On this Page:
- What is a Dental Implant?
- Are They Right for Anyone?
- Why Are They Needed?
- The Procedure
- Post Surgery Care
- Not Recommended If
- Dental Implants Costa Mesa
Dental implants consist of titanium screws of different shapes and sizes (diameter & length) that are positioned in the jaw. After placement, they begin to fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration which usually takes three to six months. When they are healed and firmly embedded in the jaw then the restoration is placed.
Following a proper diagnostic and surgical protocol, without causing any discomfort to the patient, the titanium screw is placed in the jawbone. Upper jaw restorations are easily achieved and implants can support full mouth replacements as well. Artificial roots restorations have proved to have the highest rate of success compared to other options as well as being safe. They look and function just like natural teeth, and with proper care can last many years.
- Possible candidates for this procedure should have overall good oral hygiene.
- Diabetics or those taking other systemic medication are not necessarily excluded from treatment, as long as their condition is under control and does not lead to any oral and maxillofacial surgery risks.
- Adequate dense jaw bone must be present; if not then a graft can be placed at the location of the implant. A sinus lift may be necessary to move the sinus up in order to make room in the upper jaw for bone grafting.
- Not be affected by any kind of periodontal disease
- Be a non-smoker, or willing to stop smoking, especially during osseointegration when the artificial roots are fusing with the jaw.
- Be of good overall general health
- Committed to healthy lifestyle habits, a routine oral hygiene regimen, and post-surgical visits to the dentist.
- They help avoid bone loss around the area of the missing tooth.
- They prevent gum recession around the site.
- They restore proper chewing of food.
- They do not require grinding down the natural teeth adjacent to the gap.
- They are more secure and reliable because fixed dentures do not require any adhesives.
- They help to preserve the appearance of your natural facial contours and prevent sunken cheeks.
- The teeth in a day technique can allow in placing restorations the same day as your extractions.
- Tooth loss can affect both eating and the way you look.
- The best candidates for this solution are often those affected by tooth loss or decay.
- Denture wearers who are tired of the limitations on eating and speaking also make good candidates for these tooth replacements.
- Bone naturally begins to resorb after tooth loss; dental implants mimic the stimulation provided by natural tooth roots which aids in preventing resorption.
- Adjacent teeth can be affected by the space left from absent teeth, leaving them vulnerable to fracture and cracking.
- Implants prevent supra-eruption of natural teeth in the opposite arch that is caused by lack of antagonist teeth.
- Dentures are not the most effective way of preventing shifting or sunken cheeks.
- The new restorations will improve appearance, eating and speaking, leading to a more enjoyable quality of life.
Permanent tooth surgery requires that either one, or multiple titanium posts, depending on the number of teeth being replaced, are inserted into the jawbone using pressure controlled drills. For full mouth implants, a dental extraction for all remaining teeth will be performed. In some cases, the implant dentist may opt for platform switching, which is using thinner diameter implants, to preserve alveolar bone levels around the posts.
Some may require certain preparatory procedures before artificial roots can be placed. For example, a patient without sufficient jawbone density may require bone grafting to create a strong base for the placement. Grafting does affect the timeline as it requires a healing period of 6 to 9 months.
The healing process usually takes about 4 to 6 months for bone and gums to fuse around the artificial root during osseointegration. During this recovery phase the patient will have several appointments with the dentist to assess the overall healing.
During this time, the lab will fabricate a customized restoration which can be placed upon the abutment as soon as site is completely healed. Once the new restorations are placed, the patient will have a beautiful smile that can, with proper care, last a lifetime.
At Dentistry @ Its Finest, our staff is proud to offer several types of permanent teeth implants:
- Any discomfort usually should subside within the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Healing time can be sped up with pain medication and moist heat.
- Eat a soft diet for the first few days and avoid strenuous physical activity.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with gentle strokes to avoid opening up the sutures.
- Use a special mouthwash to help eliminate oral bacteria.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day.
- Once the gums are fully healed, take care for your restorations just like your natural teeth by brushing them at least twice a day and flossing at least once.
- Special brushes and floss can help clean the hard-to-reach sides of your restorations.
- Schedule routine exams and cleanings.
- With proper hygiene and dental care, your new implants could last the rest of your life.
- Presence of certain medical conditions that may create serious postoperative complications during surgery, such as heart disease.
- Patient is currently undergoing any treatment for cancer or certain bone diseases
- Patient is following certain immunosuppressive therapy for any organ transplant
- Not recommended for children since their jawbones have not yet fully developed
If you are a senior you can learn more here: Dental Implants for Seniors – over 65, 70, 80.
If you are in or near Costa Mesa, Orange County CA, make an appointment to visit our dental office for a consultation. We employ state of the art dental equipment and a facility, creating a relaxing experience and safe environment for your appointment and surgical procedure. We look forward to our continued service and to providing the highest quality of care to our patients and neighbors.
Dr. Peter Refela, DDS provides a variety of services, including dental implants, gum procedures, and sinus lifts, among other treatments, at our Costa Mesa office. He is a periodontist and a fellow of the American Academy of Periodontology and a member of the California Society of Periodontists, Western Society of Periodontology, American Dental Association, and California Dental Association. In addition to his education, he continues to stay abreast of advances in dental technology with advanced courses and conferences.
At Dentistry @ Its Finest, our number one priority is to give you the smile you deserve in an atmosphere that is pleasant and accommodating. Helping people in the Orange County area and beyond, our excellent team of dentists and friendly specialized staff are knowledgeable of pre and post dental implantation care, ensuring a speedy recovery for your new, permanent smile.