Decayed, broken, or missing teeth can really wreck your confidence. In La Jolla, California, Robert A. Rees, DDS, is passionate about personalized and comprehensive dental care and offers a wide range of solutions to make over your smile, including dental implants — the best tooth-replacement option.
In this blog, we explain more about this permanent restoration solution.
How your teeth affect your oral health
When you lose a tooth, it’s natural to focus on how it negatively affects your smile, but your teeth do much more than affect your appearance. They also play a critical role in your oral health.
Each tooth has two significant areas. The visible portion above your gumline — the crown — provides stability to your surrounding teeth. The second part beneath your gumline — the root — supports the crown and stimulates bone growth in your jaw.
Losing even a single tooth can undermine the stability and structure of your mouth and increase your chances of developing a range of dental problems, including:
Excessive wear on your remaining teeth
Difficulty chewing and getting nutrition
Changes in your facial structure
Trouble speaking clearly
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, such as jaw pain and chronic headaches
Bone loss in your jaw
Understanding dental implants
At our state-of-the-art clinic in La Jolla, we offer several solutions to replace missing teeth, such as using traditional bridges or dentures. But these options only address the replacement of the crown above your gumline. A dental implant also replaces the root, making it a comprehensive solution.
The three elements of dental implants
A dental implant has three parts: The implant is a metal post that acts as your new artificial tooth root. The abutment is a tiny connector placed on top of the implant to affix the crown. The crown is your shiny, new custom-made tooth, which is the only thing seen above the gumline.
What to expect when you get a dental implant
During your initial consultation, we confirm that dental implant surgery is a good option for you. This typically involves completing an oral exam of your mouth and teeth, reviewing your medical and dental history, and taking X-rays to check your jawbone health.
To begin the process, our highly skilled dentist makes a tiny incision in your gums. He carefully drills a small hole in your jawbone, where he inserts the titanium root. He finishes by cleaning the area and closing your gums with sutures.
It usually takes 3-6 months for the root to fully fuse with the jawbone. Once the fusion is complete, Dr. Rees places the abutment on top of your implant and then affixes your new artificial tooth to the abutment.
Dental implants look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. You care for dental implants by brushing, flossing, and coming in for professional teeth cleanings twice a year.
If you need dental implants in La Jolla, book an appointment with Robert A. Rees, DDS. You can call our office or use our convenient online booking tool today.