Your father has been looking for ways to replace his missing tooth. Wherever he looks online, he finds dentists suggesting dental implants. They sound great – natural-looking teeth with good chewing power – but your father’s a little confused on what they are or how they’re supposed to work. It can be intimidating to ask about a treatment that you don’t fully understand; here are some words to know when asking your dentist about dental implants in Fremont.
The term “dental implant” refers to a medical device that interacts with the jawbone and supports false teeth. There are two major types:
- Endosteal Implants: This is the type that most dentists refer to when they say the term “dental implants.” Titanium posts are placed into the jawbone to serve as roots for prosthetic teeth. They can nearly match the chewing power of natural teeth, and they’re durable enough to potentially last a lifetime if well-cared for.
- Subperiosteal Implant: This kind of implant is usually used when endosteal implants aren’t an option, such as when there’s been too much bone loss in the jaw. A metal frame sits on top of the jaw to support replacement teeth.
A crown is a prosthetic tooth supported by an implant. Most people can’t tell the difference between a crown and a natural tooth.
Endosteal implants can become fused into the jawbone via a natural process called osseointegration. This allows the implant to provide stability for replacement teeth. Additionally, when joined to the jaw this way, endosteal implants can provide the stimulation of biting and chewing normally provided by natural teeth; this helps prevent tooth loss. Osseointegration does not occur with subperiosteal implants.
Bridges and Dentures
Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants; your dentist may suggest bridges or dentures as an alternative treatment. Bridges are structures held in place by adjacent teeth, but this can increase the risk of decay. Traditional dentures are often used to replace all the teeth in the jaw, but they can often slip and have lessened chewing power. Sometimes in cases of replacing multiple teeth, bridges and dentures can be supported by implants, which can be a healthier and longer-lasting option.
Replacing your teeth is important for your oral health, but you should always be confident that you fully understand the options that your dentist is presenting. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. Different people will need different solutions for missing teeth; if you think dental implants are right for you, don’t hesitate to get the facts!
About the Author
Dr. James Block is proud to be following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps as a dentist. He enjoys being able to provide compassionate, quality dental care that leaves his patients smiling. He offers many forms of restorative dentistry, including implants, bridges, dentures, crowns, and fillings. To schedule an appointment at his practice, James Block Dentistry, visit his website or call (510) 793-0801.
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