If you have lost one or more teeth, you might feel self-conscious or even embarrassed about your smile. Although tooth loss is sometimes unavoidable, dealing with the social judgments that come from having a missing tooth can be difficult to navigate.
At Sequoia Family Dental, we can talk to you about your options for replacing missing teeth. The best choice for most people is dental implants, which provide the experience closest to your natural teeth.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to live with missing teeth. Call Dr. Thien Van Tran to find out if this life-changing restorative dental treatment is right for you.
The Problem With Missing Teeth
What many people don’t realize is that living with missing teeth is about more than how your smile looks and functions. It can also put the health of your remaining teeth at risk as well as lead to the loss of more teeth.
When a tooth is missing, the underlying jawbone starts to shrink away without a tooth root to support. If you are missing more than one tooth, your facial appearance can appear aged or sunken in, changing your entire appearance.
Leaving a gap in your smile also destabilizes your bite. Visualize a bookshelf and picture what happens when one book is removed; the others tip toward the empty space. The same thing happens in your mouth when one or more tooth is missing; the others start to shift to fill in the space.
Because it fuses permanently to the jawbone, a dental implant acts like your natural tooth, protecting the bone and preventing other teeth from moving.
The Dental Implant Process
There are several phases to the dental implant process, and these take place over a period of months. But as most of our patients who have undergone the dental implant procedure will tell you: It is worth it!
The steps include:
- An oral evaluation
- Placement planning of the implants
- The surgical procedure of placement
- Healing and integration time
- Adding a restoration in the form of a crown
- Continued care of the dental implant
You will need to have adequate bone to support the dental implant, but if your bone has already deteriorated, bone grafting might be an option to build it back up. Dr. Tran will conduct a thorough evaluation to assess your current oral health as well as to plan the implant placement.
The surgical procedure itself is much easier than it sounds. There are minimal nerves in the jawbone, so the surgery isn’t painful, and most patients report little discomfort afterward.
You will need a bit of patience while you wait for the implants to fuse with the jawbone—called osseointegration—but it’s well worth it when you consider implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth.
By combining the permanence of dental implants with the affordability of dentures, this option gives you the best of both worlds. Rather than using a dental implant for each missing tooth, Dr. Tran can combine bridges or dentures with dental implants for reliability and stability.
Find Out More about Dental Implants
If you are tired of missing teeth or frustrated with loose dentures, our team is ready to help. Dental implants can improve your oral health and your quality of life. Call Sequoia Family Dental today!