Dental implants are the "gold standard" in tooth replacement procedures because they look, feel, and function the most like natural teeth. While the term is used to describe the entire appliance, the implant is just a piece of it.
The implant is inserted into the jawbone, acting as an artificial tooth root. Once the implant has been placed, the jawbone heals around and fuses to the implant, securing it in place. This provides natural support and stability for a crown, bridge, or denture.
All-on-4 dental implants are a solution for patients who are missing an entire arch (upper or lower) teeth. This system uses 4 implants to support a full set of teeth.
Patients who already have dentures may want to consider dental implants for denture stabilization. This involves the placement of 2 or more implants to provide support for an overdenture. This may be used for partial dentures or full dentures.
In some cases, patients require additional procedures before implants can be placed. The most common preparation procedures are:
Missing teeth can result in jawbone loss, which can begin within 6 months of the loss. If a patient loses enough jawbone density, the jawbone will no longer support an implant. In this case, bone grafting surgery will be necessary.
In this procedure, bone may be taken from elsewhere in the body and added to the jawbone to build it up. If this is not possible, a synthetic replacement may be used.
For patients who are missing most of their teeth, with the remaining teeth being in bad shape, extraction may be necessary. Depending on the patient's condition, implants may be placed on the same day as the extractions are done. However, if additional procedures are required, such as bone graft or sinus lift, the implants will be placed after healing.
A sinus lift is necessary for patients who require a bone graft on their upper jaw. This is the process of lifting the maxillary sinus to create room for the bone graft.
Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement. A few of the benefits offered by dental implants are:
All of these benefits also lead to another benefit: improved confidence. Patients who are missing teeth often stop socializing and even smiling, because they are embarrassed over their missing teeth.
There are several steps involved in getting dental implants. This process requires commitment because it can take a minimum of several months and up to a year or more, depending on how long healing takes between steps.
The first step is your initial evaluation. At this time, Dr. Shahbazyan will evaluate the condition of your mouth and take x-rays. This will help us determine if dental implants are the right solution for you and if you need any additional procedures. We will also discuss your needs and goals for treatment at this time. All of this information will be used to create your treatment plan.
While we are going through the exam, our office staff will be contacting your insurance provider and will work with them to determine coverage. Many insurance providers will not cover implants since there are other options. However, there are some that will cover a portion of the procedure.
If you do not have insurance or your coverage is inadequate, we do offer financing options, including our In-House Dental Savings Plan. We believe that you should have access to procedures that improve your oral health, no matter what your budget.
Some patients can have implants placed right away. On the other hand, many patients require additional procedures such as extractions and bone grafting. Below we will explain what you need to know about these procedures.
If a patient has any remaining teeth, we will do everything we can to salvage those teeth, but in some cases, extraction is necessary. This is typically necessary when remaining teeth are badly decayed.
If a patient has been missing teeth for some time, the body may have already begun reabsorbing the bone. This means the jawbone lacks the density necessary to support a dental implant. However, this problem can be solved with a bone graft. In this procedure, we will take bone from elsewhere in the body and place it on the jawbone. If we are unable to get bone from elsewhere in the body, we may use an artificial replacement.
Patients who require bone grafting on their upper jaw for implant placement may need a secondary procedure, a sinus lift. This involves lifting the maxillary sinus to create room for the graft.
When we are ready to insert the implant, we will start by making a small incision in the gum to access the jawbone. Then, we will drill a small hole in the jawbone to place the implant.
If a patient only requires extractions, we may be able to place the implants on the same day, which can save a little bit of healing time. When the implant is placed, we will close up the site and you will be sent home to heal.
During this healing time, osseointegration will be taking place. This is the process of the jawbone healing around and fusing with the implant, securing it in place. It is very important that you stick to a liquid or soft food diet during this time to avoid causing the implant to shift.
Once osseointegration is complete and the implant is securely fused in place, we will schedule you to come back in to place the abutment. This is the piece that connects the crown to the implant. Depending on the location of the implant, we will either place a healing cap or a temporary crown over the abutment to keep the gum open while you wait for your permanent crown to be fabricated.
In a couple of weeks, your permanent crown will be ready. We will schedule an appointment for you to come in for placement. We will start by removing the cap or the temporary crown and checking to ensure proper fit. If the crown fits, we will cement it in place and you will have your smile- and confidence- back.
First, while you are healing from the implants, we recommend that you consume a liquid diet for the first two weeks. After that, you can transition to a soft foods diet. You don't want to bite or chew anything tough while osseointegration is taking place because you could cause the implants to shift, which could complicate healing- and ultimately cause implant failure.
Once osseointegration has taken place and the crown has been placed, you can feel free to eat like you normally would. The implants can withstand the normal bite force, where as other solutions such as dentures and bridges require you to make some modifications to your diet.
Research shows that dental implants have a 98% success rate.
If you live in or near Fresno, CA and you are missing one or more teeth, we encourage you to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Shahbazyan and the team at Shahbazyan Dental Studio.
Dr. Shahbazyan has been awarded for Distinguished Implant Excellence. She has the experience and expertise to replace your missing teeth and restore your smile and confidence.
Our clinic is located at 7575 N. Cedar Avenue in Fresno. Our office hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. We look forward to meeting with you and creating a treatment plan to fit your budget.
We understand that dental procedures, especially dental implants, can be confusing. That is why we will take the time you need to address your questions and concerns. Below are some of the most common questions we hear when it comes to dental implants.
According to the experts, with proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime. Proper care and maintenance means practicing proper oral hygiene habits (brushing and flossing properly) and visiting the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning. That being said, depending on when you have the implant, the crown may need to be replaced after about 20 years due to wear and tear.
Patients are given a local anesthetic to numb the area while the implant surgery is being done. Therefore, they may feel some pressure but should not feel pain. Patients concerned about pain may wish to ask about sedation options. Some patients report feeling some minor discomfort as the anesthesia wears off. Typically, an OTC pain reliever helps.
If you have significant discomfort, pain, bleeding, etc, it is critical that you contact the office as soon as possible. We will bring you into the office to determine what is happening to cause these complications.
While dairy is good for you- it can be bad immediately after implant surgery. Dairy has been proven to trigger an inflammatory response in the soft oral tissues. This can have an impact on healing, which could lead to implant failure. In addition, dairy can trigger nausea and vomiting in some patients. The acid from your stomach can be detrimental to the healing process.
However, once you are completely healed and the dentist gives you the green light, you can go back to enjoying as much dairy as you wish.
At Shahbazyan DDS Cosmetic & General Dentistry, we offer single dental implants to patients, or any of the other possible types of implants. We also provide virtually all kinds of general dentistry, and even some forms of cosmetic dentistry. Let our years of experience help you achieve better dental health, and provide you with the kind of smile you've always wanted. Contact us today, so we can setup an initial consultation, and get you started on the road to better dental health.