DENTAL IMPLANTS AT SMILES4OC, COSTA MESA
If you have lost a tooth or even several, you do have the option of restoring your smile and your function back to perfection. Dental implants from Costa Mesa, CA are one of the latest, most permanent tooth restoration solutions available. Implantation is one of many ways for patients to enjoy replacement of missing teeth.
WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
Dental implants are titanium posts made to act as a tooth root replacement. They are placed right into the bone of the jaw and can be restored with a crown, bridge, or denture. These versatile restorations are made to last a lifetime with proper attention, which includes regular evaluations at the dentist to monitor bone health and watch for development of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can result in bone loss, which can cause the implant to fail. Patients who are considering dental implants should determine if they are good candidates by undergoing a series of x-rays to check for bone density. Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes will evaluate patients to decide if this is an appropriate option for each individual patient, as it is not a “one size fits all” solution for missing teeth.
COMMON METHODS OF TOOTH REPLACEMENT
The traditional method of replacing a missing tooth involves anchoring a bridge to the teeth on each side of the space. Those teeth must be crowned, and that requires reducing or grinding down otherwise healthy tooth structure. However, an implant is a free-standing artificial tooth. Placement of an implant does not damage the adjacent teeth. Another option for patients to consider is a denture, which uses a metal and acrylic framework to snap into place within the dental arch. Many patients do not like the idea of a removable restoration and instead are interested in dental implants, which provide permanent replacement without special care and attention.
AM I A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR A DENTAL IMPLANT?
Following a consultation and thorough examination, Drs. Thomas Rolfes, Christina Do, Cary Dunne and Tim Rolfes will consider whether an implant is the appropriate treatment for you. We will x-ray the area in need of treatment to determine if the bone density is adequate to support the implant. We may suggest a 3-D cone beam scan that will give us the pertinent information of where your nerves are. If the nerves are not pinpointed, this may lead to some complications in the implant procedure.
Your implant placement visit will be scheduled after all your records are taken and ensured for success. You will then receive the implant in the missing tooth space. We allow a few months for healing and to be sure the implant has integrated securely into the bone.
After determination that the implant has integrated, you will then be ready for the implant crown. First, an abutment is placed. This connector holds your new tooth securely and acts as the attachment between the implant and the crown. Then, the crown, which is prepared specifically to match your natural teeth esthetically and adjusted for proper bite, is fitted onto the abutment.
Rest assured this whole procedure is performed with state-of-the-art anesthesia.
HOW TO EXTEND THE LIFESPAN OF A DENTAL IMPLANT
A commitment to home care is important to the longevity of your implant. You will need to brush and floss daily, and see your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups. Smoking, poor diet, and poor oral hygiene can shorten the lifespan of your implant.
Your new tooth is very durable and solid. It looks, feels, and functions just like your natural tooth. Also, with proper home care, it will last a lifetime! We encourage patients to learn about implants and how they need to be cared for to ensure their longevity. Without proper attention, patients may be at risk of losing their implants and requiring alternative solutions. A dental implant is a wise investment and should be cared for as such.
WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH BONE FOR AN IMPLANT?
Dental implants require patients to have sufficient bone structure to ensure the implant will stay in place. The implant derives strength and its foundation from the bone. When patients are evaluated by the dentist and have been determined to not have enough bone for successful placement, they have two options: choose another tooth replacement solution or discuss the advantages of bone grafting. Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes may suggest bone grafting for patients who are serious about moving forward with a dental implant and are ready to make the change to prepare the smile for this treatment. Bone grafting uses real or synthetic bone materials to add to the jaw, and requires time for the bone to grow and fuse to the graft. This builds up the bone of the jaw to prepare it for the placement of implants. Once this has been done, patients will then be able to go ahead with their dental implant procedure, during which osseointegration will continue to build the bone around the restoration and improve the stability and strength of the implant.
DISCUSS DENTAL IMPLANTS FOR MISSING TOOTH REPLACEMENT
Whether you are interested in a permanent option for tooth replacement or want a treatment that will require minimal care and attention, we encourage patients near Costa Mesa, CA to ask our team of professionals about the benefits of dental implants. We can be reached for an appointment by calling (714) 557-0700
and by visiting our office in Suite J at 1530 Baker Street. Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, Cary J. Dunne, and Timothy J. Rolfes can work with individuals to help them choose the best possible solution for restoring and rehabilitating the smile to improve function, health, and appearance.