Clients who are missing teeth or have loose fitting dentures may want to consider getting dental implants with Drs. Alan or Yonatan Howard, both dental implant experts. Dental implants are a popular choice among our Los Angeles clients because they look and function just like the client’s own teeth.

What are Dental Implants?

dental-implant-model-implant-post-with-gums-300x225Dental implants are replacement roots made of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body. Implants are used as an anchor for replacement teeth. To replace teeth using implants, Drs. Alan or Yonatan Howard will surgically place the implant in your jawbone. During the healing process, your bone will grow around it and hold it in place. This can take several months.

To finish the process, our dentist will customize a replacement tooth for you called a dental crown. The crown will be made to match the color of your other teeth. This crown will be attached to the dental implant, making a very natural-looking and stable replacement. In some cases, the client may get the dental implant and crown in the same visit. In others, they may have to wait for the healing process from the implant’s placement to be complete.

Benefits

Dental implants provide both functional and cosmetic enhancement. The placement of a dental implant helps prevent bone loss and the shifting of teeth from lack of stabilization. Such factors, if not attended to, can cause a great deal of problems, so it is best to address a lost tooth as quickly as possible. The FDA approved titanium rod is extremely sturdy, so with regular cleaning and check ups, it should last a lifetime. Everyday tasks such as drinking and speaking clearly are greatly improved after the insertion of a dental implant. Cosmetically, current dental implant technology allows for the dentist to create the perfect implant and crown for each case, matching the aesthetics and fitting just right in each individual and unique smile.

Do I Need Dental Implants?

Do you have gaps in your smile from missing teeth that make you self-conscious? Do you wear uncomfortable dentures? Do you feel uncomfortable having good tooth structure removed to make a bridge? Does a bothersome tooth require removal and you wish to immediately replace it? Our dentists may recommend dental implants in Encino, California. We encourage you to call The Dental Office of Encino today with any questions or to set up a consultation. We look forward to serving you and your smile!

Before & After Photos

Dental Implant vs Dental Bridge

A dental implant and dental bridge both have the same end goal of filling a gap between teeth to restore functionality and cosmetic appeal, but the manner by which they accomplish this is different. A dental implant takes place of a tooth root, surgically inserted into the jawbone. This forms a permanent structure as the bone fuses with the metal rod. The prosthetic tooth is then mounted on the rod. A dental bridge is a prosthetic tooth that is kept in place by attached crowns. The surrounding crowns are placed over the two teeth around the gap, holding the prosthetic in place.

One option is not better than the other. The treatment chosen is based on the specifics of the individual case.

Dental implants are usually preferred for their stability and when surrounding teeth are healthy. Dental bridges are sturdy, but not as reliable as dental implants because they are only fastened to the surrounding teeth; there is no deep stability that comes from the bone like implants. And bridges require placing crowns over surrounding teeth, which involves removing good enamel to fit the crown. This can potentially harm the natural tooth and make them more susceptible to tooth decay. Dental bridges are usually placed when the surrounding teeth need attention as well. Bridges do not require any surgery, so this does make for a shorter procedure.

Both serve an effective purpose, so ultimately the procedure best for an individual will have to be chosen after an initial visit with Drs. Alan or Yonatan Howard at our Encino location.

Our Philosophy on Implants

Our philosophy at The Dental Office of Encino is to treat our clients as we would treat ourselves and our family. The utmost care is provided, with each client receiving custom and individualized treatment to meet their goals. We use the most advanced and up to date treatment methods, each client being treated with state-of-the-art guided technology. This ensures our clients receive optimal care and results since the treatment plan is created before the treatment begins.

Good Candidates

Dental implants can be beneficial for many different people with missing teeth or loose dentures. People who may not be good candidates include clients with bad gum health that would not be good for supporting the root of the implant. Furthermore, clients with bone degradation in the jaw would not be good candidates, as clients with bone degradation have higher oral health risks. Clients should be non-smokers, as smoking can impede on optimal results.

The Initial Visit

The initial visit is the time Drs. Alan or Yonatan Howard will assess if a dental implant is a good solution for an individual case. At this time, appropriate exams and scans will be performed. This is to determine the extent of the issue, what can be done, and what is the best solution to achieve optimal results.

The dentist will go over the pros and cons of each option so the client can make an informed decision on their own, but expert advice and opinions can always be provided.

If the client is deemed a good candidate for dental implants, a date will be scheduled for them to come in for the procedure.

Properly Preparing for the Procedure

Properly preparing for a dental implant procedure is important for the success rate and optimal results. Each individual will receive specific instructions, but generally, those taking routine medications may be asked to alter their intake depending on the medication. This is why it is important to make mention of routine medications during the initial visit, as well as medical history and past surgeries. Antibiotics may be prescribed, which should be picked up in a timely manner.

Procedure Process

The dental implant procedure can be a one or two step process. This will depend on client preference and dentist recommendation.

All surgeries are guided, meaning impressions are first taken, then cone beam imaging is used to locate the precise location and placement of the implant. This special tomography is a type of x-ray machine that is used when a regular x-ray will not provide detailed enough images. The cone beam CT scan allows the dentist to know where an implant will best be inserted before the procedure, so there is no guessing or going in blindly; it is a careful science. Our dentists use this technology for all of our clients. It is important to us to provide the best results possible and do everything in our power to achieve that.

A small tissue punch is used to insert the dental implant for the majority of cases. This is an easy and effective way for the dentist to reach the bone in the most minimally invasive way possible. Drs. Alan and Yonatan Howard both prefer tissue punch over tissue flap surgery, which involves raising a flap of tissue to insert the implant. This is especially the case since all dental implant procedures are guided, so there is no need to lift a flap because they already know exactly where the implant should be inserted. The crown is then attached, and the client is free to return to their daily activity.

Caring for Dental Implants

After the procedure, clients are advised not to smoke, eat spicy food, spit, or drink through a straw until otherwise instructed. The pressure involved with spitting or drinking with a straw can have adverse effects on the implant. We would be more than happy to explain this in more detail at the time of the consultation.

Clients should avoid chewing on the implant side for a specific time period determined by the dentist. A special rinse will be provided to clients to promote optimal healing. So long as the client keeps the area clean and comes in for regular check ups, dental implants should last a lifetime. The crown may potentially need replacing, but this is an easy fix. The implant rod itself will remain in place and the new crown will be attached.

Cost

Dental implant procedures vary in cost based on the individual case. This includes the pre-existing damage, other dental procedures performed at the same time, etc. Some insurances will cover the cost of a dental implant procedure, so please speak with your insurance provider before coming in for a consultation. Our staff will then be able to provide a more accurate quote. We look forward to speaking with you.