As adults get older, many need teeth replacements. While dentures and other prosthetics are a popular choice, more and more people are opting instead for the permanence and ease of dental implants. Available for both single and multiple teeth, implants are replacement roots that fuse with the bone to stay locked in place. Implants also help keep the jawbone healthy and strong instead of wearing out under dentures.
Missing teeth can cause issues with a patient’s smile, ability to eat, or desire to smile. At Laser Dental Bakersfield, we offer dental implants as a viable option to restore your smile and help you increase your self-esteem once again. Dental implants are the closest thing to your natural teeth, helping you have normal function of your mouth when you smile, talk, and eat.
What Are Dental Implants?
Unlike dentures, implants become a permanent part of your mouth. We surgically insert ‘roots’ beneath your gumline. The titanium screws, which become the roots, naturally fuse with your gums. This is what gives your mouth the appearance of having a full set of teeth. The screws stimulate the jawbone in much the same way as your natural tooth roots would do. This allows your jawbone to regenerate continually and avoids the ‘sagging face’ look that can occur when patients are missing teeth.
Once the titanium screws fuse with your jawbone, our dentists insert abutments over the screws. The abutments are what hold the artificial teeth in place. The abutment can be made of titanium or ceramic. It will not be visible after we place the artificial tooth over it.
The final component of the dental implant is the crown. This is the visible part of the implant or the artificial tooth. We typically place tooth-colored crowns or bridges (for multiple teeth) to keep up the cosmetic appeal of your mouth. We can match the artificial teeth to the color of your surrounding teeth so that no one is the wiser that you do not have your natural teeth.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Placing dental implants takes place in multiple steps that can span over several months. We start with the evaluation process to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Typically, the ideal patient has good overall physical and oral health, except for the missing teeth. Patients with healthy gums and adequate jawbone for the titanium screws to adhere to are the best candidates, but our dentists evaluate every patient on a case-by-case basis.
At your next appointment, we will surgically implant the screw beneath your gumline, after extracting the tooth if necessary. After surgery, we allow the gums and jawbone to heal. This process, called osseointegration, can take a few months, but it varies by patient. We may give you temporary teeth during this time, depending on the location of the teeth and any concerns you have.
The final two steps are to place the abutment and artificial teeth. Depending on the health of your mouth, our dentists may be able to place the abutment at the same time as the implants, but it depends on the health of your mouth. After your gums completely heal, we will take impressions of your mouth and have artificial teeth custom made to match the shape and appearance of your teeth.
Fitting you for the dental implants is the final step. It may take a few appointments to get it perfect as we adjust for comfort and fit. Once the process is complete, you will have teeth that look and act just like your natural teeth, giving you full functionality of your mouth once again.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are typically about half the size of standard implants. But what does that difference actually mean? Some patients without the bone density for full-sized implants can be good candidates for mini-implants.
All On 4
Tens of millions of Americans are missing all of their top or bottom teeth. The solution is All-On-4, an innovative type of dental implant that does away with all of those individual pieces. Instead, it’s just four bridges on the top or bottom of your mouth, bonded with your jaw by titanium screws so that over time it becomes a part of your body. Say goodbye to invasive surgeries for multiple implants, dentures that don’t stay in, and foods you can’t eat, and in just one day say hello to a smile that looks, feels, and works just like your natural teeth.