If you’re missing a tooth you might think your only option for replacement is a bridge or dentures. Fortunately, the team at Estudillo Oral Surgery located in San Leandro, California, provides dental implant procedures to replace your missing tooth. Our provider is an expert in implantology and offers the tooth replacement option you are looking for. Call the office today or request an appointment online.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a revolutionary tooth replacement option. Prior to dental implants, your only options for replacing teeth were bridges or dentures. The problem with these options is that they sometimes slip around your mouth and need to be replaced every few years.
By following optimal oral care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Essentially, dental implants act as artificial tooth roots and provide sturdy support for crowns or dentures so they won’t slip around in your mouth.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
If you have generally good overall oral health and don’t smoke you are likely a good candidate for dental implants. You just need to have enough strength in your jawbone to support them.
When you arrive for your dental implant consultation, your provider will take panoramic X-rays of your mouth and jaw. If your jawbone is deemed dense enough to support the implants you can move forward in the process.
If your jaw doesn’t have the strength, you aren’t out of luck. Your surgeon can perform a bone grafting procedure to add strength and encourage growth in your jaw.
What is the process of getting dental implants?
It takes a few months to a year to complete the dental implant process. That might seem like a long time, but the benefits of dental implants are well worth the wait. And once the implant is placed, it can last a lifetime.
Once your jaw is deemed strong enough to support the implant, your surgeon will begin the process. First, a small titanium threaded rod is drilled into your jawbone followed with a cover screw that will only be placed temporarily until your final step. Once secured, your surgeon will sew your gums shut with dissolvable sutures.
A follow-up appointment will be scheduled a week after your implant surgery procedure to ensure that the area is healing properly. It can take anywhere from three to six months for your implant to fuse firmly into your jawbone. Once the implant is secured, you will return to the Estudillo Oral Surgery office for the final step. The cover screw will be replaced with a healing abutment for your restorative dentist to place a tooth that will be secured to your implant. A crown is typically used for one tooth or an implant-supported bridge or dentures for multiple teeth.