Dental Implants in Santa Rosa CA
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
When it comes to replacing one or many missing teeth, dental implants can be a game-changer. Implants serve as manmade roots to anchor teeth and provide the most lifelike function and esthetics. Like natural teeth, you can eat all your favorite foods and not worry about teeth coming loose.
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There are generally three components needed to provide a functional tooth replacement. The dental implant is a manmade root that replaces the natural root of your tooth. Additionally, an abutment is needed to connect the implant to the final crown or bridge. The abutment can be metal or tooth colored depending on the esthetic need. The crown is the final restoration which is visible above your gumline.
The implant is made of titanium, a metal that has the bio-capability to fuse with bone through a process called osseointegration. This permanent and solid attachment allows for natural feel and function.
The answer to this question is “it depends.” Keep in mind that the dental implant is only the root of the tooth. They can be placed in one visit. However, completing the final restorations takes more time despite what you may see on TV commercials. The entire process can take 4 to 18 months, depending on your need for tooth removal and bone grafting. We customize each dental implant treatment to your specific case and level of complexity. Usually, cases take 4-10 months to complete. Rest assured that we will do our best to make sure that you have an esthetic temporary restoration, if necessary.
If you’ve been missing a tooth for more than a few months, you’ll most likely need some bone grafting. Our jawbones begin to break down as soon as a tooth goes missing because the jaw depends on stimulus from the missing tooth to bulk it up and keep it healthy. Once the stimulus from chewing is gone, deterioration sets in immediately. Also, if a tooth infection damages the bone around a tooth, bone grafting is indicated on the same day the tooth is removed to preserve the site for implant placement. When you come in for a consultation, the doctors at Fountaingrove Dentistry will evaluate your situation and needs, and will be able to give you a timeline and fee estimate.
You’ll want to plan to miss work the entire day of surgery, but you should be able to return to work the next day. Over the counter (OTC) pain medications, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen, should do the trick to minimize any discomfort you might experience.
Most patients are pleasantly surprised how comfortable the procedure is. We give you medication preoperatively to minimize any discomfort and keep the surgical site numb during implant surgery. We will discuss the assortment of anesthetic options we have available to keep you relaxed and comfortable at an appointment ahead of time. When the anesthesia begins to wear off later in the day, any mild discomfort can usually be managed with OTC medications.