Cosmetic Dentists & General Dentistry located in Laurel Heights, San Francisco, CA
Dental implants deliver the most natural appearance and function for one or more missing teeth. If you're wondering what to do about replacing lost teeth, Alex Pastel, DDS, and Leah Life, DDS, of Pastel Dental can help. At their practice in the Laurel Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California, they specialize in using dental implants as a permanent solution to missing teeth. To find out if dental implants are right for you, call Pastel Dental today or book an appointment online.
Dental Implants Q & A
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent answer to the problem of missing or extracted teeth. Your dentist at Pastel Dental makes a hole in your jawbone and inserts a post, which forms the base of the implant. When new bone grows and secures the post in place, you can have the top part of the implant – a dental crown – fitted to the post.
Dental implants provide a long-lasting, natural-looking alternative to bridges and dentures. They may cost a bit more than other options, but because they can last for the rest of your life, they may be more economical in the long term.
Why should I consider dental implants?
Missing teeth are a noticeable blemish that can make you feel self-conscious when you smile. It can also change your face shape if you have missing teeth, and it may affect your ability to eat and talk normally.
These are good enough reasons in themselves for getting dental implants, but there are other factors to consider if you're still not sure.
Each natural tooth anchors directly into your jaw bone. Biting down stimulates the bone, promoting strength and good health. If a tooth is missing, the bone doesn't get the stimulation it needs and may start to degrade.
The process of bone deterioration is known as resorption. It can cause hollows in your face and the weakening of nearby tooth roots, which may result in further tooth loss.
Are there different types of dental implants?
There are several kinds of dental implants, including:
Individual dental implants
Individual dental implants replace a single missing tooth.
Implant-supported bridges are suitable for replacing two or more missing teeth. The implants go in the toothless spaces, with crowns attaching to the natural teeth on either side for increased stability.
Full span implants
If you have a row of four to six missing teeth, full span implants are an alternative to extensive bridging or dentures.
Implant-supported overdentures are a span of false teeth kept in place by a row of dental implants. Overdentures are more secure than traditional false teeth and are still removable for cleaning or repair.
In addition to the implant procedure, you might need a bone graft if there's insufficient bone in your jaw. Your dentist at Pastel Dental can assess your need for a bone graft and explain what the process involves.
If you want to see whether dental implants are a good option for your missing teeth, call Pastel Dental today or book an appointment online.