A dental implant acts as an artificial tooth root to hold your replacement teeth in place permanently. They contain small titanium rods that your dentist at Smiles of La Mesa inserts into your gums and jawbone. Once your mouth has healed sufficiently from receiving the artificial roots, your dentist attaches your new dentures to them. Dental implants are popular because they offer many benefits over traditional removable dentures. In spite of this, most patients don’t completely understand the process. One of the most common questions they ask is, “How do dental implants work?”

The Dental Implant Procedure

dental implants

Before your dentist can install dental implants, he or she needs to conduct an oral exam to ensure that you’re a good candidate to receive them.

Some patients have a weak bone structure that would not be able to support a dental implant. If this is true in your situation, one of our dentists may recommend a bone graft. This involves removing a small amount of bone from another area in your mouth and transferring it to the area receiving the dental implant. Once the initial exam is complete, you’re ready to receive your new tooth roots.

The time from your first exam to when your dentist attaches the replacement teeth can span several months. You need to come in for additional appointments so your dentist can check the healing progress of your jaw and gums. The process is complete when your dentist attaches your new dentures to the titanium tooth roots. However, you need to visit our office for regular follow-up care.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Some of the main complaints with removable dentures are the food restrictions, the feel of plastic across the roof of the mouth, and the embarrassment of having them fall out or slip out of place. Dental implants eliminate these problems. They also offer an improved aesthetic appearance since our dentists can match your permanent dentures to the shade of your remaining teeth. Having dental implants in place prevents your other teeth from shifting into the open space and creating a problem with your alignment.

We encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified dental implant dentists at Smiles of La Mesa as soon as possible. He or she will discuss the procedure at length as well as let you know your other options to conceal tooth loss.