Dental implants are the best and easiest method to replace teeth due to a large cavity, a broken tooth, a loose tooth, tooth injuries, or periodontal disease. Placing a dental implant requires care, accuracy, and the use of advanced equipment for a successful implant. Washington Dental in Los Angeles, CA offers this dental implant service with top-notch expertise to minimize any chances of dental implant failure. Our dentists are experienced and will make your dental implant procedure as easy and comfortable as possible. We also offer free dental implant consultations and digital X-rays for all new patients.
What Is A Dental Implant?
Generally, dental implants are the replacement of the root of the original tooth. Ideally, due to factors such as periodontal diseases, injury, or tooth decay, one may lose a tooth. Initially, when you have a missing tooth in your mouth, the first solution used to be utilizing dentures to fill the gap. However, as much as the dentures help cover the toothless gap, they make it hard for one to chew some types of food.
Luckily, with more research and evolution in the dentist world, there has been the introduction of dental implants. Dental implants are screws made of metal elements such as titanium which fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. During this process of osseointegration, the implant is connected to the abutment, a compound that supports the crown. This way, they help offer a temporary or permanent foundation for artificial teeth that match your natural teeth thus filling the gaps.
There are three major components of dental implantation:
- The crown. This is the part that resembles a tooth. Usually, it is made of ceramic material which has been made to look exactly like a natural tooth. This way, it is hard to differentiate a natural tooth from a dental implant;
- A connector, which is also known as an abutment, is used to connect the crown to its’ base. Ideally, the connector is usually octagonal or hexagonal;
- The base is a type of titanium screw that fuses with the natural bone. The fusing helps to provide a safe and stable bone structure for the crown. This way, you cannot feel an uncomfortable effect of the dental implant in your mouth.
Why Should You Consider Dental Implants Instead of Dentures or Bridges?
As discussed above, dental implants come as a solution to bridges and dentures. This means that there are some considerations that dentures or bridges do not have, which are solved by dental implants. For instance, dentures and bridges do not consider the fact that real teeth preserve the jawbone. For this reason, when one is using dentures, their jawbone is left unprotected leaving them to cause more harm than good. Dental implants help support the jawbone making the new teeth serve precisely like the natural teeth.
Additionally, for one to use dentures, they require some shaving of the adjacent teeth. Furthermore, partial dentures rely on other teeth to hold them in place. As a result, the dentures weaken the healthy teeth making them develop other problems. When using dental implants, each implant is dependent on its own. This way, there should be no damage caused to healthy teeth when using dental implants.
Another advantage of using dental implants over dentures is that when using dentures, you will need to remove them and wash them separately. However, dental implant is permanently in the mouth and is washed in the same way you brush your teeth. Additionally, when using dentures, you will have to get them out when eating certain types of food. On the other hand, implants are always in the mouth no matter the kind of food that you are eating.
What is the Purpose of a Dental Implant?
Most people usually forego dental implants and choose a cheaper tooth replacement method such as dentures. However, you will realize that dental implants are worth your investment as soon as you try them. So why is it essential that you choose dental implants over other types of replacements?
- Prevent Loss of the Jawbone
Ideally, when you lose your teeth, the mass of the jawbone tends to decrease. This is because your jawbone constantly needs the stimulation it has when the teeth are connected for it to keep its’ mass. For this reason, you will need to get dental implants to maintain the jawbone stimulation thus preserving the mass the jawbone.
- Restore the Ability and Force in Biting
Often, the loss of a natural tooth means that you are no longer in a position to properly bite. However, through dental implants, it is possible to restore the ability to bite many types of food since they are anchored into the jawbone using titanium that replaces the root of the tooth. This is unlike other tooth/teeth replacement methods such as dentures or bridges which only sit on the gum thus making it tough for you to bite.
- Enables Natural Speech
Loss of teeth may have an impact on the way you pronounce some words. However, tooth/teeth replacement methods such as dentures or bridges may not give back the ability to make the right pronunciations. In fact, they could alter your pronunciations even more. Considering that dental implants fill the gaps just like the natural teeth, they enable you to regain your original and natural ability of speech.
- Stabilize Adjacent Teeth
When you have a gap in your teeth, the adjacent teeth are likely to get crooked or shift towards the gap. This shifting makes the teeth to move out of position and can affect the way you bite, chew, or even your facial appearance. Additionally, it can also make it hard for you to have a subsequent tooth replacement. You can, however, prevent such instances through the use of dental implants. They will help fill the gap and keep all teeth in place inside the mouth.
- Help Prevent Gum Diseases
When you have a gap in your gum, you are prone to gum diseases and other infections. This is because the gap will trap food and other bacteria that are the leading causes of gum infections. A dental implant will, therefore, help cover and protect the gap and ensure healthy gums.
- Recommended by Dentists
Most dentists recommend permanent health care over temporary ones. Therefore, as much as dentures and bridges will be necessary for some instances, they are not as perfect as dental implants. Make arrangements and go for the kind of dental implants that your dentist recommends.
- Retain Beauty
Teeth in the mouth help shape your face thus making you look beautiful. On the other hand, gaps in the mouth will make you lose symmetry. Through the use of dental implants, you can restore your look since the implants have an exact appearance as natural teeth. Consequently, your confidence increases.
What are the Signs that you are a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
You are having problems with your natural teeth or are uncomfortable with your dentures or bridges. Ideally, dentures and bridges are not the most comfortable teeth replacement methods. In case you feel that you need a solution for the discomfort, a dental implant will be a good solution.
You are not a smoker. Smokers are not the best candidates for dental implants since the smoke affects the healing process after dental implants installation. You should be willing to quit smoking to help recover after the surgery.
Have good oral habits or hygiene regiment. After installation of the dental implants, you will need to observe good oral habits for a full recovery. Additionally, you will need to have several dental appointments to know whether you are on the right track to recovery. If you feel you are ready to observe oral hygiene, then you are a good candidate for dental implants.
Have a loss of functionality. The teeth in your mouth play a significant role in ensuring that you can eat, communicate, and even shape your face. In case you realize a malfunction in any of these tasks, you need to have dental implants as soon as you can. Otherwise, delays in solving such issues may lead to other complicated dental problems.
Bone loss. You might ignore a gap caused by a tooth falling out thinking there may not be long term consequences. However, over time you might suffer from bone loss, if this is the case you may be a good candidate for dental implants. They will help stimulate the jaw and avoid further damage to your jawbone.
Dental Implant Procedure
In every given situation, success is determined by a step by step procedure to ensure every step is followed carefully. This is the same case for dental implantation. For there to be a success of the dental implants, a specific process is followed. The process involves several steps as follows:
Step One: Consultation Appointment
Consultation is the first step of getting a dental implant. Once you make an appointment with a dentist and tell them of your interest in dental implants. Your dentist will explain to you more about the process and any requirements or specifications needed to have a successful implant. Additionally, the dentist will examine you to tell whether or not you are a good candidate for the dental implant. They will also be advised on some of the preparations that you need to make as you prepare for the dental surgery.
Step Two: Diagnostic Appointment & Surgery
When you first visit your dentist, you will have an x-ray to determine the best dental implants for you. This is primarily done to determine the measurements that suit you best. Later, you will have the dental implant process that will involve two or three surgical procedures. The procedures include:
- The first stage – This stage consists of the implantation of the implant post into the jawbone, and the site closed with sutures. You later have an appointment about ten days later where the sutures are removed, and the dentist examines the surgical site. The surgical area will take several months to heal, during which the bone cells grow to allow a firm fusion of the jawbone and the post. The fusion ensures that the post is strong enough and can support the final crown;
- The second stage – Here, the site is reexamined to determine whether the fusion of the post and the bone was successful. If the fusion was successful, an abutment is placed into the implant post. The abutment is allowed to extend above the gum line to help make an impression. The impression taken helps the dental lab to create the crown that will fit you best.
- The third stage – In this stage, the crown that was made from the impression taken is fixed to the abutment. After this stage, you have finished the implantation process and can now wait until fully healed.
Step Three: Night Guard Protection
Dental implants can possibly fail when you are not careful when sleeping, especially when you have clenching or grinding habits. Therefore, it is essential to wear a night guard when sleeping. The most common form of night guard protection is the use of mouth guards, which create a physical barrier between the upper and lower teeth. The barrier prevents any teeth grinding and damage to the new implant.
Step Four: Follow Up Visits
Similar to natural teeth, dental implants need protection so that you can realize the long-term benefits and prevent damages to the implant. Usually, your dentist will give you a check-in period to examine the implant progress. But you can also make frequent visits to the dentist whenever the implant is not comfortable or the surgery pain persists. Generally, follow up visits make it possible to detect a problem earlier and rectify it before it is too late.
Symptoms and Causes of a Dental Implant Failure
An unsuccessful dental implant is characterized by various symptoms. Make sure you contact your dentist immediately you notice some of the symptoms below:
- Difficulty when chewing and biting;
- Inflammation and swelling of the gums;
- Severe pain and discomfort;
- A shifting or loosening of the implant;
- Implants that do not feel secure;
- Gum recession;
These failures arise because of several reasons.
Poor blood supply is one of the most common causes of dental implant failure. For the healing process to be successful after a dental implant, there must be good blood flow in the surgical area. In order for osseointegration to occur there needs to be good blood flow near the dental implant. Osseointegration is the natural process of fusion between your jawbone and the dental implant where functionally and structurally your jawbone naturally attaches to the implant. Therefore, the implant becomes a part of your body. This process is one of the main determinants of success, otherwise, insufficient blood supply to your jawbone is likely to cause a dental implant failure.
Also, the kind of medication you are currently taking plays a critical role in the healing process. Some of the drugs that you may be using when you have dental implants could affect the healing process after implantation. Therefore, inform your dentist of all medicines that you could be using at the moment. They will advise on alternative drugs or show you how to avoid adverse reactions from the drugs.
Another cause of dental implant failure is the rejection of the foreign body (the implant) in your system. Similarly, to when one has an organ transplant rejection, your body could reject the foreign body that is introduced to your body. Though this rarely happens, it is a major cause of failed dental implants.
Finally, poor oral hygiene could adversely affect the healing process. Hygiene is a must when maintaining your new dental implants. In the case you notice failing dental implants, check with your oral hygienist or seek medical advice on how to maintain the cleanliness of your mouth and dental implants.
How to Care for Dental Implants and Avoid Failure and Damage
The following habits will minimize the chances of dental implants failure or damages:
- Avoid any habits that damage teeth such as eating excessive sugary foods and/or other types of food that can harm your teeth and gums. The implant is similar to the natural teeth in your mouth and will be destroyed by such practices;
- Increase the intake of calcium in your body for strong bone formation. This way, it will increase the likelihood of the implant properly integrating with your jawbone, thus, avoiding complications;
- Avoid getting an immediate tooth replacement after a dental implant. Allow time for healing to avoid having too much pressure on the tooth;
- Quit smoking as it increases the risk of failure of the implants;
- Consult your dentist to help you purchase a mouth guard to avoid teeth grinding and keep your teeth healthy;
- Ensure that you make frequent visits to your dentist;
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush, floss, and mouthwash your mouth at least twice a day to ensure that your mouth is always clean. This will also help keep off bacteria that could cause infections in the mouth.
Find a Washington Dental Implant Clinic Near Me
You can increase the success of dental implants by visiting a reputable dental clinic who specializes in dental implants. If you are seeking dental implant services in Los Angeles, CA, Washington Dental is ready to help you through the process and ensure that it is successful. We use advanced techniques and equipment to ensure a patient’s comfort, efficiency, and maximize the effectiveness of the procedures. Call our Downtown Los Angeles Dentist today at 213-765-0004 and book your appointment.