Smile gaps look unattractive, and they compromise remaining teeth and how you chew and speak. If you are missing one, two, or even more teeth or think extractions are in your future, consider dental implants from Dr. John Chu and Dr. Mary Lin, your South Pasadena, CA, dentists. Truly, these modern tooth replacements are amazingly close to real teeth.
What are dental implants?
They are artificial teeth having three components: a root (the titanium implant device itself), an extension post and a custom-fabricated porcelain crown. Your South Pasadena dentist inserts the dental implant screw into the jaw bone, anchoring it permanently in place.
Because titanium and human bone are highly compatible, they bond together through something called osseointegration. While osseointegration takes time, it practically guarantees the implant's success and longevity.
The Institute for Dental Implant Awareness states that 95 to 98 percent of single-tooth implants will last 40 to 50 years. Conventional tooth replacements, such as bridges and partial dentures, typically fail within 15 years because they lack adequate support. Dr. Chu and Dr. Lin place single-tooth implants and multi-tooth bridges and dentures supported by implants.
Placing a dental implant
Take, for instance, the single implant procedure. It's done in its entirety at our dentists' office following a complete oral examination and X-rays to determine if the jaw is sufficiently dense to support the implant.
An access hole in the jaw allows for implant placement and after healing, bonding of the extension post and crown. Healing and osseointegration takes many weeks, and some patients wear provisional crowns in the meantime to complete their smiles.
On the return visit, our dentists check for proper osseointegration. If all is well, they bond the permanent crown onto the metal alloy extension post.
Caring for an implant or implant-supported denture
Daily oral hygiene is critical to implant success. Just as with your natural teeth, good brushing and flossing habits decrease plaque and tartar accumulation and avoid gum and bone infections (implants do not get cavities). You should see your dentist twice a year as usual for examinations and professional cleanings, and if you grind your teeth, ask Dr. Chu or Dr. Lin about a bite guard. A bite guard reduces the stresses on your implant and the rest of your smile, too.
Dental implants from Dr. Chu or Dr. Lin and their caring team really do fill gaps, beautifying your smile and avoiding the bone and gum deterioration which happens after tooth loss. To find out more, please call their South Pasadena, CA, office to arrange your consultation. Phone (626) 799-0852.