Benefits of Dental Implants, Sunnyvale

Benefits of Dental Implants

Natural-looking, natural-acting and natural-feeling teeth replacement options!

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental ImplantA dental implant is a replacement tooth anchored by a titanium post (the root) with a crown attached to the implant via an abutment (the connecting piece). It looks, feels and acts like a natural tooth and can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Dental implants in their modern form have a proven track record since their development 30 years ago.

Tooth replacement with dental implants

Dr. Colin Au and Dr. Scott Dault, our periodontist, use dental implants to replace single and multiple missing teeth as well as for anchoring other restorations, such as dental bridges and dentures. Dental implants have become the state-of-the-art treatment for tooth replacement. Implants have several advantages over other forms of tooth replacement, and with modern innovations in technology, most patients can benefit from them.

Free Dental Implant Consultation

Review your options for replacing your missing teeth during a consultation with Dr. Au.

We offer a Free Dental Implant Consultation to see if implant treatment would be right for your situation.

To make an appointment, call 408‑245‑5812 or click here to request an appointment online.

Who are candidates for Dental Implants?

In the past, patients with insufficient bone or who had certain health conditions or habits were not considered candidates due to difficulty in implant placement or the potential risk involved. Developments in bone grafting and bone reconstruction as well as the minimally invasive nature of modern implant placement has made it so that most patients can receive implants. Additionally, there are now implant procedures that can bypass even the need for bone grafting, making implant treatment faster and more affordable than ever. People who smoke or who have conditions such as diabetes, can also be treated safely, although the success rate is reduced slightly due to their lower healing ability.

Benefits and advantages of Dental Implants

Dental Implants can last a lifetime

Dental implants use titanium, a non-corrosive, neutral and long-lasting metal. Implants can suffer the same periodontic issues as natural teeth, however, and require good oral care and regular cleanings at the dentist, just like natural teeth.

Dental Implants behave like natural teeth

Once their implant is placed, most patients can’t tell the difference between their natural teeth and the implant tooth. They can eat with it completely normally, with full chewing power, and they can brush and floss normally as well. Implants used to support restorations such as dental bridges and dentures are also very lifelike in look and function, and the more implants used to support the restoration, the more lifelike it is.

Dental Implants prevent bone loss

Single Tooth Loss

Bone in the jaw deteriorates where there is no tooth. This is because the bone requires the pressure of chewing to maintain its density. In the first year of losing a tooth, if no implant is placed, the bone where the tooth was loses 25% of its volume and bone loss continues over the years.

Dentures can even accelerate the bone loss as they are often loose, and then rub against the bony ridge, gradually wearing it away. Implants act as natural teeth and provide that stimulation. This is also true for implant-supported bridges or fixed (non-removable by the patient) supported-dentures.

Dental Implants keep adjacent teeth stable

The gap caused by a missing tooth can destabilize adjacent teeth, causing them to shift towards the gap. This pulls your teeth out of position and can affect your bite and your ability to chew. A poor bite can also lead to problems with your TMJ (temporomandibular joint).

Dental Implants can help keep you free of gum disease

Gaps between teeth can act as traps for food and bacteria and can lead to gum disease.

Dental Implants can prevent facial sagging and premature aging

As dental implants can prevent bone loss, they also can prevent facial sagging for people who have all or many of their teeth missing. Due to progressive bone loss caused by the missing teeth, the height between the tip of the nose and chin decreases, causing the lower third of the face to collapse. Changes include excess wrinkles around the mouth, drooping jowls and sagging skin, thinning lips and a more pointed chin, making the person look a lot older than his or her true age.

Benefits of Dental Implants

When the tooth roots are left un-replaced, as with regular dentures, the face can begin to sag as bone mass deteriorates. Dental implants can prevent this from occurring.

Dental Implants vs. Dentures

Stable teeth with good chewing power!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dentures can be supported with dental implants to retain bone structure and give you the most stable denture experience.

Dental implants provide a far superior experience compared to dentures because of dentures’ unstable nature. Even dentures that fit well when first made soon lose their fit due to increasing bone loss. Eventually, it’s difficult to keep any denture stable due to wear on the bony ridges that dentures clasp onto. The most frustrating aspect of dentures, and the most unhealthy, is their poor chewing ability.

If you are deciding between traditional dentures or an implant-supported restoration, here are some things to consider.

  • Dentures often have to be kept in the mouth by using a dental adhesive.
  • Dentures have to be removed for cleaning. With the exception of a removable implant-retained denture, your implant-supported restoration can be care for by brushing and flossing.
  • Dentures cover the roof of the mouth. With implants, there’s nothing covering the roof of your mouth to interfere with your sense of taste or other normal activities. Implant-supported dentures can also be fabricated without a palate.
  • Dentures can slip out while eating or speaking. Implants and implant-supported dentures are securely anchored and won’t slip out.
  • It’s hard to chew with dentures and you can’t eat a lot of food you like or need. Dentures can move while you chew, which is annoying, and also makes it difficult to chew! In fact, dentures generally have only 10% or less of full chewing power. Dental implants have full chewing power and implant-supported bridges or dentures also considerably increase the chewing power.
  • Dentures click while eating. With implants or implant-supported dentures, there’s no annoying clicking sound.
  • Dentures don’t provide the stimulation needed to prevent bone loss. Jawbone needs to have the stimulation of high-pressure chewing to keep its volume. Implants ensure no jaw bone is lost.
  • Progressive bone loss as a result of wearing dentures can cause facial collapse. Over the years bone loss can cause the collapse of the lower third of your face, creating excessive wrinkles, sagging skin and jowls, thinning lips and a sunken-in look. This can considerably age a person’s appearance.

For a person needing his or her teeth extracted or who is wearing dentures, Dr. Au recommends  three levels of teeth replacement:

Implant-Retained Dentures

This is the patient’s own or newly fabricated denture that is fitted with snaps that snap into two to four implants per arch. This provides stability and some increase in chewing ability.

Fixed Implant-Supported Dentures

In this case, the dentures are permanently fixed into the mouth, only removable by the dentist. This option provides about 70% to 80% of normal chewing power.

Implant-Supported Bridges

This is the most natural-looking and acting replacement option and can even be superior to all implants as bridges provide more flexibility, as well as being more affordable. Chewing power increases to as much as 99% of the normal bite force. Learn more about Options for Missing Teeth and for Denture Wearers.

Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges

A Dental Implant is a more affordable and natural replacement than a Dental Bridge

Bridge Versus Implant

A bridge consists of false teeth supported by adjacent teeth that have been capped. It is used to replace one or two missing teeth.

A bridge requires two usually healthy teeth to be cut down, which is not an ideal way of replacing a missing tooth compared to a dental implant. Bridges tend to have short lives, five to ten years, compared to a dental implant which can last a lifetime. So while a bridge can sometimes be more economical initially, in the long run a dental implant can cost you less.

To make an appointment, call 408‑245‑5812 or click here to request an appointment online.