Bakersfield Dental Implants
If you have missing teeth, dental implants might be the solution you’ve been looking for. Although a partial or full denture or a dental bridge will work, no tooth-replacement option lasts longer and is more effective than dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, usually made of titanium. When replacing individual teeth, each implant has three components: a root form, an abutment, and a dental crown.
- Root form – A screw-shaped titanium fixture replaces the tooth root.
- Abutment – A connector on top of the implant secures a dental crown. When we replace a front tooth, the abutment will be custom-made to make sure the whole fixture faithfully replicates nature.
- Dental crown – A ceramic restoration attached to the abutment replaces the white portion of a tooth above the gumline.
When Are Implants Used?
Dental implants can replace individual missing teeth or multiple missing teeth in a row or support an arch of denture teeth.
- Single tooth replacement – Replace each missing tooth with an implant.
- Implant bridge – If you have missing teeth in a row, two dental implants can anchor an implant bridge.
- Implant overdenture – Two to six implants or more can support and stabilize a denture.
What Are the Benefits?
Dental implants mimic the structure, function, look, and feel of natural teeth.
- Solidly anchor individual crowns
- Support an implant bridge and preserve the healthy tooth structure of adjacent teeth
- Prevent a denture from sliding, lifting, or falling out
- Stimulate your jawbone and prevent shrinkage and facial collapse that gradually occurs when teeth are missing
- Prevent the shrinking of your face that occurs with facial collapse that makes you look older
What Is the Dental Implant Process?
The dental implant process includes an evaluation, 3-D CT scan, planning, surgery, and recovery.
Before treatment, we ensure you’re a candidate for dental implants with these steps:
- Thoroughly review your medical and dental histories
- Perform a full-mouth examination
- Take a 3-D cone-beam CT scan of your teeth, jaws, and orofacial anatomy
During dental implant surgery, our in-house oral surgeon will complete these steps:
- Use local anesthetic at the surgery site
- Sedate you, if needed, to maximize your comfort
- Make an insertion through your gums
- Place bone grafting if needed, which may require healing time before implant placement
- Place the implant fixture in your bone
- Place a healing cap or cover the implant site as needed
During a process called osseointegration, your implant and jawbone will fuse to support your dental implant solidly. You may wear a temporary crown during the healing period.
After the implant and jawbone fuse, one of our dentists will restore your implant with a customized crown that matches your natural teeth.
Using Implants to Replace Multiple or All Your Teeth
You can choose an implant bridge to replace multiple teeth or an implant overdenture to replace an entire arch of teeth.
If you have missing teeth in a row and receive a traditional dental bridge, the tooth on either side of the missing ones will anchor the bridge.
But an implant bridge is different:
- Adjacent teeth are not affected
- Strategically placed implants support the bridge
- A series of connected, natural-looking crowns are screwed onto the implants
An implant overdenture replaces an entire arch of missing teeth. A traditional lower denture rests on your gums, and suction holds an upper denture in place. But when you choose dental implants to secure your denture, there are differences:
- Instead of a denture resting on your gums, dental implants will support it
- Our oral surgeon will place two to six implants or more to stabilize your denture
- Your dentist will snap or screw the denture onto the implants
You can read about affordable dental implants to see how as few as two implants will support a denture. But more implants increase the stability of your denture. Read more about the benefits of increasing the number of implants on our implant overdentures page.
Poor-Quality Implants Cost More in the Long Term
Woolf Dental adheres to strict protocol to provide you with high-quality implants. Right in our office, our board-certified oral surgeon completes the surgery, and one of our dentists restores the implants with natural-looking crowns or dentures. Receiving implants in one convenient location saves you time and money and helps prevent miscommunication between the surgeon and restoring dentist.
Shopping around for bargain implants is risky. Please be aware of the risks, including:
- If a dentist takes shortcuts to reduce costs, including using 2-D x-rays instead of a 3-D cone-beam CT scan, it can lead to improper implant placement. Bone perforation, nerve impingement, and other complications can result and end in implant failure.
- A dentist may use low-quality implant fixtures that fit imprecisely and lead to infection and implant failure.
- Your implants can loosen. If not done correctly, they can feel solid for as long as a couple of years and then begin to feel loose.
- Implants may not heal correctly and not become solid enough to adequately support the teeth.
- You can experience nerve damage, including numbness, tingling, or pain.
These complications can result in the loss of the implants plus the supporting bone. Fixing them can require time-consuming bone grafting followed by replacing the implants. Carefully placed implants, however, are very predictable with a very high rate of long-term success.
How to Care for Dental Implants
You can care for dental implants by treating them like natural teeth:
- Floss daily
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Get regular dental cleanings and exams
Request an Examination
If you are interested in high-quality dental implants that last, call us to schedule an examination or complete our Request an Appointment form. If you just have questions and aren’t ready to commit to an exam, feel free to ask for a complimentary consultation.