When you think about oral health, what comes into your mind is dental conditions and their treatment. You could be needing to improve your smile after losing your teeth due to an accident or injury. To achieve the desired outcome, you will have to undergo some cosmetic procedures to give you incredible therapeutic benefits.

It is, therefore, vital to consult a cosmetic dentist who understands your pain and desire to have that stunning smile back. At Washington Dental, we offer quality treatment to patients seeking dental implant services in Lomita. If you are after dental implants, our team prides itself in making your needs our topmost priority.

If you suffer an injury to your teeth that makes you lose them, then you can undergo some cosmetic dentistry treatments to achieve your dream of having a stunning smile. One of the treatments that you can choose to take is having a dental implant. This article will offer more information on dental implants.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a titanium tooth root replacement. An implant is inserted into your bone socket to provide a strong foundation for a permanent or removable tooth replacement. The implant becomes firm with time as the bone grows around the metal implant when the jawbone heals. With the metal implant anchored well in your jawbone, it provides a strong foundation for your teeth replacement.

After fixing cosmetic dental implants, your dental team will perform restorative procedures to cover the gum area. These pre-treatments include the installation of the crown, which is supported by the implant. Most of the treatments you will receive aim to replace gum loss, tooth, and even bone loss, giving you realistic teeth and bringing back that sunny smile.

Benefits of Having Dental Implants

When considering having any treatment done, it is imperative to consider all the pros and cons before scheduling them. The fear of having someone poke into your mouth is real, and you, therefore, need to be sure of the procedure before having it carried out. However, there are several benefits to dental implants, and they include:

  • They are Durable

When you have dental implants, one of the benefits you will gain is that they will last for many years. And if you apply and maintain good oral care, they can last for a lifetime.

  • They are Convenient

Dental implants are convenient in that you do not have to keep removing them like removable dentures. Once you have installed them, you will not have to deal with the inconveniences of removing them daily and applying adhesives to ensure they keep in place. With a dental implant, you are assured of having comfortable dental health.

  • They Improve Your Dental Health

One of the benefits of dental implants is that it does not alter your teeth for support. Therefore, a dental implant ensures that most of your teeth are not affected, giving you improved oral health, as is the case with dental bridges. Still, a dental implant allows for easier access between individual teeth.

  • Improved Self-esteem

With a dental implant, you will enjoy the beauty of your smile once again, which will significantly boost your self-esteem.

  • Your Appearance will Improve

Since a dental implant feels and looks like your natural teeth, its design allows them to fuse with your jawbone. As a result, they will help improve your appearance as they look natural, giving your facial expression a tremendous natural look or appearance.

  • Speech Improvement

The way a dental implant takes and fuses with your jaw bone allows it to be a permanent fixture in your mouth. As a permanent fixture in your mouth, it feels natural and does not affect your speech, unlike some dentures that will slip if not correctly fitted, giving you a slurred speech.

  • Make it Easy to Eat

When you have some dentures poorly fitted, it will be difficult to chew your food—having a difficult time chewing your food is not the case with dental implants, as they take after your jaw and work like your natural teeth. With a dental implant, you will enjoy eating your favorite meals without the fear of having the teeth sliding.

  • No More tooth Discomfort

Since an implant becomes part of your jawbone, you will not undergo the discomfort you might have with ill-fitting dentures, ensuring you lead a comfortable life after the implantation.

Risks Associated with Dental Implants

A dental implant involves oral surgery, and just like any surgery, it comes with some risks. However, these risks are minor, and you will realize that the benefit far outweighs the risks. Most of these risks are rare, but when they occur, they are easily treatable. These risks include:

  • You may suffer an injury to the surrounding structures, like blood vessels and other teeth.

  • The implantation site can have an infection.

The implantation site will most of the time have an infection when you do not follow your doctor’s instructions on the after-care procedures. Depending on the seriousness of your infection, it may take something as simple as taking some antibiotics or a soft tissue grafting. But if the infection affects your bone tissue, you may end up with your dentist removing the affected bone tissue and having an implant done.

  • You can experience numbness, pain, and tingling on your other teeth, chin, lips, or gums due to nerve damage.

  • You may suffer from a gum recession.

In some instances, you may notice that the gum surrounding the implant area may start receding after a dental implant. This may cause you to have pain and inflammation, but you don't have to panic. Instead, an evaluation by your dentist will come in handy as they will prescribe something for the pain and come up with a plan that will help prevent dental implant removal.

  • Sometimes, if your implants are on your upper jaw, they might protrude and affect your sinus, leaving you with sinus problems.

Once you realize you have any of the above side effects, it's crucial to contact your dentist immediately to remedy the situation. Remember to follow the post-treatment instructions given by your dentist to avoid infection and boost your healing rate.

Qualification For Having Dental Implant Fixed

Since a dental implant is a surgery performed in your mouth and it will take several months before it is successfully done, you will need to consider if you qualify for it. In most cases, the surgery can be carried out on any healthy individual eligible to undergo oral surgery or a teeth extraction. Your gum should be healthy, and your bone structure should be enough to hold the titanium implant.

The process of installing a dental implant will call for several visits to your dentist over several months, and you will be expected to maintain excellent oral health. You will be ideal for the procedure if you:

  • Have a full-grown jawbone.

  • Your jawbone can support a bone graft.

  • Have some missing teeth.

  • If your bone structure can support an implant.

  • Your oral tissues are healthy.

  • If you are unwilling to have dentures.

  • You are unable to wear dentures.

  • You are healthy enough to support bone healing after the procedure.

  • You are not a tobacco smoker.

  • You are ready to commit several months to the healing process.

One of the most important facts to note regarding dental implants is that it can not be done on children as their bone structure is still developing. Therefore, if your child has tooth decay and wants to try something permanent, you will have to wait until they are fully grown before having a dental implant. Consult with your dentist on the other available treatment options for your young one.

Dental Implant Process

Sometimes you may suffer tooth loss due to injury, tooth decay, gum disease, congenital disabilities, or in some cases, extreme wear and tear. This loss may lead you to decide to undergo a dental implant procedure. You will need to consult with your dentist, who will develop a treatment plan that is unique to you. A treatment plan that is suitable for you should address your mouth-specific needs and should be prepared by a team of qualified professionals who have training in oral health surgery and restorative dentistry.

Your dentist will determine if an implant is right for you after the consultation between them and either an oral surgeon or prosthodontics. During this consultation, your dentist and other oral health professionals will examine your gum, jaw, and bone structure; once they determine that your bone structure and density are sufficient by using a CT scan, they will decide where to place the implant.

Based on the findings by the oral team, your dentist will develop a treatment plan that will consider your oral health, personal habits, oral tissue, and your commitment to follow all the aftercare instructions. Sometimes if your bone or gum tissue is not sufficient for the procedure, you may have to undergo either a bone or tissue graft.

Once all these considerations are in place, a tooth implant is made. The implant is placed on the jawbone of the missing tooth, and once the jawbone starts to heal, it anchors the implant in place. The healing of the implant may take up to 12 weeks. Your dentist will advise on the treatment and prepare you psychologically for the treatment. They will let you know how many visits you will have to make to their offices and the duration of your treatment. Your dentist will also discuss the cost of the entire procedure and the payment options that are available to you.

Pre-treatment Preparation for Dental Implant Procedure

You will realize that you will need to address these issues before undergoing a dental implant procedure. In addition, when you have some underlying oral health issues like gum disease or a decayed tooth, you will need to address these issues before having a dental implant procedure. The importance of addressing any underlying oral health issue is that it may affect the healing process of the dental implant. If you are a smoker, your dentist will advise you to stop smoking first, as smoking will affect the process of the implant anchoring onto your jawbone.

Though the surgery process may seem scary, you should rest assured that you are in the safe hands of trained professionals and keep calm. Ensure that you take a typical breakfast before surgery, and in case of any allergies, let your dentist know about them beforehand. Take any antibiotics that your dentist prescribes as recommended. Your treatment will commence once your dentist determines that your dental health is fit for the treatment.

Though you will choose your sedation mode, it is advisable to wear comfortable clothes which will help ease any discomfort you may have. Also, let someone you trust accompany you. They can drive you back home after the procedure as it's not advisable to drive after surgery.

Dental Implantation Procedure

Once the process is complete, the implant is indistinguishable from your natural teeth. To achieve this appearance, both the structural and functional connection between the implant and your bone should be sound. You will realize that dental implantation surgery takes place in stages and is an outpatient surgery. Dental implantation is a process that takes several healing steps in between the procedures. You will undergo the following procedure before an implant is successfully done:

  • Your dentist will remove any damaged or decayed tooth.

  • A bone or gum graft, if either, is not sufficient to support the implantation.

  • The placement of the dental implant.

  • The healing or growth of the bone.

  • Abutment placement.

  • Placement of the artificial tooth.

Depending on the condition of your bone structure and the type of materials used, some of these procedures can be combined. The implant will take between six weeks up to six months to anchor well to your jawbone, and the process is known as osseointegration.

Removal of The Damaged or Decayed Teeth

If you are suffering from tooth decay, you may decide to have a dental implant, and if this is the case, you will need to have the decayed tooth removed first. In addition, your dentist will require some x-rays done before the removal of the damaged tooth. When you have any reservations, let your dentist know about them.

You will need to wait for your gum to heal before continuing with the implant; therefore, be patient as the process takes time. During this healing time, your dentist can evaluate both your gum and bone to determine if you are fit to have a dental implant.

Bone Grafting

At times, the evaluation will show that your bone is not sufficient to support an implant, or it may be too soft. When this happens, your dental team will call for a bone graft on where the implant will be. Since an implant should look and feel like a natural tooth, which means that it will experience tremendous pressure during chewing, your jawbone should support the implant, or the surgery will end up being a failure. Then, having a bone or a gum graft will create a firm base for the dental implant to avoid such a scenario.

The oral team will obtain bone or gum materials from your body, or they can use some bone substitute materials that are synthetic and support bone growth. Your dentist will advise you accordingly on the material that will suit you. You can have a minor bone or gum grafting at the same time as your implant surgery.

Placement of the Dental Implant

The placement of a dental implant takes place deep into your bone since it will serve as a root for your tooth. To accomplish this, your oral surgeon will have to cut your gum to expose your jawbone. Once they reveal your bone, they will drill a hole into your bone where the implant metal will be placed.

You will end up with a gap on your tooth, and you can have a temporary denture for appearance’s sake; if you have temporary dentures, remember to remove them at night for cleaning and maintain high oral hygiene.

Bone Growth and Healing

After the placement of the metal implant on your bone, the process of anchoring the metal implant to your bone starts, a process known as osseointegration. Your jawbone grows and integrates with the metal implant, and the process may take several months. Once the process is complete, it will provide a strong base for an artificial tooth and act as a natural tooth root.

Abutment Placement

Once osseointegration occurs, you may have to undergo another surgery where an abutment is placed (Abutment is the piece or the place where a crown will be placed). You do not have to worry about abutment placement as your oral surgeon will apply local anesthesia while doing so. You do not have to be admitted for the procedure.

For an abutment to occur, your oral surgeon will reopen your gum on the spot where your implant is, attach the abutment, and then close the gum tissue around the abutment. Sometimes you can have your abutment placed during the implantation, but most avoid doing so since the abutment is usually visible once you open your mouth. After the placement of the abutment, your gum will heal within two weeks.

Artificial Tooth Placement

After the healing of your gum, you can then have some impressions made on your mouth. These impressions will help in creating an artificial-looking tooth that will resemble your tooth. The crown will only be placed on your jawbone once your dental specialist determines it is strong enough to support a new tooth. You can choose to have an artificial tooth, fixed, removable, or a combination of both.

Post Treatment Care for Dental Implants

You should understand that a successful recovery after a dental implant depends on several factors, including the different procedures. But the most critical factor in maintaining a high standard of dental health. Brush and floss your mouth regularly to ensure the process of osseointegration takes place correctly. Brushing and flossing will help prevent infections that can deter healing from taking place. You should also avoid smoking to ensure your recovery, as smoking leads to healing failure in a dental implant.

After your surgery, you will experience some discomfort like:

  • Having pain at the point of the implant.

  • Bruising of the gums and skin.

  • Facial or gum swelling.

  • Some minor bleeding.

These discomforts should be minimal after the surgery, and for the pain, your dentist will prescribe some painkillers. After the procedure, take soft food for the next five to seven days, which will reduce pressure on your jaw. Though you may feel the urge to take hard foodstuffs after months without them, try to avoid the urge until you are fully healed. If you have some stitches that are not self-dissolving, ensure your dentist removes them.

Potential Risks After a Dental Implant

If you follow the instructions from your dentist, your implant will have a high chance of success. However, you will realize that sometimes your metal implant may fail to fuse with your bone. When this happens, your surgeon will have to remove the implant and clean the bone, and you can have another implant after three months. Remember your oral health is vital to your overall health, and therefore ensure to follow your dentist instructions keenly.

Contact a Lomita Dentist Near Me

After losing your teeth due to various reasons, you could have your smile back by having dental implants fixed. You will need to consult with a qualified dental professional who will advise you accordingly and take you through the entire process. If you seek dental services in Lomita, you can contact Washington Dental.

We are dental experts who can examine and offer the necessary guidance on dental implant procedures. We are conscious of the cost involved in dental work, and we have come up with a plan where you do not have to pay for your first consultation and x-rays. Feel free to contact us at 310-326-5183 and schedule your first free consultation.