No one is ever happy with missing teeth. As we age, though, it often becomes a reality. Missing teeth can be corrected by means of dentures or dental bridges, but if the budget permits, the best way to go is dental implants due to the many benefits associated with them. This is because they work just like your own teeth. Also, dentures and bridges do nothing to forestall bone loss in your jaw, whereas dental implants actually encourage bone growth. Furthermore, if you take good care of them, dental implants will last you for your whole life.
Kinds of Implants
The kind of dental implants you need will depend on how many teeth are missing, where they are missing, and if you think you are likely to lose more teeth in the near future. You could need just a single implant, if you are only missing one, or even a few teeth. Several missing teeth could require full implants, or in a better case scenario, All on 4. All on 4 implants allow for a full restoration of the upper or lower jaw, with just four implants in either jaw.
If you are just missing a small tooth or teeth, like a couple of incisors, you may be a good candidate for mini implants. These are narrower than typical implants, and good for small teeth.
Often, the mere term “implant” strikes fear into the heart of the patient. This is because implantation means surgery. The reality, though, is that it is nothing to be afraid of. Think of it this way – when you have a root canal or an extraction, that is surgery, but it is not something that you are afraid of. It’s the same thing with dental implants. There is some cutting involved, yes, but it is minimal and nothing to fear. The implant is just a screw that the dentist places in your jaw to hold a prosthetic tooth (a.k.a., “a crown”). Much of the time, just one implant can support more than one crown.
As to the procedure itself, it is done using a local anesthetic – the same type of shot that numbs you up when you have a filling done. While you are numbed up, the dentist places the implant. Then, you go home and wait to heal. Depending on how many implants have been inserted, this could take just a few months, or up to eight. In the meantime, you do not have to worry about your appearance, because Dr. Yamaguchi will fit you with temporary crowns. You will be able to bite, eat, and smile normally. Once you have fully healed, she will install your permanent crowns.
Are You a Good Candidate for Implants?
Assuming that your overall dental health is good, you should be able to have dental implants. Sometimes, conditions like cancer or diabetes can make implants problematic, but this is rare.
Taking Care of Your Implants
They feel like your natural teeth, right? So take care of them the same way. Brush and floss, and see Dr. Yamaguchi for regular examinations to rule out gum disease and other issues that might cause your implants to fail. Generally speaking, the only thing that can harm your implants would be things that would also hurt natural teeth – a blow to the mouth, or gum disease, for example.
Contact Our Lake Oswego Restorative Dentist for Dental Implants
Dr. Manami Yamaguchi’s office is located at 15074 Bangy Rd Lake, Oswego, OR 97035. You can book an appointment by calling 503-635-3306, or by using the form on our Contact Us page. Dental implants are the best alternative to dentures and bridges, so call us today!