Most people consider missing teeth to be an aesthetic problem. It's true that missing teeth can negatively impact the appearance of your smile, but there are more important reasons to pursue permanent tooth replacement.
Living tissues compose your teeth and jaw. When you bite down, you're sending stimulation through your tooth root into your bone tissue. After losing a tooth, that portion of bone is no longer stimulated. That can lead to bone loss, a process known as resorption.
Bone loss can weaken surrounding tissues, causing the loss of adjacent teeth. It can also create a sunken or caved-in facial appearance.
Dental implants are anchored directly into your jawbone. They look and function just like normal teeth, stimulating the bone and keeping it healthy.
Dr. Barrera begins with a thorough examination to ensure that there is no active decay. During your first appointment, Dr. Barrera and her associate, Dr. Torres carefully creates an opening in your gum tissue to gain access to your jaw bone.
Next, she drills a small pilot hole into the bone to install the metal implant before closing your gum tissue. While your gums heal, your bone tissue fuses to the implant.
Once healing is complete, Dr. Barrera again opens your gum tissue to attach a small post to the implant. Another healing process follows, while a professional dental lab crafts your crown.
Once your gums have healed, and your crown arrives, Dr. Barrera connects the crown to the post of the implant. She may make minor adjustments to create an ideal fit. You may need to return for a follow-up appointment to ensure that your gum tissue is healing correctly.
Dental implant technology has come a long way in recent years. Many people who were once told that they were poor candidates for implants are now eligible for the procedure.
In some cases, you may have lost a significant portion of bone tissue. There are grafting procedures that can build up sufficient bone tissue to anchor a dental implant.
Implants are not a good option if you have advanced gum disease. Dr. Barrera may recommend treatments to improve your oral health before getting dental implants.
To learn if you're a good candidate for dental implants, schedule a consultation with Dr. Barrera.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!