Our practice provides a variety of dental implant and periodontal procedures. We pride ourselves on the fact that we limit treatment to the areas where it is absolutely necessary. Advancements in treatments not only control gum disease but also in many cases can reverse the damage it has done. When we work with the general dentist or prosthodontist to restore a patient’s oral health, we will prepare the gums during surgery so the best aesthetic appearance of the gums and restored or replaced teeth will result. Periodontal procedures are available to regenerate lost bone and gum tissue to their original function and cosmetic appearance.
These are teeth that look and feel just like your own! When a tooth is lost, it’s best to replace it with a dental implant as promptly as possible. After tooth loss, the load on each remaining tooth is increased because there are fewer of them. To restore proper chewing ability, the support lost from the missing tooth needs to be increased.
To compare chewing efficiency, let’s assume a patient with all his or her natural teeth can chew at 100 percent efficiency. With every tooth that is lost, the amount of chewing efficiency decrease depends on whether or not the teeth are replaced and how. Ultimately, if all teeth are lost, the patient will have perhaps a 15 to 18 percent chewing efficiency (even with good-fitting dentures on adequate bony ridges).
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours are preserved.
The dental implants themselves are small bio compatible titanium posts that are placed into the area where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration and facial collapse which occurs when teeth are missing. When teeth are lost, the jawbone degenerates. Nature takes away what you do not use! Where dental implants have been properly placed and maintained, the bone tends to be preserved since it is still being used.
Drs. Gallardo and Lamas have extensive training and experience in dental implant surgery. As periodontists, they have specialized in gum tissues and underlying bone. Because of this they are ideal members of your dental implant team. They have been successfully placing implants for over 15 years and through their continuing education and faculty positions at major Universities, are abreast of the most current information on implant dentistry.
Dental Implant Cost And Evaluation
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo an implant consultation which includes a health history, dental history and clinical/films evaluation. We will review and explain your existing conditions as well as risks of delaying or not having treatment at all. Depending on your specific situation and the type of implant chosen, the doctors will help create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
We will also discuss cost at this time. There are many types of insurance plans, and coverage for implants is varied. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining any benefits to which you may be entitled.
Dental Implant Procedures
Dental implants act as tooth root substitutes. They are placed into the jawbone. Some patients may have been told in the past that they don’t have enough bone for reliable dental implants. Now using advanced technology, sinus augmentation and ridge augmentation can help correct this problem by naturally and predictably developing bone. Small posts are then attached to the implant which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth. Because of the sedation protocol we use most patients surprisingly report little to no discomfort during and after the procedure.
For most patients, dental implants can be placed in just one visit. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six weeks following this step, the implants are gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to function normally with some type of temporary replacement during this time.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. During this, your restorative dentist designs the final tooth or teeth replacements, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics. A simple impression must be taken. Then a small post or attachments can be connected to the implant. The new implant teeth are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes two to four months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily lives. Some patients are candidates for immediate implants, which allows them to have tooth replacements that same day.