Some people can rock the tooth gap, but unless you're touring with a band, you may want to consider a dental implant procedure. The implant procedure is often a painless and quick process (depending on the amount of work that needs to be done). Our experienced team of dentists treat every patient with the utmost care ensuring that the process is time efficient and painless. In addition, our dental experts take the time to review your medical history to ensure that you are the right type of person for the procedure. If you are located in Southern California and are in need of top quality dental implants of other dental services, we invite you to visit our office in Downey, CA for a free exam and digital x-ray.

A variety of patients report that a dental implant has positively impacted their life and well-being. Among the many benefits including a charming smile, a dental implant improves your facial structure, it can help you achieve a younger look, and it gives you the ability to bite into any type of dish. What's more is that you may experience a boost in self-confidence which may impact your overall outlook in life. After you achieve the smile you want, you will never be afraid to smile again.

The dental implant procedure is a three-step process (not including the initial consultation) involving the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant is a titanium-based component that imitates the original roots of the tooth. Titanium is a metal that can not be used on every patient as it may cause an allergic reaction. Individuals who are hypersensitive towards metals may not qualify for a dental implant procedure and may want to speak with a dentist about other options. Furthermore, the dental implant process cannot be complete without the abutment. The abutment is the middle piece that holds the implant to the crown. Finally, the crown is the piece that everyone gets to see. Depending on your choice, you have the option to implant permanent or removable crowns. Our dentists are specialized in all areas of the dental implant procedure and are conveniently located in-office so you do not have to drive between locations for each procedure.

The dental experts at The Downey Dentist have restored thousands of smiles through dental implant procedures. Upon your first consultation, our friendly staff will provide all the information you will need regarding the dental implant procedure including the process, the different components, the healing time, the cost, and we will inform you of our financing options. We make sure that every patient is fully informed about the procedure so that they may take the correct steps to achieve the smile they’ve always wanted.

As mentioned earlier, we offer a free exam and digital x-rays with no strings attached. To schedule a consultation and to receive the examination and digital x-rays, you can reach our offices at 562-746-0350. Our team of experienced dentists are ready to treat your case with the procedure that is right for you. Again, keep in mind that the dental implant process is not for everyone so it is crucial to consult with a trusted specialist to avoid future complications.

The Dental Implant Procedure

The requirements for a successful ‘osseointegration’ dental procedure are healthy gum tissue and a strong jaw bone. Unhealthy or worn down gum and jaw bones require special surgical attention. For a successful osseointegration (the process by which the titanium implant binds with the bone), the patient needs a strong bone structure that can heal around the foreign object. In some cases, patients may require a sinus augmentation also known as sinus lift surgery to add bone to the area that has experienced deterioration. On the other hand, long-term success depends on the health of the patient's gum (the pink mucosal tissue around the tooth). If your gums have receded as they naturally do with age, then you may require a surgical treatment known as gum grafting or gum plastic surgery. Gums plays an essential role in our overall health and in the success of a dental implant procedure. Patients with receding gums may require a gum grafting treatment which aims to recreate the structure of the gum tissue.

The gum otherwise known as the ‘gingiva’ is made up of different sections. The gum section closest to the teeth (the tissue that you see wrapped immediately around the crown) is known as the gingival marginal or the free marginal gingiva. This part of the gum can be worn down when the subject is incorrectly brushing their teeth. After the marginal gingiva is the attached gingiva followed by the mucosa. The tightly bound tissues of the attached gingiva provide support to the structure of the face and protection to the soft mucosa. Gum disease weakens the different areas of the gum which leads to weakening of the tooth. Gum tissue that is badly infected may cause teeth to fall out. What's worse is that gum disease causes irreversible gum damage that may only be repaired through plastic surgery.

Individuals with healthy gums and strong bones may be good candidates for a dental implant procedure. When you visit a dentist for a dental implant, one of the first steps includes a thorough examination of your mouth. A dentist will determine the health of the gums and jawbone and will take into account any allergies you may have towards metals. Individuals that are allergic to metals may find other cosmetic alternatives by speaking to their dentist. After a thorough examination, the dentist will take the exact measurements of the tooth and mouth. A mold of the tooth will provide the exact dimensions of the tooth, allowing for a precise fit. At the time of surgery, a dentist will cut through the soft tissue down to the jawbone and drill an opening for the implant. The implant will act as the root of the tooth so it is crucial to allow the bone and implant to bind together through a process known as osseointegration. The osseointegration process can take up to several months. Once the tooth and the implant have successfully integrated, the dentist can proceed with the abutment. The abutment is the middle part that holds the implant and the crown. The abutment can be placed before or after osseointegration is complete. Some individuals prefer the abutment to be placed after osseointegration, however, this process will involve the reopening of the soft tissue to expose the implant. On the other hand, when the abutment is placed at the same time as the implant the abutment will be visible until it is covered with a crown which may take months.

Once the abutment is placed, the dentist will allow the opening to heal for a couple of weeks. After a couple of weeks, your dentist will place the crown. The crown can be made from gold, silver, metal alloys, ceramics, and porcelain. The type of crown used in your procedure will depend on how you want your tooth to look. Most individuals want a dental tooth to match the rest of their teeth so they may choose a porcelain crown. On the other hand, some individuals may find a gold or metal crown to be more enticing. Furthermore, a dentist will take into account whether you want removable or fixed dental implants. Removable implants can be easily removed day and night for cleaning or repair. On the contrary, the fixed dentures are permanently attached to the abutment and may only be removed with dental tools.

To increase the success of a dental implant your dentist will advise you to maintain a regular cleaning habit and to come back for regular check-ups. After a dental implant is placed, the patient may experience swelling and bruising of the gum tissue and may feel pain in their jaw. When experiencing pain, you may contact your oral surgeon for anti-inflammatory and anti-infection medication.

Sinus Lift/Sinus Augmentation Surgery

A sinus lift surgery is a process by which an oral surgeon adds a bone filling to the area in the upper jaw that is missing bone. Bone degradation occurs in individuals who have experienced severe gum disease. Gum disease can infect the gums causing gum loss and bone loss. A person that has experienced bone loss will need to undergo a sinus lift surgery before a dental implant. Dental implants require strong bones and healthy gums to increase the success of osseointegration. When there is not enough bone for the implant to grab on to a sinus lift may be required before a dentist proceeds with a dental implant.

To prepare for a sinus lift, the dentist will take x-rays of the upper jaw. The x-rays will allow the dentist to examine and study the bone structure. The dentist will collect bone for the sinus lift from your own body, from a cow, or from a cadaver. Once ready to proceed, the dentist will cut through the gum and add the bone particles to the sinus area. The wound will be stitched and the dentist will wait for the bone to become one before proceeding with a dental implant. The complete process may take up to nine months.

Gum Grafting (a.k.a Gum Plastic Surgery)

A gum grafting procedure may be required before a dental implant. Healthy gums help increase the success of a dental implant. When gums are receding due to gingivitis or a periodontal disease, a gum grafting surgery may prevent further recession and bone loss. The gum tissue will be replaced with the soft tissue found in your mouth. There are different gum grafting procedures, to learn about gum grafting and the procedure that applies to you, you may contact a dentist.

Gum Disease and Tooth Decay Prevention

Gum disease may be described in three different stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gum disease is the swelling of the gum tissue caused by the buildup of tartar. Tartar is a calcium-based deposit that breaks down sugars found in foods produces acids that break down the tooth enamel and the surrounding gum areas. Gum disease causes gum swelling and irritation causing the gums to easily bleed and recede. To prevent the gum disease from spreading and becoming a serious problem, you are advised to visit a dentist office for an examination.

Tooth decay occurs from the build-up of plaque. Plaque is a colorless biofilm that is found on our teeth and along the gumline. Plaque breaks down sugary foods to produce acids that break the enamel of the tooth. When the enamel is weakened, the bacteria may puncture all the way through to the pulp. The pulp of the tooth is the center of the tooth that contains the blood cells and nerves. When the tooth has been infected, a root canal procedure may be required to remove the infected area save the tooth.

The best way to prevent gum disease and tooth decay is to practice daily brushing and flossing. When we brush and floss our teeth, the plaque that naturally forms is removed, keeping it from building up into tartar. Daily cleaning habits can help prevent an oral health concern, however, it is also advised to regularly visit a dentist. Dental check-ups can help keep your gum and teeth in good shape by removing plaque in hard to reach places and by stopping cavities early on. At the Downey Dentist, we provide a free examination and digital x-rays to new patients or to individuals that have not been back to the dentist for a prolonged period of time. A dental examination can help spot signs of oral cancer, signs of bone loss, tooth decay, and gum disease. A dentist will take the appropriate measures to prevent the problems from becoming much worse. To schedule an appointment with one of our experts, you may contact our office at 562-746-0350. We are ready to provide solutions to all of your oral needs.