Dental implants are a popular, effective, long-term solution for people who have lost teeth to decay, injury, or periodontal disease. They are fast becoming the new standard in tooth replacement because they fit, feel, function, and look like natural teeth.
Practicing with Niloufar Molayem, D.D.S. in Pasadena, Dr. Eric Cho performs high quality dental implant procedures to provide comfort, convenience, and confidence for patients with missing teeth. Dr. Cho and Dr. Molayem focus their practice on holistic, conservative treatment, using the least aggressive methods possible while ensuring the well-being of the whole patient. For some of the most comfortable dental implants Pasadena patients can rely on, be sure to visit Dr. Cho at Pasadena Smile Center.
Parts of a Dental Implant
A dental implant is composed of 3 different parts:
- The implant itself – the titanium post that serves as the root of your new tooth and attaches to your jawbone
- The abutment – a connector, removable by your dentist, which supports and holds the replacement tooth or set of teeth
- The crown – the visible part of the tooth, typically made of porcelain or zirconium for durability and appearance
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or a full set of upper or lower teeth. In an "all-on-four" implant procedure, a dental surgeon can place four implants and attach a full arch of upper or lower teeth, providing stability and comfort for the patient.
Dental Implant Procedure
As the first step of your treatment, Dr. Cho will develop a personalized plan to fit your specific oral health needs. The procedure for placing dental implants progresses in phases. In the first phase, the titanium implant is surgically placed in the socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implant, securely anchoring it in place. It can take from 6 to 12 weeks for the site to heal completely.
In the second phase, when the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the abutment (a small connector post) is attached to the tooth root implant to securely hold the replacement tooth in place. A crown (replacement tooth) is then attached to the abutment. Instead of a crown, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant to support and retain removable dentures.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants are fast becoming the tooth replacement procedure of choice, for good reason. They have many advantages, including:
- Improved appearance: Implants look and feel like natural teeth.
- Greater comfort: Implants bond to the jawbone and become part of the body, for a comfortable alternative to removable dentures.
- Better speech: Removable dentures can slip in the mouth, causing slurred speech and mumbling. Dental implants allow you to speak clearly with no worry.
- Easier chewing: Dental implants function like natural teeth and allow you to eat all your favorite foods with no pain or discomfort, unlike dentures, which can slide while you are eating.
- Better oral health: With dental implants, there is no need to reduce other teeth, as with tooth-supported bridges. More of your teeth are left intact for improved long-term oral health. Implants also allow access between the teeth for better oral hygiene.
- Convenience: Removable dentures have to be removed and replaced with messy adhesives. Dental implants stay in your mouth, causing no embarrassment or inconvenience.
- Durability: Implants are made of durable materials and can last for many years. In fact, with proper care, many dental implants last a lifetime.
- Improved self-esteem: Dental implants can give you back your smile, and that can do wonders for your overall appearance, as well as your self-esteem.
If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be the optimum long-term solution to restore both function and appearance. To find out if you are a good candidate for this treatment, schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Cho at the dental practice of Niloufar Molayem, D.D.S. in Pasadena.