People are living longer than ever and while brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist have allowed some of us to maintain our healthy smiles, sometimes, some of our teeth just can't keep up. If you've lost a tooth, a few teeth or all of your teeth due to disease or injury, dental implants can restore both your oral health and your smile.
Most patients with adequate bone mass can have implants, although it varies among individuals. Typically, an x-ray and CT-scan are performed to determine if you have enough bone to place for the implant, as well as to verify the size and kind of implant that should be placed. Dr. Jason Hsiao can evaluate your case and tell you if you are a good candidate for dental implants.
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth root. Titanium is used in many knee and hip replacements. Titanium is a metal that has proven biocompatibility and is ideal in pairing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed onto this post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.
If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will be sufficient. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge. If you lost all of your teeth, a full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with properly placed implants.
Advantages Over Bridges and Dentures
Bridges often require the adjacent teeth to the missing one to be reduced and prepared to accept crowns. Often times these teeth are in good condition, this will cause unnecessary tooth loss and compromise the longevity of these otherwise healthy teeth.
Conventional dentures are not fixed to the bone and therefore are unstable. In addition there are usually metal clasps visible that can be less then aesthetically ideal. This can make eating or smiling with confidence difficult.
The use of dental implants allows us to leave these adjacent teeth alone, maximizing their life span therefore, actually saving time and money in the long run and also maximizing your dental health.
Teeth supported by implants not only look more natural, but they feel and act more like normal teeth. You will experience restored confidence in your smile and your ability to chew and speak.
For the most part, your new implant supported teeth can be treated the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth; the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last.
Every case is different, and some of these steps can be combined when conditions permit. We will work with you to determine your best treatment plan.