Our San Luis Obispo Dentists Can Complete Your Smile With Dental Implant Restorations
Tooth loss and failing to replace teeth that are too damaged to be repaired can put your oral health at risk. While traditional dental restorations can complete your smile, they often fail to address the root issues or fully restore and protect your oral health. If you need teeth replaced, our San Luis Obispo implant dentists, Dr. Carrie Ramirez and Dr. Clayton Johnson, highly recommend dental implants as a tooth replacement.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are dental restorations that look and function just like natural teeth. They’re often considered the gold standard in tooth replacement because they replace the entire tooth from root to crown.
Implant restorations are composed of three parts:
- The implant post serves as the foundation and is surgically placed into the jaw.
- The abutment is the connector piece between the post and the restoration.
- The custom restoration, usually a dental crown, replaces the missing tooth or teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implant Restorations
Our implant dentists typically recommend dental implants for most cases of tooth loss, or cases where tooth replacement is necessary. In doing so, patients experience the following benefits:
- Natural Look and Feel — Dental implant restorations look, feel, and function like your natural teeth.
- Stability — Thanks to the surgically placed post fusing to your jawbone through osseointegration, your tooth implant will never slip around or fall out of your mouth.
- Stain and Decay Resistance — Restorations used for dental implants will be resistant to staining and decay, helping them last longer and stay beautiful.
- Improved Bite — Dental implants almost completely restore your bite force. This means no dietary restrictions once you’ve healed, and better chewing, which helps to prevent indigestion, nutritional deficiency, and even diabetes.
- Prevents Misalignment — Dental implant restorations return support to your remaining natural teeth, preventing mesial drift, which occurs when teeth shift towards the empty spaces in your mouth.
- Prevents Facial Sagging — Your implant restorations will also restore support to the muscles in your face, preventing premature wrinkles and facial sagging.
- Prevents Loss of Jawbone Density — Implant posts mimic the root of a tooth, providing the stimulation your jawbone needs to rebuild and remain strong.
- Lasts a Lifetime — With proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams with our skilled San Luis Obispo implant dentists, your dental implants can last 20 years to a lifetime.
- Biocompatible Materials — The materials used in dental implants are designed to be readily accepted by the body.
- Versatile — The restorations used for dental implants come in many forms including dental crowns and bridges, dentures, and full dental arches.
Dental Implant Candidates
While dental implants are a highly recommended treatment, there are certain requirements patients need to meet before they can qualify.
You may be a candidate for dental implant restorations if any of the following apply to you:
- You’re missing one or more adult teeth
- You have teeth that can’t be repaired
- You have healthy gums
- You have a strong jawbone with adequate density
- You want a long-lasting way to restore your smile
- You’ll practice proper oral hygiene and visit us regularly for dental exams
Your dentist will go over your candidacy for implant placement during your initial consultation. You can learn more about your chances of qualifying for dental implants by calling our San Luis Obispo dental office at (805) 549-8483.
The Dental Implant Process
Before your San Luis Obispo dentist approves you for implant placement, they’ll have you undergo an initial consultation. Your initial consultation will involve a thorough examination of your mouth, X-rays, a review of your medical history, and questions about your smile goals.
This information will allow your dentist to determine if dental implant restorations are right for you. Your dentist will also tell you about your other options, so you can make the most informed decision possible.
Designing Your Implants
If your dentist approves you for implant placement, we’ll take digital images and impressions of your smile and any remaining teeth. These will be used as blueprints for your custom-made implants. We’ll help you determine the details of your dental implants, including the kind of restoration you want.
To prepare you for your implant placement surgery, we’ll apply a local anesthetic to the soft tissues around your teeth. Once you’ve been properly numbed, your dentist will perform any necessary tooth extractions and make small incisions into your gums where your implants will go.
Dental Implant Placement
Your dentist will place the implant posts into your jawbone where incisions are made. You’ll return to our San Luis Obispo Dental office once osseointegration has taken place. The osseointegration process usually takes at least three to six months.
Placing Your Dental Implant Restoration
Once you’re fully healed, your implant provider will show you your new restoration. If you approve, they’ll place the restoration by attaching it to the abutment piece for the implant or implants. Once your restoration is firmly secured, your new smile is complete!
Dental Implant Care
Dental implant care is vital to ensuring treatment success, so it’s important to watch what you eat and drink after surgery. A major factor in healing will be your diet. You’ll need to stick to certain foods and drinks for at least one week to 10 days after dental implant placement.
Common foods that are usually safe to eat after dental implant surgery include the following:
Avoid foods that are crunchy, chewy, or hard and drinks that are sugary, alcoholic, or hot. These items can damage your implant, disrupt your healing process, and cause increased sensitivity if reintroduced too soon.
You should also avoid the following:
- Tobacco products
- Aggressive, excessive rinsing
- Using straws
- Brushing with an electric toothbrush
- Using a water flosser
- Exercising up to 72 hours after surgery
Your implant provider will give you more specific guidelines to ensure you heal properly and enjoy your new smile for many years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Insurance coverage for dental implants varies from provider to provider. We encourage you to contact them beforehand and ask them which costs they can cover. If you need help covering the costs of your dental implants, we’re happy to offer assistance in the form of flexible financing options, including third-party financing through CareCredit.
Dental implants have an average success rate of 95 to 98 percent with a small risk of complications. Any complications that may occur are often easy to treat, especially by one of our dentists. Rest assured that our implant professionals are some of the best dental implant dentists near you.
Dental implants aren’t painful. During the implant process, we use anesthetic as needed, so you won’t have to worry about pain. Once your implants are secured, some mild pain and discomfort are normal for up to ten days afterward. However, it should be easy to manage with pain medication, which may be prescribed.
If you feel discomfort lasting longer than ten days, call your dental office as soon as possible. Your implant provider will diagnose any issues that may be occurring and determine how to move forward with your treatment.
The great thing about dental implants is that they can’t be removed except by a trained dental professional. Dental implant posts fuse to your jawbone, so they stay in place as you go about your daily life. The fusion of implant and bone matter will help your implant remain strong and secure, so you can eat, speak, and smile with confidence.
Call Us & Learn How Dental Implant Restorations Can Improve Your Smile!
Our implant dentists and dental team are here for patients looking to restore full form and function to their smiles. We offer dental implants as a beautiful, lasting solution to patients from San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas such as Santa Margarita, Arroyo Grande, and Pismo Beach, CA.
Learn more about the many benefits of dental implant solutions and why they’re the gold standard in smile restoration. Contact our San Luis Obispo dental office by dialing (805) 549-8483. You can also schedule an appointment by clicking the button below and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.