What Are Dental Implants?

Dental Implants For Missing Teeth In La Mesa

dental implants for missing teeth La Mesa and San DiegoDental Implants are manufactured biocompatible root replacements for missing teeth. Decades of research and testing have gone into creating the types and sizes of dental implants Dr. Gray will help choose for you at his La Mesa dentist office. They replace the natural tooth root, and can be used in either the upper or lower jaws. Dental implants are made of titanium or other materials that are well-suited for use in the body. The dental implant is attached to the jawbone and gum tissue to become a stable base for one or more custom artificial replacement teeth or dental crowns. The replacement tooth will look and feel natural.

Other Uses of Dental Implants

If you currently have a fixed bridge or removable dentures, dental implants can also be very effective in anchoring these devices, making them secure and comfortable.

How Dental Implants are Placed

If you are a candidate for dental implants, Dr. Gray will gently and carefully place the dental implant into the site of the missing teeth or tooth. The dental implant will fuse with the bone over a period of usually just 6 weeks. At that point the process of replacing the missing teeth can safely and predictably begin. A second piece, the abutment, then is secured onto the dental implant. The dental crown, or replacement tooth, which is created on-site by Master Ceramist Mike Milner, is then fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance. A fixed bridge or full denture can also be anchored for better function and comfort.

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Why Replace Missing Teeth

Missing teeth may affect the way the jaw closes, which can cause bite and jaw joint problems (like TMJ) causing pain and discomfort. Patients with missing teeth often complain of headaches, difficulty in eating, and embarrassment in social and professional settings. Missing teeth or loose dentures may keep you from enjoying the foods you love and from feeling comfortable dining with others or in public. People who are able to eat and chew a normal range of foods have been shown to live an average of 10 years longer.

The remaining teeth begin to tilt and drift into gaps created by missing teeth endangering those teeth as bone support is lost or compromised. Food can become trapped in open spaces, increasing the risk of decay. Over time, the jawbone in the area of the missing teeth begins to be lost. This can cause changes in the shape of your face and premature aging as your cheeks collapse into the missing spaces. Dental implants can actually stimulate bone growth and preserve your facial structure. The more bone you have, the stronger your dental implants and the rest of your teeth will be. Bone loss may limit the types of dental restoration that might be possible to restore your chewing ability, your comfort and your smile. So it is best not to wait!

To learn more about dental implants or the impact missing teeth can have on your oral and overall health, call our San Diego, California area office today at 619-717-8560 for a free initial dental implant consultation or simply send the form on the right, and we will contact you if you are in the San Diego area, including La Mesa and El Cajon.