Dental Implants in Los Angeles
If you have missing teeth or need to stabilize your dentures, your best route may be to get dental implants.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial replacement tooth root. It is used to hold a restoration to replace teeth since it provides a firm foundation for removable or permanent replacement teeth which are made to closely resemble the natural teeth. Dental implants are made of titanium.
In recent years, dental implants have become very popular as an alternative to traditional implants and bridges. With a success rate of over 95%, dental implants are an excellent choice for replacing your missing teeth.
Types of Dental Implants
There are several types of dental implants, however, the most widely accepted and successful implant today is the osseointegrated implant, based on the discovery by Swedish Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark that titanium can be successfully fused into bone.
This forms a structural and functional connection between the living bone and the implant. A variation on the implant procedure is the implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported denture.
There are two types of dental implants which are already in use by dentists.
Endosteal dental implant
This is the most common type of dental implant used today. It is done in the jaw bone and used mostly with patients with removable dentures and bridges. A blade or cylinder is surgically inserted in the jawbone.
This is placed on the jaw and uses a mesh of metals protruding from the gum to hold firmly the inserted prosthesis. Subperiosteal is normally recommended for patients whose bone heights are short. They are also widely used in patients who for one reason or the other cannot put on conventional dentures.
How Dental Implants Work
The way implants work is that a titanium screw is placed inside your jawbone. This may sound horrible, but the process can be surprisingly gentle. At LA Dental Clinic, we can sedate you so you wake up when the procedure is finished.
Most people have no problem getting a dental implant with just local anesthetic. Some say it is easier than having a tooth pulled.
Once this screw is placed, the bone will “fuse” with it. The bone will wrap around it and hold it similar to the root of a tooth. This process is called osseointegration. It can take a few months and it is completely painless. You won’t even know that anything is happening while your body grows bone around the implant.
So what we get is a root shaped titanium piece that we can put the crown of the tooth on. The process can take up to 6 months or it can be done in one day. It depends on the philosophy of your dentist and the location and bone of the implant.
Uses for Dental Implants
Dental Implants replace lost teeth. If you have had teeth extracted, you can replace them with dental implants.
If you have lost teeth due to an accident, you can replace them with dental implants. Even if you have bone loss and have lost teeth due to lack of bone support, you can still replace them with dental implants in some cases.
Another way dental implants are used is to stabilize dentures. If you or someone you know has full dentures, you can see firsthand what a big pain the dentures can be. It can be hard to eat with them and they move around all over the place. They can rub on your gums and cause sores in your mouth.
Yes, you can keep getting a new set of dentures every few years or you can “tighten” them by using dental implants.
Sometimes just two dental implants are enough to give stability to a lower denture. The procedure is fast and the cost can be very affordable.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have many merits which makes it the most convenient solution for teeth replacement.
It comes with improved comfort. This is so because it makes the replacement teeth very strong, firm and enable it work just like a natural one.
Dental implants have good appearance and look natural. This has also been improved with the fact that they are made to fuse with the bone and create permanent and reliably stable bonds.
Another good thing about dental implants is that they do not use other teeth as support. They stand alone and prevent any alteration of the nearby teeth. This has great advantages to the oral health of the teeth.
These dental implants have perfect fitting that do not interfere with your speech or use additional adhesives just to keep your teeth intact.
They also last long, with many years of life-time and are generally easier to eat with.
Why You Should Consider Dental Implants
Here are a few reasons why dental implants are the best alternative for replacing your missing teeth.
1. You don’t have to remove them.
The first reason why dental implants are so great is that they feel just like your own natural teeth.
Just like your own natural teeth, dental implants stay in your mouth permanently. You don’t have to take them out and clean them and food will not get stuck around them. They are a part of your mouth and your teeth just like your natural teeth.
2. They actually preserve the bone around your teeth.
The second reason why dental implants are good is that they help to preserve the bone in your jaws where you have lost teeth.
Did you know that your body is very smart and efficient?? Once you lose your teeth, your body doesn’t waste energy keeping bone in that area. This caused the bone to decrease around the areas where there are missing teeth.
One or two teeth may not be a big deal, but over the years, you will see your face “cave in” and give you the old person look. Having good bone support in your jaws keeps your facial features from collapsing as much.
3. You don’t have to damage other teeth.
The third reason why dental implants are a great choice is that they don’t rely on your other teeth for support.
Traditionally, when someone had a missing tooth, we would put a “bridge” to replace the missing tooth. This meant that we would hang a tooth on two healthy tooth next to the missing tooth area.
Of course many people chose this alternative over having to take their teeth in and out of their mouth with removable dentures.
Gum Health. Since the dental implant has to be anchored into the gum tissue and jawbone, people who have extensive gingivitis or gum disease will have to receive treatment before their dentist could start the dental implant procedure. Bone augmentation or bone replacement may be necessary depending on the extent of the gum disease.
Immune System. The dental implant procedure is very invasive and involves cutting out gum tissue as well as drilling into jawbones. While the pain aspect of the procedure can be effectively addressed with the help of anesthetics a person’s ability to heal properly should also be part of the criteria for selecting good candidates for dental implants. For instance, immunocompromised individuals, i.e. those with HIV or taking immunosuppressants, may have an impaired ability to heal the wounds generated during the procedure, which could lead to high propensity for infections.
Lifestyle. The lifestyle of some patients may also make it more difficult for them to recover from a dental implant procedure. For instance, people who have excessive consumption of alcohol could have an impaired healing ability. This is also the same case with people who smoke heavily.
Medications. People who are being medicated for stroke and high blood pressure may be ingesting anticoagulants, which can impede with the natural clotting ability of the patient. It is important, therefore, for patients who are undergoing dental implant procedures to disclose the list of medications which they currently are taking.
Bleeding Tendencies. People with hypertension and those with haemophilia are susceptible to bleeding and any invasive procedure could be potentially fatal unless done in an actual hospital facility where emergency treatments are readily available.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants
Q. Am I a candidate for dental implants?
A: If you’re missing one or more teeth, and have healthy gums and overall good oral health, you’re probably a good candidate for dental implants.
A dental implant and a crown can replace a missing tooth in a very natural way. If you’re missing several teeth, you may want to consider dental implants with a bridge or as a way to hold loose dentures in place more securely.
Even if you’re already wearing dentures, adding two or four dental implants can make the dentures (especially the lower one) MUCH tighter and it won’t move around anymore while you’re eating.
Q. What are the advantages of dental implants?
A: Because dental implants look and feel like your own teeth, the main advantage is the improved look and feel of the teeth. Many people say dental implants have transformed the way they eat, chew and even smile!!
Dental implants will allow you to enjoy eating a healthy diet that includes vegetables and fruits that are hard to chew with dentures or with no teeth.
Also, because they don’t cover the roof of your mouth, like dentures, dental implants allow you to taste the foods you eat much better and you will find that you speak better too without having to worry about your dentures coming loose or moving around.
Another less known advantage of dental implants is that they will help your body preserve the bone of your jaws. Because they act like a natural tooth, the bone will not resorb like it does with dentures or with no teeth present.
Maintaining the bone in your face will help your face look “fuller” and will prevent the sinking in of the lips and mouth that happens as we age.
Q. What is the typical cost of an implant?
A: Although it is hard to say with accuracy, the general idea is that implants range between $3000 and $5000. I know this is a large range, but dentists are always competing to get more clients into their offices. At LA Dental Clinic, our price for an implant is $3750.
The only advice I would have is to choose someone experienced that you trust who is reasonable.
If you need additional procedures such as adding bone to the area or if you’re missing several teeth, the cost will vary. You can always get a few consultations before you decide.
Dental Implants Procedure – at LA Dental Clinic
In its most basic form the placement of an osseointegrated implant requires a preparation into the bone using precision drills with highly regulated speed to prevent burning or pressure necrosis of the bone.
After a variable amount of time to allow the bone to grow onto the surface of the implant (osseointegration) a tooth or teeth can be placed on the implant.
The amount of time required to place an implant will vary depending on the difficulty of the individual situation, but it is usually between 1-2 hours.
The amount of time required for an implant to become osseointegrated is a hotly debated topic. Consequently the amount of time that practitioners allow the implant to heal before placing a restoration on it varies widely.
In general, practitioners allow 2–6 months for healing but preliminary studies show that early loading of implant may not increase early or long term complications. Here at Los Angeles Dental, we always err towards the side of caution and give you plenty of time to heal.
Get A Dental Implant Consultation Now at LA Dental Clinic!
We hope you’ve the information from this page that you need to consider taking the next step. Contact us to book a consultation and we can answer your questions!