Implant Dentistry Questions

Cosmetic Dentistry for Beverly Hills & Los Angeles, CA

Are dental implants right for me?

A qualified cosmetic dentist can examine and evaluate your teeth to determine whether implant dentistry is right for you. 
If you meet the following criteria, dental implants might be your solution:

  • You are missing one or more teeth
  • Your speaking or chewing processes are impaired by your missing teeth
  • You have had a recent injury involving trauma to the mouth
  • You can return for dentist appointments for several months
  • Dentures do not appeal to you
  • Your jawbone is fully developed
  • With grafting or in its current state, your bone can support the implants
  • Your oral tissues are relatively healthy
  • Your bone is capable of healing itself

How long do dental implants last?

Well-supported dental implants can potentially last your entire lifetime.

How long do does it take to insert dental implants?

The entire process takes three to nine months. Keep in mind, however, that part of this time is spent healing. The implant dentistry surgery is usually outpatient only-no need to remain in the hospital.

What exactly are dental implants?

Dental implants contain three components:

  1. Threaded metal cylinders that replace the roots of lost teeth.
  2. An extension attached to the top of the cylinder.
  3. A tooth-like crown attached to the top of the extension. Dr. Sands will discuss the options of a removable crown or a fixed crown.

What happens before surgery?

Dr. Sands does everything possible to tailor the procedure to your needs. It is important to mention any medical conditions you may have that might affect the process, including:

  • medications
  • supplements
  • heart problems

Dr Sands conducts a thorough dental exam to determine the fitness of your jawbone and gum tissue. He will also take X-rays or construct a model of your mouth before proceeding.

What is bone grafting and will I need it?

Not everyone requires bone grafting surgery. However, the jawbone takes a great deal of wear as a result of the chewing process. A narrow or unstable jawbone is unlikely to support dental implants, and bone grafting can get around this problem. Substantial grafting requires separate surgery, which takes place before the implant surgery. Sometimes the graft is very small, and can be inserted during the implant surgery.

What happens during the implant surgery?

The process is tailored to your specific needs, so it varies for different patients. Dental implant surgery usually happens in several stages. Each stage requires a period of healing before the next surgery.

  • During the first stage, the implant is placed into your jawbone. A stage of osseointegration follows in which the bone grows around the implant. This healing process takes three to six months.
  • At your second visit, the extension is added. A shorter healing process follows.
  • At your last visit, Dr. Sands attaches the crown.

Is there pain during surgery?

You may experience feelings that range from discomfort to pain. The variation depends on the number of implants placed, their location, and your tolerance for pain.

Can implants suffer from gum disease and plaque?

Yes! You should clean carefully around your implants and visit your dentist as you would for your regular teeth. Failure to maintain proper oral hygiene can lead to infection and failure of the implants. Ask Dr. Sands for advice regarding cleaning around your implants. Brushing and flossing are important.

Are there any negative aspects of receiving dental implants?

Like every kind of surgery, dental implant surgery has its risks. You must be prepared to invest time and money in the procedure and follow your dentist's instructions regarding eating habits, medication, and oral hygiene.
Sometimes the implants do not settle securely into the bone tissue, and the surgery must be repeated. However, problems are uncommon, and implant dentistry surgery is considered one of the safest cosmetic dentistry surgical procedures.

If implants fail, can they be replaced?

Sometimes. It depends on how much the underlying bone structure is affected.

What are the results of the surgery?

Implant surgery restores your smile and aids in the everyday functions so easily taken for granted such as chewing and talking. Without the maintenance of dentures, your smile can be complete again.

If you would like to learn even more about how implant dentistry can help your teeth function better and improve your facial appearance, please contact our implant dentistry at Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Kevin Sands today to schedule your initial implant dentistry consultation.