Fix your missing teeth with dental implants in Costa Mesa, CA
Disease, decay, and injury can result in the loss of an adult tooth. If the dentist is unable to reattach this tooth, patients need to speak to a professional about restorations. In Costa Mesa, CA, the professionals at Smiles4OC are pleased to offer a variety of ways to fix your missing teeth, including dental implants.
Understanding dental implants
Dr. Thomas Rolfes and his team describe a dental implant as a tooth root replacement. The root of a tooth is set in the jawbone, which provides the proper foundation and support needed for it to function at its best. By placing a dental implant that is supported by the jawbone, patients can enjoy a restoration that is strong, durable, and long-lasting. A dentist places the dental implant during oral surgery. The abutment of the dental implant is then restored with a porcelain crown to replace a single tooth. If patients are missing multiple teeth, they can still use dental implants and restore them with a dental bridge or a full denture.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Patients must consult with a dentist to determine if a dental implant will provide the restoration they require to bring their smiles back to health and functionality. This includes dental x-rays, where the dentist can evaluate the health of the bone and ensure there is enough to provide an appropriate foundation. Patients who have lost bone through bone resorption are encouraged to consider bone grafting to prepare the area for a dental implant. This is necessary for a successful surgery.
What are alternatives available to dental implants?
There are a few other options for patients who are missing teeth to consider:
- Dental bridges – a dental bridge is a restoration made of porcelain that uses natural teeth on each side to anchor it in place. Dental bridges do require healthy teeth adjacent to the space, or the use of a dental implant to provide a foundation. Bridges are permanent but do not last as long as dental implants.
- Partial dentures – partial dentures are appliances created to fix the loss of one or several teeth within the dental arch. They are fabricated using metal and acrylic and snap into place. Partial dentures utilize the existing teeth to hold the appliance in place. Partial dentures are removed regularly.
- Full dentures – patients missing all the teeth in their dental arch, or considering having the remaining teeth removed, might be a great candidate for full dentures. Full dentures use acrylic with false teeth and gums. Patients with appropriate bone structure may benefit from placing dental implants as support for this denture. These are known as “implant-retained dentures” and are a highly popular choice for many of our patients.
Why is it important to replace missing teeth?
Teeth that have been lost need to be replaced as soon as possible for a variety of reasons. First, patients replace missing teeth to maintain their chewing and speaking efficiency. Without teeth near the front of the mouth, patients may find it hard to speak clearly. Additionally, patients replace missing teeth for cosmetic purposes. Patients with anterior teeth missing may feel self-conscious when they are around others in work or social situations. They may hide their mouth with their hand or avoid smiling because of the lost teeth. If patients fail to replace missing teeth, they may notice their existing teeth shifting out of place. This results in the development of other gaps and spaces in the mouth that can further impact the smile. By replacing a missing tooth, patients can avoid all of these situations and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. As soon as a tooth is lost, speaking with a dental provider is the first step in restoring the smile and ensuring self-confidence!
Smiles4OC offers implant dentistry
If you live in the area of Costa Mesa, CA and are ready to discuss restorations available for replacing missing teeth, contact Dr. Thomas Rolfes and his team at Smiles4OC to learn more. The practice is located at 1530 Baker St., Ste. J and can be reached by calling (714) 557-0700.