Replacing Teeth with Implants
Your teeth may be one of the strongest parts of your body, but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. Often, factors like age, wear and tear, infection, dental/gum disease, and heredity may affect the strength of the teeth and you may either break or lose your teeth.
The safety of your teeth may also be compromised if you are injured and you hurt your face or your mouth. In these circumstances, it’s important to replace your broken, damaged or diseased teeth immediately to avoid the spread of infection and to improve your appearance.
The primary treatment offered when replacing teeth is dental implants. At the La Jolla Dental Care Clinic, Dr. Michael Han has worked with hundreds of patients, helping them regain their beautiful, pearly whites. He has worked with patients to help replace broken and damaged teeth, by offering multiple non-invasive and invasive treatments. Speak to our staff to schedule an appointment with Dr. Han today.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are teeth-like insertions that dentists embed in your gums and which take over the functions of your natural teeth. Essentially, implants are titanium posts that are drilled into the jawbone and fitted in place using titanium screws. These posts are covered by teeth-like coverings made from premium-quality, medical-grade porcelain.
Designed to be permanent replacements for lost teeth, dental implants don’t come loose like dentures and remain fitted in your jaw permanently. These implants work exactly like normal teeth, helping you chew and eat your food with ease.
Dr. Han’s extensive experience in the field can be seen in the form of the stunning final result. Each implant Dr. Han inserts is perfectly customized to suit the shape of the patient’s jaw bone and resembles the patient’s natural teeth right down to the color and texture.
Benefits of getting dental implants
- They help with retaining the shape of your face even after tooth loss.
- They help you talk naturally without hindrances like slurry speech.
- They offer support to the neighboring natural teeth that haven’t been damaged.
- They improve bite force and assist in chewing and grinding.
- They do not get cavities and cannot be infected through gum disease.
- They don’t slip out of the mouth like dentures.
- They prevent bone loss in the jaw and strengthen the gums.
- They can be personalized to match natural teeth.
- They can be fitted as an entire set or be customized for specific areas of the mouth.
Types of dental implants
There are two dental implant types that can be used during the treatment:
These implants are positioned inside the jaw bone. They offer the highest level of support and strength when mounting the teeth. These are the most often used type of implants, used especially when the patient’s jaw bone is strong enough to withstand the stress of the implants.
These implants are used when the jaw bone is weak, and the dentist believes the jaw may be unable to withstand the stress of the implants. In this case, the implants are embedded just above or on the jaw bone to give it sufficient support to take root.
If in case your jaws seem too weak even for the Subperiosteal implants, Dr. Han may recommend a bone augmentation procedure. Here, a bone graft is taken from another area of the body and is attached to your jaw, to reinforce and strengthen it. A ridge expansion may also be done to widen the jaw bone, in case it is too narrow for the implants.
How successful are dental implant procedures?
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) states that dental implants have a 95% success rate in patients. The 5% of patients who may feel major discomfort or whose bodies may reject the implants are those who are heavy smokers and those who are severely diabetic.
Your eligibility for the dental implant treatment will be judged by Dr. Han. Once you schedule a consultation with him, you are requested to bring your medical files with you. The doctor will take a look at your medical history to see if you are an ideal candidate for the implants or not.
If you are, he will determine the type of implants that will be perfect for your requirement, and he will schedule the sessions for the procedure. However, if Dr. Han feels you may not be an ideal candidate for the implants, he may recommend other treatments for you.
Other options you can consider
In reality, dental implants are in many ways stronger than natural teeth. Factors like gum disease and cavities don’t affect it, making it stronger and healthier than natural teeth. But since the strength of the implants depends on the strength of the jaw and the general wellbeing of the patient (and his/her ability to withstand the implants), dental implants may not be a feasible solution always.
If dental implants are something you don’t wish to invest in right now, you can consider these less-extensive options:
Dentures are a removable set of teeth that are made to replace missing teeth. Dentures come in both complete sets and partial sets, and they can be inserted by the patient whenever he/she wants. Dentures are customized to the shape of the face and the mouth. They don’t involve any drilling of the jawbone and are the safest options for teeth replacement.
Veneers & Crowns
Dental veneers are a type of porcelain dentures that are of higher quality than regular dentures. They are a type of tooth covering that act as a façade for the damaged teeth. They are thinner in size and fit more snugly in the mouth. Just like traditional dentures, veneers too don’t need to be drilled into the jaw bone, making them a very safe and pain-free treatment.
Crowns are like caps, which are fitted on top of the implants, dentures, and veneers. They are used to restore the shape of damaged teeth or to give the new teeth better height and shape. While a veneer is just the front covering of a new tooth, a crown covers the entire tooth.
Dr. Han and his team at the La Jolla Dental Care Center have extensive experience fitting dentures, crowns, and veneers. You can speak to them for more information regarding these procedures.