Why Dental Implants?
Your teeth are an essential feature of your mouth, with a variety of important responsibilities. When you lose your teeth, whether it is just one or several, it can have a significant impact on every aspect of your life. There are some different causes of tooth loss, but no matter how it happens, those missing teeth need to be replaced. Traditionally, missing teeth have been replaced with options such as bridges and dentures. At Prosthodontic Dental Group, we offer another alternative, dental implants.
Causes of Tooth Loss
Periodontal or gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. Periodontal disease starts when oral bacteria and plaque irritate the gum tissue. This triggers an inflammatory response, and the gums swell. Redness and swelling are the earliest warning signs, but they often go unnoticed. Untreated, the gums start to pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets that bacteria and other debris fall into. The bacteria begin attacking periodontal ligaments and your jawbone, weakening them. The teeth become loose and eventually fall out.
Periodontal disease is not the only cause of tooth loss. Other causes include:
Effects of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss affects every part of your life. One of the most obvious effects is the impact that tooth loss has on your smile. While losing a single tooth toward the back of the mouth may not be apparent, missing one, or several, at the front of the mouth is quite obvious. You may become self-conscious and start hiding your smile. Alternatively, you may try not to smile at all. These actions can significantly affect the type of impression you leave on those around you.
Tooth loss, no matter how many teeth you lose, affects your ability to eat. The teeth are responsible for biting and chewing. Chewing breaks down your food to make nutrients accessible in the digestive process. When you cannot completely break down your food, the body has to work harder to access those nutrients. Food can also get lodged in the empty spaces, which can cause pain as well as increase your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Teeth are responsible for controlling airflow when you speak. Without this control, words and sounds become for difficult to form. You may also develop a lisp.
Tooth loss has an impact under the gums as well. The teeth stimulate the bone, which triggers the body to send the nutrients it requires to stay healthy and strong. When tooth loss occurs, the stimulation lessens. As a result, fewer nutrients are sent. The bone starts to grow weak and change shape. Your remaining teeth begin shifting out of their natural alignment, leading to issues such as bruxism and jaw pain. Changes in bone shape also impact your facial appearance. Your cheeks and lips sink in; the skin begins to sag and wrinkles form. All of these effects age you dramatically.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a treatment for replacing missing teeth. They consist of three major components, the implant, the abutment and the crown. The implant itself is a small titanium rod that is surgically implanted into the jawbone. Through a process called osseointegration, the bone fuses to the implant, turning it into a stable root. The abutment is a connector that is placed at the top of the implant, and the crown is the replacement of the visible portion of a missing tooth and is supported directly by the implant. After you have completely healed, you are left with strong, stable replacement teeth that look and function exactly like your natural teeth.
A Brief History
While modern dental implants have their roots in the research of a Swedish orthopedic surgeon in the 1950s, dental implants date back to as early as 600 AD. Archaeologists have discovered several ancient tooth replacement treatments that involved implanting an object such as stone, wire, seashells, and even iron into the jawbone where a tooth once stood.
The implants we know today were an accidental discovery. Orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Brånenmark was studying bone healing and regeneration in the early 1950s. He had implanted a small titanium cylinder into the femur of a rabbit. When he went to remove it, he found that the bone had fused to it, and he could not easily take it out. This discovery of osseointegration spurred Brånenmark to conduct more research. He successfully placed the first dental implants in 1965 and went on to commercialize them in 1978. Even today, research and development are continually happening, and new ways to make implants better are being discovered.
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants are a versatile treatment, and can easily be customized to meet a variety of different needs. There are several different types of dental implants:
The Implant Procedure
Getting your implants involves a surgical procedure. Before undergoing surgery, we first perform a thorough evaluation, making sure that implants are the best option for you. Along with a visual inspection of your mouth, we also take digital images. The images allow us to see the jawbone and make sure that there is sufficient mass to support the implants. Images also allow us to generate a customized treatment plan and determine the best possible implant placement for optimal success.
On the day of your surgery, we begin with a local anesthetic, along with sedation. Next, incisions are created in the gums, exposing the bone. We drill holes into the bone by your treatment plan and place the implants. The gums are stitched closed, and temporary teeth are placed. You then go home to heal.
Healing can often take several weeks to several months, depending upon the number of implants you had placed. As you heal, we will monitor your progress. After you have fully healed, we begin the process of making your permanent crowns. We remove the temporary teeth and place the abutments. We then take impressions of the mouth. The impressions are sent to a dental lab, where the teeth are designed and created. Once they are ready, we then secure them into place with tiny screws. The result is a permanent, stable, beautiful restoration that looks and functions just like natural teeth.
Why get dental implants?
The idea of surgery, and the recovery, can be off-putting to many dental patients. The benefits and results of dental implants, however, far outweigh having to undergo surgery:
No matter how tooth loss occurs, and how many teeth you lose, the event can greatly impact your entire life. With dental implants, we can help to restore the functions of your mouth, its health, and the appearance of your smile. Call Prosthodontic Dental Group at (916) 264-9655 today at to schedule your consultation and find out just what dental implants can do for you.
6409 Folsom Blvd.
Suite # 2
Sacramento, CA 95819
p: (916) 264-9655
f: (916) 457-7581
5252 Sunrise Blvd.
Suite # 2
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
p: (916) 454-0860
f: (916) 863-6532
2203 Plaza Drive
Rocklin, CA 95677
415 Alturas Street
Suite # 6
Yuba City, CA 95991
255 W. Court
Bldg. A, # 1
Woodland, CA 95695