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When Dental Implants Are the Best Solution for Replacing Missing Teeth

Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime, but life often has different plans, and you may lose a tooth to decay, disease, or trauma. In fact, it’s estimated that a whopping 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. When it comes to replacement, more people are turning to dental implants, which mimic natural teeth right down to their roots.

At our practice, Dr. Tricia Mockler and our team have extensive experience with dental implants, helping our patients to maintain optimal dental function. To give you an idea of why these replacement teeth are so popular, we’ve pulled together a quick list of the many benefits of dental implants.

Down to the roots

The biggest advantage of a dental implant is that it replaces your original tooth, right down to its roots. When you lose a tooth, you lose far more than what you see above your gumline, namely the roots that anchor your tooth into your jawbone.

Without these roots, your jawbone doesn’t register any activity and ceases to rebuild and remodel the bone tissue in the area. This can lead to bone loss in your jaw that causes your neighboring teeth to shift out of place, making your single missing tooth a potentially far bigger problem.

With a dental implant, Dr. Mockler places a new “root” into your jawbone in the form of a titanium post. Once implanted, your jawbone registers the post and grows bone up and around it, fusing it into place.

By integrating an implant into your jawbone, you can preserve the integrity of your jawbone, which benefits all of your teeth.

A true workhorse

Dental implants can fulfill many roles, including:

This last point is one that’s worth exploring. If you have several missing teeth in a row, you may need a dental bridge or dentures. With dental implants, we can secure these prosthetic devices more firmly in your mouth and avoid drilling into otherwise healthy teeth. Not to mention, implant-supported dentures are a more permanent option that don’t need to be removed each night.

Are you a candidate?

To determine whether you’re a candidate for a dental implant, we need to ensure that you have enough bone to support the post. If you’ve incurred major bone loss due to gum disease or dental infection, your jawbone may not be strong enough for a dental implant.

Getting a dental implant

If you’ve decided upon a dental implant, it’s important that you choose a skilled dental team, comprising a general dentist to plan and manage the case, a skilled surgeon to install the implant into the jawbone, and a lab that will design and create the crown (the visible part) to match both your dental anatomy and your smile.

If you choose to get your implant with Dr. Mockler, her process starts with digitally scanning your teeth using advanced digital technology available at her office. With the iTeroⓇ intraoral scanner system and dental cone beam computed tomography, she creates a digital model of your teeth and bone tissue. With this detailed map, Dr. Mockler and her surgeon can find the optimal location where to place the implant in a way that offers superior support. Then, Dr. Mockler works with the lab to model the crown so it not only matches your smiles, but also fits the location and angle of the implant. Finally, she plans the procedure with you, so you know exactly what to expect, and to make sure you have as comfortable of an experience as possible.

The first procedure is to extract the unhealthy tooth and/or prepare the location for the implant. Next, the implant is installed in a way that it can integrate into and be supported by your jawbone. These steps can sometimes be done in the same visit, depending on your case.

After the implant has been placed by the surgeon and  is integrated into your jawbone, Dr. Mockler places the crown over your implant so it fits in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. At this point, you’re free to enjoy your new smile knowing that your new “tooth” is firmly in place and ready to serve you long into the future.

If you’d like to learn more about dental implants, we invite you to contact our office in Cupertino, California, to set up a consultation.

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