Dental implants are giving hope to those who have lost the fullness of their smile from missing teeth. We want you to not only be proud of your grin, but to be able to smile without considering whether people notice your missing teeth. Dental implants give you a chance to build a foundation for teeth that look, feel and function the same as natural teeth. No longer worry about what you eat with your prostheses, or even about prosthetic upkeep. We want to help you get back the smile you used to love and preserve your natural facial structure with dental implants.
Your teeth have more of an affect on your body than you might think. When your oral health is taken care of, it adds a balance to the body, but something like missing a tooth can affect the way you bite, speak and eat. These habits influence the way we treat others as well.
When you lose teeth and begin to rely on your remaining teeth for essential functions, they are much more prone to being damaged, worn out or lost. Headaches and jaw pain are also common in people who have missing teeth. The great new is, dental implants save your bone structure, oral health and appearance. Be in control of how you look, feel and interact with others, and have your condition treated by Dr. Elias today.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are essentially replacements for your roots, whose goal is to keep teeth anchored strong in the gums so they can perform their primary function of chewing food. Dental implants are made from titanium and are tiny posts surgically placed into the jawbone in the place of the missing roots.
You may be thinking, how does a titanium rod qualify as a replacement for the roots of my teeth? When the rod is inserted into the jaw, the bone will bond with the titanium and create that same strong foundation roots do for the artificial teeth you will have.
Besides the fact that dental implants allow your artificial teeth to function as well as your real teeth would, when compared to prosthetics dental implants are far superior for comfort, form and function. Implants preserve your natural facial structure, so you will not experience any difference in your natural face as you may with a full set of dentures. Further, implants prevent bone deterioration that often occurs with missing teeth.
The surgery for the placement of dental implants is typically done in two sessions. The first is to place the implants and the second attaches the artificial roots and artificial teeth. However, Dr. Elias offers the latest in surgical technology and is now able to place single stage dental implants, saving you time and allowing your process to be less of a labor and more of an exciting new beginning.
During this surgery, the implants are placed into your jawbone, beneath the surface of the gums. Following this placement, small posts will be attached to the implants, slightly protruding through the gums. These rods are your new “roots” and will act as such for your custom set of teeth when it is time to insert them.
Because the process of the dental implant fusing with the jawbone is so gradual, it is best to allow a minimum of 6 weeks before artificial teeth are placed.
Dental implant surgery is a team effort, and Dr. Elias will be working with your dentist during the process. Dr. Elias performs the actual surgery and any necessary extractions and bone grafting; however, your dentist will be fitting and making the permanent prosthesis, as well as any temporary dentures you may need to wear throughout the surgical process.
What Types of Prosthesis are Available?
Your options for prosthesis vary depending on the number of teeth in need of replacement. A crown, or single prosthesis, replaces one missing tooth, meaning that each individual prosthetic tooth is attached to its own dental implant. A fixed bridge, or partial prosthesis may replace two or more teeth, requiring far fewer implants than crowns. A fixed bridge, or complete dental prosthesis, will replace all of the teeth in your upper or lower jaw at once.
The recommended implant type will be discussed during your consultation, when Dr. Elias can note your medical history, your goals and your current condition when advising you in your surgical options.
Bone Grafting for Dental Implants
Bone grafting is recommended for dental implants in patients who have low bone density. This low density can stem from several causes, including the length of time since your tooth extraction. If you lost your teeth naturally and have not had implants placed, there is no root stimulating the strength of the bone beneath. Your bone density may decrease by up to one-third in just one year! Your front teeth are especially prone to low density and may need a bone graft regardless of the length of time since extraction. Through diagnostic exams, Dr. Elias will determine whether you are in need of bone grafting and will discuss your options following that diagnosis.
Bone grafting will give you a greater guarantee of success with your dental implants and improve their longevity. Though it adds a minor step to your treatment process, it is well worth it to create an ideal implant site now and not in the future when you may be more prone to infection and complications.
How Permanent is Permanent?
Taking care of your oral hygiene is essential in the longevity of your dental implants and permanent prosthesis. Continue a regular routine of brushing and flossing, and be sure to see your dentist and specialists as often as is recommended. If you keep these habits, your implants should last the rest of your life.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants do so much more than hold your prosthesis in place; they are a commodity that can change your life and improve your happiness. Regaining a permanent set of teeth, no longer worrying about eating certain foods in public, smiling in photos or any extra care to prosthesis. You will once again feel “normal” loving to show off that big, beautiful smile!
All-on-4® Treatment Concept
All-on-4® treatment concept is a method of placing dental implants for patients needing a full set of teeth. With over a decade of successful results, this strategy uses a full dental bridge to replace your missing teeth, all supported by only 4 dental implants. This simplifies the surgical procedure and ensures greater stability in the bone due to less trauma, especially as you age. With this method, cost and treatment time are reduced and patients experience greater comfort and success with their implants. Dr. Elias will discuss your options if your medical history and current condition make you a candidate for All-on-4®.
Advantages of the All-on-4® Treatment Concept:
- Cost-effective: Your new permanent prosthesis will only require 4 implants per jaw. Fewer implants automatically means lower cost!
- Minimized need for bone grafting: The angled placement of your implants provides a secure anchor for the replacement teeth, reducing the likelihood that bone grafting will be necessary.
- Faster treatment and healing time: This is an all-in-one treatment! Your replacement arch may be attached to your implants immediately after they are placed.
Implant Supported Overdenture
Another method available for your implant surgery is implant supported overdenture. Similar to the All-on-4® method, this procedure replaces your missing teeth with one full dental bridge supported by implants. This method also reduces cost and the amount of dental implants needed. Implant supported overdentures are connected by a variety of attachments, chosen dependent on your case. These attachments include bar and clip, ball, magnets and resilient stud attachments. Dr. Elias will discuss these options in great detail if this method of dental implantation is right for you.
Enjoy lower costs, shorter treatment time and less chance of needing bone grafting with this overdenture procedure!
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants, also called denture-retention implants, are designed to securely hold dentures in place for up to ten years. These implants are less costly than traditional dental implants and can also be used for single tooth replacement instead of crowns or bridges. As you may be able to guess by their name, mini dental implants are smaller than traditional ones, but are able to keep your denture or crown firmly in place the same way full dental implants can.
What’s the difference, then?
- Longevity: Traditional dental implants last over 30 years, up to a lifetime. Mini dental implants last up to 10 years and will need to be replaced.
- Cost: Mini dental implants are significantly more affordable.
- Non-surgical: The procedure to place mini dental implants is minimally invasive, requiring no incisions and lasting only 2 hours. You can walk away with your flawless smile in only one appointment!
Teeth-In-An-Hour™ is a method of placing functioning teeth on dental implants in one hour-long procedure. This new technology has made the procedure safer and more precise than ever, plus the prosthesis is ready to be set the same day as surgery.
This method of dental implant surgery is performed arthroscopically, benefiting you in minimizing postoperative pain, discomfort and swelling. Many patients resume their normal activities the next day.
What makes this strategy so unique is the CAT scan that is taken before surgery. This creates a 3-D model that allows Dr. Elias to plan your surgery minute-by-minute before you even show up for your appointment. This improves safety and is efficient and effective.
During your consultation, be sure to ask Dr. Elias if he believes this procedure may be the right option for you.
If you are interested in dental implants, call the Southern California Center for Surgical Arts at 818-696-4425. We can schedule you a consultation with Dr. Elias, who will guide you step-by-step through your entire implant process.