Dental Implants Specialist

Smiles Dental Spa

General Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Tracy, CA

Missing a tooth can make it difficult to bite, chew, speak, and even impact your self-esteem. If you’re missing teeth, dental implants from Shirley Zhao, DDS, at Smiles Dental Spa in Tracy, California, can restore both your smile and your confidence. To find out if you’re a candidate for long-lasting dental implants, call the practice or schedule an appointment online.

Dental Implants Q & A

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial teeth that replace missing teeth with both an artificial root below the gumline and replacement tooth above the gumline. Dental implants replace teeth lost from injury, decay, or extraction. They can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth.

Dental implants function, look, and feel like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants also prevent jawbone deterioration.

Why do I need to replace missing teeth?

Missing teeth may lower your self-esteem and even cause you to hide your smile. In addition to cosmetic concerns, missing teeth cause oral health problems.

When tooth roots are removed from the jawbone, the bone recedes and deteriorates. Your face changes shape due to the bone loss, and the supporting tissue around neighboring teeth weakens, potentially leading to additional tooth loss.

What is the dental implant procedure?

You’ll need a few appointments to complete your dental implants. After an initial consultation to determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants, you’ll start with the placement of the implant post. Implant posts are artificial teeth roots placed in the jawbone through an incision in the gums. The incision is closed with sutures and bite impressions are made.

Your jawbone needs time to fuse and heal around the post, anywhere from three to six months. If you’re replacing a missing front tooth, you’ll wear a temporary restoration while you wait for your jaw to heal.

Once healed, you’ll return to Smiles Dental Spa to receive your crown restoration, bridge, or dentures. The implant secures your artificial tooth (or multiple teeth) in place.

Once complete, your dental implant and tooth replacement restores your smile.

How long do dental implants last?

While nothing is permanent, dental implants are a long-lasting restoration. When cared for properly, dental implants last 25 years or more. Alternative dental restorations only last 5-15 years.

Can I get dental implants?

Most adults in good health are a candidate for dental implants. You shouldn’t get implants if you are a heavy smoker or have uncontrolled heart disease or diabetes. During the initial consultation for implants, your dentist determines if your jaw and gums are healthy and strong enough to support dental implants.

Teenagers may be candidates for dental implants after their facial development is complete. Girls usually finish facial growth around age 16 while boys complete facial development around age 18.

To find out if you can replace your missing teeth with dental implants, schedule a consultation online or call Smiles Dental Spa for an appointment.