Smiling, talking, and chewing with ease are things most of us take for granted – until tooth loss takes these abilities away.
Losing one or more of your teeth impacts your life in a number of ways. You may find it difficult to chew the foods you once enjoyed, or you might feel embarrassed when you talk or smile at someone.
Dental implants are an excellent solution for restoring not only your missing tooth, but also your confidence and oral health. Los Angeles dentist Dr. Steven Chen and his team at Ocean Smiles Family Dentistry can guide you through implant treatment from start to finish.
Missing Teeth and Oral Health
Having one or more missing teeth may take a toll on your confidence; however, did you know that your tooth loss is also affecting your oral health?
When your natural root is lost, your bone will begin to deteriorate, or resorb, causing changes to the appearance of your face and lost support for your surrounding teeth.
Since teeth are also place holders, without replacement teeth, your healthy teeth will begin to move and shift. This causes bite misalignment, problems with your jaw joint, and an increased risk of developing issues such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Unfortunately, one missing tooth will likely lead to more tooth loss unless you replace it.
How Do Dental Implants Help?
A dental implant is designed to closely mimic your natural tooth by replacing your lost root with a metal post made of titanium and your lost tooth with a lifelike porcelain crown.
Titanium is biocompatible, which means that your body is unlikely to reject it. It's the same material used in joint replacements. This allows the implant to be placed into your jawbone, where it will integrate naturally over a period of about 4 to 6 months. Once it is integrated, the post will act as your natural root. This prevents your bone from deteriorating by stopping the resorption process.
Dr. Chen will design your new porcelain crown to closely match the shape and shade of your missing tooth. Once it’s attached to your implant, your new tooth provides all the eating and chewing function you once had, and because your crown is so natural looking, no one will ever know you were missing a tooth!
Implants are also able to restore multiple missing teeth by supporting dental prosthetics like dentures, partials, or bridges.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
While dental implants are a good solution for most patients, they do require a few factors to ensure their success. These are:
- The patient is in good overall health.
- There is enough bone present to properly support the implant.
- The patient has healthy gums and good periodontal health.
If you do not currently meet these criteria, we can discuss other procedures that can improve your oral health and make you a better candidate for implants.
Dr. Chen can help you decide if implants are right for your case when you schedule a consultation. If implants are not a suitable solution for you, Dr. Chen can discuss other tooth replacement options that may better suit your needs.
Give your Los Angeles dentist a call today to arrange a convenient time for your consultation!