Are you missing a tooth, a few teeth, or an entire arch of teeth? Whether you lost your tooth because of gum disease, an accident, a fall, an extraction, or otherwise, replacing missing teeth is critical not only for the sake of your appearance but for overall oral health. Dental implants placed by Dr. Lakshmy Sudeep at the Santa Teresa Dental Center are the permanent, natural-looking way to fill the holes in your smile.
The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth
One missing tooth may not seem like it could possibly have that big of a consequence on your oral health, especially a molar that was hardly noticeable to begin with. You will see over time, however, that your face shape can begin to change where a tooth is absent. Patients who are missing multiple teeth will recognize that their jaw and mouth are becoming compressed and making them look older.
Every tooth has an intricate root system that contributes to the strength and stability of your jaw. When a tooth is lost or extracted, it leaves a visible space in your smile and disturbs the foundation of your smile. Teeth that neighbor the missing tooth may also do some shifting of their own, moving to fill the hole that has been left behind.
If you want to maintain good oral health, feel confident, and prevent your face from aging sooner than it should, dental implants support your smile by completely taking the place of a tooth that is missing and ensuring that your face and dentition are not negatively altered.
How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant is a small, titanium post that is surgically implanted in the jaw to take the place of your missing tooth’s root. The implant’s biocompatible properties allow it to fuse with the natural jawbone, replace the natural tooth root, and create a strong base for a prosthetic tooth. This is the first part of the procedure.
Once the implant is in place, some time will be allowed for the incision area and jaw to heal to ensure that the implant has been accepted, properly integrated, and is secure. Then, a customized crown will be color-matched to blend with your surrounding teeth then attached to the implant to seamlessly fit into your smile and complete your smile makeover. Your implants will be comfortable, look like your original teeth, and reestablish a durable, functional smile.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dr. Lakshmy will assess your oral health history and medical history as well as review the current state of your oral health to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Your dentist will also look for any signs of gum disease, which is the top cause of tooth loss in adults. Any periodontal disease will need to be addressed before implants can be a possibility.
Once healthy teeth and gums have been established, X-rays, an impression of your teeth, and 3D scans of your mouth will all be taken to evaluate the strength and position of your jawbone, gum tissue, and space around your teeth.
Of course, one of the main requirements for being a good candidate for dental implants is the desire for a better smile:
- You don’t want dentures. Dentures are not your only option for tooth replacement, and you don’t need one dental implant for every missing tooth if your entire arch of teeth is absent. Four to six dental implants can be strategically placed across the arch and used to hold one complete denture. No adhesives. No embarrassment. No worries that your teeth will move out of place. A dental implant is permanently secured.
- Your bones are strong. Often, tooth loss accompanies aging, a side effect of bone loss or deterioration. Your San Jose dental implant dentist will examine your mouth to determine whether your jaw is strong enough and you have good bone density to receive dental implants.
- You’re embarrassed by your missing teeth. The determination to fix your smile is the first requirement for pursuing dental implants. It doesn’t matter what age you are, if your smile has made you self-conscious, replacing your missing teeth can make all the difference in your confidence and happiness.
Enjoy the Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are easy to care for. They are, essentially, a new tooth in your mouth and should be maintained the same way as all other teeth – with thorough daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to your San Jose dentist. Take good care of your dental implants and you will revel in the security and comfort of this dental restoration, the benefits of better oral health, improved functionality, a younger-looking appearance, and stronger teeth overall.
Contact the Santa Teresa Dental Center to learn more about dental implants and discuss the dental restorations that are right for you. You can have a beautiful, fully functional smile again.