RESTORE YOUR SMILE WITH DENTAL IMPLANTS
Dental implants are the best way to replace a missing tooth. Whether you’ve had a tooth knocked out during a contact sport, or your tooth is required to be pulled because of extensive decay or infection, a dental implant from Restore Health Dentistry is the best way to replace your tooth! Call today or visit us at one of our two locations in Los Alamitos or Lakewood.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants offer a convenient, permanent treatment for missing teeth. Unlike other forms of tooth restoration, such as dental bridges or false teeth, dental implants are permanent, and offer identical functionality to original teeth.
This is due to the design of dental implants. Using titanium or zirconium, a post is surgically implanted into the gum area where the missing tooth used to be, mimicking the original root of the tooth.
A dental crown is then attached to this post after it has healed and bonded with the surrounding area, providing a permanent tooth restoration.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR GETTING A DENTAL IMPLANT?
After a thorough exam and consultation with our doctors, we’ll recommend a skilled surgical dentist to take care of the implant.
A titanium or zirconium post is place into the gum and jaw bone, where the missing tooth used to be. It will bond to the gum and bone, providing a permanent hold. This usually takes somewhere between 2-6 months, depending on the patient.
Once the initial post has healed and bonded with the surrounding tissue, an abutment will be attached to the post, forming the base for the placement of a dental crown.
Dental crowns are created to mimic the size and shape of the original tooth, and to permanently bond to the abutment.
After the crown is applied, that’s it! Your tooth has been permanently restored, and will have the same functionality and appearance as the original tooth!
THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
There are quite a few benefits to dental implants:
- Restores a natural appearance – Your new implanted tooth will be nearly identical to your old tooth, providing a natural appearance and smile!
- Prevents teeth from shifting – Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift, in an attempt to fill the gap. A dental implant prevents this shifting, ensuring straight teeth.
- Durability – Dental implants are permanent, and with proper care, they will for decades to come, unlike other solutions such as dental bridges.
- No special care required – Unlike dentures, you don’t have to do anything special to maintain your dental implant. Just brush and floss normally!
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Typically, you are a good candidate for dental implants if:
- You have good oral health and your mouth is free of major issues like untreated tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease
- Your gum tissue and jaw tissue are both strong enough to support the implant(s)
- You are in good overall health
- You are a non-smoker, or are willing to stop smoking for the duration of the dental implant treatment. Some dentists may refuse to place dental implants if you are a smoker, because smoking can seriously impair the healing process and lead to dangerous complications.
It’s important to note, though, that thanks to procedures like bone grafts and sinus lifts, a weakened jaw bone may not necessarily stop you from receiving dental implants. For more information about dental implants and to see if you’re a good candidate, schedule a consultation with Dr. William at Restore Health Dentistry.
TRADITIONAL DENTAL IMPLANT
The term “dental implant” actually refers to the small, rod or screw-shaped piece of metal, which supports a dental restoration. However, the term has become synonymous with a “traditional” single-tooth dental implant, as this type of implant is the most common.
Traditional dental implants consist of a single dental implant, which is placed in the mouth, and then allowed to heal and integrate with the bone and gum. Once it has healed, a dental crown is permanently attached, completing the restoration. If you are missing only a few teeth, and your teeth and gums are healthy, this type of implant may be right for you.
Implant-supported dentures use 4-6 dental implants per arch of teeth, and provide a more stable, comfortable alternative to traditional dentures. Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures snap directly onto these implants, keeping them in place without any dental adhesive and minimizing movement of the denture. An added benefit of implant-supported dentures is that, because the pressure is placed on the jaw and gums through the dental implants, your jaw and gum tissue will not deteriorate after tooth loss.
All-On-Four “dentures” are actually a type of permanent dental bridge. Just like implant-supported dentures, four dental implants are placed into the mouth, for each arch of teeth that is being replaced. Instead of using a removable overdenture, All-On-Four uses a permanent, porcelain bridge that looks and feels more natural than a denture. All-On-Four doesn’t have to be removed, and to care for the bridge, you must simply brush and floss normally.
Are You Awake During a Dental Implant Placement?
This ultimately depends on your preference. While dental implant placement involves oral surgery, it is only a minor surgical procedure. For this reason, we can place implants while you are awake and prevent you from feeling any pain with a local anesthetic.
Before we make any incisions or use any invasive tools, a numbing gel will be applied so we can administer local anesthesia with a needle. This will completely numb your mouth so you don’t feel any pain throughout the procedure.
However, you still may feel nervous or uneasy if you have dental anxiety. This is why some patients prefer to be sedated for the procedure. Most patients do not require general anesthesia and simply opt for a form of conscious sedation which makes you feel relaxed and at ease.
Conscious sedation makes you feel a little sleepy and in a dream-like state so you don’t feel anxious or stressed. Unless you are receiving many implants, then local anesthesia or a combination of local anesthetic and a conscious sedative will be more than enough to make you comfortable.
How Painful Is Dental Implant Placement?
Dental implant placement is completely painless thanks to modern dental technology and anesthetic. We will never perform oral surgery on patients without advanced dental tools to ensure they are comfortable and pain-free.
By administering local anesthesia and possibly conscious sedation, you will not experience pain sensations. You may feel pressure or movement in your mouth, but it will not be painful. We will always check that you are fully numbed before proceeding with the treatment.
Once the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some minor tenderness or discomfort at the implant site for a few days. This is normal and can be mitigated by taking anti-inflammatory pain medication and icing the area.