Dental Implants: Are They Right For You?

Dental implant dentist in La Jolla
Dental implant dentist in La Jolla

Dental implant dentist in La Jolla

By Dr. Joe D’Angelo

Dental care and upkeep is an important part of your overall health, at all stages of life, regardless of your age. When it comes to taking care of your teeth, brushing and flossing are just some of the ways you can have a healthy and beautiful mouth for years to come. But for one reason or another, sometimes we may need tooth replacement.

Many patients generally want to avoid removable dentures or bridges if at all possible when tooth replacement becomes necessary. Full dentures are a huge commitment and an embarrassment for most individuals since it requires the removal of all teeth (even ones that could be potentially saved). Dental implants are a good choice for people of all ages when the bone structure is strong and intact in order to support the implant.

The good news is that the dental implant process is not particularly uncomfortable and normally a lot less traumatic than having a tooth taken out. The actual process of implantation is not as disheartening as it may seem and the outlook for a quick recovery is generally excellent. Most can be placed with local anesthetic only. Sedation is always an option as well. In simpler cases where one to three teeth are being replaced one can often return to work the same day.

DENTAL IMPLANTS: ARE THEY RIGHT FOR YOU?

When it comes to dental implants, it’s important to choose a well-qualified dentist who specializes in this procedure for the best possible outcome. With many years of experience in cosmetic dentistry and dental implantation, I’ve been honored to serve the greater La Jolla area since 1990 with many implant procedures done since then.

Patients from 18 years of age to 90 have chosen implants as an alternative to bridges or removable appliances. For younger people, it is often one or more congenitally missing teeth or a tooth lost to trauma or decay. Individuals who opt for dental implants in this case desire to leave the nearby teeth healthy and to have the most natural outcome possible. For the older patient, the reality is that bridges are difficult to maintain and removable appliances are uncomfortable, unstable and may hinder proper chewing and nutrition.

If you are considering dental implants, here’s what you need to know. The best candidates are individuals who want to:

Preserve the bone in the dental arches:

When a tooth is lost, the bone in the area will normally resorb. This process starts immediately! The maintenance of bone volume is dependent on the strain that is normally transmitted via a tooth. A dental implant is the only method of tooth replacement that transmits force directly to the bone, thereby replacing the function of the tooth. Removable dentures transmit force through the gums. This has a negative effect on the maintenance of bone density and volume. Bridges transmit force to adjacent teeth. The bone still resorbs and the adjacent teeth often experience premature failure due to overload (excess load relative to their intended use). The goal is always to never let the bone go away!

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