What Are Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

Posted by Dr. Richard Sellen Oct 28,2021

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In the world of modern dentistry, implants have rapidly become a popular method for replacing missing teeth. 

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that serve as a permanent base for replacement teeth—whether it’s a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even to help with the retention of one’s dentures. These artificial teeth look and function just like real teeth and can be a welcome alternative to getting traditional removable dentures or bridgework.

Why should you have dental implant surgery?

Dental implant surgery places titanium “roots” into your jawbone, which serve as roots for missing teeth. Contrary to traditional dentures, these implants don’t slip, make noise, and help to preserve your bone! When it comes to single tooth replacement, we love implants because it allows us to simply address the missing area without having to do any restorative work on the surrounding teeth. 

You might be a good candidate for dental implants if:

  • You have one or multiple missing teeth
  • Your jawbone is fully-grown
  • You have healthy oral tissue
  • Your jawbone is capable of housing the implants (meaning you have enough bone)
  • You would prefer not to wear traditional dentures, or you would like some added stability to a denture
  • You are not a smoker or have health issues that can adversely affect bone healing
  • You can dedicate several months to the implant process

What’s the process of getting dental implants?

In order to receive implants, it’s important to have a health history performed. Then, you will need to have an evaluation of the proposed area to make sure that there is: a) enough room for the implant and restoration and b) there is enough bone to house that implant. At this point, we will come up with a treatment plan.

What should you expect?

Dental implant surgery takes place over multiple stages and can take many months to complete.

The initial steps include:

  • Removing the damaged tooth (if necessary)
  • Preparing the jawbone (if necessary)
  • Putting in the implant

After the implant is placed, there is a period of healing time to allow the implant to become fixated to the jaw. After healing is completed, impressions or digital scans are taken to fabricate the final restoration, whether it’s a crown, bridge, or denture. Finally, the new restoration is placed on the implant. 

Taking care of your implants is extremely important. Even though they cannot get cavities, they certainly can have bone loss. So, it is very important to have routine cleanings and evaluations in addition to excellent home care. This will ensure your implant and restoration last you a very long time.

Dr. Richard D. Sellen is a licensed dentist in Willow Glen, San Jose, California. If you are ready for a healthy and beautiful smile, head on over to our contact page or give us a call at 408.264.3133.

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