Dental implants provide a permanent, fixed solution for missing teeth. Dr. Kathy Daroee on Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Woodland Hills specializes in replacing missing teeth with fully functioning, natural looking implants. Dr. Kathy also practices General Dentistry as well.
Implants Q & A
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed in the jawbone. They are strong, stable, and durable and are designed to last for several years with normal wear and tear. They are designed to replace one or more missing teeth without affecting the teeth around them, restoring the patient’s confidence in their smile and enhancing their facial features. Dental implants also restore chewing, speech, and digestion, and resolve joint pain and bite problems caused by the remaining teeth shifting into the missing tooth space.
How are dental implants placed?
During the consultation, X-rays and molds are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine the bone location, the amount of gum tissue involved, and spacing available for an implant. Dr. Kathy can then determine the course of action specific to the patient’s mouth, the number of teeth they wish to replace, and other factors such as age and previous dental history. On surgery day, the patient will be given anesthesia to make the area numb, and the implant anchor will be surgically placed into the bone. The patient will then go home to heal and allow the root to integrate itself into the bone. While some implants have the post and anchor attached, some do not, and a second surgery may be required to place the post that will hold the artificial tooth in place. Once the artificial root has begun to incorporate into the jawbone, artificial teeth are made to fit the post. Just like any tailor-made item, artificial teeth may take several fittings before the outcome is perfect for the individual’s mouth. After the patient is completely healed from surgery, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, giving them stability and confidence in their smile.
How long is the process?
The process of getting implants may require a number of visits over several months. While the initial consultation is quick, surgery may be necessary, with one or two procedures and adequate amounts of healing time. Once the implant anchor has been surgically placed, the patient will be given enough time for the anchor to become a part of their jawbone before the process proceeds. This may take as long as six months, during which time the artificial tooth is custom-made and fitted to the post. Dr. Kathy will advise the patient on the length of their specific dental implant process as part of the initial consultation.