Stephen Hiroshige, DDS
General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Gardena, CA
Even one missing tooth puts the health of all your other teeth — and even your jawbone — at risk. Stephen Hiroshige, DDS, an expert general dentist, works with local specialists in Gardena, California, so that you can restore your smile by replacing missing teeth with surgically inserted dental implants. Dental implants are the most effective and functional type of tooth replacement available today. To find out if you can restore your smile with dental implants, contact Dr. Hiroshige today by phone or use the online scheduling form.
Dental Implants Q & A
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are high-tech tooth replacement options mimicking not only the look of your natural tooth, but its function, too. Dental implants consist of three components:
- Titanium post — surgically inserted into your jawbone to act as a tooth root
- Abutment cap — cap on top of the post that attaches the crown
- Dental crown — prosthetic tooth made of porcelain or composite materials
Whether you have one missing tooth, several missing teeth, or need to replace all of your teeth, dental implants look more natural than any other type of tooth replacement option. They also act like real teeth to stimulate your jawbone and help keep it healthy.
How do dental implants keep the jawbone healthy?
Your natural teeth have roots that extend into your jawbone. When you bite or chew, the pressure travels down your tooth roots and into your jawbone. The pressure signals your jawbone to produce new bone cells regularly.
When you’re missing a tooth, you’re also lacking the pressure the tooth would’ve exerted on your jawbone. When your jawbone isn’t stimulated, it stops making new bone cells. Over time, your jawbone atrophies and diminishes.
You may have noticed that even people who replace their missing teeth with dentures tend to have sunken lower faces. That’s because dentures and bridges don’t have roots that extend into the jawbone to stimulate it.
Titanium roots of dental implants, however, stimulate your jawbone. The implants tell your bone to produce new cells and keep your jaw healthy and strong.
What are the other benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants have many advantages over other tooth-replacement systems. Some benefits include:
- Natural appearance
- Cleaned just like real teeth
- Can eat your favorite foods
- Don’t interfere with your speech
- Keep your other teeth in alignment
You must have healthy teeth, gums, and jaw to be a candidate for dental implants. If you’ve already experienced some bone atrophy, Dr. Hiroshige may recommend a bone grafting procedure before dental implants.
What’s the process for dental implants?
You need several appointments for implants. The process takes a few months because the titanium root must first fuse with your jawbone before your permanent prosthetic tooth replacement is cemented in place.
To find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants, phone Dr. Hiroshige’s friendly staff or book an appointment online.