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Dental Implants Specialist

Derrick L. Thompson DDS

Family Dentist located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA

Of all the ways to replace missing teeth, dental implants look and feel the most natural. Dental implants fit perfectly into your smile and function the same way as healthy teeth. At his Beverly Grove, Los Angeles practice, Derrick L. Thompson, DDS, can restore your dental functioning and your self-esteem with top-quality dental implants. Schedule an oral examination and implant consultation online or over the phone.

Dental Implants Q & A

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a method to replace missing teeth. They look and feel more natural than other types of restorations, including dentures and bridges. Implants can permanently improve your smile, restore your usual ability to speak and chew, and prevent complications resulting from missing teeth.

When you receive implants, your dentist surgically places a metal post, usually made out of titanium, into your jawbone. The post acts as a replacement tooth root. As you heal, the post becomes part of your jaw.

Once the post is securely part of your jaw, your dentist attaches an abutment. The abutment directly supports a crown or other tooth replacement. Your dentist designs the prosthetic using impressions of your teeth for a result that comfortably fits into your mouth and matches your smile.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants? 

Dr. Thompson may recommend implants if you have one or more missing teeth. For the procedure to be safe and effective, you should be in good dental and overall health. You can safely get implants if you’re healthy enough to undergo a tooth extraction, but you may need to take precautions if you have diabetes or an immune system condition.

Implants are more complicated if you have a history of gum disease or bone loss in your jaw. Unmanaged gum disease can lead to an infection, so it’s important to have that under control before you get implants.

You need healthy jawbone to support implants. If you’ve had bone loss in your jaw, you may still be able to get implants, but there’s a chance you’ll need a procedure like a bone graft or sinus lift to strengthen your jaw.

If you want to be a good candidate for dental implants, you should be patient and motivated. The process can take months because your jaw has to heal before the implant is stable enough to support a prosthetic tooth. If you’re prepared to undergo the process, the reward is a replacement tooth that lasts a lifetime.

How do I care for dental implants?

Another advantage of dental implants is that they’re easy to care for. You can treat them just like regular teeth. 

Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day keeps the surrounding gum tissue and the spaces between your implants free of bacteria. Keep up a regular schedule of dental checkups based on Dr. Thompson’s recommendations (every six months for most people).

Be sure to contact Dr. Thompson if you notice any issues with your implants or if you’re concerned about your jaw or gum health. Problems with your jaw and gums can put your implants in jeopardy. 

To learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment at the office of Derrick L. Thompson, DDS, online or over the phone.