Dental Implants in Santa Monica
Teeth, despite our best efforts, cannot always be saved. Severely compromised teeth suffering from extremely large decay, hopeless fractures, periodontal disease, failed root canals, or trauma can all lead to tooth loss. Implants are used to replace those missing teeth without depending on or using any adjacent anchor teeth (like a bridge.) A titanium implant (fixture) is placed and functions as the new root and is later restored w/ a new abutment (connector) and crown.
Implants can be separated into two phases:
- Surgical: First a 3D cone beam imaging radiograph (CBCT) is taken to treatment plan and evaluate the quality, density, width, and height of the bone available. We also evaluate the proximity of any major nerves and arteries to prevent damage during surgery. By utilizing today's cutting edge technology we're able accurately and predictably plan for beautiful natural-looking outcomes. If the bone is inadequate, grafting can often be done either during the time of the initial extraction, placement of the implant, or sometimes both, depending on how much bone needs to be restored. A membrane can accompany the bone graft to guide gum tissue regeneration over the bone graft. Once adequate bone is achieved, the titanium implant can be placed into the site. Natural bone physically fuses to the implant. In most cases, after 3 to 4 months of healing, once the implant has been osseointegrated (completely fused to the bone), it can be restored, which moves us on to the next phase.
- Restorative: Once the implant has osseointegrated after 3-4 months, we can restore. The superficial portion of the implant is exposed to capture an impression which is used to make a custom abutment that is then placed and connects the implant to the unique crown designed specifically to fit the abutment and your bite. This ensures the most natural esthetics, and easy hygienic care, and most importantly: an outcome that lasts. More difficult cases involving the front teeth may also include custom shading and finishing, where a master ceramist characterizes the tooth/teeth to better match adjacent teeth, similar to individualized porcelain veneers or crowns.
Proper Care For Your Implant
Though implants are immune to cavities, they are still susceptible to gum disease, so good home care and regular dental cleanings are important in ensuring the longevity of the implant, just like any other tooth.
Our office is equipped to handle both and specializes in restoration. If your surgery is advanced, we have partnered with surgeons at Santa Monica Oral Surgery, LACOMS, and UCLA to complete the implant process.
We prefer to use Nobel Biocare, Straumann, and Biohorizons implant platforms but are familiar with restoring many different systems.
Make Your Appointment in Santa Monica Today
We only use the best dental laboratories and techniques to restore your implant. Give us a call today to book your implant consultation to learn more about tooth replacement.