Dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth, providing a replacement for missing teeth that blend right in with the rest of your mouth. If you have a gap in your smile, consider dental implants at Downtown Dentist SF in the Union Square neighborhood of San Francisco. Experienced cosmetic dentist Stefka Petrova, DDS, performs implants and other restorative procedures with results that look and feel great. To learn more about the cosmetic and dental benefits of implants, schedule an appointment online or over the phone.
Dental implants are metal posts, similar to screws, which act as replacement roots for missing teeth. They fit directly into your jawbone to support artificial teeth, or “crowns.” Implants look and function the same as your natural teeth, blending seamlessly into your mouth and enhancing your smile.
A crown attached to an implant looks and acts just like a natural tooth. Implants are designed to be permanent, as long as you take care of them properly. By comparison, dentures and bridges are noticeable appliances that interfere with eating and speech, and you can expect to replace them multiple times.
Unlike other types of prosthetic teeth, implants don’t require you to file down your surrounding teeth or use your other teeth for support. They simply fit into the sockets of your missing teeth without affecting any of your existing teeth.
You’re a good candidate for dental implants if you have a missing tooth and are generally in good dental and overall health. If you’re healthy enough to undergo a tooth extraction, you can safely undergo the procedure to install implants.
Implants are most effective if you have healthy gums and a strong jawbone to support them. Talk to Dr. Petrova if you have a history of gum disease or bone loss in your jaw. You still may be a good candidate for implants, however, you may first need to undergo a procedure such as a bone graft or sinus lift to increase your jawbone volume.
You can expect the procedure for receiving a dental implant to take a few months. Though that may sound like a long time, remember that your replacement tooth can last the rest of your life. It’s necessary to allow time for the implant to become part of your jaw.
The first step of the process is installing the implant in the socket of your missing tooth. It may take three months or more for the bone surrounding the implant to heal. Once that’s complete, Dr. Petrova installs an abutment — a metal post that directly supports your artificial tooth.
Once your gums heal, which takes one to two weeks, she takes impressions of your teeth, which a lab uses to construct your artificial tooth, known as a crown. She attaches the crown to your abutment at the next appointment.
Treat your dental implant the same way you would a natural tooth. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit Downtown Dentist SF for regular cleanings and checkups.
To learn more about the benefits of dental implants, schedule an appointment with Dr. Petrova online or over the phone.