When a tooth is lost, it can trigger a cascade of issues. Teeth adjacent to the gap might shift, and the jawbone can resorb due to the lack of stimulation. This bone loss can change your facial appearance, giving it a gaunt look, making you appear older. It’s imperative to address missing teeth promptly to avert further complications.
Dental Implants: A Comprehensive Solution
A dental implant provides a lasting remedy for missing teeth. Unlike traditional dentures and bridges that only restore appearance, dental implants enhance both looks and function. They fuse to the jawbone, preventing bone loss from the absence of teeth, and offer a sturdy foundation for replacement teeth. This ensures you can savor your favorite foods with ease.
If you're dealing with missing teeth or are about to, we encourage you to reach out to our Dental Office in San Diego. Dr. Trevelin, a board-certified oral surgeon, is committed to helping you attain the complete and healthy smile you deserve.
Benefits of Dental Implants:
Prevents Bone Loss
The implant post stimulates the bone during chewing, preserving facial structure.
Implants are stable with no uncomfortable parts, letting you eat with ease.
Dental crowns are crafted to blend seamlessly with your existing teeth.
With proper care, dental implants can serve you for a lifetime.
Dental Implant Varieties:
Single Tooth Replacement
Perfect for replacing any tooth, provided there's ample jaw bone.
Multiple Teeth Replacement
Options include multiple implants or an implant-supported bridge.
For those missing most or all teeth.
Zygomatic, Zirconia, Pterygoid, and Mini Dental Implants offer solutions for unique cases.
The Dental Implant Procedure:
Your journey starts with a consultation where Dr. Trevelin evaluates your oral health and discusses your options. On the day of the procedure, after administering anesthesia, the implant is inserted. Over the following months, the implant integrates with your jawbone. Once healing is complete, you'll receive your final crown, completing your renewed smile.
To ensure your dental implant's success, it's essential to follow post-surgery care diligently:
- Do NOT disturb the wound. Avoid touching the wound or spitting for a few days after surgery. There may be a metal cap slightly protruding through the gum tissue.
- Some bleeding or redness is normal for 24 hours. You can control excessive bleeding (where your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call the office for further instructions.
- Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack (or a plastic bag or towel filled with ice) on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously, as much as possible, for the first 36 hours.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or foods. Soft foods and liquids can be consumed on the day of surgery. You may return to a normal diet 1–2 days after surgery unless otherwise directed.
- Warm salt water rinses can be made by mixing a ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and should be used at least 4–5 times a day, especially after meals.
- Brushing your teeth is no problem. Avoid disturbing the implant site until the soft tissue has healed. Be gentle initially with brushing near the surgical areas.
- Keep physical activities to a minimum for several days following surgery. Avoid bending over, heavy lifting, or straining. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Dental implants are designed to be a lasting addition to your mouth. Studies have shown high success rates for implants over the years, with most participants expressing high satisfaction. With proper care and regular dental check-ups, dental implants can efficiently serve for an average of 25 years, if not a lifetime.
Contact us at (858) 679-8918 for more information or to schedule your consultation.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are not teeth but prostheses used to replace missing teeth. They consist of three parts:
- A small titanium post inserted into the jawbone.
- An abutment, which connects to the implant.
- The artificial tooth/teeth.
Once the implant fuses with your bone, the abutment and artificial tooth are attached, providing a stable and natural-looking replacement.
Who qualifies for dental implants?
Almost anyone missing one or more teeth is a candidate. Consult a prosthodontist for personalized advice.
Benefits of dental implants?
Think of dental implants as a third set of permanent teeth. They offer:
- Durability, potentially lasting a lifetime.
- Enhanced appearance and confidence.
- The ability to enjoy any food.
- Being made of titanium, they're decay-resistant.
Are there drawbacks to dental implants?
There are potential risks like infection and inflammation. If there's insufficient bone, grafting may be required, increasing treatment cost. However, the benefits often outweigh the initial investment.
How much do implants cost? Is it covered by insurance?
The cost is comparable to a fixed bridge and varies based on individual needs and location. Some insurance plans may provide partial coverage, but it's essential to consult both your prosthodontist and insurance provider.
How successful are dental implants?
For healthy individuals with good oral hygiene, the success rate is often above 90-95%.
Do dental implants have longevity?
While they don’t suffer from decay like natural teeth, gum health is crucial. Proper home care and regular dental visits ensure implant longevity.
Are "metal-free" implants available?
There's no fully "metal-free" dental implant. Titanium, highly biocompatible and rarely allergenic, is the standard material.
What is the All-on-4® procedure?
All-on-4® is a treatment that replaces all teeth in one jaw using just 4 implants, beneficial for those with significant bone loss.
Can my dentures be converted into implants?
No, but implants can support and stabilize existing dentures if they're in good condition.
Are dental implants fixed or removable?
Dental implants are fixed firmly in the bone, mimicking natural teeth closely.
How do implants benefit denture wearers?
Implants can stabilize dentures, eliminating the need for adhesives. They can either snap onto the implants or be fixed permanently, only removable by a dentist.
What’s the average recovery time post-procedure?
Recovery varies based on the number of implants and individual health. While factors like bone grafting and underlying conditions can prolong recovery, most patients heal in six to nine months.
What's the financial aspect of dental implants?
On average, an implant costs between $1500-$6500, excluding the abutment and crown. Ensure you factor in all components when budgeting.
Does dental insurance cover the procedure?
Standard dental insurance typically doesn't cover implants. Some cosmetic dental plans may cover a portion of the cost.
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