Dental implants are alternatives to bridges and dentures, using medical-grade metal posts implanted into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth. The posts use special attachments called abutments to connect to the prosthetic tooth or crown, which is shaped and tinted to look just like a natural tooth. Because the implant post is placed in the jaw bone, it acts like a natural tooth root to stimulate the growth and replacement of bone tissue, preventing bone atrophy that can cause additional tooth loss. Bridges and dentures rest on top of the gums and cannot act to prevent gum atrophy from occurring. Implants are more comfortable than dentures and bridges and there is no risk of slippage or sore spots.
The installation of dental implants can take several months and is dependent on the health of the patient’s. Dr. Castillo first examines the mouth and jaw to determine if it is strong enough to support implants. If necessary, she will perform bone or tissue grafts to build up the jawbone and soft tissue. Once any grafting has healed and the jaw is ready, the next step is to install titanium posts into the jaw. Titanium is a commonly used metal for implants because of its unique ability to integrate with the bone. Again, the patient will wait for the jaw and gums to heal from the installation of the posts. In following appointments, Dr. Castillo will install abutments, then artificial teeth or crowns to replace lost teeth. Installation can take several months, depending on the condition of the patient’s mouth and jaw and the time it takes for healing to take place between stages.
Snap-It! is a temporary tooth replacement option. This acrylic device snaps into place in the patient’s mouth, similar to a retainer, but with false teeth strategically placed to fill in any gaps. Snap-It provides a stable and esthetic temporary solution for implant patients. It is designed specifically for smaller coverage areas, such as gaps or implants, consisting of five units or less. Snap-It! is designed to be easy to use, easy to care for and comfortable to wear.
No, implants are cared for just like natural teeth. You can brush and floss the implant tooth like a natural tooth. Maintaining regular visits with our hygienists will help you care for your implant and prevent gum disease.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!