An Overview of Dental Implants

Dental implants are the best replacement option for missing teeth, especially if you’re looking to retain the look of your natural teeth. Though they were once reserved only for patients who had lost just one tooth, dental implants have become more commonplace and affordable in recent years, and today they can replace several missing teeth at once. If you’re considering getting dental implants, here’s what you need to know about them.

Missing teeth affect many areas of your life, from self-confidence to everyday comfort. Dental implants can bring back a full and healthy smile without sacrificing function. It’s one of today’s most advanced dental procedures—and it’s also one of our favorite ways to get people back on track with a smile they’ll love.

Benefits of Dental Implants

There are many ways you can replace missing teeth, including with dentures or dental bridges. Dentures aren’t for everyone. Dentures can be cumbersome, uncomfortable, and challenging to clean if you’re missing multiple teeth, especially as they age.

People who have missing teeth often assume they’ll need dentures. But what many people don’t realize is that modern dentistry offers a great alternative that provides all of your natural teeth’s function and comfort in the form of dental implants.

Dental implants act as an anchor for a replacement tooth or set of teeth, restoring your bite and oral health while saving you money compared to dentures. They are a good option for replacing missing teeth because they have a long lifespan, often 20 years or more, which means you won’t need to worry about investing in a new set of teeth anytime soon. There are three main types of implants: abutment-supported implants, implant-supported overdentures, and osseointegrated implants (commonly known as surgically placed implants).

Each one requires slightly different preparation and recovery time, but they’re very long-lasting no matter which type you get. And, because dental implants fuse with your jawbone, they can withstand greater force than dentures or other options. Implants also give you an increased range of motion and feel more natural than other tooth-replacement methods. 

Cost Considerations

It’s important to consider dental implants cost and material type when choosing a dental implant dentist. There are two primary types of implants: titanium and zirconium. The titanium implants are considered stronger than zirconium, but they do come at a higher price. You should also take into account additional costs like laboratory work and surgical fees. Fortunately, most patients get multiple procedures covered by their dental insurance, but your specific plan will vary based on coverage options in your area. If you have questions about what particular services your plan covers, we would be happy to answer any questions before treatment so you know what’s covered before moving forward with any dental implant procedure(s).

What is the Dental Implant Process Like?

We’ll first schedule a consultation with Dr. Ray Hatami, our dentist in West Hills when you visit our office. He will examine your jawbone and gums, as well as any existing dental structures, so he can decide if dental implants are right for you. Dr. Hatami will ask for X-rays of your upper and lower jaws from previous visits or from an outside provider that has treated you in the past. If no images are available, we will take them at the time of your implant consultation. With these images, he can plan out his course of treatment based on what’s already present.

If you are indeed a candidate for dental implants, receiving implants involves two steps: first, an implant is surgically placed into your jawbone beneath your gums; then, a prosthetic tooth anchored into that implant will be attached. These steps are spaced out over multiple months to allow your body to grow new bone around the implant.

Dental Implant FAQ’s

Who is not suitable for dental implants?

Depending on your medical history, if you have any signs of bone loss or problems with your gums, you could be unsuitable for dental implants because dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, which needs to be solid and healthy for successful treatment. If your bone or gum tissue is not suitable, it will not heal properly after surgery and can cause problems later. Also, Patients with poorly controlled diabetes or heart disease should not get dental implants.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

While dental implants are very safe, there is always a risk involved with any medical procedure. If you’re worried about dental implants, let us know about your concerns, and we’ll be happy to address them as best we can.

What are the Downsides of Dental Implants?

Because dental implants involve surgery, there are a few potential downsides to consider. Patients typically have a more extended period of adjustment and healing following implant surgery than they do following a traditional filling or crown procedure. In addition, dental implants can be slightly more expensive than other types of restorations. 

Can Your Mouth Reject an Implant?

Some patients are at higher risk of implant rejection than others, so if you have a history of tooth loss due to periodontal disease, smoking, or other causes, it’s important to discuss these factors with us (your dentist) before you undergo implant surgery. Once your doctor clears you for dental implants, make sure you stay on top of any oral health issues that may affect them. You can ensure a successful replacement by taking care of your mouth before and after dental implant surgery.

Ready to Transform Your Smile?

If you’re missing or have lost one or more teeth, dental implants are an excellent way to replace them—and they look just like natural teeth! If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants and what they can do for you, talk with our dental team. Give us a call today! They can help determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants.