At DeAnza Family Dentistry in Cupertino, Dr. Craig Mitchell restores dental implants and works closely with our local specialist for the surgical placement of the implant fixtures. If you are looking for Dental Implants in the Cupertino, San Jose, Sunnyvale, or Saratoga area, give our friendly office a call!
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution alternative to having removable partial or complete dentures. Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances. A single-tooth implant is the closest thing to your own natural teeth to replace a missing tooth. They can also improve the quality of your life as well.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontist - a specialist of the gums and supporting bone. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are strong and durable and will last many years. On rare occasions, they may have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, and speech, and improve digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues by providing underlying lip and cheek support.
Support a bridge or denture, making it more secure, stable, and comfortable.
How long does it take to get a dental implant crown?
The process of getting implants generally requires a series of visits over several months. The first phase is called the SURGICAL PHASE, where the implant fixture is screwed into the jawbone. Per the suggestions of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, we generally will wait 4-6 months before the second phase, or the RESTORATIVE PHASE. This is where the crown is placed over the implant fixture.
What is involved in dental implant placement?
Initially, X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine the bone height and density, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. If you have not had severe bone loss, a dental implant can often be a great choice to replace one or more missing teeth. Another alternative is to do a three-unit bridge. If the two adjacent teeth have no cavities in them, we hate to grind down two perfectly good teeth just to place a crown between the, to fill the space.
Once all the proper records are made and measurements are done and we made sure the bone is adequate, we are ready to begin the procedure. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself for four to six months. Implant surgery is relatively simple these days and is commonly done under simple local anesthesia. The entire process can take between 10-30 minutes! These surgical procedures are getting more predictable and the materials are significantly more advanced than those used 30-40 years ago. Once the implant is "integrated" into the bone (called osseointegration). we are ready for the next step - to restore the tooth.
Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. That piece that connects the surgically placed screw fixture to the crown is called an abutment. In certain circumstances, the implant post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time as one piece.
After several weeks of healing and the bone integrating around the threads of the implant fixture, impressions are taken and the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. While one impression will generally give us all the information we need to create the crown, in some cases, it may be necessary to do additional fittings either due to the location or number of implants being restored at the same time. After the lab creates the custom-made teeth, these artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant fixture, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient. After this phase, there is generally very minor, if any discomfort while getting used to your new teeth.
Implant Success for Missing Teeth
There are several factors that will affect the integration of dental implants. Some of them are basic common-sense items such as not chewing on the tooth until the dentist says to, just to make sure the bite and the crown are settled properly. Also, avoiding alcohol and smoking is highly advised as that may affect the healing of the tissues around the implant.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene and eating habits, alongside regular dental visits, will aid in the life of your new implant. For some of our patients, we might advise taking a supplement Vitamin C or Calcium to aid in the healing of the gums and the bone. Again, with good home care and oral hygiene, your dental implant could last you a lifetime.
What is the Typical Cost of a Dental Implant?
As mentioned earlier, are two phases to placing an implant. The first phase of placing a screw-like fixture into the bone is the first phase. The second phase is the restorative phase where we put a connector called an abutment, onto the fixture, and then an impression is taken and a crown is fabricated by the lab and then either cemented or screwed onto the abutment. There are a variety of charges that go into the actual procedure and depending on each unique situation, the price may vary slightly. So, by coming in for a consultation first, we can give you an idea of what would be involved in your particular circumstances. If you were considering a bridge because the missing tooth has two adjacent teeth on either side, the fee is comparable to or slightly less in some cases than what a bridge might cost you.
De Anza Family Dentistry is your Silicon Valley Dental Implant Specialist. Give us a call today at 408-255-9422 to see if implants are right for you! If you are considering dental implant surgery, give our office a call first, you will be glad you did. Implants can also be used to support a partial denture or a full removable denture and give you much more stability when chewing! They are an amazing solution providing a long-term solution to missing teeth. Your Cupertino Dentist, Dr. Mitchell will go over how much the dental implants cost, alternatives for tooth replacement, and the best way for you to take care of any missing teeth, or to help you get a more stable denture.
If you have questions about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office.