Bakersfield, CA – Are you embarrassed by missing teeth in your mouth? You’re not alone – millions of Americans suffer tooth loss due to decay, gum disease and sometimes injury. While in the past, the only solutions were bridges or uncomfortable dentures, today, patients have more options than ever before.
Dental implants have revolutionized the dental world over the past 25 years. So what exactly are they and how can they improve your smile?
The term dental implant actually refers to the replacement root, not the tooth. Your tooth root works to anchor your tooth into your mouth. But when you’ve lost your tooth, you need something new to anchor a new tooth replacement.
The implant is a tiny titanium screw that is placed directly into the jaw. Titanium is the most widely used metal for bone implants and has the lowest risk of being rejected by the body.
I have a very high success rate using dental implants to correct patient’s smiles.
The success of the dental implant depends on a process called osseointegration. This is when the metal of the implant fuses to the bone, creating a secure anchor to which a replacement tooth can be attached.
When you lose a tooth, the bone that supports that tooth can also be lost. And if not taken care of soon, the bone can continue to deteriorate. Dental implants offer stability to your jaw, but they have a host of additional advantages, too.
- Because they fuse with your bone, implants offer a permanent solution, and feel like your natural teeth.
- Poor fitting dentures can slip out, leading to problems with eating and speaking. You won’t experience that with implants.
- Removable dentures can be uncomfortable, but implants become a part of you, so there is no discomfort.
- A bridge needs the support of surrounding teeth, altering them to make the bridge affective. Implants don’t require that, so your teeth are left intact, which can improve your oral health in the long-term.
- With proper care, your implant will last your lifetime.
Dental implants have a success rate of 98 percent, and I enjoy an equally high success rate myself.
Virtually anyone is a proper candidate for dental implants. All you need are healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant. If you are a heavy smoke, or suffer from diabetes, heart disease or certain other conditions, you may not be an ideal candidate, however.
During a dental implant procedure, the titanium post will be placed into the bone where the missing tooth was. Over the course of several weeks, typically six to 12, the jaw will heal and grow around the post, securely anchoring it into the jaw.
Once this occurs, you’ll be ready for your new tooth or teeth. An abutment, or connector post, will be attached to the titanium post and a crown will be attached to it. Some patients who need multiple replacement teeth may opt for a removable denture to be placed over the implant.
The procedure is easy, and with local anesthesia there is little discomfort. Any mild soreness that may occur after the procedure can be treated with over the counter pain medications.
Because what I do is not only science but an art, I work very hard to ensure any replacement teeth ideally match the color and shape of your natural teeth. Your new teeth should fit effortlessly into your smile.
With the proper care, your dental implants can last a lifetime.
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