Did you know that more than 2/3 of people in the U.S. have lost at least one tooth or more? Dental implants replace not only a missing tooth but the root as well. It’s the closest thing to a real, natural tooth, including a replacement root, that you can get. The implant itself is a titanium post that is placed in your jaw, where the jaw bone will actually grow around it. Once that process is in place, a crown is put on top of the implant.
It is as secure as a real tooth and you can eat and drink anything. An apple. Corn on the cob. Steak. You floss and brush as you normally would. Your implant is secure because it’s integrated into your own jawbone. It’s not a denture or attached to other teeth.
Why Dental Implants?
The most important reason for implants is how they help maintain the strength of your jaw and the shape of your face. Chewing doesn’t just break down food, it also stimulates the flow of blood containing oxygen and nutrients needed by every cell in our body, including the bones and muscles in your jaw. Dental implants promote the natural chewing action better than any other tooth replacement. As a result, your jawbone remains strong and continues to support the muscles and structure of your face. Otherwise, there is a chance that your jawbone weakens, causing premature face sagging and wrinkling.
At our dental office in Lompoc, Dr. Dudley will place custom-fit crowns on your implants once you’ve healed from the surgery and the integration with your own bone tissue is well established, usually a few months. In just a short period of time, you’ll have a smile that’s as good as new, one that complements or improves your own bite and preserves jaw strength. If you should experience any cracks or damage, Dr. Dudley can replace them for you. You shouldn’t need additional surgery once the initial implants are complete.
Place and Restore
Dental implants involve 2 steps. Dr. Dudley will either place the titanium implants himself or coordinate with a surgeon who specializes in implants, depending on the severity of the case. After the surgery, you’ll heal for a few months while the implants begin to fuse to the bone in your jaw. When this process is complete, you’ll return to see Dr. Dudley who will make impressions of your mouth.
The impressions are sent to a dental lab that will craft the actual crowns. Dr. Dudley will place the porcelain crowns to the top of the implants.
Implants are nearly problem-free. You still want regular checkups to check the implants and the health of your gums. If an implant should crack or sustain any other damage, Dr. Dudley can easily replace it with a new one. It’s rare that you would need surgery on the implant itself.
Implant Retained Dentures
If dental implants are not the right option for you, there are other treatments to replace missing teeth. One alternative combines the permanence of implants with the features of dentures. Your implants are topped with half of a snap mechanism. Dentures that have been specially fitted for you can be snapped on and lifted off for cleaning. They’re strong, and a much better fit than traditional dentures. Because they’re so snug, your jaw bones will get the full benefit of the blood flow from chewing food.
Superior training and technique are best employed with innovative technology. At Lompoc Family Dental, we use a cone beam CT scan with computer-guided technology to place implants to ensure the best form and function for your new implants.
Please call us today to schedule your exam and consultation for dental implant treatment. Every day counts to keep your jawbones strong and functional.
Following tooth extractions, Dr. Dudley may perform a bone graft to prevent bone loss until he can replace your tooth. Knowing the value of the bone, we use the latest, minimally invasive techniques to preserve the bone. We also do bone grafting to strengthen the affected area. Bone grafting sounds like a major procedure, but we don’t use your own bone tissue. Dental bone grafting involves the use of special fibers made of materials that promote healing and bone growth.
Dr. Dudley also uses advanced techniques after tooth removal to promote healing. He uses a medical breakthrough in platelet therapy (LPRF) to promote natural healing and bone growth by using your body’s own white blood cells. A small amount of blood is collected at the time of surgery and placed in a specialized centrifuge. The resulting “clot” is then placed directly into the surgical site to promote immediate healing. Think of LPRF clot like a surgical band-aid that is created from your own blood in order to allow your body to heal more efficiently. And because it is made of your own cells, it is 100% natural, with no additives or chemicals. This is an FDA approved method of improving patient health.
The key to dental implants that look natural and last a lifetime is the skill Dr. Dudley brings to his craft when placing implants, and the modern technology that makes these small miracles possible.
Dr. Dudley uses a CT scanner that lets him see the structure of your jaw from the inside. With this image, he can create a plan for implants that are in proportion to your face and look just like natural teeth. He also uses computer-guided technology, a method of virtually planning your implant placement for the best appearance and optimal function.
This specialized technology is in addition to other technology we use to make sure you are comfortable throughout the implant process.