Dr. Lockwood, in La Jolla, CA explains how dental implants work.Dental implants are a remarkable treatment for those who are missing teeth. Not only do they look and feel just like natural teeth, they also perform many of the same functions. How are they able to achieve these incredible results? What sets tooth implants apart from the competition? Implants are unique because of the way they integrate with your oral anatomy. Unlike dental bridges and removable dentures, dental implants essentially become a natural part of your body by integrating with the jawbone. They accomplish this during osseointegration, the process by which the jawbone regenerates and clamps down on the implant fixture to provide solid and long-lasting support for one or more dental prostheses.

Osseointegration: the Science Behind the Magic

Last week, we discussed the health benefits of dental implants. One thing we mentioned is how the jawbone naturally regenerates the bone tissue it’s made out of. Implants actually take advantage of this regeneration process by using it to help anchor the fixture in place. This is known as osseointegration and it’s one of the most important parts of the dental implant process.

After your comprehensive consultation with implant provider Dr. Lockwood, you’ll come to our La Jolla, CA office to have the implant fixture placed along the jaw. The fixture is an artificial tooth root that will eventually hold your permanent replacement teeth. The procedure to install the fixture will involve some straining of the jaw’s bone tissue, which is exactly what we want to do because this will stimulate the aforementioned bone regeneration process. Indeed, after the procedure you will enter a three to six month-long rest and recovery period, during which osseointegration will take place.

As the implant site heals, the jaw will create new bone tissue in that area. Dental implants are made from a biocompatible titanium alloy, meaning that as the new bone tissue grows up to the surface of the implant it will interact with the fixture as if it were a natural tooth root. Furthermore, since modern implants are usually manufactured with porous surfaces, the tissue will actually weave itself in and out of the fixture to firmly hold it in place. It’s thanks to osseointegration that implants are able to provide many of the benefits they do, including unrivaled strength, stability, and endurance.

A successful integration between the dental implant and the jawbone is pivotal to achieving the results you seek. At our office we boast of a 95–98 percent success rate and in order to ensure your wellbeing Dr. Lockwood will provide you with a set of guidelines to follow after the procedure. Recommendations include:

  • Avoid chewing on the dental implant while it’s healing, because undue pressure can put the healing process at risk.
  • Avoid using straws to drink liquids, as the suction can dislodge the blog clot that protects the healing implant site from foreign elements, including bacteria and debris.
  • It’s highly encouraged that you quit smoking for the duration of the treatment, as not only is tobacco and nicotine harmful to your oral and overall health, but it can also increase the risk of oral infection.

Once the jawbone integrates with the implant, you’ll return to our La Jolla, CA office for one or more “try-in” appointments, during which Dr. Lockwood will begin fitting your custom-tailored permanent dental crowns. After your replacement teeth are attached, you won’t be able to wait to show off your brilliantly stunning smile to your friends and colleagues.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

Dr. Lockwood firmly believes that you deserve to be fully informed about all of the treatment options available to you, so that you can make the very best decisions for your oral health. If you would like to learn more about dental implants, contact our friendly staff and schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today: .