The Best Choice

Say you want to restore your beautiful smile. Are dental implants right for you?
By: Dr. Ben Vela

Often, we do so much during our day that many actions and habits come naturally and without thinking. Eating, talking, smiling, swallowing and all the great functions we perform with our mouth, teeth and facial muscles are perfect examples of naturally occurring actions.

Unfortunately, these all-too-common abilities can become compromised and eventually lost due to dental disease. It can range from slight pain upon eating sweets to the complete inability to eat something off our plate without having to cut it into very small, specific pieces. Many times, a tooth that cannot be saved and, for a number of reasons, must be removed.

Missing teeth can lead to many problems that, if left unchecked, are detrimental to our quality of life. Although quite a few options exist for replacing teeth, dental implants are the best choice. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone immediately starts to disintegrate, as there is no longer any support from the roots of your teeth. The drifting of teeth, an increased chance for cavities on the teeth next to the missing tooth, a higher potential for fracture of the teeth now taking a higher load and a general increase in disease all occur when we have a missing tooth.

A dental implant is a reconstructive prosthetic that will restore your mouth and teeth to full functionality. Dental implants can be compared to the roots of your natural teeth, as they hold the tooth in place. Made out of titanium, dental implants are small metal posts that integrate with bone, creating a uniquely strong bond. Dental implants provide a more stable and long-lasting base for maximum functionality than partials, dentures and bridgework.

Due to the complexity of dental implants, additional professional education is required for general dentists to perform this type of treatment. Some specialists receive this training in their respective programs. Medically, patients should be cleared, as there may be some adverse risks related to treatment. Dental implants have had over a 95 percent success rate over the last 15 years in almost every study available.

Dental implants in the jaw encourage continual bone regeneration. Maintenance of your dental implants is no different from that of your natural teeth. Continue your daily brushing, flossing and regular check-ups for optimal results.

Dental implants can be used to:
• Replace a missing tooth without compromising the surrounding teeth
• Stabilize dentures and bridges
• Improve chewing and speaking
• Restore your beautiful smile

Ben Vela, DDS, is the owner of Vela Dental Centers and a fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. For more information or to see if you’re a candidate to restore your smile with dental implants, visit Vela Dental Southside, located at 4822 Holly Road in Corpus Christi, Texas. You may also call 361-994-4900 or go online to




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