Dr. Uyen Thompson, the Director of Thompson Center for Dentistry, talks about how dental implants and implant-supported dentures can provide results that look and feel natural while enhancing dental function and oral health.
Chula Vista, CA – Tooth loss is a very common dental condition that has remained quite prevalent in the U.S. for many years. In fact, the American Association of Prosthodontists has noted that an estimated 178 million Americans have at least one missing tooth, and approximately 40 million have no teeth at all. Dr. Uyen Thompson, a dentist in Chula Vista and a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, says the good news for those with missing teeth is that there are more effective tooth replacement options today than ever before. She says advanced procedures such as dental implants and implant-supported dentures have revolutionized the field of restorative dentistry, offering patients across the age spectrum a way to replace one missing tooth or entire rows of missing teeth with results that not only enhance dental function and aesthetics, but can also dramatically reduce the oral health risks posed by missing teeth that remain untreated.
When a tooth is missing, it can have an immediately noticeable effect on the appearance of one’s smile and their ability to properly chew or speak. However, missing teeth can also lead to a chain reaction that seriously compromises overall oral health and even facial aesthetics. Jawbone deterioration, gum disease, the shifting or loss of other teeth, and altered facial proportions are possible when missing teeth are not treated. Dr. Thompson says dental implants offer many patients an ideal solution capable of preventing those repercussions. She explains that a dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth designed to mimic the form and function of a natural tooth right down to the root. The implant post itself is made of a strong titanium material, which is inserted into the gum and anchored to the jawbone. Over time, the post should fuse to the bone and serve as a synthetic root, which can ultimately help prevent further deterioration of the jawbone in that area. After this fusion is complete, a custom crown is securely placed on the post, often leading to results that look so natural and feel so realistic that patients may have trouble distinguishing the dental implant from their original teeth.
Dr. Thompson says a single dental implant can be utilized for one missing tooth, or several dental implants can replace multiple missing teeth. For patients who are missing all of their teeth on the upper or lower dental arches, Dr. Thompson notes that an option such as implant-supported dentures may be worthy of consideration. An implant-supported denture uses a select number of dental implants placed in specific areas of the mouth to provide a support foundation for a custom denture. This “hybrid” option for missing teeth replacement basically combines the benefits of both dental implants and a denture prosthesis to provide patients with a comprehensive set of natural-looking teeth while securing them to the gums for the best possible fit. Since the dentures are attached to the implant posts, the need for denture pastes and adhesives is virtually eliminated. For many patients, Dr. Thompson uses the All-on-4® implant denture technique, which involves the strategic placement of just four dental implants on each arch to durably support the custom denture.
Dr. Thompson says advances in implant dentistry have made it possible for many patients who may have been previously told they were not ideal candidates for dental implants to now qualify for the procedure. For those who are not the best candidates, she notes that there are several alternatives, including traditional dentures, dental bridges, and others, that can often serve as effective remedies. According to Dr. Thompson, it is critical for people to understand that just a single missing tooth—even one that may not seem very important—can lead to serious oral health consequences. She says that treatment from a qualified dentist who is extensively experienced in implant dentistry and missing teeth replacement can ultimately save a lot of trouble for patients in the long run – not to mention provide them with an exceptional solution that can enhance their smile (and their oral health) in numerous ways.
About Uyen Thompson, DDS, FAGD, FICOI
Dr. Uyen Thompson is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. She is also a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the International Association for Orthodontics, and other prominent dental organizations. As Director of Thompson Center for Dentistry in Chula Vista, California, Dr. Thompson oversees an expansive dental team offering comprehensive services for patients seeking general and restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontic treatments. In addition to dental implants, options at the practice include porcelain veneers, Invisalign®, routine preventive treatments and family dental care, teeth whitening, and many other procedures. Dr. Thompson is available for interview upon request.
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Thompson Center for Dentistry
688 Old Telegraph Canyon Rd.
Chula Vista, CA 91910