Every year in the United States, more than 2 million implants are placed in people who want to replace one or more missing teeth. Implants offer many advantages over dentures and bridges, including a more natural feel and a very secure fit.
As a top-ranked dentist in Long Beach and Avalon, California, Ryan J. Fait, DDS, is a trusted and experienced provider of state-of-the-art dental implants aimed at restoring smiles and improving oral health. Here’s what Dr. Fait and the team at Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry want you to know about implants and how they’re placed.
Dental implants have three parts:
Placing an implant typically takes two visits.
At the first visit, the titanium post is implanted into your jawbone, and the gum tissue is sealed over the incision. The post is left alone for several weeks, giving it time to fuse securely with the bone tissue. Dr. Fait makes an impression during this visit to serve as a model for your crown or other restoration.
During the second visit, Dr. Fait inspects the post to ensure it’s secure, then attaches the crown using the abutment piece. The crown is shaped and polished for a perfect fit. It is custom-tinted during fabrication, so it blends beautifully with your smile.
Although the tooth and post are “artificial,” they still require regular brushing and flossing to keep the nearby gums healthy and prevent gum disease that could weaken your implant. Regular checkups help keep the gums healthy, too.
Dental implants provide significant cosmetic benefits for your smile, replacing missing teeth so your smile looks healthy, natural, and confident. But aesthetic benefits are just one way implants improve your smile. They offer benefits for your oral health, too.
Even a single missing tooth can alter the way you bite and chew. In a surprisingly short time, that alteration can result in excess jaw strain and uneven tooth wear.
These might sound like minor problems, but over time, they can lead to increased cavities, tooth weakness, and chronic jaw pain and headaches. Eventually, jaw strain can cause temporomandibular joint disorder or dysfunctional jaws. By replacing missing teeth and restoring your bite’s balance, the risks of these issues are drastically reduced.
When a tooth is missing, the bone that supports it thins, weakening the teeth on either side. That’s why dentists often warn that even one missing tooth can create a “domino effect,” leading to additional tooth loss.
Normally, your tooth root stimulates jawbone tissue, promoting tissue turnover and replacement that maintains the jawbone’s thickness. When a tooth is lost, that stimulation is eliminated. Dentures and bridges rest on top of your gums, so they can’t prevent bone tissue thinning.
With a dental implant, the titanium root acts like your natural tooth root, providing the same stimulation. The implant root helps maintain the jawbone tissue replacement cycle, keeping your bone healthy and preventing future tooth loss due to bone thinning.
Dental implants are popular for many reasons, and they’re a good choice for most people. To find out how they can help restore your smile — and your confidence — book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. Fait and his team today.