Dental Implants in Torrance, CA

Dental Implant: What Is It?

Dental implants are inert synthetic components designed to resemble the root of natural teeth. They are made of biocompatible materials, including titanium, hydroxyapatite, and a specific type of ceramic. These materials allow the implant to bond directly to the jaw bone. Direct attachment to the bone and gums enables implants to be as strong as natural teeth.

Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

If you have lost your natural teeth, implants can help you to live confidently. They are the best alternative to missing teeth as they look and feel like natural teeth. Dental implants near you are a great option for elderly patients, but they are not recommended for children or teenagers because their jawbones have not finished growing.

At Sparkle Family Dentistry, we offer dental implants in the following cases:

  • Immediate implant: When teeth cannot be saved due to extensive cavities or gum disease, we may suggest tooth extraction and replacement with an implant that same day. Immediate implants save at least three months of patients’ time and prevent bone resorption, reducing recovery time and the chance of complications.
  • Single tooth missing: A single missing tooth can easily be replaced by an individual dental implant.
  • Multiple teeth missing: If you are missing several adjacent teeth, at least two implants are required. In many cases, a bridge can be made across those implants to fill the space from three or more missing teeth.
  • Full mouth reconstruction: In patients missing all or most of their teeth, we offer either fixed implant bridges or over-denture implants. Which is best for you is determined by the condition of your bone and the relationship between your upper and lower jaws.

Dental Implants vs. Conventional Treatments

Removable dentures and fixed prostheses are conventional treatments for missing teeth that are losing their popularity. Dental implants offer many advantages over these conventional tooth replacements:

  • No bone loss
  • No damage to adjacent, healthy teeth
  • No slipping dentures
  • No gum irritation

Removable dentures cause bone loss because they exert continuous pressure on the gums and jaws. This pressure causes bone reabsorption and is more obvious in patients who have worn dentures for a long time. Dental implants, like natural teeth, prevent bone shrinkage because they do not continuously put pressure on the bone.

Conventional fixed prostheses require that the natural, healthy teeth adjacent to the missing or damaged teeth be used as an anchor or abutment. This requires damaging that healthy tooth to affix the prosthesis. In addition, unbalanced removable partial dentures can cause damage to the remaining healthy teeth during insertion and removal due to the lever action required to “snap” the denture in and out. Dental implants don’t have any of these negative effects on your remaining natural teeth and don’t require a dentist near you to cut into your healthy teeth.

Conventional dentures often slip or come loose, causing discomfort and gum irritation. Implant-supported dentures eliminate this movement and the resulting irritation by permanently affixing the denture to your jaw via a few strategically placed implant posts. The implants also remove the pressure from the denture sitting on and rubbing against the gums.

Dental Implant Procedure

At your first appointment with our dentist in Torrance, Dr. Reza will perform a clinical examination and take x-rays to determine the location, size, trajectory, and number of implants needed. A 3D digital x-ray (CT scan) is usually the best choice for bone evaluation. This type of x-ray gives us valuable information about the width and height of the bone, which are two important factors in the successful placing of your dental implants in Torrance. For a quick evaluation, you can book an appointment online now with our dentist open on Saturday.

Your doctor may suggest a bone graft if there is not enough bone to hold an implant. If there is not enough bone in the upper jaw due to the proximity of your sinus cavity to the missing teeth, your doctor may recommend sinus lift surgery. This procedure involves lifting the sinus cavity floor and placing bone grafts under the sinus membrane to provide the necessary bulk to the bone.

Dental implant treatment consists of two stages: placing the implant and attaching the replacement tooth or teeth. First, a dentist near you will surgically place the implant. They may use local anesthesia or sedation to make the procedure as painless as possible. The procedure is simple and takes about an hour.

Post-operative pain and swelling are mild and easily managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. After the procedure, a temporary crown or denture will be attached so our patients can look, eat, and speak normally during their recovery period. Once the dentist feels the bone has fully healed around the implant (usually two to three months), your permanent crowns, bridges, or prostheses will be attached to the implants.

Dental Implant Maintenance & Protection

Although dental implants are the best available options to replace missing teeth, they are vulnerable to the same destructive factors that threaten natural teeth. Patients who take care of their dental implants with regular dental visits and daily cleaning can expect their implants to last a lifetime.

Gum inflammation can cause bone loss around your dental implants, so our implant dentist recommends all patients keep their gums and implants free of tartar buildup by getting regular checkups and dental cleanings.

Systemic health issues like uncontrolled diabetes, calcium or vitamin D deficiency, severe osteoporosis, smoking, and bone disorders can increase the chance of implant failure and must be treated before implant treatment.

If you grind your teeth, clench your jaw, or have other bad habits involving your teeth, you may overload the implants and cause them to loosen. Talk to your dentist about a nightguard or other preventative care options. Call our office today for an appointment!

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