When you’re missing teeth, it can become more difficult to eat, speak, and smile with confidence. Worse still, losing teeth can also make you vulnerable to related health issues. While dentures and bridges can help restore some function and enhance your appearance, they don’t do much to protect your oral health.
Dental implants are the best tooth loss solution available from modern dentistry. With dental implants, you can permanently restore your complete smile, while preventing the health issues associated with tooth loss.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are custom-made restorations that look and act like real teeth. Dental implants are comprised of three parts:
- The biocompatible titanium post which serves as the foundation for your appliance and replaces the tooth root.
- The abutment, a connector piece that attaches the titanium fixture to your restoration.
- The restoration, which replaces the missing tooth. Your restoration can be a single crown, a multi-tooth bridge, or an arch replacement denture. This will be the only visible part of the implant.
What Makes Dental Implants the Best Long-Term Option?
When it comes to replacing teeth, dental implants offer more benefits than any other restorative option. Some of these benefits include:
- Stability — Dental implants are surgically inserted into your jawbone, fusing to the bone in a process called osseointegration. This gives your restoration a stable foundation, preventing it from moving around or falling out.
- Permanence — Your implants can last from twenty years to a lifetime with proper dental hygiene and regular dental exams.
- Natural Appearance — Your restorations will be customized to look just like your natural teeth.
- Strength — Wearing dentures reduces your bite force up to 50 percent, but implants provide a bite force similar to natural teeth. A stronger bite aids in digestion, allows for better nutritional absorption, and decreases your risk of choking and diabetes.
- Prevention of Gum Disease — Your implants permanently seal the wounds left behind by missing teeth, helping to prevent gum inflammation and infection.
- Prevention of Misalignment — Dental implants restore support for your other teeth, helping to prevent them from shifting out of alignment.
- Prevention of Resorption — The titanium “root” of your implant provides stimulation to your jawbone when you bite and chew. These signals tell your body to regenerate bone tissue. This prevents resorption, or the absorption of jawbone tissue back into the body. Preventing resorption also preserves the shape of your face and helps prevent premature wrinkles.
Getting Dental Implants
If implants sound like the right choice for you, here’s what you can expect:
Step 1: Consultation
You’ll attend an initial consultation with Dr. Garger. He’ll discuss your smile goals with you, thoroughly examine your mouth, and review your medical history. The information Dr. Garger gathers will allow him to determine your candidacy for dental implants.
If Dr. Garger discovers an oral health issue that may lower your chances of implant success, such as gum tissue recession or jawbone deterioration, he may suggest a supplemental procedure.
Once Dr. Garger has established that you’re a good candidate for dental implants, we’ll schedule you for your next appointment.
Step 2: Implant Surgery
Your next appointment will involve the surgical implantation of the titanium posts into your jawbone. Before this happens, we’ll administer a safe, local anesthetic that will numb the surgical site. We’ll ensure the anesthetic is working properly before Dr. Garger begins the procedure.
To install your titanium implants, Dr. Garger will perform any necessary extractions and make incisions in your gums where the implants will be placed. Your implants will be inserted into your jawbone and you’ll return for your third appointment once the osseointegration process is completed.
Osseointegration usually takes between three to six months, but the timeframe may vary based on factors like your unique physiology or the number of implants you receive.
Step 3: Installing Your Custom Made Restoration
When you return for your third appointment, Dr. Garger will attach your customized restoration to the titanium implant with the abutment piece. You’ll be able to walk out of our Bakersfield office with your newly restored smile the same day.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cost of dental implants varies based on factors such as your particular level of oral health, how many implants you require, and your insurance coverage. Contact your insurance provider beforehand and ask them if they’ll cover some or all of the cost of your implants.
Gentle Family Dentistry also provides financing options so our patients can affordably enjoy the benefits of dental implants.
Dental implants have an extremely high success rate, ranging from 95 to 98 percent. Complications are rare and usually easy to treat. Furthermore, the chances of complications developing are greatly reduced when a professional dentist like Dr. Garger performs the surgery.
You may be a candidate for dental implant surgery if:
- You’re missing one or more teeth
- You have sufficient gum tissue and bone density
- You can undergo supplemental procedures to restore gum tissue and jawbone density
- You want a long-lasting solution to tooth loss
- You’re committed to practicing a regular oral hygiene routine and attending bi-annual dental exams at our Bakersfield office
To help your implants heal properly, you’ll need to avoid certain foods and drinks for up to two weeks.
Before eating again, allow your anesthetic to wear off. This will prevent you from unknowingly biting down too hard and damaging your lips, cheek, tongue, or your new implants.
When you do start eating again, stick to soft foods like:
- Soft and ripe fruit
- Cooked vegetables
- Cooked pasta
- Mashed potatoes
As for what you should drink, stick to liquids that are:
- Low on sugar
- Room temperature
Following these rules for at least two weeks after your dental implant surgery will reduce tooth sensitivity, help preserve your dental implants, and keep the healing process on schedule.
Dental Implants for Restored Long-lasting Smiles
Thanks to dental implants, patients of Dr. Garger have access to a restorative dentistry solution that helps prevent health issues related to tooth loss. Your customized implants will allow you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence again.
If you’re ready to restore the full function of your smile, Dr. Garger and the team at Gentle Family Dentistry encourage you to reach out to our Bakersfield, CA office by calling 661-664-9900 or filling out our contact form. A team member will get back to you shortly so we can start you on the path to a stronger, healthier smile.