Losing a tooth shouldn’t be a source of shame — life happens. But replacing your tooth should top your priority list because that gap can lead to some serious oral health issues.
Our experienced team of dental and endodontic specialists at Willow Glen Dental Specialists of San Jose, California, have seen what can happen to unsuspecting patients who opt not to replace missing teeth. Not only does your smile and self-confidence suffer, but so does your oral health.
Why would I need dental implants?
Losing teeth as an adult is never ideal, but it has happened to over 250 million people globally, a number that has steadily risen over the years. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates that 3 million people in the US have dental implants, with at least a half-million more installed each year.
Dental implants are primarily used to treat missing teeth, but teeth that are diseased or broken can benefit from dental implants, too. This requires removing a problem tooth, but ends with an improved smile. Dental implants are designed to last for years, with most people keep them for the rest of their lives.
What’s it like to get a dental implant?
Getting a dental implant starts with a consultation with your provider at Willow Glen Dental Specialists. If we clear you to receive a dental implant, we schedule you for your first of several appointments to complete the process.
At your first appointment, we perform a thorough cleaning and examination and take molds of your teeth. We need X-rays to verify that there’s enough viable bone in your jaw to complete the procedure. Once we know, for sure, that everything is good to go for your implant, the process officially begins.
If you are receiving a dental implant to replace a damaged or diseased tooth, the problem tooth must be removed first. We use local or general anesthesia to minimize your discomfort during the initial procedure. After your tooth is extracted, we may need to perform a bone graft, building your jaw to the necessary strength for your dental implant.
After the tooth is removed, or if you’re missing a tooth, we begin the implant procedure. With a combination of specialized dental tools, we drill a tiny hole into your jawbone, inserting a metal post.
You’re released to go home after the post is implanted, but you need to come back several times over the next couple of months to ensure that your bone is properly responding to the implant. During this time, the bone grows over the implant’s post, securing it to your jaw and making it a permanent fixture in your skull.
When the implant is fully secure, we attach an abutment to the post so we can connect the replacement tooth to the implant. When the abutment is secured, the replacement tooth is added, and your rejuvenated smile is ready for the world.
What am I missing without a dental implant?
While skipping a dental implant isn’t a threat to your life, your life will improve if you choose to replace missing teeth. Not only does your smile have a better appearance, but you will have an easier time pronouncing words and eating. Dental implants are comfortable and durable, and prevent your teeth from moving out of place, which can cause other oral health issues.
Dental implants also help prevent malocclusion, otherwise known as crooked teeth. When you lose a tooth, it compromises the ability of your other teeth to remain in their place. A missing tooth also puts stress on the remaining teeth for daily tasks like chewing and speaking.
Help! I have a missing tooth
We’re sorry to hear about your missing tooth, but we’re happy to help you reach your goal of a complete, healthy smile. Before recommending any treatment, we discuss your personal and family medical history and listen to your health and aesthetic goals.
Everyone isn’t a candidate for dental implants, so we also offer other solutions for missing, damaged, and diseased teeth. Don’t let a missing tooth slow you down. Call us today at 408-478-9081, or book an appointment with us online.