Dental implants, one of the restoration options offered by your West San Jose, CA, dentist, Dr. Pauline Lu, permanently replace missing teeth from top to bottom. Implants provide several benefits that make them a good option no matter how many teeth you've lost.
Implants offer excellent biting power
Chewing hard, tough, or sticky foods is difficult if your teeth don't have roots. Roots provide the biting power needed to chew a tougher cut of meat or enjoy a piece of corn on the cob at a summer picnic.
Dental implants restore your lost roots, unlike other tooth replacement options. The process starts when a titanium post (the dental implant) is placed in your jawbone during minor oral surgery. Over the course of three to six months, the post gradually bonds to the surrounding bone.
Bonding, or osseointegration, ensures that your synthetic root is capable of supporting the dental crown that will be connected to the top of the implant. Dental crowns are synthetic restorations that look just like the tops parts of teeth. They're made from an impression of your mouth taken during a visit to the West Jose dental office. Crowns are often connected after osseointegration occurs but can be placed immediately in some cases.
Your new tooth will feel real
Your new tooth may be artificial, but it certainly won't feel that way. Because the tooth is rooted firmly in your jawbone, it will probably feel just like your natural teeth. Your implants also won't irritate your gums when you eat or slip when you take a bite of food.
Your jawbone won't change
Tooth roots do more than hold your tooth in place. Roots also stimulate your jawbone and keep it strong. When you lose one or more roots, the bone may begin to shrink. The condition, known as jawbone resorption, can affect your appearance and even lead to future tooth loss if it's severe. Dental implants provide the constant stimulation that keeps your jawbone strong and healthy, preventing resorption.
You can replace more than one tooth with dental implants
Implants can also be an excellent choice if you're missing several teeth or have lost all of your teeth. Implant-supported bridges replace several teeth in a row, while implant-supported dentures replace all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. Implant-supported dentures and bridges don't require a one-to-one implant/crown ratio. In fact, as few as four implants can support an implant-supported denture.
Are you ready to find out if you're a good candidate for dental implants? Call your dentist in West San Jose, CA, Dr. Pauline Lu, at (408) 260-0888 to schedule your appointment.