A dental implant is made from surgical grade titanium and supports a permanent crown or denture. It is analogous to the “root” portion of a tooth. Depending on the situation, implants can be placed the same day as removing a tooth or years after a tooth has been lost. Modern root-form dental implants have been in clinical practice for over 30 years. Recent advancements have improved the speed of healing, success rates, and expanded the clinical scenarios where implants can be utilized. It is truly an exciting time to be involved with implant dentistry.
At Alamitos Oral Surgery we use the top implant brands which are backed by decades of research, have proven track records, and the support of a large company. We partner with Straumann, Nobel Biocare, Astra, and Biohorizons to achieve exceptional results.
Whether replacing a single tooth or an entire arch, dental implants are helping adults of all ages recreate beautiful smiles.
DID YOU KNOW…
Approximately 30 million Americans have no teeth in one or both jaws? More and more patients are opting for dental implants as a means of tooth replacement. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that 3 million Americans currently have dental implants – a number that is rapidly growing by about 500,000 per year. Titanium implants were first developed in the 1950’s, but archeologists have determined that ancient Egyptians and Mayans were the first cultures to implant artificial teeth.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How successful are implants?
In healthy non-smokers, implants are between 95-98% successful.
How long do implants last?
There are still patients chewing with the original Branemark root-form implants, placed over 30 years ago. Much like a tooth, the longevity of an implant depends on how well it is maintained. There is no accepted lifespan for an implant, but when maintained they are expected to last a very long time, on the order of decades.
Are dental implants right for me?
If you are an adult and need to replace one or more teeth, a dental implant may be the best option for you. Generally, implants are not placed in the jaw until a patient has stopped growing, which is usually age 16 for females and 18 for males. There is no such thing as too old. Patients in their 90s and older are getting implants every day and have success rates equal to younger patients. The best way to determine if a dental implant is a good treatment option for you is to have a consultation with Dr. Poyourow, Dr. Chandra, or Dr. Pham.
What is the process of getting an implant?
Dental implant treatment ranges from simple to complex depending on each patient’s oral condition. At Alamitos Oral Surgery, we utilize 3D Cone Beam CT imaging to visualize the bone beneath the gums in all dimensions with fine detail. We can reconstruct this data into a 3D image and precisely measure the distance from the proposed implant site to vital structures like nerves, the sinus cavity, and other teeth. Furthermore, for complex cases we have the capacity to perform guided surgery using the 3D data from the CT scan and achieve levels of precision previously unimaginable.
Looking at the simplest situation of replacing a single tooth, after proper imaging, consultation, and planning, the implant in inserted and allowed to heal for 2-3 months. You may have a temporary crown during this time or a metal cap that sits atop the implant and shapes the gum tissue. During the healing phase a patient’s bone becomes intimately engaged in the microscopic crevices of the implant. After healing is complete an impression of the implant location is made and sent to the lab. A crown is fabricated and subsequently cemented or screwed onto the implant.
What is it like after the surgery?
Similar to having a tooth removed, mild discomfort is typical and well managed with ibuprofen or prescription analgesics. Often patients report less discomfort after an implant compared to a tooth extraction.