Losing a tooth isn’t fun, but dental implants make the whole experience a lot less harrowing by offering you a solution that looks, feels, and “works” just like your own natural teeth. Unlike dentures and bridges that rest on your gums, implants are attached to your jaw bone so they’re extremely secure and comfortable. As a top-rated implant dentist in San Diego, Dr. Zaihly Azar has extensive experience in state-of-the-art implant techniques designed to help men and women at Beautiful Smiles Dental feel more confident, more comfortable, and more attractive following tooth loss. Schedule an office visit today to learn more about implants and how they can help you look and feel your best after tooth loss.
No, the term “false teeth” typically means dentures, which rest on top of the gums. Dental implants are medical-grade metal posts that are implanted into your jaw bone and then attach to a prosthetic tooth or crown. In some patients, an implant can be used to attach a denture to replace more than one missing tooth. The prosthetic teeth are shaped and tinted to look and feel completely natural.
Implants typically require three office visits. At the first appointment, Dr. Azar will place the implant post in your jaw bone. If the bone is thin, she may perform a bone graft procedure with growth factors from your blood using state of the art technology to augment your bone so it’s able to provide adequate support for the implant. Once the post is implanted into your jaw, you’ll wait about 4 months or so before your second appointment, enabling the implant to fuse with your bone so it’s very stable. Then at the second visit, a second piece called an abutment will be attached to the implant. The abutment attaches the crown to the post. Once it’s in place, Dr. Azar will take an impression and send it to the lab where your crown will be made. Then finally, at the third appointment, she’ll attach the crown to the post and adjust it for a perfect fit.
Most patients prefer dental implants over dentures and bridges because the posts are implanted into your jaw bone, which means the crown is much more stable and more comfortable - in short, it feels and looks like your own tooth. There’s no risk of slippage or the sore spots they can cause, and they’re much easier to care for than an attached bridge. Plus, the metal post acts much like a natural root to help promote normal bone replacement and “turnover.” With dentures and bridges, bone loss can occur over time, significantly increasing the risk of additional tooth loss.
No, dental implants can be cared for like a natural tooth - regular brushing and flossing and dental checkups to keep the gum in good shape will help ensure your implant lasts indefinitely.