Your smile tells the world so much about you. Missing teeth can affect the way others perceive you as well as how you perceive yourself. It may also have an impact on how you eat and affect your speech. Dental implants replace both the missing tooth and the root, which helps prevent bone loss and facial collapse that occurs when a tooth is missing. This is why they have become the preferred method of replacing missing teeth. However, all implants and placement methods are not equal. Dr. Procopio specializes in dental implants and takes extra steps to ensure predictable, successful dental implant placement.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a device surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth with a tiny screw made of bio-compatible titanium – the body readily accepts it with little chance of rejection or allergic reaction. It is placed into the jawbone during a brief but well-planned oral surgery. The small soft tissue incision heals in approximately 3-4 months, and over time, bone fuses solidly to the implant. Then an abutment (post) is anchored into the implant to hold a cosmetic restoration; generally, a porcelain crown.
Virtually all dental implants placed today are “root-form endosseous” implants. They appear similar to an actual tooth root (they have a “root-form”) and are placed within the bone (“endo” being the Greek prefix for “in” and “osseous” referring to “bone”). The bone of the jaw accepts and osseointegrates with the titanium post. “Osseointegration” refers to the fusion of the implant surface with the surrounding bone. This allows the implant to look and function like a natural tooth and requires only routine good oral hygiene care (daily brushing, flossing and regular check-ups), and it can last a lifetime. However, since dental implants fuse with bone and lack the periodontal ligament they feel slightly different than natural teeth during chewing.
The Procopio Towle Dental Office difference
Many models of dental implants are available in a variety of materials and shapes. One size does NOT fit all. Dr. Procopio selects the exact type of implant that best suits the patient’s situation, minimizing need for bone grafting and risk of future problems.
How do they do it? Dr. Procopio uses sophisticated diagnostic equipment to generate a 3D model of the patient’s mouth. This is done in every case, simple or complex, and is included in the cost of the procedure. Dr. Procopio simply believes that this step is essential in accurately assessing bone density and creating a precise blueprint for implant placement.
Since dental implants are versatile they can be used in different ways, including :
- Stand-alone restoration for a single missing tooth.
- Replace multiple missing teeth – even an entire arch.
- Anchor a fixed bridge.
- Secure a denture. As few as four dental implants provide an incredible level of stability; much more than can be achieved with a good fit and denture adhesive.
Call our office to schedule a consultation at Procopio Towle Dental Office in Walnut Creek to find out how dental implants change more than smiles – they improve quality of life for patients.