Dental implants can be used in several different ways to replace missing teeth. If more than one tooth is missing, implants can be used to support a dental bridge.
A dental implant is a small metal rod, usually made of titanium, which is placed in the jawbone. It’s about the same shape as the rubber eraser head on the end of your pencil, but generally a little longer. An implant cannot be placed unless there is sufficient bone to support it, so in some instances where much bone is missing bone grafting material needs to be placed before the implant. This would make you a much better candidate for long lasting successful dental implants. Sometimes Dr. Huefner will have one implant placed for each missing tooth. In other cases, especially if areas of the jawbone have been eroded, he will choose to place implants a bit farther apart and use them to support a dental bridge.
The fixed implant bridge will take the place of several missing teeth, with fewer necessary implants. If Dr. Huefner is concerned about placing an implant too close to a nerve or a sinus cavity the implants would be placed away from those areas of concern.
The placement of dental implants requires more than one visit. After the initial implants are placed, they must be allowed to heal for a few months. During this time, the implants will bond with your jawbone. When this initial surgical procedure has healed sufficiently, your bridge can be attached.
A dental bridge with implants provides a permanent replacement for your teeth, unlike dentures. In addition, dentures can actually cause your jawbone to break down. Implants, because they are placed directly in the jawbone, keep this bone healthy and intact. The pressure of chewing passes through the bridge and the implants into the jawbone, stimulating normal growth of the bone.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, and are concerned about bone loss or the inconvenience of dentures, and you are in the Irvine, Mission Viejo, or Orange County, California area, please contact us at Sensational Smiles. We can schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Norman Huefner and determine if dental implants and a bridge can help bring back your smile.