Dental Implants in the Inland Empire
Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth when implanted by an experienced implant surgeon like Dr. Punjabi. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
What are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts, which are surgically positioned into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes providing stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. Once in place, they allow the dentist to mouth the replacement teeth onto them. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth, making them stronger and giving the patient the ability to eat normally without concern of the teeth to fall out. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. Dental implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing. This can prevent the sag or sunken face that is common in people without teeth.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, your dentist is forming new replacement teeth. After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Punjabi will uncover the implants and attach small posts, which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. These posts protrude through the gums. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
What Types of Prostheses are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist. Dr. Punjabi performs in-office implant surgery in an operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Ambulatory Surgery Center or In hospital surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Improved Oral Health: Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
Improved Appearance: Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
Improved Speech: With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
Improved Comfort: Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
Easier Eating: Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
Improved Self-Esteem: Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
Durability: Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
Convenience: Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
If you’re thinking about getting dental implants, give our office a call! We would be happy to go over any questions regarding the procedure, healing times, and financing options that we offer. Call (909) 798-9950 to schedule your consultation, today!