Missing teeth are perhaps the most obvious and challenging obstacle to a beautiful smile. If you have one or more missing teeth, Palo Alto Dentist Dr. Hansen can show you how dental implants can solve your problem permanently. For tooth replacement, there simply is no solution that is more durable or more lifelike than a custom-designed dental implant.
If you have dealt with a missing tooth for years, you may be wondering why it is so important to fill that space now. When considering a tooth replacement solution, keep in mind that dental implants are the only comprehensive solution since they address both the visible missing tooth and the missing tooth root under the gum. The presence of a replacement tooth root not only anchors the new tooth in place, but it also protects against bone loss since it is seated into the jaw bone. And the sooner you replace a missing tooth, the less likely your natural teeth are to shift out of place and create an unhealthy bite.
Dental implants are a long-term investment. Unlike other cosmetic smile treatments that may need to be redone after several years, dental implants can last a lifetime if they are well cared for.
Implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. We use the Nobel family of implants as our primary implant system, however, other implant systems are available customized to you.
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and have a very high success rate. They are the technologically closest tooth substitute as compared to nature.
It is important to realize that there are many different types of dental implants.
Currently, the most popular are the endosseus (root form) implants. When we hear or read about dental implants, it is usually of this type.This is further divided into 2 catagories: the standard types, and mini implants.
Mini implants are generally 3mm or less in diameter, and are usually 1 piece. It is important to know that there can be significant differences between them. Mini implants are generally less flexible restoratively, and can have a lower success rate. However, used properly, they can have good benefits at lower cost.
What does getting dental implants involve?
There are 2 phases in getting an implant-supported restoration. Phase 1 involves the surgical placement of the dental implant. After healing, phase 2 involves the fabrication of the tooth (crown).
Although there are many techniques in placing dental implants, we use the latest minimal-invasive surgical techniques. This not only reduces the healing time, but significantly lessens the pain and discomfort as well. It is not uncommon for patients not to need pain medication.
The usual minimum healing period is 4 months for the lower jaw, and 6 months for the upper jaw. Until then, temporary teeth are placed. Of course, you are not expected to go without teeth while the implants heal!
Your Palo Alto dentists offer bone grafting in order to improve the results of dental implants. Bone grafting is a routine, painless and straight forward process. When a tooth is removed the socket will collapse inward decreasing the amount of available bone for the future implant. In the old days, bone grafting required the use of the patient’s own bone taken from another area of the mouth. Thankfully this is no longer necessary, as we can use a xenograft or an allograft at the time the tooth is removed to preserve the socket and amount of available bone. The human body is then “fooled” biochemically into resorbing and replacing the graft with the patient’s own bone.