Dental Implants from Your Trusted Irvine Dentist
If you’ve lost teeth, you know how dramatically it impacts your smile, your confidence, and your quality of life. Dental implants can restore all of this and more thanks to their innovative design and effectiveness. That’s why at Woodbridge Dental, we strive to provide quality dental implant treatment to help you eat, smile, and enjoy life the way you want.
Dr. Ann Nguyen and her team can both place and restore dental implants, ensuring your new teeth are healthy, functional, and visually stunning. She combines skill and experience with state-of-the-art technology to deliver the best results. With a talented periodontist on staff, we can provide every level of service, including planning, placement, and additional treatments such as bone grafts, in one trusted dental office.
If you’re considering dental implants to restore your smile, contact our office today. We’ll work with you to discover whether implants are the right choice for you.
Dental Implant Basics: How Do They Work?
Dental implants are a unique option for tooth replacement, as they are the only type to replace both the root and crown of the tooth. An implant is made of three parts:
- Implant Post – A titanium post placed in the jaw. It acts as a tooth root to support the new teeth.
- Abutment – A connective piece that holds the restoration in place.
- Restoration – A dental prosthetic that looks, feels, and functions like a tooth. This can be a single crown, a bridge, partial denture, or full denture, depending on the number of teeth missing.
Implants can replace any number of teeth missing, and the number of implants you need will depend on the type of restoration. With proper placement, it can be possible to support an entire arch of teeth on as little as six implants.
Top 5 Benefits of Dental Implants
- Health – Implants improve self-confidence, digestion, and protect oral health.
- Permanence – Once fused with the bone, an implant becomes a permanent part of your smile and will last a lifetime.
- Function – The solid implant absorbs chewing pressure and keeps the restoration stable, allowing you to bite and chew effectively.
- Aesthetics – Implant-supported restorations are made from high-quality materials that are shaped and colored to look just like your natural teeth.
- Convenience – It’s true that the dental implant process is long, but once in place, no special care is required. Brush and floss your new teeth just as you would any other. If the restoration is worn or damaged, replacing it is a simple, non-invasive process.
Can I Get Dental Implants?
Adults who are missing teeth often make great candidates for dental implants. When you come in for an evaluation, Dr. Nguyen will perform a thorough evaluation of your oral health to determine whether dental implants are the best choice for your smile.
There are several factors that play a role in your successful implant placement. The number of teeth missing and their location will decide what kind of restoration is needed. The most important element, however, is the health and strength of your jawbone.
Dental implants rely on the jawbone for support, so if the bone is thin or weak, chewing pressure can cause an implant to fail. If the bone is weak, an additional procedure such as a bone graft may be needed before implants can be placed.
Smoking and gum disease can also weaken the jawbone, so it’s important to address either of these factors before receiving dental implants.
Does Age Matter When Getting Implants?
It is common for most people to lose some jawbone volume later in life. However, this doesn’t exclude seniors from being able to receive implants. If the jaw is weakened but you’re otherwise healthy, we can use a bone graft to strengthen the bone and help you achieve a strong, healthy smile with dental implants.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Everyone’s smile requires a tailored treatment, so the cost of your dental implant treatment will depend on your unique needs. The number of teeth replaced, as well as their location, will determine what kind of restoration is used and how many implants are needed to support them.
How Long Does Implant Placement Take?
The dental implant process typically takes a few months to complete. Since the implant placement itself may take only one or two visits, much of this time is used either in the planning stage or for healing.
Once implants are placed, the bone begins fusing to the implant in a process called osseointegration. Over time, the implants become a permanent part of the jaw, providing lasting support. This means that once your implants have fully healed, you likely won’t need any further treatment aside from routine maintenance and occasionally replacing worn or damaged restorations.
Getting Your Dental Implants: The Process From Start to Finish
Understanding the dental implant process from the dentist’s perspective will help you know what to expect during your treatment, and can help you feel more comfortable and confident in the process. Read on to find out how Dr. Nguyen helps her patients enjoy a brand-new smile with strong, dependable dental implants.
The Initial Evaluation
Knowledge of your dental and overall health builds the foundation for your treatment and is vital to your treatment success. First, Dr. Nguyen performs a visual exam. She studies the number of teeth missing, where they are in your smile, and whether you have any apparent health issues such as gum disease or tooth decay.
After the visual exam, we use advanced technology to help us see below the surface and gain a thorough understanding of your smile. Our office is equipped with digital x-rays, 3D imaging technology, and CAT scanning, which can all be used to evaluate your smile and plan the best approach for implant placement.
Some patients may be missing many teeth but still have a few left over. If these teeth are damaged, diseased, or in poor locations, it may be more beneficial for your health to extract them so that they can be replaced by strong, reliable implant-supported restorations. It’s not uncommon to remove a few remaining teeth in order to place a full dental arch so that the smile is functional and even.
Bone Grafts and Sinus Lifts
If the jaw lacks sufficient density to support implants, grafting new material to the bone can strengthen it and prepare it for implant placement. Bone grafts are used on the lower jaw, while sinus lifts are used to provide a greater buffer between the jaw and the sinuses, an open pocket located around the nose, just above your smile.
The materials used can be a transplant of your own bone, donor bone, animal bone material, or synthetic bone. Dr. Nguyen will talk you through the specifics and work with you to find the solution that will provide the best results.
Placing Your Implants
Implant placement may be completed in one or multiple procedures depending on your personal situation. The implants are carefully inserted at the precise location, angle, and depth to ensure that they provide the best support possible for your restoration. Our office uses high-quality materials for your implant, providing better strength, comfort, and longevity.
Is Getting Dental Implants Painful?
You will not feel any pain during your dental implant placement. Our office works with a skilled anesthesiologist who will ease you into deep sedation, allowing you to rest comfortably during the entire procedure. While you may feel discomfort after your procedure while the bone and tissues heal, our office will provide you with medication and instructions to help make your recovery as comfortable as possible.
Resting After Implant Placement
After the implants are in place, several months are needed to allow the implants to fully fuse with the bone. You’ll be given a temporary restoration to allow you to bite, chew, and speak while you heal.
Dr. Nguyen and her team will provide you with specific instructions regarding how to care for yourself and your implants during this phase. Be sure to follow these instructions closely and let our office know if you experience any unusual symptoms, such as prolonged pain, or other complications. It’s also important to keep all of your scheduled follow-up visits so that we can be sure your mouth is healing correctly and that your treatment is a success.
Your Custom Crown, Bridge, or Dentures
All implants are topped with a customized dental prosthetic designed and crafted to fit your exclusive smile. While your mouth is healing after implant placement, a dental lab will craft your new prosthetic to exact specifications.
Once your healing is complete, you’ll come to our office to have your custom crown, bridge, or denture placed. Dr. Nguyen will work with you to make any adjustments and ensure the fit is secure and comfortable for you.
The restoration will become a permanent part of your smile, though it may be removed by the dentist to make any adjustments later, perform maintenance, or to replace it if it becomes damaged or worn.
How Many Teeth Can Dental Implants Replace?
Dental implants can replace anything from a single tooth to an entire dental arch. The number and location of missing or extracted teeth will decide what type of prosthetic is used and how many implants are needed to support it. Dr. Nguyen is careful to plan your implant treatment to ensure that the restoration has effective support while minimizing the impact on your smile.
Caring for Your Dental Implant
Your daily care routine won’t be much different from the way you care for your normal teeth. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day to keep your smile free of plaque and food debris. Be sure to brush evenly around all sides of the implant. Antimicrobial mouth rinses can also be beneficial for keeping your gums and soft tissues clean and healthy.
You’ll also need regular dental visits every 3-6 months to have your teeth examined and professionally cleaned. The frequency of your visits will vary based on whether we discover any oral health concerns.
Can Dental Implants Fail?
Dental implants are made of durable titanium that won’t wear down or break on their own. This means that most dental implants will last a lifetime. However, the implant can fail if jawbone health is impacted by injury or disease.
Not every risk to your implant can be prevented, but if you understand what factors are more likely to affect jawbone health, you can do more to protect your dental implants. Here are the most common factors for dental implant failure:
- Gum disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes
- Some medications
Building Healthy Smiles in Irvine
At Woodbridge Dentistry, we’re passionate about helping all our patients achieve a healthy smile they can be proud of. No matter what dental health issues you’re facing today, Dr. Ann Nguyen and her team are committed to helping you overcome your challenges and be confident in your smile. For quality dental care and skilled treatment with dental implants, contact our office today!