Having one or more missing teeth is not only embarrassing but also uncomfortable. You may resist smiling or laughing for fear of exposing a gapped smile, or stop eating your favorite foods because chewing them has become close to impossible. And since missing teeth causes gums to be exposed, you are at an increased risk of developing gum disease and other oral health problems. Dental implants are a great way to achieve a beautifully uninterrupted smile that not only makes you look younger and more attractive, but also protects your oral health and makes it possible to chew and speak comfortably once more.
At Ramona Family Dentistry, we offer dental implants to replace natural teeth that have been lost due to decay, trauma or age. The implant consists of a titanium post (implanted under the gums and into the jawbone) that holds one or more replacement teeth; these teeth don’t just look like your natural teeth (since they are color-matched to your natural teeth), but function even better than them! If you want a strong, natural-looking smile you’re proud to show the world, contact us to find out more about our Ramona dental implants.
When Might Dental Implants Be Needed?
Dental implants can be a great option for many patients in the Ramona area. They are specifically useful for addressing the following issues:
- Missing teeth as a result of age, trauma or decay
- Difficulty chewing
- Slurred or distorted speech
- A face that looks aged or “collapsed” due to missing teeth
Implant Placement with CEREC Technology and the All-on-4® System
At Ramona Family Dentistry, you can have your dental implants placed in just one visit, using the advanced CEREC technology. With the CEREC system, creating the replacement teeth (or crowns) for the implant — a process that typically takes several weeks — is shortened to just one dental visit, where Dr. Feely can use this advanced technology to create a custom-made crown right in the office, instead of sending it to a dental lab.
For the replacement of all natural teeth, we use the latest implant technology in the form of the All-on-4 dental implant system. This less-extensive dental implant process uses only four implants placed on each arch (as opposed to traditional dental implants, which use six to eight implants per arch) to permanently replace all missing teeth without having to hassle with uncomfortable, ill-fitting dentures. Not only does the All-on-4 system provide for a sturdy, natural-looking smile, it’s also the most cost-effective option for patients who have or need dentures due to damaged or missing teeth.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants generally last a very long time. Modern implant technology has led to the development of advanced implants that are strong and durable and can withstand the forces of chewing and biting over many years. With the proper care and attention, implants can last a lifetime without problems. However, the fact that dental implants can last so long does not mean that every patient enjoys the same results. The longevity of dental implants depends on several factors, including the following:
- The skill of the dentist that places the implants
- The patient’s oral hygiene practices
- Whether the patient chews or bites down on hard objects (e.g., pencils) or opens things (e.g., bottle caps) with the teeth
- Where they are placed in the mouth (implants in the back of the mouth fail more quickly than those in the front of the mouth)
How to Take Care of Your Dental Implants
The most common reason why implants do not last a lifetime is poor oral hygiene habits. Implants must be brushed and flossed daily, and a dentist must regularly examine the implant and surrounding teeth to ensure the implant is healthy and functioning properly.
Without these practices and the watchful eye of the dentist, bacteria can gradually build up, leading to inflammation around the implant. Left untreated, inflammation can turn into gum disease, which threatens the health of the jawbone that holds the implant. Eventually, gum disease can cause the jawbone to deteriorate and the implant to fall out.
General health habits are also important to the long-term success of your dental implant treatment in Ramona. Individuals with implants should follow a healthy diet, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, get quality sleep and avoid smoking. Existing medical conditions should be controlled with the prescribed medicine and monitored by a physician to ensure they do not progress and threaten oral health.
What Can You Expect from the Implant Placement Process?
The implant placement process begins with the surgical placement of an implant post or posts in the jawbone, under the gums. Once this is accomplished, the next step is to wait for the implant to heal and fuse with the jawbone, a process that generally takes about two or more months. When the implant is fused in the jawbone, a second dental visit is needed in order to expose the surface of the implant post (or posts) through the gums. This is done so that the abutment (which connects the replacement teeth to the post) and replacement teeth (made during the visit using CEREC technology) can be placed on top of the post(s). When all teeth are replaced using the All-on-4 implant procedure, four implants are placed for each arch (upper and lower), both containing a full set of replacement teeth.
WHY CHOOSE RAMONA FAMILY DENTISTRY FOR YOUR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
- Our office uses the latest tools and technologies to provide strong replacement teeth made to fit each patient’s mouth comfortably
- With the latest, proven techniques available — including CEREC technology and the All-on-4 system — we can place your dental implants using a quick, effective process that fits your busy schedule
- Dr. Feely and his staff have years of experience creating implants, ensuring that you get replacement teeth that look and feel like your natural teeth
To learn more about the dental implant options in Ramona, contact our office today.