Dental Implants in Pacific Palisades, CA
Even though our teeth are quite durable, they can still be damaged or lost in response to injury, infection, or decay. When you lose a tooth or several teeth, it can drastically affect your ability to eat and speak and alter the appearance of your smile.
Dental implants offer a way to replace lost or extracted teeth with prosthetic implants and crown restorations that look and function just like real teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are screw-like posts that are inserted into the jaw bone to support dental restorations such as crowns or bridges. Dental implants are typically made of titanium or titanium alloy, which is a biocompatible material.
Dental implants require a multi-step process: one where the root—the implant itself—is inserted, and another where the restorations are attached. Due to this multi-step structure, a dental implant procedure can take several months from start to finish. With new technology, and if biological conditions allow, the process can take much less time. Your dentist and surgeon will determine the time frame.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant:
- Is in good general and oral health
- Has adequate bone in the jaw to support the implant
- Has healthy gum tissue
- Is missing one or more teeth
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
Dental implants are placed in three steps:
1. Inserting the Root
An incision is made in the gum to expose the bone. A hole is drilled into the jawbone to create space for the dental implant post that will serve as the tooth root. This titanium post will be placed into the jawbone.
For the artificial root to become secure, the bone must fuse to the implant. This process is called osseointegration and can take anywhere from two to six months.
During this time, a temporary tooth can often be placed to maintain aesthetics and functionality.
2. Attaching the Abutment
Once the implant has integrated into the bone, an abutment is attached to the artificial tooth root. This abutment is what will eventually hold the crown restoration in place.
Following this step, the gum may need to heal for up to two weeks.
In some cases, an abutment is already attached to the titanium implant, and no extra step is needed.
3. Placing the New Tooth
Finally, the crown restoration is attached to the abutment and secured tightly.
"The office is beautiful."
What Is Recovery Like After Dental Implants?
After the initial operation, the healing process—osseointegration—can take between four and six months. Healing times can vary from person to person, depending on their body’s natural ability to heal. Some common side effects following the placement of one or more dental implants include:
- Swelling of the gums or cheeks
- Bruising on the gums
- Pain or tightness at the implant site
- Minor bleeding
Pain medications or antibiotics may be needed to enhance comfort and promote healing.
When Will I See the Results of My Dental Implants?
Results will be visible immediately following the attachment of the restoration. With proper upkeep, your dental implant will function just as well as natural teeth for many years.
It is important to take care of your dental implants just as you would your natural teeth. Proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, is necessary to maintain the health of your dental implants.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants provide many cosmetic and oral health benefits. They are a versatile option for replacing missing teeth and look, function, and feel like natural teeth. Patients with dental implants find that they are strong, stable, durable, and easy to care for. They also restore the ability to eat, speak, and smile with ease. Lastly, they serve as a comprehensive tooth replacement option that keeps your jawbone strong and healthy without straining the other teeth.
Are dental implants permanent?
Dental implants can last 20 or more years or even a lifetime with proper care. Caring for teeth restored with dental implants will require you to maintain oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and keeping up with regular dental appointments for cleaning and check-ups.
Am I too young for dental implants?
Typically, dental implants are recommended for patients over 18 years of age or until the jawbone structure is fully developed. Younger patients in adolescent or teen years may need to wait until there is ample support in the jaw.
How much do dental implants cost, and will insurance cover the cost?
The cost varies from patient to patient depending on the number and type of implants needed, the number of appointments needed, and other factors like bone loss, infection, etc., that must be addressed before the procedure. While the total cost for dental implants is relatively higher than other restorative options like dentures or bridgework, it provides a more long-term solution for missing teeth.
During your consultation, your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination and evaluate your concerns to determine your needs and associated fees. A portion of your dental implant treatment cost may qualify for insurance coverage. If not, there are a variety of options available to help cover your dental implants procedure cost.
What other dental services do the Palisades Dentists offer?
In addition to tooth restoration options like dental implants and dentures, the Palisades Dentists offer general and cosmetic dentistry services like teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and laser dentistry services.
Want to Learn More About Dental Implants?
If you are interested in getting dental implants and would like to learn more about your options in Pacific Palisades, California, please contact the Palisades Dentists at (310) 459-2303 or fill out our online contact form.