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Dental Implants — San Marcos, CA

Discover the New Gold Standard of Tooth Replacement

At first you might think you can work around a missing tooth, but the impact it has on your ability to eat, speak, and smile will only become more and more obvious over time. There are a few different options for restoring your missing tooth/teeth, but there’s only one that will replace the entire structure of a missing tooth roots and all: dental implants. Whether you’ve only lost one tooth or are missing an entire arch, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Howard today to learn why dental implants in San Marcos, CA might be your best option.

Woman with beautiful smile after dental implants

Why Choose Dr. Nelson Y. Howard, DDS For Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

Animated dental implant supported dental crown

A dental implant is not actually a prosthetic tooth; rather, it is something that we can use to anchor a restoration to your jawbone. Most implants are made out of titanium, and they take the form of a screw-like post. When placed in your jaw, they can fuse with the bone through a process called osseointegration. This is how they replace the roots of your missing teeth, and what will give the replacement prosthetics their lifelike stability and comfort.  Osseointegration takes several months, but the end result is a strong foundation for your new teeth that will provide greater chewing power and prevent slipping. The dental implant is topped with a custom-made crown, bridge, or denture depending on how many teeth you’re missing. Rebuilding your missing teeth from the roots up gives you a smile that looks, feels, and functions just like natural once again!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Woman with dental implants San Marcos, CA sitting and smiling

So why choose dental implants over more traditional forms of tooth replacement? The short answer is that since they’re the only option for replacing the roots of the teeth, they carry all sorts of benefits that you would miss out on if you simply got a regular bridge or denture. We can go over some of these advantages during your implant consultation so that you have the full context to decide whether or not implants truly are your best option.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Man with dental implants San Marcos, CA eating a fruit salad

The most obvious benefits of dental implants are the ones you’ll notice every day when you’re eating you’re favorite meals, talking with your friends, and giving people you meet for the first time a brilliant smile.

  • The Ability to Eat Most Foods: Because dental implants act as artificial roots, they come the closest out of any tooth replacement option to fully matching the strength of missing teeth. This gives them the ability to chew virtually any kind of food, allowing you to enjoy your favorite meals and maintain good nutrition.
  • A Stable, Confident Smile: Your new teeth will be carefully designed to match the rest of your face, to the point that most people won’t be able to tell that you’ve had dental work done. Since implants are permanently anchored in place, there is no slipping to worry about.
  • Speak Easily: When dentures slip, they can cause you to slur or mumble your words. This is not a problem with properly fit, stable dental implants.
  • Easy Oral Hygiene: Implant crowns, bridges, and dentures can all be brushed and flossed as if they were real teeth.

Health Benefits

Close-up of bearded man’s smile with dental implants San Marcos, CA

In addition to the everyday benefits of dental implants, you’ll also find that having new teeth supported by artificial tooth roots offer a number of dental benefits as well.

  • Jawbone Preservation: Dental implants interface directly with the jaw, meaning they can provide the same kind of stimulation that is usually received from natural teeth. This helps keep the jaw healthy by preventing bone loss. As a result, you’ll continue to have a strong jaw and a youthful appearance for years.
  • Protection for Your Remaining Teeth: Teeth have a tendency to drift into empty space. When this is allowed to happen, it can eventually throw off the alignment of your bite, and that puts you at risk for dental damage and painful TMJ disorders. Dental implants and the restorations they support fill the empty space to completely prevent such drift.
  • Overall Healthy Benefits: People who lose their teeth are at a greater risk for multiple systemic diseases, but getting new teeth that are similar to your natural ones can go a long way towards keeping said risks to a minimum.

Long-Term Benefits

Senior woman with dental implants San Marcos, CA sitting outside and smiling

As the years go by, the long-term advantages of dental implants will become more and more apparent.

  • High Success Rate: Even after 10 years, the success rate of dental implants is as high as 95%, making it a highly reliable solution that is unlikely to need to be removed.
  • Longevity: Proper maintenance can give dental implants a lifespan of 30 decades or even longer, to the point where many patients keep them for the rest of their lives.
  • Cost-Effective: Dental implants help you save money by minimizing the number of times that you need to have them replaced.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Woman sharing smile after dental implant tooth replacement

Most people who have lost one or more teeth are candidates for dental implant placement. If you’re interested in the procedure, we’ll first need to make sure that you have stable oral health, decent overall health, and a jawbone with enough strength and density to support the new posts. There are some additional procedures that might be performed to prepare your mouth for surgery. Once everything is ready, we can use the following restorations to rebuild your smile from the roots up.

Animated dental implant supported dental crown placement

Missing One Tooth

Whether a tooth has been knocked out or extracted, it’s important to replace it as soon as possible before neighboring teeth move into the gap. We can place a single dental implant into the empty space and attach a dental crown to it. This is a more conservative approach compared to a dental bridge that rests on nearby teeth.

Animated dental implant supported fixed bridge placement

Missing Multiple Teeth

When multiple teeth are lost, you don’t necessarily need an individual implant for each one. A couple of implants can be used as the base for a dental bridge or a partial denture. When these restorations are attached to implants, not only will they look more natural, but they’ll be more secure as well.

Animated dental implant supported denture placement

Missing All of Your Teeth

Normally, full dentures rest directly on your gums. As a result, they might not fit anymore once the shape of the gums changes due to bone loss. We can place four to six dental implants in your upper or lower arch to hold your dentures in place. This greatly improves your bite strength, letting you enjoy a healthier, more varied diet than you would with traditional dentures.

Animated smile with mini dental implant tooth replacement

Missing Teeth with Low Jawbone Density

Depending on the state of your oral health, you might want to think about getting mini dental implants. Since they’re smaller than regular implants, they require less jawbone density to be placed and supported. They can even usually be loaded with prosthetic teeth within a few hours, and your mouth will heal much faster after the procedure.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Three animated dental implant supported dental crowns

Your dental implant treatment will be completely personalized based on your health, the number of teeth you’ve lost, and your various other dental needs. That means the price of the dental implant procedure will be different for everyone. But don’t worry; we can give you an accurate idea of how much it will cost after a consultation. When considering costs, remember that implants tend to last much longer than other forms of tooth replacement, helping you save money in the long run.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Animated dental implant supported dental crown

Bone loss can complicate the dental implant process, but luckily, we have ways to replenish bone density with the help of advanced dental implant procedures. A ridge augmentation procedure consists of placing bone graft material into the socket of a missing tooth. Once the socket has healed and the grafting material has integrated with the jaw, implants can be placed. In other cases, we can perform a sinus lift to make room in the upper jaw for implants to replace the molars near the back of the mouth.