Lost teeth can have a significant impact on your smile, making you self-conscious in social and professional situations alike. Dental implants are often the solution, providing you with the full set of teeth you need to be able to flash your pearly whites with confidence. With many options in dental implants today, you are certain to find implants that will meet your aesthetic goals and fit with your lifestyle.
Explaining Dental Implants
Dental implants are an effective way to replace teeth that have been lost due to periodontal disease, injury or other reasons. These titanium posts are surgically positioned into your jawbone, offering stable, permanent support for replacement teeth. Once the implants are secure in your jawbone, which may take a number of months, the replacement tooth can be placed on top of the implant. The result is a sturdy, natural smile that allows you to eat what you want with confidence.
Are You a Candidate?
Dental implants are typically recommended for patients that are in good general and oral health. The procedure also requires adequate bone for affixing the implants and absence of gum disease to ensure the implant procedure is successful. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or an entire mouth of missing teeth, depending on the specific needs of the patient.
About the Implant Procedure
Implants are frequently placed in a two-step procedure process. During the first appointment, the implants are surgically placed into the bone where the teeth are missing. These small metal posts provide the foundation needed to hold the artificial teeth in place. It will take a number of months for the implant to integrate with the bone and heal fully. During that time, you will likely be able to wear temporary dentures to cover up the space until your permanent replacement teeth can be put into place.
At the second procedure, your replacement teeth will be affixed to the implants. In some cases, that might be a single replacement tooth, while other patients will need a bridge to cover a number of missing teeth or even replace all of the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. Once the replacement teeth are placed, you can care for them just like you would your natural teeth to keep them looking their best.
Options in Dental Implants
At Southern California Center for Surgical Arts, we understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to dental implants. We offer a variety of options that allow us to customize treatment to the unique needs of each of our patients. Those options include:
This technique is an efficient way to replace a full set of teeth with minimal trauma to the gums and bone. The procedure allows us to place a full dental bridge using just four titanium implants. The All-on-4 procedure offers a number of potential benefits to patients requiring full teeth replacement:
- Can be performed even with some loss of bone volume without a bone graft
- Treatment is quicker and recovery time is shorter
- Temporary set of teeth can usually be placed on same day as implant surgery
- Final bridge will be stable enough to eat the foods you like without worry
- More comfortable and convenient than removable dentures
- Reduced cost for the procedure, since only four implants used
Studies on All-on-4 implants over the past decade have shown this procedure to be both safe and effective for patients requiring full teeth replacement. This procedure can improve your quality of life and your self-confidence for less time and money than standard implants.
This procedure allows us to place a full set of replacement teeth in a single, one-hour procedure. An initial evaluation and CT-scans provide the 3D imaging necessary to construct the replacement bridge prior to the patient’s implant appointment. This allows us to have your bridge ready for you when you come in for your implant procedure. After the implants are placed, we can affix the bridge over them in the same appointment.
There are a number of potential advantages of the Teeth-in-an-Hour for the right candidates:
- Procedure literally takes about one hour to complete
- No sutures needed after the implants are placed
- Fewer appointments required to complete the treatment
- Teeth are customized to fit the mouth perfectly
- Patients enjoy immediate functioning with their replacement teeth
- Less discomfort and shorter recovery time than other implant procedures
Implant Supported Overdenture
Denture wearers now have a better option than traditional, unsecured dentures of the past. Today, implant supported overdentures offer greater stability and confidence for denture wearers, with minimal surgery. The procedure utilizes at least two implants and a bar and clip apparatus to hold the denture in place much more effectively than adhesives used with standard denture devices.
Benefits of implant supported overdentures include:
- Greater stability, giving you more confidence and allowing you to eat the foods you want
- Cost effective solution over individual implants or dental bridge
- Less need for bone grafting, since fewer implants are used
- A replacement arch can be placed at the same appointment as the implants
Bone Grafting for Implants
Some patients may not have sufficient bone to provide dental implants with the foundation they need. In these situations, bone grafting may be recommended to ensure the implant procedure is successful. Bone grafting can be performed using your own bone or processed bone, depending on the preferences of you and your oral surgeon.
A bone graft is usually performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia. In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same time the bone graft is performed. Other times, the area will need to heal for a number of months before the implant placement can be done.
Missing teeth can affect your appearance and your self-confidence. Fortunately, a wealth of options in dental implants today can help to restore your smile and function with just one or more appointments at your dentist’s office. If you would like to learn more about these implant procedures, contact Southern California Center for Surgical Arts at 818-696-4425.