Dental Implants - Torrance, CA
Improving Patient Smiles
If you’ve experienced tooth loss, it doesn’t matter how many teeth you’re missing -- even just one lost tooth can cause real problems later on. Because they give you back your missing tooth as well as its root, dental implants are the best option for tooth replacement available today. The team at Blue Coast Dental Group handles the entire process for tooth replacement with dental implants in Torrance, CA in our dental office, from initial placement to final restoration.
The Comprehensive Solution
A dental implant is a tiny titanium post that acts as a prosthetic root for the tooth replacement that sits on top. They’re surgically placed into the space left by each missing tooth. At the Blue Coast Dental Group, we are proud to have a periodontist who completes this portion of the procedure in-house so you don’t have to be referred to a new dental office for half the dental implant treatment.
After the initial implantation procedure, during a recovery period of approximately three to six months, a process known as osseointegration occurs to turn the implant and jawbone into one solid unit. Once osseointegration is complete, your dental implants are ready to receive their new tooth replacements. Your implant dentist in Torrance will complete the restoration by placing your prosthetic tooth or denture securely on top using a metal connector called an abutment.
The Numerous Benefits of Dental Implants
Choosing an implant-retained tooth replacement is the best way to ensure your continued oral and overall health. The benefits of this method are many and include the following.
- Better jawbone health due to the stimulation provided by the prosthetic root
- The healthy jawbone won’t develop that sunken, missing-tooth look
- Freedom from bothersome denture adhesives
- A better-fitting prosthetic that won’t have to be refitted due to a changing mouth shape
- When cared for properly, dental implants can last a lifetime
Determining Your Candidacy for Dental Implants
Patients interested in replacing their missing teeth with an implant-retained solution should seek a professional opinion regarding their candidacy for the dental implant procedure. Two conditions must be met for the success of dental implants.
First, a patient must have plenty of existing jawbone structure. Dental implants need lots of healthy bone to successfully anchor in the mouth. When teeth have been missing for an extended period of time, however, too much bone loss may have occurred. In these situations, bone grafting may be needed to make tooth replacement with dental implants a possibility.
Second, patients should also be eligible for oral surgery. For those who have uncontrolled diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or other conditions that prevent them from undergoing surgical procedures should seek other options in tooth replacement. Advanced levels of gum disease can inhibit the success of dental implants, too.
Dental Implant Placement
After using 3D scans of your jaw to determine the locations of your implants, Dr. Refela will begin the procedure by thoroughly numbing you with local anesthesia. At this point, he’ll make a small incision in the gums to expose the jawbone, and then he’ll place the implant posts into it. Thanks to modern dental techniques, most patients report feeling very little discomfort either during or after the procedure.
Dental Implant-Retained Dental Crowns & Bridges
For a patient missing a single tooth, a restoration called an implant-retained crown will be attached to the implant post. A custom-made all-porcelain crown will be held in place using a small metal connector called an abutment, which will also provide internal support for the crown. Once the crown is completely put together, it should be virtually indistinguishable from the other teeth.
And, by bonding additional prosthetic teeth to an implant-retained crown, we can form a bridge to replace multiple teeth missing in a row as well.
Dental Implant-Retained Dentures
Traditional dentures are notorious for not staying in place while a person is chewing or speaking, but with dental implants, we can finally make this problem go away. An implant-retained denture looks just like a regular one above the gum line, but it is actually held in place using multiple dental implants that anchor it to the jawbone. This not only makes the fit much more secure, but it also helps restore up to 70% of a patient’s original bite strength, compared to just 20% provided by removable dentures.
Mini Dental Implants
Often, patients who have been missing teeth for a long time will have a jawbone that is too thin or brittle to support normal implants, but with mini dental implants, now even more people can benefit from the most complete tooth replacement solution available today.
As the name indicates, they are smaller and thinner than traditional implant posts, but they are still able to support a denture that has a much more stable hold than a removable one. Plus, they can typically be placed and restored in much less time compared to regular implants, which also lends itself to a reduced cost.
Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions
Dental implants in Torrance offer a completely different way to rebuild your smile than traditional options like dentures and dental bridges. As such, it’s natural to have a few questions about them! Below, you’ll find some common questions about this state-of-the-art treatment to help you feel more informed. If you don’t see the answers you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!
Will I Need a Referral to Have My Dental Implants Placed?
Since placing dental implants is a surgical procedure, some dentists need to refer their patients to other dental professionals for this step. At Blue Coast Dental Group, we’re proud to bring the specialists to you! We have two in-house specialists available to place your dental implants right here in our Torrance dental office. With years of experience and the latest dental technology, we can personally ensure that every step of your dental implant process is as efficient and comfortable as possible.
Do I Brush My Dental Implant Like a Natural Tooth?
Dental implants mimic many important aspects of natural teeth—including how they’re taken care of! You won’t need to change your daily dental routine or use any special products or cleaners to keep your dental implant clean. Simply continue to practice great oral hygiene habits like:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
- Flossing between all your teeth daily.
- Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash regularly.
Remember, while your dental implant isn’t susceptible to cavities, it’s still important to keep your mouth free from plaque and bacteria. Neglecting your oral hygiene and accumulating these harmful particles could lead to infections that damage the supportive tissues that help hold your implant in place.
I’m Interested in Dental Implants—Where Do I Start?
The first step on your journey towards a complete, confident smile is to call us and schedule a consultation with your Torrance implant dentist. We’ll carefully inspect your mouth and review your medical history to ensure that dental implants are a good choice for you. We may recommend preliminary treatments like periodontal disease therapy or bone grafts if there are any signs of issues that could potentially threaten the success of your dental implant. Once your oral health is on track, we’ll discuss your tooth replacement goals and help you choose the best type of dental implant for your unique smile. Then, we’ll work with you to create a custom treatment plan, including a personalized timeline and estimate of cost.
How Long Does the Dental Implant Process Take?
To achieve its unmatched stability, comfort, and longevity, your dental implant undergoes a process called osseointegration after it has been placed. This is when the small titanium posts that have been placed in your jawbone fuse with the surrounding bone tissue. Since this is a very gradual process, it can take anywhere from four to six months until your mouth has healed enough to move onto the next step.
However, the same doesn’t hold true if you choose to fill the gaps in your smile with mini dental implants. These dental implants are even smaller and thinner than traditional ones, which plays a key role in the healing process. Mini dental implants require far less healing time and their restoration can be placed much sooner than other dental implants. Your Torrance implant dentist will help you determine which type of dental implant is best for your unique smile during your consultation.
Ready to regain your smile, your confidence, and your quality of life? Give us a call today to discover if this state-of-the-art tooth replacement option is right for you!