San Antonio Dental Implants
Missing teeth affect more than just your smile; they affect your oral health. At My Smile Artist in San Antonio, Dr. Imam offers dental implants—the most effective solution for replacing missing teeth and preserving your oral health.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are screw-shaped artificial tooth roots, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed in your jawbone. A dental implant has an artificial root, a connector (abutment), and a dental crown. Implants can replace one tooth, several teeth, an entire arch of teeth.
Why Are They So Effective?
Properly placed dental implants are the most effective form of tooth replacement for several reasons:
- Mimic tooth roots – They are surgically placed in your jawbone. During a healing period of three to four months, the bone will bond to the implants—a process called osseointegration.
- Stimulate bone – Natural tooth roots stimulate the jawbone, and so do dental implants. The presence of the root forms prevents bone shrinkage, which normally occurs when all of your teeth are missing. It also helps prevents facial sagging that results from bone shrinkage.
- Provide maximum support and function – Whether you receive a dental crown or dentures, replacement teeth that are anchored with dental implants function better. It’s easier to eat, speak, and smile with implant-supported restorations.
- Long-lasting – They outlast other forms of tooth replacement—removable bridges and dentures. The durable root forms are anchors that with good care can last a lifetime.
- Promote oral health
- Implants fill the spaces left by missing teeth and prevent nearby teeth from drifting into the spaces.
- They improve your bite and help prevent TMJ problems caused by missing teeth.
- You won’t experience the irritation and discomfort commonly caused by partial dentures, which are fastened to natural teeth.
- When implants replace a single missing tooth, they eliminate the need to prepare the adjacent teeth for crowns.
Dental Implant Options
- Individual implants – Each missing tooth can be replaced with a dental implant.
- All-on-4 dental implants – This technique was developed for cases of low jawbone density. Angled implants create added retention and eliminate the need for bone grafting. For additional support, All-on-6 implants are also available. Visit our All-on-4 dental implants page for more information.
- Implant overdentures – Four or more implants can be used to stabilize dentures. In cases of low jawbone density, grafting might be required. Read the details on our implant overdentures page.
- Snap-on dentures – Two dental implants are placed in the jawbone, and the denture base is made to snap onto the implants.
What Is the Dental Implants Process?
Before you receive dental implants, Dr. Imam will review your medical history and take three-dimensional x-rays. Ordinary two-dimensional x-rays do not provide enough information to be able to avoid perforations or critical vital structures during implant placement. If you are a candidate for dental implants, either dentist will complete these steps for each implant:
- Make a small, precise opening through your gums and bone
- Gently insert the implant
- Close the surgical site
- Allow healing time of three to four months before placing your final crown or denture. Meanwhile, you will wear a temporary crown or denture.
High-Quality Implant Placement
Dr. Imam has completed a post-graduate general dentistry residency program and have received advanced training in both the placement and restoration of implants. In some cases, he will perform the surgery. In other cases, the surgery will be performed by an oral surgeon, and you will return to Dr. Imam for the restoration. Only high-quality implant fixtures are used in our office—fixtures that meet stringent quality guidelines from the FDA and the American Dental Association.
If you’re interested in the healthiest and longest-lasting form of tooth replacement, call us to schedule an appointment for an exam, or request an appointment online.