Dental Implants

Why Choose Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing or non-restorable teeth. Dental implants have been used for over 30 years and are very safe, reliable and, most importantly, functional and esthetic. The dental implant is essentially a titanium root which is topped with a crown that looks and functions like a natural tooth. It can enhance your bite, function and esthetics.

Why should I replace my missing tooth?

When you lose a tooth, the natural tendency is to want to replace it, especially if it is a front tooth that you cannot esthetically live without or a molar that functions as your primary chewing surface. Missing teeth can affect your bite, remaining teeth can shift and bone in your jaw will slowly resorb (disappear) without constant stimulation from chewing. This could lead to an altered appearance of your face.

Ready to Replace Your Missing Teeth?
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What are my tooth replacement options?

Fortunately, replacing a missing tooth is not a dental emergency. You have time to consider what replacement option is the best for you and to make an informed decision. There are several traditional treatment options available for the replacement of missing teeth. After many years of research and clinical trials, we can now offer you dental implants as another option.

  • A treatment partial/stay plate is a temporary way of replacing teeth. It is similar to a retainer and has a tooth attached to it. The entire appliance is removable.
  • A fixed bridge is cemented into place using crowns on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth for support. The unfortunate consequence of this appliance is that the two adjacent teeth need to be filed down for the crowns to fit properly. A Maryland bridge does not need crowns and is glued onto the back of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.
  • Complete dentures are the traditional solution for patients who have lost all of their teeth either in their upper or their lower jaw.
  • Do not replace it at all. In areas that are not critical for aesthetics or chewing, one option is to not replace the tooth. You will be without a tooth replacement for several months after your extraction. This will give you time to truly assess if the missing tooth is impacting your function or self esteem, if your teeth are shifting, or you decide that you can actually live without it.

What is a dental implant?

The best way to describe a dental implant is to compare it to a natural tooth. A tooth has a root and a crown. The part of the tooth that you see and eat with is called the crown. Beneath the crown is a root, which anchors the tooth through the gum tissue to the jawbone. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace a tooth, we first have to replace the root. A dental implant is essentially the new root. This titanium root is fitted into a socket that we create in your jawbone, replacing the lost root of your natural tooth. Once the area is healed and the implant is stable enough to take the pressure of chewing, a crown can be attached to the implant by an abutment. An abutment is the bridging component between the implant that is below the gum line and the crown that is above the gum line. There are several advantages to restoring your lost tooth with an implant. In addition to functioning and looking like a natural tooth, a dental implant replaces a single tooth without sacrificing the health of adjacent teeth. Implants integrate with the jaw bone helping to keep the bone healthy and intact. Implants are also easier to keep clean than a bridge, reducing the incidence of gum recession around the bridge as well as decay around the adjacent teeth.

Evaluation for Dental Implants

Who Is a Candidate?

Before placing an implant, Dr Hunt does a thorough evaluation to assess if an implant is the best option for your individual case. He takes a panoramic x-ray to see where nerves and the sinus cavity are and how much bone separates those structures from the eventual implant. He takes an impression of your mouth to get a three dimensional view of the underlying bone as well as your overall bite and alignment. He takes into consideration the area of the lost tooth and if the blood supply in that area is favorable for integration of the implant. He takes a health history and does a physical exam of your mouth to assess the health of your gum tissue and bone as those are factors influencing successful implant integration. In some cases, a CAT scan of the jaw can be taken and the results can be used in conjunction with specialized software that we have. And most importantly, Dr Hunt spends time educating you and listening to you to collaboratively decide if an implant would work for you.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!

San Diego Office Phone Number 858-259-1168 Book Online

Before & After Dental Implants

Implant – Anterior

Dr Hunt's Dental Implant Case Study #1 - Anterior, San Diego CA

Dr Hunt's Dental Implant Case Study #2 - Anterior, San Diego CA

Implant Posterior

Dr Hunt's Dental Implant Case Study #3 - Posterior, San Diego CA

Dr Hunt's Dental Implant Case Study #4 - Posterior, San Diego CA