Implants, a modern alternative to restore missing teeth
Dental implant is a titanium screw-like post that is implanted into the jawbone to replace the root of a missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, the post will fuse to the jawbone in a process called osseointegration providing a solid support for replacement teeth. Once the post has fused to the jawbone, a small connector - called the abutment - is attached to securely hold the replacement tooth. Impressions of your teeth and a model of your bite are made to create a replacement tooth that matches your natural teeth. In some cases, dental implants anchor dental bridges or dentures to replace missing teeth. With a success rate of approximately 98% and replacement teeth that look, feel and function like a patient's own teeth, dental implants have become a popular choice for restoring missing teeth. Please contact our General & Cosmetic Dental Practice in West Los Angeles to learn about the best option for restoring missing teeth with replacement that looks, feels and functions like your own natural teeth. Dr. Travis Lee at Ocean Breeze Dental Care has over 20-years experience in working with patients to restore patients’ healthy teeth, beautiful smile & fresher breath with breeze.
How long does dental implants take?
Dental implant restoration is a modern alternative to restoring a missing tooth or teeth that generally takes between 3 to 8 months. It is a two-step surgical procedure that begins with the surgical insertion of a titanium post (replacement root) into the jaw bone, followed by the placement of dental crown (prosthetic tooth). As the jawbone heals, the dental implants fuses to the jawbone which is necessary for replacement teeth to be placed. Healing times vary subject to a patient's health and healing process. Some patients with an abundance of strong, healthy bone tissue may qualify for a one-day procedure where both the implant post and crown are placed during the same visit. But for most people, the final step occurs in about 3 to 6 months after the implant is inserted. In cases where the patient hasn’t enough stable bone, and bone grafting is involved, more time is required for the bone graft to heal before the implant can be placed. Once the post is fused with the jawbone, a custom-made dental crown is placed on the implant. In some cases, dental implants anchor dental bridges or dentures to replace missing teeth.
Restoring missing teeth with dental implants involves creating an individualized treatment plan. Although the individualized plan may vary, this is a basic outline of what you may expect from an implant restoration dentist in Los Angeles.
Consultation & Planning Phase
A visual examination and digital x-ray images are taken to diagnose & access the site in the mouth where a dental implant is being considered. The quality and quantity of jawbone is assessed to determine if bone grafting is needed at the site. Once the dentist has determined that a dental implant can be placed in the desired location, the patient will return for surgical procedures for the dental implant.
Two-Step Surgical Phase
Placement of the dental implants: An oral surgeon will fold back the gum and expose the underlying bone to prepare for insertion of the post. The amount of necessary bone preparation is determined by the number of implants being placed. The dental implants are then surgically inserted into the jawbone, and the gum is sutured. In about 3–6 months, the titanium post should be fully fused with the bone.
Placement of the replacement teeth: Once the posts have integrated or fused into the bone, a custom-made dental crown is placed over the exposed portion of the post. In some cases, dental implants anchor dental bridges or dentures.
Do dental implants hurt?
A local or general anesthetic may be used to help patients relax and comfortably undergo the treatment pain-free. Following the surgery, you may experience some discomforts such as:
Pain at the implant site
Minor bleeding at the implant site
Bruising of skin and gums near the implant site
Swelling gums and face
We recommend applying a cold ice pack on the skin over the area of the surgery to manage swelling. The oral surgeon may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medication and antibiotics. The knowledgeable & compassionate dental professionals serving Los Angeles, CA 90025 community will discuss at-home care and schedule follow-up care in more detail after your dental implant procedure. You should contact the oral surgeon if swelling, discomfort and any other problem persist and worsen in the days following the surgery.
How do I care for my dental implants?
Just like your natural teeth, practice proper oral care to maintain your dental implants. Proper at-home oral care including twice daily flossing & brushing combined with routine dental exam & professional cleaning will help maintain your dental implants as well as your overall oral health. Please contact our General & Cosmetic Dental Practice serving the Los Angeles, CA 90025 community to help you maintain healthy teeth, beautiful smiles & fresher breath with breeze.