Dental Implants – Modern Tooth Replacement
Dr. Jim Eggleston has years of experience in state of the art cosmetic dentistry. While dental implants have been around for thousands of years as a form of tooth replacement, the modern version of this procedure is the most advanced way to restore the appearance and function of a person’s smile. Dental implants look and feel just like a patient’s original teeth. They can be used to secure a denture, or to replace one or several teeth. Schedule an appointment at our Turlock office and Dr. Eggleston will help you determine whether dental implants are the right choice for your smile restoration.
Dental Implants Explained
The dental implant procedure uses a titanium post to replace the root of a missing tooth. That post will integrate with the patient’s jawbone until it is a part of their oral structure. The dentist then places a crown (a replacement tooth) on that post and secures it in place. This method is considered the gold standard for tooth replacement. It can be used to replace one missing tooth, or a group of missing teeth. The implants are strong, long-lasting, and color-matched with the rest of the patient’s natural teeth. Dental implants should be cared for just the way that your natural teeth are cared for — with brushing, flossing and regular professional cleaning at the dentist’s office.
Dental Implant Benefits
Receiving dental implants at our office is a routine procedure that is very comfortable for our patients. The replacement of missing teeth with implants provides a number of health benefits, in addition to boosting the patient’s confidence. Dental implants are the healthiest choice available when it comes to replacing one or more missing or bad teeth. Once a person loses a tooth, they begin to lose bone structure in that same area. That bone loss weakens the support structure of the jawbone as it relates to the remaining teeth. Eventually, the teeth next to that gap in the mouth will start to shift out of place. When Dr. Eggleston replaces the missing teeth with dental implants, it halts the progression of the other teeth shifting. The titanium post that is embedded in the bone structure will also act as a stimulant to the bone, preventing future structural loss. Bone loss can be devastating for patients who have lost all their teeth and require full dentures. The loss of too much bone can cause the facial structure to collapse inward, which causes additional skin wrinkling, and negatively impacts the patient’s ability to bite or chew their food. The use of full dentures can reduce a person’s lifespan by a decade or so, due to the psychological damage and loss of self-esteem the bone loss causes, not to mention the health, digestive and nutritional damage. Dental implants are a proven method to arrest this devastating bone loss.
Single Tooth Replacement
A bridge or partial denture used to be the only way to replace a single missing tooth. Fortunately, a dental implant at our Turlock office is a stronger and healthier method of replacement. Bridges require the adjacent teeth on both sides of the gap to be ground down. Partial dentures act almost similar to braces, putting pressure on the teeth they are affixed to. Only a single tooth replacement with a dental implant can restore the function of the patient’s bite while replacing the missing tooth.
Multiple Tooth Replacement
Dental implants can be used to replace multiple missing teeth as well, whether those teeth are missing as a group in one area or in different areas of the mouth. A combination of implant bridges and/or single tooth replacement can be used to stop bone loss, restore facial features and the patient’s smile, and provide strength and structure. The health of adjacent teeth is also preserved by the placement of implants.
Securing a Denture
Dentures can shift out of place or fall out at the most inopportune moments, causing embarrassment or discomfort. That’s not the only problem that people with dentures face. All the missing teeth cause bone loss in the structure of the jaw, which compounds the impact on facial structures. Even with dentures, the face starts to sink in, new wrinkles appear, and it reduces the ability for the patient to chew their food — causing nutritional problems. Wearing dentures can eventually take a toll on the physical and emotional well-being of the patient. Dental implants can help to affix dentures in place, arresting bone loss and restoring your facial structure. The dentures will no longer slip out of place or fall out during an embarrassing moment. An implant-based denture allows patients to eat everything they need in their diet. This will reduce the need for dietary supplements or other medications, and restore the simple pleasure of enjoying a full meal. Dentures with implants will restore your confidence and smile, and just might prolong your lifespan! Dentures can be combined with single dental implant posts or an implant bar to affix them in place. Meals will become a joyful time once again, because you’ll be able to enjoy crunchy fruits and vegetables, a nice steak, and other foods that are difficult to manage with dentures.
Fixed Full Implants
Patients will never have to remove a denture again if they opt for fixed full implants. Dentures can become loose-fitting over time and uncomfortable. If you don’t want to deal with dentures at all, the use of fixed full implants can replace the need for them entirely. Another option is to affix the dentures permanently in place with implant posts. Single implants and implant bridges can allow you to keep some of your remaining teeth if they’re still healthy, rather than removing and replacing those teeth with a full denture. And fixed full implants stay in place! No more dealing with removing dentures to care for them, or having them slip out of place.
A bone grafting procedure might be necessary to create enough support structure for a patient’s jawbone to receive an implant post. This is sometimes needed when a patient has been missing teeth for a while and has lost a lot of bone structure. Once the bone graft fuses in place and heals, you’re ready for your new dental implants. The bone graft procedure is done right here in our Turlock office.
All-on-4-Smile in One Day
An All-on-4 procedure can be completed in a single day at the dentist’s office to restore a person’s smile. Some teeth are extracted, implants are placed, and new replacement teeth are attached to the implants. Patients will be using their new teeth that same day. This is one of the most popular and effective ways to repair and restore a person’s smile, and can be used to replace bad teeth or missing teeth.
Turlock Dental Implants FAQ
Does the implant process cause pain?
We do everything we can to minimize discomfort and make the implant process as pain-free as possible. A lot of patients say that a tooth extraction is more uncomfortable than receiving implants.
How long will my dental implants last?
The implant post is made from titanium and in many cases can last for the remainder of the patient’s lifespan. It’s not at all unusual for implants to last 20 or more years. The dental crowns that are attached to the posts can wear out with use or become damaged, and will require replacement. Otherwise, your implants should last a very long time.
How long does the dental implant process take?
A standard single implant procedure can take between five and seven months from start to finish. If bone grafting is required, the process could take one to two years, because more lengthy healing times are required and it happens in stages.
Why are bone grafts necessary?
If a patient has lost too much bone structure in their jaw, there is not enough space to install the implant post. The bone graft adds extra bone structure, and once it is fused in place, there’s plenty of room for Dr. Eggleston to install the implant.
Dental Implant Pros
- Smile restoration in a single day
- More cost effective than using an implant for each missing tooth
- New replacement teeth are firmly affixed in place and don’t shift in the mouth
Dental Implant Cons
- Some bone removal may be necessary