When you are missing a tooth, or if you have a tooth that is so badly damaged that it must be extracted, you have several options for replacement. One of the most popular options is dental implants. Dental implants are an easy, durable, and the most economic option for many patients with one or more missing teeth. Dental implants have several advantages over a bridge or dentures. They look and feel just like your natural teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, you can continue eating all of your favorite foods without worrying about the implant becoming damaged or slipping. Your implants can also last a minimum of 20 years or more if they are cared for properly.
Advantages of Dental Implants:
- Permanent, fixed teeth that do not require adhesives.
- Identical to permanent teeth for regular care. Brush and floss as you normally would.
- They become part of your body, so they have unparalleled comfort and do not irritate the gums or surrounding tissues.
- Allow you to eat all of your favorite foods and give greater force during the bite over other replacements.
- Implants prevent bone deterioration in the jaw, helping preserve the remaining teeth and preventing them from shifting.
- Restore a youthful, healthy appearance to your face and mouth.
What Is The Process Of Getting One Placed?
First, Dr. Zadeh, Beverly Hills Dentist, will take X-Rays to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Most people who are healthy enough for a tooth extraction are likely healthy enough to receive an implant. If you need an extraction, the first part of your implant can sometimes be placed on the same day with an immediate loading or same day dental implant! During your consultation, Dr. Zadeh will also often take a CT scan to make sure there are no abnormalities or weaknesses that cannot be picked up by the X-Ray alone.
If your jaw bone is too thin or weakened by age or wear and neglect, you may need to undergo a bone transplant to thicken the jaw bone so it is strong enough to receive an implant. Depending on the complexity and location, the length of time for healing can be anywhere from 3-4 months up to a year in some patients. In the interim, you will likely be given a temporary bridge or other support to help your teeth maintain their position. This will help your graft heal more quickly and prevent the aging effect that missing teeth may cause. You will be checked regularly to make sure your body is accepting the bone graft, especially in difficult cases where there are compound bone issues. With proper care and following Dr. Zadeh’s instructions, your bone graft will heal faster and be ready to accept the implant in less time. However, be aware that you may have to wait an average of six months before the bone graft is well-tolerated and ready for implant surgery. When Dr. Zadeh feels that the bone is ready, he will set up and appointment to place the post into the jaw bone.
During this appointment, you will be sedated for your comfort, so make arrangements ahead of time to get home. After your dental implant post is placed, Dr. Zadeh will apply an abutment and temporary crown over the post to help shape the gums to hold the permanent crown. No matter how you get your implant done, you will walk out of his office with a new tooth that is ready for use. After the gums have healed, Dr. Zadeh will set up a follow up appointment to make sure everything is going well and place the permanent crown on the post. You will then have another follow-up appointment to track your progress, ensure everything has healed properly, and that your implant has settled properly into your jaw. If you experience pain, swelling, or other symptoms after your surgery, do not panic. Dr. Zadeh generally prescribes mild to moderate strength pain relievers, but will prescribe more potent painkillers if your situation calls for it. These symptoms usually go away after a few days as your body heals from the trauma of surgery. Rest and relaxation are the best cures for pain and discomfort. Take the time after your surgery to take it easy. This will help your body heal faster, and you’ll likely be ready to resume your normal activities after about a week.
From there on, you won’t need to do anything special except come in for your regular check up and brush and floss your teeth. It’s as simple as that! Dental implants are becoming increasingly common and will soon replace bridges and dentures in all but the most serious cases. Whether you need to replace a broken or missing tooth or are looking into a full smile makeover or mouth reconstruction, implants are an excellent option for restoring a natural, beautiful appearance.
What Makes Dr. Zadeh Different?
Dr. Zadeh is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantology. This means he studied implants and implantology for over 5,000 hours to gain his certification and is intimately with the ins and outs of the procedure. He has done hundreds of cases and has seen and developed nearly every possible treatment plan to get both permanent and lasting results that both he and the patient can be proud of. In addition, he has developed a new dental implant system that is cross-compatible with other implant systems and provides excellent versatility for his patients. Furthermore, these new implants have been tested under extreme lab conditions and are sturdier, stronger, and more resilient than previous generations of implant systems.
This level of expertise gives him the skills necessary to do your implants right, the first time.
How Much Do They Cost?
A common concern about dental implants is their cost. However, given their longevity, they are actually quite affordable over time. For the whole treatment, you can probably expect your plan to cost about $1,500-$2,000 per tooth on average. While this may seem like a lot, over the course of time, it actually only ends up being about $100 a year, if your tooth lasts 20 years. Many implants, thanks to improving technology, can last even longer than that, requiring only occasional crown replacements as necessary. Because of their ease of use and maintenance, dental implants are actually one of the most affordable options for people missing a small number of teeth. Of course, costs do rise with each additional tooth, but if you are missing a large number of teeth, other options may actually be better. However, if your jaw is healthy and you want that many implants, it is not out of the question. Dr. Zadeh will discuss your options and costs with you during your consultation and help devise a treatment and financing plan that will meet your needs and budget.
Many places offer implants cheap (usually about $1,000 or less), but that is just for the implant portion, or the post. A full replacement tooth will cost more, based on the size of the tooth, the location, and any other necessary treatments before an implant can be placed. Fortunately, costs are still dropping, and with our CEREC machine, we can likely lower the costs even more. It is difficult to assess costs without coming in for a consultation, but Dr. Zadeh will try to make it as affordable as possible.
Factors that go into the cost of an implant:
- Material of the post.
- Material of the replacement tooth / crown.
- Size and location of the missing tooth.
- Treatments such as bone and gum grafts that may be necessary to prepare the jawbone for insertion.
- Considerations needed for surrounding dental work, such as previously installed bridges or dentures.
Are There Different Kinds?
Currently, there are two forms of tooth implant on the market. Zirconia and Titanium. Zirconia implants, often called zirconium implants, are made of a ceramic that looks more natural at the neck (base of the tooth) and is preferred by many patients and dentists for their unparalleled esthetics. Medical studies have also shown they are better tolerated by most patients than titanium implants and may even integrate faster. However, you should discuss your options with Dr. Zadeh as zirconia still carries a small premium over titanium implants. This is also the only option for patients who may have rare titanium allergies.
Titanium implants have been the standard bearer for several decades and are sometimes preferred for their versatility, cost, and integrative factors. Titanium is a lightweight metal, whose properties make it fuse well with bone and the surrounding tissues. Due to its nature, it is also extremely durable. Titanium will readily tolerate the adverse conditions inside your mouth without deterioration or wear for at least two decades. As stated above, there are a few patients that may have titanium allergies, which requires them to get zirconia implants in the event of a reaction. Titanium allergies are staggeringly rare and only seem to occur with other medical complications. If you are not tolerating the implant well, the Doctor will evaluate you again to make sure it is not another or new issue with your teeth, gums, and jaw bone, hygiene, etc., rather than a titanium allergy. Unless you are experiencing a persistent rash or swelling or ongoing fatigue that lasts for several months, odds are your body is simply adjusting to the titanium dental implant rather than a true allergy. However, the vast majority of tooth implant patients tolerate titanium well, and its osseointegrative (becoming part of your bone) qualities are well-recognized. Zirconia will often have the same effects the first few days after surgery. In most cases, this resolves after a few days. If not, do not hesitate to call Dr. Zadeh. He is happy to help you and has your health and comfort at the front of his mind at all times.
Dr. Zadeh uses both, but prefers zirconium dental implants for their more natural appearance. Unlike titanium implants, which have a greyish color and can be unsightly if you have future gum recession or they are placed into or behind thin gum tissue, the post, abutment, and crown of the zirconia implant will be carefully created to match your teeth as closely as possible. With recent advances in imaging software and automated appliance production, we can likely create a tooth that is identical or nearly identical to the one that was damaged at the height of its health and appearance.
If you are interested in having an implant placed or learning more about dental implants, call Dr. Zadeh’s office at (310) 273-2020 or email our appointment coordinator to schedule your consultation. Dr. Zadeh and his skilled staff that is happy to answer any questions that you may have.