Melissa Tuft, DDS General Dentist

Dental Implants Specialist

Melisa Tuft, DDS

General Dentist located in Union Square, San Francisco, CA

When missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures keep you from smiling, it’s time to find a permanent solution. Melissa Tuft, DDS, offers patients in San Francisco (Union Square area) dental implants, which look, feel, and act like your natural teeth. Instead of hiding your missing teeth behind closed lips, replace them with implants and let that smile shine. To see if you’re a candidate for dental implants, call Dr. Tuft’s office today, or go online to book your initial consultation.

Dental Implants Q & A

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a permanent way to replace missing or heavily decayed teeth. Once in place, these implants look and feel like your natural teeth, and you care for them in the same way. Unlike dentures, which you must take in and out, once your dental implants are in place, they remain.
A dental implant consists of three elements:
  • The implant fixture: Made from titanium, this secures the implant in your jaw bone and acts like the root of your tooth.
  • The abutment: This acts as the anchor to secure the crown to the implanted fixture.
  • The crown: The visible part of the dental implant, the crown is what replaces your tooth above the gum line.

What happens during a dental implant procedure?

The first step in a dental implant is the placement of the implant fixture in your jawbone, which Dr. Tuft then covers with gum tissue. This fixture replaces your tooth’s roots in your jaw but must integrate with the bone before Dr. Tuft adheres the replacement tooth on it. This integration can take a few months.
Once the implant fixture and your jawbone have melded, Dr. Tuft places a temporary cap over the implant, causing your gums to form a cuff where your replacement tooth will sit. She then makes an impression for abutment and crown.
After the abutment and crown are made, she removes the cap and screws the abutment into the implant fixture. Dr. Tuft then cements the crown to your abutment, securing it into its permanent place in your jaw. Now, your implant procedure is complete, and you can smile with ease.

When is the best time to get a dental implant?

In most cases, Dr. Tuft recommends getting your dental implant immediately after your tooth is pulled or lost. As soon as the tooth’s roots are out of your jaw bone, the bone can start to degrade and lose mass. Yet, if you replace the missing tooth with a dental implant right away, the bone around it holds its shape, structure, and strength.
In some cases, it isn’t possible to get an immediate dental implant. If you do have some bone loss, Dr. Tuft may have to perform a bone graft before starting the implant procedure to ensure there’s enough bone present to hold and secure the implant fixture.
If you’re considering dental implants, don’t wait. Call Dr. Tuft’s office today to book your initial consultation. You can even schedule online.
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