Missing Teeth? Understanding When A Dental Implant Is the Best Choice
Adults of all ages with missing teeth or unsightly gaps can significantly benefit from dental implants. Whether you were born with a missing tooth or have had a tooth extraction due to decay, injury, or infection, dental implants can be a smart choice for both your oral and overall health. Implants are considered the standard of care for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth. Furthermore, implants offer an excellent alternative to other non-permanent treatments, such as removable dentures or bridges, for many San Marcos, CA area men and women.
Experienced dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allred of Allred Dental, offers dental implants to patients with missing teeth. A diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, Dr. Allred is a specialist in dental implantology. At Allred Dental, they handle all phases of dental implant treatments, from bone grafting to the final placement of the prosthetic teeth. What’s more, is that the entire procedure is done at Allred Dental’s office. That means patients in San Marcos, CA do not have to travel to different offices and see multiple doctors for treatment.
Below, Dr. Allred explains the dental implant process and how they are the best choice to restore the functionality of your teeth, giving you a natural-looking smile once again.
When is a dental implant the best choice?
Missing teeth can pose more than just a cosmetic problem. Other issues include decreased self-confidence and difficulty eating your favorite foods, as well as structural complications like a misaligned bite or teeth that begin shifting into the wrong place to accommodate for the open space where the missing tooth or teeth used to be. While there are multiple options available to men and women in San Marcos, CA to address missing teeth, dental implants have evolved as a long-lasting solution. Below, are three reasons why you may choose a dental implant to replace your missing teeth:
1. Insecurity about your appearance
It is often said, “The camera does not lie.” If you find yourself hiding your teeth because you are unhappy or embarrassed with the appearance of your smile, then you may be searching for a solution. Dental implants provide a more natural-looking alternative to dentures and are virtually undetectable when next to your natural teeth.
2. Difficulty chewing
Men and women with missing teeth often have to chew their food very carefully due to the spaces in their mouths where their teeth used to be. Additionally, food particles can be trapped in the spaces and lead to other dental issues like gum disease. Dental implants allow the mouth to resume normal functions for actions like chewing. They are durable and capable of tackling your favorite foods that you may be missing due to the limitations a missing tooth can impose.
3. Dentures or bridges are cumbersome
It used to be that dental devices like removable dentures or bridges were the only options when it came to replacing missing teeth. Dentures require daily cleaning and maintenance and are often not convenient. Not to mention they can fall out of your mouth at the most inopportune times. Similar to dentures, some types of dental bridges are also removable and can be uncomfortable. Even permanent dental bridges may need to be replaced if they are damaged or shift in the mouth after placement. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone, ensuring a permanent and long-lasting fit.
Dental implants explained
Dental implants are composed of titanium alloy, the same material that is used to make knee, shoulder, and hip implants. These small posts, which come in varying sizes and heights, are surgically placed just above or directly into the jawbone. The implant acts as a root to support artificial teeth, which can be comprised of custom-made porcelain crowns, bridges, or dentures that are affixed to the post to restore functionality, as well as a natural-looking appearance to the mouth. Not only do implants preserve natural bone in the jaw, but they may also stimulate future bone growth.
Following the placement of the posts, the jawbone fuses with the implant, and a temporary structure like a crown is placed onto the dental implant. Once the site has fully healed, a more durable crown, bridge or denture is employed. To protect the implant's longevity, it is essential that patients maintain good oral health habits including regular brushing and flossing and annual exams and cleanings with Dr. Allred at Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA.
Types of dental implants
Endosteal implants are the most commonly used style of implant. Similar in shape to a small screw, the device is placed into the jawbone with the potential to support one or more prosthetic teeth. Endosteal implants can be an alternative for patients who previously have had a bridge or dentures that were removable. With subperiosteal implants, posts are placed below the gums but above the jawbone. They are ideal for those who are not candidates for conventional-style dentures, as well as patients whose jawbones are not healthy enough to support an endosteal dental implant.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
When patients are missing one or more teeth, they want a permanent tooth option that looks, functions, and feels like their natural teeth. Because dental implants are surgically placed directly into the gums and jaw, they stay put when you speak, eat, or smile. During a thorough oral examination, Dr. Allred of Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA, will assess your jawbone to see if it is sufficient enough to support the implant’s structure. For patients who lack enough bone, a bone grafting procedure is recommended before the dentist can proceed with the implant procedure. Other qualifications for dental implants include:
- Patients should have healthy, disease-free gums before proceeding with dental implants.
- Dental implants typically are not recommended for younger patients with immature bones, pregnant women, or smokers.
- Patients who have been diagnosed with chronic medical conditions or taking certain medications may not be ideal candidates.
This therapeutic technique is becoming more popular amongst San Marcos, CA adults with missing teeth. Patients who come to Dr. Allred for treatment find that dental implants not only improve the ability to chew food more effectively, but they also enhance their smiles.
Are you ready for a new-and-improved smile?
When teeth are missing, the proper form and function of the mouth can be impacted. Dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace one or more teeth so that you can eat, speak, and smile confidently once again. To learn more about how dental implants can be life-changing for you, contact the office of Dr. Jeffrey Allred at Allred Dental in San Marcos, CA today.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.