Dental Implants in Mar Vista
At Vision Dental Mar Vista, Dr. Chris Strandburg will work with you toward any possible solution to save your teeth from extraction. Sometimes, however, removing a tooth is the only option. Some instances that could warrant an extraction include:
- A tooth broken at the gumline
- A failed root canal
- A severely decayed tooth
- A tooth compromised by gum disease
Because we have an in-house oral surgeon, you can have your extraction procedure done right here at Vision Dental with a dental team you know and trust.
Replacing Missing Teeth in the 90064 Area
Today, dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They closely mimic the function and appearance of natural teeth, and most patients nearly forget they are artificial. Unlike a partial denture or “flipper,” they are fixed in place and do not need to be removed by the patient. Furthermore, unlike a “bridge,” which requires the use of (and connection to) adjacent teeth, dental implants stand alone and are much easier to clean. Implants have a better lifespan than other restorations that replace teeth as well.
Dental terminology is often convoluted and difficult to understand. To clarify the terminology for implants, please consider the following components of “dental implants.”
Implant body – A titanium anchor, which is surgically placed into the jaw and heals within the bone. Think of this as a “fake root,” which acts functionally as a tooth root would.
Implant crown – This is the “tooth” component that patients see, feel, and use functionally to eat. It is made of a natural-looking ceramic, which mimics the look and feel of real teeth.
Implant abutment – This is the least commonly known or understood component of the dental implant, but it is essential. It is the “connector” between the crown and the metal anchor (the implant crown connects to the implant body through the implant abutment). It is made customized for each patient case (each tooth site) and is made at the precise size and angle to hold the crown to the metal anchor.
When all three components are put together (implant body + implant abutment + implant crown), they form what is commonly thought to be the “dental implant.”
What Is the Dental Implant Process Like?
The dental implant process can be separated into two phases:
surgical and restorative.
Surgical: You will work with one of our surgeons for the diagnosis, planning, and placement of the implant body. Depending on the case, this surgeon will either be our in-house Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, or one of our referral partner surgeons. Comprehensive x-ray imaging is done to ensure safe, predictable, and functional placement of the implant body. This is done with our cutting edge 3-D imaging technology (CBCT).
Once adequate bone is present, the implant body is placed surgically into the bone, and an additional 3 to 4 month period of healing must occur for the implant to fully heal and integrate within the jaw.
While the procedure may sound daunting, most patients experience minimal discomfort and can return to work within 24 to 72 hours.
Occasionally, there is adequate bone, and an implant can be placed immediately (even if a tooth is extracted that day). This is an exciting situation for patients as it can save four months or more of healing time. Your surgeon will determine whether this is appropriate for your case. While we understand the great benefits of getting the implant procedure done quickly for the patient’s quality of life, we are committed to providing the best long term result and will educate you on which particular approach is best for you.
Restorative: Once the implant has healed, our restorative dentist, Dr. Strandburg, will plan for and deliver the final implant abutment and crown. This involves taking an impression of your teeth and jaws with the implant in place, then having an outside laboratory create the implant abutment and crown. It typically takes three weeks to have our laboratory fabricate the final components. You will return for another appointment to have your final crown adjusted and fitted, after which time you can use and enjoy your new tooth immediately!
Proper Care for Your Implant
Dental implants require the same diligent care as your natural teeth – brushing and flossing at home, along with excellent home care, will give you the highest return on your investment.
Do You Have Missing Teeth in Mar Vista?
Give our Mar Vista dental office a call to discuss dental implants and your other options for getting your smile back.