Patients in La Crescenta, CA take advantage of versatile dental implants
Dental implants became part of mainstream American dentistry in the 1980s. Since that time, materials, design, and implantation techniques have continued to evolve. Today, patients in the La Crescenta, CA area can turn to dental implants as a long-term solution for tooth loss, in many forms. Dr. Carlos Garcia of Bright Smiles Dental Studio located in Glendale, discusses implant dentistry options.
Each tooth in your mouth has a crown, visible above the gum line. Beneath it lies a root that penetrates deep into jawbone to support the crown, allowing you to chew food. Many people confuse an artificial crown with a dental implant. However, the implant actually replaces the root of the missing tooth, while a porcelain crown serves as the finishing touch for the restoration.
The implant is meticulously placed into jawbone during a brief oral surgery. As bone fuses with the implant, it performs the function of a natural root, stabilizing the crown restoration and providing vital stimulation that preserves facial bone.
A single tooth, congenitally missing or lost to decay, trauma, or gum disease, may be replaced in this fashion. Implants can be used to replace multiple teeth, absent at various locations in the mouth. The technique keeps remaining teeth from shifting out of position, helping to preserve oral health, chewing function, and a beautiful smile.
An increasing number of people are seeking an alternative to root canal therapy for teeth that have bacterial contamination at the nerve center. While endodontic treatment remains sound general dentistry, implants present an alternative for those who do not want root canal treatment. Instead, the infected, inflamed, or dead tooth is extracted and replaced with an implant.
In the past, if you lost one, two, or three teeth in a row, your dentist recommended a partial denture or a dental bridge. A partial denture is economical. Since it is removable, though, it is not terribly secure. Plus, the denture is held in place with clips. These attachments may cause premature wear to existing teeth, resulting in more dental work in the future.
A bridge consists of two crowns holding one or more artificial teeth between them. The crowns are cemented over prepared natural teeth for a sturdy foundation. Thus, healthy adjacent teeth must be ground down to anchor the prosthetic.
An implant-supported bridge solves these concerns. A span of three to five successive missing teeth can be replaced with a dental bridge affixed to two dental implants. This configuration is more economical than replacing each tooth with an implant, requires less time in the chair, and lasts a long time with good oral hygiene.
An entire arch
Are you missing all your upper or lower teeth, or both arches? There are implant solutions for this, too.
An implant retained denture is designed with attachment points that snap over fittings on dental implants. Often, just four implants hold a whole arch of teeth for extremely secure smiling, talking, and eating enjoyment. The upper denture does not cover the palate, so taste and temperature sensation are not affected. If you have a denture that you like, and it fits great, it can be retrofitted to work with implants, saving you money.
Maybe you have some remaining teeth that need to be extracted, but you don’t want to be seen with a gummy smile. Mini-dental implants are specially-designed for “immediate load.” Implants are placed at the time of extraction, and the denture inserted right away. The denture protects your mouth as it heals, and you leave the office with teeth.
If you have gone a long time without teeth, you may have significant bone loss. However, with modern bone grafting methods, you could still be a good candidate for implant dentures.
Key points to remember
- Stand-alone implant restorations look natural and feel and function like natural teeth.
- The success rate for properly placed implants is excellent.
- With good oral hygiene, a dental implant can last the rest of your life.
- You can count on Dr. Garcia to explain treatment options and help you make an informed dental healthcare decision that fits your lifestyle as well as your smile.