The Preferred Method for Replacing Teeth
Dental implants have become the most popular teeth replacement solution among patients and dentists alike due to their restorative and cosmetic capabilities. Implants are made of three components: a titanium screw which we place in the jawbone, an abutment which connects the screw to the crown, and the crown, the final restoration. While creating a completely natural look, dental implants restore the way in which teeth feel and operate.
If you are missing a tooth, you are not alone. Approximately 125 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and thankfully, most are excellent candidates for dental implants. At Bayside Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we understand the embarrassment and anxiety that can result from losing a permanent tooth. If you are fed up with your current situation and are looking for a better, more permanent solution, please call us to find out more about dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Why Dental Implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.
A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than 35 years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Implant Placement Planning
Our expert implantologists take CBCT (cone beam computerized tomography) scans and carefully analyze them for precise implant placement planning—right here in our office. Why do our doctors gather information with our CBCT scans? We use the information to:
- Evaluate bone and vital structures.
- Verify the adequacy of bone mass for implant placement.
- Protect all viable structure and nerves.
The surgical template that we create with our CBCT images helps us to determine the best locations for placing each implant.
Are You A Candidate For Implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
Dental Implants — The Process
- Evaluation and Treatment Planning:
Our doctors begin by gathering detailed information, including images and medical and dental histories. We are careful to leave no stone unturned so that we have a clear picture of your current health as we create a customized treatment plan that will best meet your specific needs and goals.
- Tooth Removal:
If the tooth in question is not missing, we remove it, and in some instances, place the implant during the same surgery. If your jawbone is lacking structure and mass, we wait to place the implant until after we graft in supporting bone.
- Bone Grafting:
A bone graft is a common treatment that we implement to strengthen the target area. Bone grafting typically requires several months of healing before the implant can be placed.
- Dental Implant Placement:
We insert a titanium screw into your jawbone during the implant procedure. To do so, we offer a variety of sedation options, and we make sure you are comfortable and anesthetized during the 1-2-hour surgery.
- Bone Fusion:
Upon completion of the implant surgery, we cover the area with the surrounding soft tissue and allow it to fuse with the bone over the next 3 months. Our body’s ability to fully integrate with foreign material, such as titanium, is truly amazing. This miraculous process is called Osseointegration.
- Final Crown:
After osseointegration is complete, we place an abutment on the implant which connects to the final crown restoration.
What Types Of Prosthesis Are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Dr. Khalil, Dr. Lin or Dr. Vu performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Drs. Khalil, Lin or Vu will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Drs. Khalil, Lin or Vu are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Drs. Khalil, Lin or Vu performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
Pros and Cons…and More Pros
Dental implant placement is a routine procedure that poses very few risks. With a success rate of up to 98%, this trusted and proven treatment continues to remain the preferred tooth replacement method while continually making advancements. The chance of minimal side effects–infection, injury to adjacent teeth, etc.—is very low.
Waiting to get an implant until after your jaw has finished growing and you’ve completed all straightening procedures, such as braces, will lead to fewer negative side effects because the implant’s fusion to the bone makes the tooth less mobile, thereby limiting further movement.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Comfort and Safety
At Bayside Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, your comfort and safety are our top priority, so we go the extra mile to make sure you feel as little discomfort as possible. During the procedure, you will be anesthetized at all times, so you won’t feel a thing. Our patients are pleasantly surprised at how little pain is involved in the dental implant procedure. If you experience any minimal post-operative discomfort, it can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without general anesthesia.
Can I drive after dental implant surgery?
All patients who are sedated must arrange for a ride home after their implant procedure. If you choose to use local anesthetic only, you are free to drive yourself home. Final crown placement is a simple procedure that does not necessitate anesthesia, so patients are permitted to drive after that procedure.
Dental Implants: Counting The Cost
Drs. Kahlil, Lin, and Vu, our experts in implantology, understand that choosing between today’s available tooth replacement methods can be quite difficult. It is our goal, at Bayside Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, to help our patients make an informed decision about replacing their teeth—and feel good about it.
Lasting a Lifetime
When properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime. When compared to alternative teeth replacement methods, such as dentures or bridges, they last 2-3 times longer. Maintaining consistent oral health habits—brushing and flossing twice daily—is key to long-lasting dental implants.
To create a personalized treatment plan that zeros in on your needs and covers all your concerns, Drs. Khalil, Lin, and Vu partner with specialists and general dentists in our area. Our use of advanced technology and the latest techniques help to ensure that longevity is a key component of the dental implants we place each day.
A little-known fact: Regular stimulation, as is done when chewing, biting and speaking, keeps the jawbone from deteriorating. So, if a tooth is missing, these functions cannot be executed, and deterioration sets in immediately. A year without a tooth can result in a 25% loss of supporting jawbone. Thanks to dental implants—titanium screws that fuse with bone—stimulation is provided, and jawbone mass is saved and maintained.
Living Your Best Life
Perhaps the greatest advantage of dental implants is the freedom they provide. The luxury of eating whatever you want, laughing with reckless abandon, and smiling ear to ear—these are priceless benefits indeed.
For more information about the cost of dental implants or to schedule a consultation with Drs. Kahlil, Lin, and Vu, call our Berkeley office: Berkeley Office Phone Number 510-548-9114.