If you have lost one or more of your teeth, you probably want a replacement that looks, feels, and functions just like your regular teeth. That is the benefit of getting a dental implant. Dental implants can be fused to your jawbone and replace the missing tooth root. They are then capped by an artificial crown that delivers the chewing function, just like your real teeth. Dental implants are a better alternative than having to lose a tooth through extraction, and are a more secure and permanent fit than traditional dentures. At Esthetic Smiles, Dr. John Abajian, DDS recommends the use of dental implants for a natural-looking and feeling smile.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium prosthetics that are surgically placed into your jawbone beneath the gums. These fixtures become tightly anchored to your jawbone through osseointegration — the process during which the bone fuses to the metal. This offers a stable foundation for an artificial tooth to be mounted and offers a more comfortable eating, speaking, and smiling experience.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two major types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. At Esthetic Smiles in Oxnard, CA , Dr. John Abajian, DDS will recommend the dental implant process that is best suited to the size, density, and shape of your jawbone.
Endosteal implants are titanium screws or blades that are embedded into your jawbone at the site where you lost your teeth. They are the most commonly-used implants.
The process takes multiple sessions to complete, which can take anywhere from six months to over a year, depending on your oral health and other factors.
The osseointegration process takes between four to six months to complete. After that an abutment, which connects the crown to the implant, is placed on top of the implant. Once your dental crown is ready, it will be screwed on top of the abutment.
After that, you will have the most natural-looking teeth that dental technology can give you.
Subperiosteal implants are not embedded into the jawbone. Instead, they rest on top of the jawbone but under your gums. Over time, they will fasten to your jawbone. However, they may not be as stable as endosteal implants. Nevertheless, we may still recommend it for patients who have low bone density, who want new teeth faster, or who have a jaw shape that does not support the surgical insertion of an endosteal implant.
If we determine that subperiosteal implants are the best option for you, we will make an incision in your gum line at the location of the tooth loss and make a mold of your jawbone. The incision will then be closed with sutures until it needs to be opened again for the implant insertion process.
Caring for Your Dental Implants
Keep in mind that the longevity of your dental implants depends on how well you take care of them. Here are some good practices to follow:
|•||Brush your dental implant regularly with toothpaste, preferably with silica in it. Also, do not forget to floss in between your teeth. Doing so will reduce the chances of plaque buildup and inflammation and give you healthy teeth.
|•||You may need to eat soft food for a few months, particularly during the time when your implant is fusing to the jawbone. This will help with the proper integration of the metal to the bone.
|•||If you smoke or drink alcohol excessively, you need to get rid of these habits since they prevent the development of a healthy jawbone and can result in soft, fibrous tissues, which may not be strong enough to support your implant.
|•||Once your gums have healed, make sure to keep your follow-up appointment so that we may check for infection and see if your implant has integrated properly with the jawbone.|
When it comes to dental implants, there is no one-size-fits-all for every person. At Esthetic Smiles, Dr. John Abajian, DDS can examine the condition of your jaw and determine which type of dental implant is a good treatment option for you.
If you have any concerns about the procedure, feel free to ask any questions to make an informed decision. Whichever dental implant is suited for you, we hope that it will ensure you eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
To schedule an appointment, call 805-365-4222 today.