The Next Best Thing to a Natural, Healthy Tooth
Anyone that has lost a tooth knows the shame and embarrassment that stems from a gapped smile. Fortunately, there is no reason to suffer this shame any longer. Today’s tooth replacement options — especially dental implants — are incredibly reliable and lifelike.
Dental implants look, feel and behave exactly like natural teeth; they offer an unprecedented amount of stability and security in the mouth. El Cajon dental implants patients rely on Dr. Andrew Hunter’s expertise with these incredible restorations to recreate a beautiful, fully functioning set of teeth.
Unique Advantages of Dental Implants
The most unique benefit to dental implants is that they replace the natural tooth roots that connect the teeth to the jawbone. This creates a stable base that allows normal biting and chewing function; it also helps to prevent the many problems associated with tooth loss.
When a tooth falls out, the underlying jawbone does not receive the stimulation that it needs to thrive. Gradually, the jawbone can start to deteriorate and at a certain point, bone loss can occur. Weak jawbone can no longer hold teeth securely in place, so they may loosen and fall out. Also, the facial structures can collapse, making the face look prematurely aged.
Replacing the tooth and tooth root prevents this deterioration and bone loss, promoting a strong and healthy jawbone and a normal facial appearance.
Because dental implants offer unparalleled stability and longevity, it takes several months to complete the placement process. The implant placement timeline includes a few steps. Dr. Hunter uses advanced pieces of technology, such as the Galileos 3D CT Scanner, to gather information about the structures of your mouth and precisely plan out your implant treatment.
The first step of dental implant placement is to surgically place the implant post into the jawbone. This creates a strong base that will eventually anchor an artificial tooth.
In order to accommodate your dental implant, you must have a sufficient amount of healthy jawbone. This will be measured during the pre-operative planning stages and, if it is found that you do not have adequate jawbone, Dr. Hunter may recommend a bone grafting procedure. After rehabilitating the jawbone, implant placement can proceed.
Once your implant post has been placed, it will integrate and become part of your jawbone. This healing process, known as osseointegration, takes a few months.
After osseointegration, the top of the implant will be uncovered and the artificial tooth will be attached. A small piece called an abutment will connect the implant post and artificial tooth.
Your dental implant may be used to anchor a single stand-alone tooth (e.g., a crown), a non-removable bridge or a full or partial denture appliance. Implant-supported dentures may require the placement of several implant posts throughout the jaw.
There is a slight adjustment period as the mouth adapts to chewing and speaking with the new implant. After this adjustment period, your implant functions just as a natural healthy tooth. You should brush and floss around it daily, and have it checked by Dr. Hunter every six months. With the right care, your dental implant may last for the rest of your lifetime without problems!
Learn More about Dental Implants
If you are looking for a provider that offers dental implants in El Cajon, Dr. Hunter may be the dentist for you. Call (619) 444-6157 or email our office today to request an informational consultation with Dr. Hunter.