The Dental Implant Procedure San Francisco
For many patients today, the dental implant provides a new kind of freedom. Full denture wearers are replacing their floating dentures with this effective option. Dental implants can also replace a few missing teeth without weakening the adjacent teeth, making them a superior option to a traditional bridge. What’s best about the dental implant is that it restores not only function to eating and speaking, but also the patient’s confidence.
As a traditional denture alternative, the addition of dental implants is ideal. Where traditional dentures may slip or rub against delicate gum tissue, the implant supported denture or bridge does not. With traditional dentures, there is a risk of healthy jawbone shrinking; the dental implant supported denture or bridge protects the structure of the jaw as well as gum tissue. What patients appreciate most is the ability to eat foods that were too difficult while wearing traditional dentures.
To determine if a patient is a good candidate for dental implants, Dr. Arellano will perform a full assessment of gum tissue and jawbone. During the initial consultation for implants, the patient will also discuss their medical history to rule out any risk factors that may affect the success of the implant itself. If a patient is diabetic, has periodontal disease, or smoke, extra further evaluation is necessary. Conditions that affect the immune system also complicate the implant process and will have to be considered.
If implants are a viable treatment option, the patient will be scheduled for implant placement. Sometimes, special x-rays or impressions of the teeth will be taken, that will be used as guides during the surgical process. For simple implant procedures, local anesthetic to numb the area is all that’s needed. Small titanium implant screws are then inserted into the jawbone based on the x-rays and models of the teeth. Depending on the circumstances, a decision is made whether or not each implant will be covered by gum tissue or if the patient will be fitted with temporary prosthetics to wear during the healing process.
Over the few months following implant insertion, healthy jawbone will heal around each implant, to rigidly hold it in place. This process takes approximately four months. Once healing has occurred, the patient will return to our office to begin the process of making and attaching their new denture or bridge to the implants.
With dental implants, you can restore your smile to its most natural state. Contact us for your implant consultation.