Dentist in Fremont, CA describes dental implant procedures
Tooth loss can impact the function and beauty of a smile, and can make patients feel self-conscious about how they look. By undergoing certain dental procedures, patients in the area of Fremont, CA will be able to restore their smile and feel confident once again. Dr. Munira Lokhandwala of StarBrite Dental is a professional dentist who helps explain the process of oral surgery procedures such as the placement of dental implants, which are considered the “gold standard” in tooth replacement.
What is a dental implant?
Dr. Munira Lokhandwala describes a dental implant as a titanium metal restoration that looks like a small screw. It is placed during an oral surgery procedure into the bone of the jaw and a tooth restoration is then placed over the top in one of several different ways.
Some patients may have a dental implant placed so that a dental crown can be used to replace a single tooth, or they may consider using a dental implant to anchor down a dental bridge. Others use several implants along the dental arch to stabilize a full denture for optimum fit and function. Dental implants are highly desirable because of their benefits, which include the maintenance of the jaw bone and permanent placement for long-lasting results.
Dental implant surgery
Dental implants are placed during a surgical procedure. This begins after the patient has had a consultation appointment with Dr. Munira Lokhandwala, which includes x-rays to check the patient’s bone health. If a patient is considered an appropriate candidate for dental implant treatment, they will schedule the oral surgery.
The surgical procedure is done with local anesthetics and proper sedation for patients to ensure they are comfortable throughout the procedure. If a loose or damaged tooth is still in place, it is extracted during this procedure. The dentist will then access the bone of the jaw in the planned location of the dental implant. Placement is often planned out during the pre-operative phase, where x-rays are used to determine the best location to insert the implant while avoiding the sinus cavities.
Once the dental implant is put in place, it is covered with a temporary restoration. Patients are given aftercare instructions following their procedure, and within a few months, the implant is typically ready for the permanent tooth restoration to be placed. This waiting period is necessary because the process of osseointegration needs to occur. During osseointegration, bone growth is triggered by the placement of the implant that helps hold it firmly in place. It is important that patients understand that the entire process can take several months, but the oral surgery procedure is done in just one appointment.
What if I don’t have enough bone?
Sometimes, patients may not have sufficient bone in their jaw to ensure the dental implant has a proper foundation. These patients may need to undergo an additional procedure called bone grafting to prepare the jaw for implant placement. In a bone graft procedure, bone is harvested from somewhere else on the patient’s body, or donated bone is used, and it is then transplanted into the area to help build up the jawbone.
How do I care for the dental implant?
Once the implant and restoration process is complete, patients will take care of their dental implant in the same way they do the rest of their smile. Teeth should be:
- Brushed at least twice per day
- Flossed daily
- Evaluated regularly at the dentist
Patients who have dental implants will need to take great care of their teeth and gums to ensure their mouth stays healthy so that they do not lose bone from periodontal disease and other dental conditions. Bone loss can put their dental implant at risk of falling out, which requires additional surgery and treatment to replace. Patients should always visit their dentist twice a year for cleanings and examinations.
Get started learning more about dental implants
If you are considering implants for your smile and live in the area of Fremont, CA, we welcome you to request an appointment with Dr. Munira Lokhandwala of StarBrite Dental to discuss this and other solutions for tooth loss. We are conveniently located in Suite #103 at 38350 Fremont Boulevard, and can be reached at our front office telephone at 510-795-7786. We are always accepting new patients interested in quality dental care.