What are dental Implants and how do they work?

Dental implants are one of the most long-term methods of tooth replacement and although it may sound excruciating, it’s actually quite simple when you have the right Implant Dentistry team.

Replacing a tooth consists of several parts just as a natural tooth does. To replace the root of the tooth, a small screw-like titanium dental implant is placed beneath the gum line. If your 3D x-ray determines that the jaw bone levels are lower than normal, a bone graft procedure will be performed. In order to create a level of comfort for the patient during the “Big Day”, different types of sedation options are available and can be included in the treatment plan during your initial consultation with your dentist.

The second part and stage of a tooth replacement procedure is the placement of an abutment or attachment. The abutment serves as a connector between the implant and the final crown or prosthesis. A crown replicates a single tooth, a bridge replicates several adjacent teeth, and prosthesis usually replicates a full set of upper or lower teeth.

Successful implant dentistry treatments require careful and collaborative planning between the dentist, assistants, and lab technician. Therefore, it is extremely critical that a patient visits a dentist qualified to perform implant treatment and a practice that is equipped with the latest in technology and knowledgeable assistants. At California Implant Smiles, our dental team consists of highly trained and experienced dental practitioners who specialize in implant procedures. During your initial visit to our practice, we will begin with a thorough set of dental records and a comprehensive examination in order to provide you with options available to you that will meet your dental goals. Prior to finalizing your treatment plan, our own panel of elite dentists will review it applying an additional level of expertise. This ensures that your smile is beautiful, functional, and long-lasting.

Implants can also be used to place dentures permanently, which has more advantages in the long run. Complete dentures can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, cause bone loss, and prevent you from eating your favorite foods.Dental implants have several advantages and help resolve all of the disadvantages of a complete denture.When you lose a tooth or several teeth, part of the jaw bone is lost as well. Overtime, the bone continues to deteriorate and the shrinkage of the bone can cause your face to sag and look older- dental implants can prevent this and help you gain years in age.

When dental implants are placed to retain a denture in place, they do just that. This will help avoid any uncomfortable or embarrassing situations like loose dentures when you eat, talk, laugh, or cough. They will also give you confidence to eat virtually anything you want without hesitations or limitations- after all, that’s what teeth are for.

Although, denture adjustments and the replacement of attachments may be required every 1-2 years in order to maintain the stability and comfort of your permanent denture, patients love the fact that implants are a permanent solution. With a track record in long-term successful outcomes, it is considered the most reliable and predictable of dental procedures to replace missing teeth.

Frequently Ask Questions About Implants?

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Almost anyone who has one or more missing teeth is a candidate for dental implants.  Patients with uncontrolled diabetes face a higher risk in implant failure and therefore are not recommended to undergo dental implant treatment.

What are the advantages of a dental implant vs. a bridge?

Although a 3-unit tooth-supported bridge can be functional for many years, the process usually involves destroying the enamel and tooth structure of the adjacent teeth in order to fit the new cemented bridge.  The adjacent teeth frequently develop tooth decay, lead to periodontal bone disease and possible root canal treatment.  So even though the immediate problem of a missing tooth is remedied with a tooth-supported bridge, future expenses and problems with an Implant supported crown can help preserve the adjacent teeth, prevent bone loss and root canal treatment. In addition, implant supported crowns look and function like a natural tooth and are designed to last a lifetime.

Are permanent implant procedures painful?

Surgeries of any kind can cause discomfort and a permanent implant surgery is not an exemption. Although it may sound excruciating, most patients express that they experienced less discomfort than they anticipated.

Anesthetic and sedation options are also available in order to make it a much more comfortable process for the patient and your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur after the procedure.

How will I feel after my permanent implant procedure?

It is very common for patients to remember little to nothing at all due to the sedative. It is also very common to develop some bruising, soreness, and swelling that can be treated with prescribed medication. Most patients proceed with their normal routine 2-3 days after the surgery.

What will replace my teeth while my permanent implants are healing?

Our CIC Team will do pre-liminary work in order to ensure that on the day of your surgery, you leave our practice with a brand new temporary smile that will look and feel just as your natural teeth once did.

If we are replacing a single tooth or a bridge, a provisional bridge or retainer will be fabricated to replace your missing tooth while you implant heels.

What is the process and time frame of a permanent implant procedure?

In most cases, all of the major work is performed during “Your Big Day” or the day of your surgery and pre-liminary work is done by our dental team in order to ensure that you leave our home into yours with a brand new temporary smile.

Your permanent denture implant or tooth implant will require a healing period of 3-6 months but don’t worry, your new smile will look and feel just as natural teeth, allowing you to eat and talk normally. Our team will also schedule monthly visits for you to be seen in order to monitor the progress throughout the healing period.

Once the implants have healed, our team will schedule a consultation to discuss what you like and dislike about your temporary smile and take this into consideration for your final permanent smile. Our team will also need to do a few fittings to ensure that your new smile not only looks good, but also feels good.

How will I care for my dental implants?

Just like your natural teeth, your implants and bone levels need to be checked routinely by your dentist and hygienist. You will maintain your normal 6 month checkups unless advised to do so more frequently.

What will my investment be for an implant procedure?

Every patient is different, therefore there is not set fee for implants and every patient’s investment will vary depending on the number of teeth being replaced or the number of implants needed to support your replacement of teeth.

Contact our office today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Our team will be happy to perform a thorough comprehensive examination, answer any questions you may have, understand your needs, identify your goals and recommend a unique treatment plan that is right for you.

Questions? Call Us: (949) 732-1992