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Dental Implants: Why They are a Game-Changer in Replacing Missing Teeth

Jun 03, 2021

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Missing teeth present both functional and cosmetic problems, which is why you need a replacement option that checks off both of those boxes. Dental implants have you covered on both fronts. Read on to learn why they are a game-changer in replacing missing

Missing teeth are a challenge, especially if your fix is dentures that slipping out of place. That’s why the board-certified periodontists at Ueno Center Dental Specialists in Campbell, California, recommend dental implants. Serving patients throughout San Jose, Cupertino, and Los Gatos, the Ueno team has restored countless smiles with this game-changing permanent solution. 

Your teeth and your oral health

Missing teeth impact more than aesthetics. Unfilled gaps can wreak havoc on your oral health, setting off a chain reaction of dental problems.

Every tooth has two essential regions. First is the visible part above your gumline, known as the crown. The crown provides stability to your neighboring teeth. Beneath the gum line is your tooth’s root. This portion has a dual purpose: to support the crown and stimulate jawbone growth. 

Even one missing tooth can compromise the integrity and structure of your mouth and increase your risk for developing such dental issues as:

  • Shifting teeth and bite problems
  • Excessive wear on your remaining teeth
  • Difficulty chewing and speaking
  • Changes in your facial structure
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, such as jaw pain and chronic headaches
  • Bone loss in your jaw

Dental implants 101

There are multiple options for replacing missing teeth, including traditional bridges or dentures. None, however, rivals dental implants for function, durability, appearance, and comfort. That’s because dental implants are securely implanted directly into your jawbone, which means just like your natural teeth, they stimulate bone growth, maintaining the structure of your face.

A dental implant is comprised of three parts: the implant, the abutment, and the crown.

  • The implant serves as the root for your artificial tooth
  • The abutment is a tiny connector placed atop the implant to which the crown is affixed
  • The crown is your custom-made tooth

Your crown is custom tinted and contoured to perfectly match the rest of your teeth. It is virtually impossible to discern the difference between the two.

The process

At your first appointment, your periodontist confirms that you are a candidate for dental implants. This involves an oral exam and X-rays to assess the health of your jawbone.

If you don’t have enough bone to support an implant, a bone grafting procedure will be necessary first. This is a minor in-office surgical procedure.

Once it’s determined that your jawbone is ready for an implant, your periodontist begins by making a tiny incision in your gums. Next, they drill a small hole in your jawbone and insert the titanium implant that will act as the root of your prosthetic tooth. The incision is then closed with sutures.

It takes between 3-6 months for the root to fuse with your jawbone fully. Once the implant is fully fused, the abutment is placed on your implant, followed by your crown. 

With dental implants, you care for them just like your natural teeth by brushing, flossing, and getting your teeth cleaned twice a year.

For more information about dental implants, schedule a visit with one of the periodontists at Ueno Center Dental Specialists. Call the office, or request an appointment online to get started on your new smile.