About 120 million American adults are missing at least one tooth, and 36 million men and women have no natural teeth at all, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. For those women and men, replacing their teeth isn’t just about looking good — it’s about being able to eat and talk normally, too.
For a long time, dentures and bridges were the only options for replacing missing teeth. But more recently, dental implants have become an increasingly popular option, mainly because of the unique advantages they offer.
At The Glen Dental, we offer the latest advances in implant dentistry, customizing every treatment plan so our patients get the best possible results. Here, our team reviews the implant process, so you know just what to expect during your implant procedure.
How dental implants work
Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and work like natural teeth. Each implant comprises three components:
- The titanium implant post
- The artificial tooth or crown
- An abutment that joins the post and crown
The titanium post is implanted inside the jaw, then the crown is attached to the post. The crown is shaped and tinted to match your natural teeth so it blends in and fits comfortably.
Because implants are attached to your jaw bone, they offer several benefits compared to traditional dentures and bridges:
- They’re more secure
- They’re more comfortable
- They feel and look completely natural
- They won’t slip and cause sore spots
- They’re easy to care for
Implants also help stimulate natural bone replacement in your jaw, a function usually performed by natural tooth roots. Once teeth are missing, the roots aren’t there to stimulate bone replacement, and the jaw bone tends to become thinner over time. By stimulating that bone replacement cycle, implants help prevent thinning to keep your jaw bone healthier.
The dental implant process
Implant placement typically takes two appointments. At the first visit, our team places the post into your jaw bone. In addition to local anesthetic to numb the area, you may receive sedation to keep you relaxed and comfortable.
Once the implant is in place, you’ll need to wait a few months (typically 3-4 months) before the second appointment. During that time, the implant fuses with your natural jaw bone to form a very secure attachment.
The second visit takes place after the fusing process is complete. At that appointment, our team places the crown on the implant, securely attaching it and adjusting it for a comfortable fit. You’ll also come back for a follow-up checkup to ensure your implant fits and works the way it’s supposed to.
In addition to individual implants, The Glen Dental team also offers “teeth-in-a-day” All-on-4® implants designed to replace an entire row of teeth using just four implants. All-on-4 implants can be placed in one visit, and they’re a popular alternative to full dentures that need to be held in place with sticky denture adhesives.
Maintain your beautiful smile
Dental implants can restore your beautiful, confident smile after tooth loss, and they also help maintain your normal bite balance and prevent future oral health problems, too. To learn more about dental implants at our San Jose, California, practice, call or book an appointment online today.