Our Pasadena dental implants are a popular, effective, long-term solution for people who have lost teeth to decay, injury, or periodontal disease. They are fast becoming the new standard in tooth replacement because they fit, feel, function, and look like natural teeth.
Practicing with Niloufar Molayem, D.D.S. in Pasadena, Dr. Eric Cho performs high quality dental implant procedures to provide comfort, convenience, and confidence for patients with missing teeth. Dr. Cho and Dr. Molayem focus their practice on holistic, conservative treatment, using the least aggressive methods possible while ensuring the well-being of the whole patient. For some of the most comfortable dental implants South Pasadena patients can rely on, be sure to visit Dr. Cho at Pasadena Smile Center.
Parts of a Dental Implant
A dental implant is composed of 3 different parts:
- The implant itself – the titanium post that serves as the root of your new tooth and attaches to your jawbone
- The abutment – a connector, removable by your Pasadena cosmetic dentist, which supports and holds the replacement tooth or set of teeth
- The crown – the visible part of the tooth, typically made of porcelain or zirconium for durability and appearance
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or a full arch of upper or lower teeth. In an "all-on-four" implant procedure, a dental surgeon can place four implants and attach a full arch of upper or lower teeth, providing stability and comfort for the patient.
Dental Implant Procedure
As the first step of your treatment, Dr. Cho will develop a personalized plan to fit your specific oral health needs. The procedure for placing dental implants progresses in phases. In the first phase, the titanium implant is surgically placed in the socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implant, securely anchoring it in place. It can take from 6 to 12 weeks for the site to heal completely.
In the second phase, when the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the abutment (a small connector post) is attached to the tooth root implant to securely hold the replacement tooth in place. A crown (replacement tooth) is then attached to the abutment. Instead of a crown, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant to support and retain removable dentures.
What to Expect: Dental Implants
A full tooth restoration is a multi-step procedure. The first step is a full examination to evaluate the condition of your gums and jaw. This procedure typically involves X-rays, a 3D scan, and a physical examination. The next step is to take an impression of your mouth so that the new tooth structure can be fabricated to be aligned and fit perfectly with your other teeth. If you have a damaged tooth that must be extracted, this can be performed the same day as your examination.
After the damaged tooth is removed, the implant post will be placed. What is required to place the post varies from patient to patient, depending upon the condition of the gums and jawbone.
Some patients will require a bone graft prior to placing the implant. Only an exam will reveal what is needed for each individual patient. After the implant is placed, the jaw heals around it, which requires varying amounts of time for each patient. You will have a temporary crown during healing time. Once it is sturdily anchored, the new tooth (which looks exactly like a natural tooth) is placed.
Duration of the Procedure
The entire process of cleaning, extraction and the mounting the root and crown take up to 2-3 hours. You will be under general or local anesthesia for the entire duration of the procedure.
When done by a qualified dental surgeon and with proper post-treatment care, dental implants can last up to 15 years. So far, studies have shown that success rate of dental implants is at 98%.
Post-procedure, the pain and the swelling will last for up to 2-3 months. You will be provided medication to manage the pain and swelling and to prevent infection from setting in. After 3 months, you’ll begin to notice improved results in the strength, structure and appearance of the teeth.
Recovery From Dental Implants
You will be given full aftercare instructions after the first phase of your implant. Some patients may feel a stiff sensation in the jaws, a result of holding the mouth open during the procedure, which goes away quickly. You may experience swelling, which can be relieved an ice pack. Any pain from the procedure is easily managed with pain medication, often requiring nothing more than over-the-counter strength.
The first day, you should plan on resting, and avoid bending, stretching, or vigorous motions. You will need to avoid strenuous exercise for about four days. Your life should continue as normal, depending upon your procedure. Patients who have required bone grafting may have more swelling and discomfort. We will monitor your progress and are available to answer any of your questions and concerns during recovery.
Strong Teeth for a Lifetime
One of the biggest advantages of dental implants is how long lasting they are. Once you have your dental implants mounted, you won’t need to worry about implant replacement for the next 10-15 years.
Made from top-quality titanium, porcelain and zirconia, our implants are designed for rough use and stressful conditions. Of course, it is important to remember that the quality of the dental implants depends on a number of factors, including:
- Material of the implants
- Extent of gum and jaw damage
- Nature of daily dental hygiene
- Age of the patient
- Prevalence of habits like teeth grinding (when stressed)
- Pre-existing medical conditions (ex: diabetes, cancer and gum disease)
While the dental implants will remain strong and flexible for up to 15 years, you will begin to notice subtle wear and tear due to usage. There is no need to worry when this happens. You can either choose to have your implants repaired or go in for another dental implant mounting procedure.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Our Pasadena dental implants are fast becoming the tooth replacement procedure of choice, for good reason. They have many advantages, including:
- Improved appearance: Implants look and feel like natural teeth.
- Greater comfort: Implants bond to the jawbone and become part of the body, for a comfortable alternative to removable dentures.
- Better speech: Removable dentures can slip in the mouth, causing slurred speech and mumbling. Dental implants allow you to speak clearly with no worry.
- Easier chewing: Dental implants function like natural teeth and allow you to eat all your favorite foods with no pain or discomfort, unlike dentures, which can slide while you are eating.
- Better oral health: With dental implants, there is no need to reduce other teeth, as with tooth-supported bridges. More of your teeth are left intact for improved long-term oral health. Implants also allow access between the teeth for better oral hygiene.
- Convenience: Removable dentures have to be removed and replaced with messy adhesives. Dental implants stay in your mouth, causing no embarrassment or inconvenience.
- Durability: Implants are made of durable materials and can last for many years. In fact, with proper care, many dental implants last a lifetime.
- Improved self-esteem: Dental implants can give you back your smile, and that can do wonders for your overall appearance, as well as your self-esteem.
Is There Downtime With Dental Implants?
Most patients feel fine and ready to return to work after just a few days. As dental implants involve several stages, it will require several months before the implant is fully integrated into the jawbone, but during this period, your life proceeds as normal. As you will have a temporary crown, you will need to avoid chewing sticky or hard foods to keep it in place.
If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be the optimum long-term solution to restore both function and appearance. To find out if you are a good candidate for some of the best dental implants Pasadena, CA has to offer, call and schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Cho at the dental practice of Pasadena Smile Center.
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
When compared to dental bridges and caps, dental implants have shown significant positive results for patients. By giving them pain-free teeth, dental implants have returned users with their quality of life.
But, in saying this, we shouldn’t forget that the dental implant procedure is a medical procedure and there are certain side effects that patients may experience after undergoing the mounting procedure. Some of the side effects and disadvantages of dental implants are:
- Longer time taken for bone integration
Bones heal very slowly and this time is compounded in the jaw. Since we tend to use the teeth even during the treatment period, the teeth and the jaws will not get the ideal rest required and will heal very slowly, resulting in pain and loose teeth for a very long time.
- Loss of bone mass around the implants
If done by an inexperienced surgeon, the implants may not be perfectly designed and may not fit well into your teeth. This can result in damage to the bone around the teeth and may result in loss of bone mass and density around the teeth.
- High chances of tooth replacement
ost implants do chip off and break due to excessive and frequent usage. This will necessitate tooth replacement or restoration sooner or later.
- No insurance accepted for treatment
One of the biggest disadvantages of dental implants is the cost. This expense becomes difficult to bear, considering how most hospitals and dental clinics do not accept medical insurance and dental insurance will not cover dental implants.
At the Pasadena Smile Center, we have extensive experience working on dental implant procedures. With us by your side, you can rest assured that your teeth are in safe hands. We offer a variety of patient-friendly financing options for our customers. Be sure to contact our team for more information.
Patients who have a very weak jaw and those who have missing, broken and chipped teeth are ideal candidates for the procedure. Once you visit our clinic, Dr. Cho will examine your teeth and advise you about your eligibility for the procedure.
Cost of Dental Implants
The cost of a dental implant procedure primarily depends on the following factors:
- Extensiveness of the procedure
- Number of implants mounted
- Doctor and hospital visited
- Material of implant
- Condition of the teeth, jaw and facial bones
As of 2017, the average cost of dental implants in the United States was $13,500 per arch for the all-on-four procedure. But, the cost of a single implant without the crown comes up to $1,000. Two implants for the three-unit fixed bridge start at $3,000 and can go anywhere up to $5,000 depending on a variety of criteria.
Porcelain and Zirconia Implants
Pasadena Smile Center now offers the new porcelain and zirconia implants. Porcelain and zirconia implants are a metal free solution that functions and appears like a healthy tooth. Durability, corrosion-resistance and a faster treatment time, are just a few of the many benefits involved with this procedure.
How it works is once the root is fully joined into the bone structure in the jaw, the porcelain tooth is added to the replacement root. The substance that the implant itself is made from can be titanium or zirconia. After an individual evaluation, we will be able to determine which substance to use for your specific implant. Learn more today about porcelain and zirconia implants.