Dental implants are titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone and act as an artificial tooth root to support a dental restoration. At Wesley Yemoto DDS, the implant is surgically implanted into the jaw, fusing with the bone and becoming “rooted” to the bone. Once the implant has connected to the bone, a post is attached that protrudes above the gum line and supports a prosthetic crown. This procedure is called an implant restoration or dental implant procedure. Compared with other tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges, dental implants offer the most natural-looking results because they fuse with the jawbone and prevent bone loss in the jaw.
The Advantages of Dental Implants
The benefits of replacing missing teeth extend beyond better appearance and easier chewing. Missing teeth can lead to bone loss in the jaw, causing the face to look sunken and aged. Other problems include shifting the remaining teeth, speech impediments, and difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene. Dental implants provide a permanent solution for missing teeth that restores your smile to its full function and beauty.
Although many patients do not realize it, having a missing tooth or several missing teeth has adverse effects on your oral health. Teeth that are either partially or entirely missing leave significant gaps in the smile where bacteria can collect and cause infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. In addition, the bone that once supported the tooth root will begin to deteriorate from lack of use. This can lead to further tooth loss and changes in facial structure as the bone starts to thin, and the tissues sag downward into the area where the teeth are missing.
Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options
Conventional bridges and dentures can restore many smiles, but they may not be the best option for everyone. These appliances only replace the visible portion of teeth, while dental implants replace the entire structure with a titanium post and porcelain crown. In addition to rebuilding the structure, dental implants also prevent bone resorption from occurring in the jaw. Without their natural teeth to support, the jawbone can recede over time and cause patients to appear older than they are.
While traditional restorations can improve appearance, they cannot prevent the deterioration of missing teeth. In addition, patients who opt for these treatments must commit to maintaining them for the rest of their lives, or they will lose them to decay or breakage. Compared to dental implants, crowns and bridges may need regular replacements every few years. Implants are a one-time investment that will last a lifetime if properly cared for.
Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution, unlike a removable denture. To learn more about the benefits of dental implants, contact Wesley Yemoto DDS at 4860 Cherry Avenue #F, San Jose, CA 95118, or call (408) 266-9957.