Dental Implants FAQs

Dental Implants FAQs in Bixby Knolls

You may have heard about dental implants, but what exactly are they? Our Dental Implants FAQs page will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants in Bixby Knolls.

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What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a treatment option used to restore lost teeth. The basic dental implant is a screw, usually made out of titanium metal, which is embedded in the jawbone. This serves as a base upon which a tooth replacement can be attached. The tooth replacement could be a single crown or multiple teeth.

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What Types of Dental Implants Are Available?

Dental implants can be used to replace teeth in multiple ways. Whether you have lost a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants can help. Here are the three main types of dental implant configurations:

What Are Single Tooth Implants?

Single tooth implants use a single crown placed on top of a dental implant. The new custom crown looks and acts just like a regular tooth. If you have a single tooth that needs replacement, this is usually the best way to do it. A single tooth implant is an almost permanent solution.

Unlike with dentures, you will not need to wear an appliance once your new single tooth implant is in place. The screw portion of the single tooth implant can last a lifetime with proper care. The crown itself may last 20 years or more. Thus, this is a low maintenance way to restore a lost tooth.

What Are Multiple Teeth Implants?

Multiple teeth implants are a way to restore multiple consecutive missing teeth. Usually, two or more implants are needed to secure the teeth that are being replaced. The new teeth are crowns that are attached together so that they can be secured on the implant posts. Multiple teeth implants are a great alternative to a dental bridge. They are more secure and can look and feel more natural.

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What Are All on 4 Dental Implants?

If a full row or arch of teeth needs to be replaced, All on 4 dental implants are a great way to restore a smile. With this technology, four dental implants are secured in the jaw at regular intervals. Once the implants have integrated with the bone, a “bridge” that serves as a full row of teeth can be secured to the implants. (Note: the “bridge” used in dental implants is technically not the same thing as a fixed dental bridge...we’re using the term here a bit more generically.)

What Is Osseointegration?

Osseointegration is an important part of the dental implant process. When the dental implant screw is placed in the jaw, it is not entirely stable. It needs some time to integrate with the jaw. Fortunately, our body’s physiology makes this happen through a process called osseointegration. This is when the surrounding bone material creates more structure to support the dental implant screw. After a few months, the screw becomes integrated with the jawbone.

What Are the Advantages of a Family Dentist?

Everyone can visit a family dentist. If you are a single person with no children, you can still come visit us at Dentist of Bixby Knolls for your dental needs. But a family dentist has a lot of benefits especially for families. Here are some of the advantages of working with a family dentist:

Titanium implants. The most common material used for the dental implant screw is titanium. Titanium is a great metal for dental implants because of its high strength and low corrosive qualities. It is strong and durable and can last a lifetime.

Metal-free implants. Less common than titanium implants, ceramic dental implants are made of zirconia and contain no metal. These metal-free implants can be a good choice for patients who may tend to react to metals.

Ceramic crowns. The crowns that are secured to implant screws are typically made of high-quality porcelain ceramic, which is stain-resistant and can blend in easily with natural teeth.

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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implant screws made from titanium can potentially last a lifetime, and at least for several decades. Ceramic implants are newer and so we have less data on how long they last, but will hopefully be comparable to titanium. Crowns, typically made from ceramic, may need to be replaced before the screw wears out, in part because the crown is used to chew. On average, the crowns in dental implants last about 25 years.

Can I Get an MRI If I Have Dental Implants?

Yes. Titanium is called a “paramagnetic” metal, which means it has a very weak magnetic field. Titanium is therefore not impacted by the MRI magnetic fields. Ceramic is not a metal and is also not affected by magnetic fields. Numerous studies have shown that MRIs can be performed safely for people with dental implants.

However, other dental appliances, like braces, that contain stainless steel might interfere with MRI imaging. Before your MRI is done, your healthcare team should go over with you any potential interactions with the MRI machine, and please talk to us as well. Braces are sometimes removed temporarily in order to obtain an accurate MRI image.

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We Can Answer All of Your Dental Implant Questions!

If you are interested in dental implants in Long Beach, contact us today at (562) 287-5175 to schedule your appointment at Dentist of Bixby Knolls.