Your mouth is the body’s most expressive organ, and your smile reflects your outlook on life and yourself. This is why oral health is an important part of physical health.
Dr. Rebecca Marsh and the team of oral health professionals at Hillcrest Dental Arts, located near you in San Diego, California, want to educate their patients, current and new, on the option of dental implants in the case of tooth loss.
Implants replace the root of a lost tooth. A titanium rod is surgically implanted into the jawbone. This rod bonds with the jawbone to form a solid foundation for the replacement tooth.
On the personal side, implants can rejuvenate an individual’s attitude and improve their quality of life. On the medical side, missing teeth will negatively affect facial structure and can lead to bone deterioration.
Often, the insertion process requires two surgeries. The first is to implant the rod into the jawbone. Titanium is a biochemical metal, meaning it will bond with the bone without rejection. It may take from 3-6 months for this first procedure to heal. During the healing process, a patient may be fitted with temporary dentures.
When the bonding process is healed, the second surgery is to insert the replacement teeth. Posts protruding through the gum line will be attached to the rods. These posts are anchors for the new teeth and will not be visible once the tooth is inserted.
There are cases where, through modern dentistry, the process of inserting the rod, the post and the missing tooth can be performed in one surgical procedure. This one-step procedure usually heals within 6 weeks.
Both processes are performed in the dental office by either local or general anesthesia.
Implants can be used as the root of a single crown, or the roots for several missing teeth, known as a fixed bridge. For extensive dental conditions, there are prosthetics for the entire upper and lower jaw.
During the first few weeks after surgery, you will be required to maintain a soft-food diet. When completely healed, there will be no food restrictions and dental implants require no special care.
Regular and consistent oral hygiene practice is necessary both pre-and post-implant surgery.
Your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for implant surgery from your medical and dental history, and from the size and density of your jawbone. There are other options your dentist will recommend if it is determined that implants are not right for you.
If you feel you may be a candidate for dental implants and seek consultation, then please contact Hillcrest Dental Arts located near you in San Diego. Dr. Marsh and her team are trusted and highly recommended for restorative, general and pediatric treatments and procedures.