look like a real tooth
- An abutment that connects the crown to the titanium post
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Because dental implants replicate the function of real teeth they have many benefits. For example, the titanium post that is connected to the jaw bone provides the same stimulation as a real tooth. This encourages jaw bone strength and will prevent other teeth from falling out and helps maintain your facial shape.
The implant’s strong titanium post is securely fixed to your jaw so you can continue eating all types of food without any fear of them breaking. Also, because the implant is like the original tooth they are easy to adjust to so you don’t need to relearn how to eat or speak like you do with dentures.
Another advantage over dentures is that you don’t have to handle any sticky glue or awkward cleaning routines. Simply brush your teeth as normal with a non-abrasive toothpaste and floss at least once a day. Although an implant cannot decay, your other teeth still can and you can still suffer from gum disease.
What are the steps to get dental implants?
Your regular dentist will need to collaborate with an oral surgeon to install your dental implants. Usually, you will have several appointments before the process is complete. Your oral surgeon will begin by thoroughly examining your jaw bone strength using an X-ray. If the jaw bone is not strong enough then San Jose Oral Surgery can perform a bone graft to give the required strength for the implant.
When your jaw has reached the required strength then your oral surgeon will surgically attach the titanium post to your jaw. Then some time will pass for the bone to make a secure bond with the post.
At your next appointment, your oral surgeon will attach the abutments to the posts and take pictures and molds of the surrounding teeth. He will then pass this information to your regular dentist who will work with a dental lab to make the crowns that will fit on the abutments. Once ready he will fit them, check your bite, and polish them to shine like real teeth.
If you are missing one or more teeth then contact San Jose Oral Surgery to find out if dental implants a right for you.
Why have dental implants?
They have an improved appearance as they look like real teeth. You will see improvements in your speech and chewing compared to dentures since they don’t slip out of your mouth. Most importantly they contribute to good oral health.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants have had a good track record for 50 years and considered a safe replacement procedure. For the majority of healthy patients, they are extremely successful.
How long do dental implants last?
Several studies indicate that the life span of dental implants can be up to 20 years. Crowns last between 10 and 15 years before replacement.