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Dental Implants – Rancho Bernardo, CA

The Gold Standard for Tooth Replacement

Do you find yourself struggling to adjust to a new dental bridge or denture? Want to avoid these tooth replacement options entirely for something not just more reliable, but enjoyable to live with? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you may find dental implants to be a tooth replacement option that better suits your needs. You can have your dental implants at the Rancho Bernardo dental office Nelson Y. Howard, D.D.S placed and restored, making your smile transformation even more convenient. Give us a call to get started!

Actual patient sharing healthy smile after dental implant tooth replacement

Why Choose Nelson Y. Howard, D.D.S. for Dental Implants?

What are Dental Implants?

Dentist holding model of dental implant in Rancho Bernardo

A dental implant specifically refers to the titanium post that integrates with your existing bone and soft tissue. However, many people include the abutment and restoration when they talk about dental implants as well. The implant is designed to mimic your natural tooth root almost entirely in terms of form and function, meaning you can eat the foods you want, maintain your facial appearance, and have confidence in your smile.

The Dental Implant Process

Implant dentist in Rancho Bernardo showing patient an X-ray

Our office will need to perform a detailed consultation of your existing smile to confirm how many teeth are missing and which teeth need to be replaced. After X-rays and other necessary steps are taken (such as bone grafts, gum therapy, etc.) if applicable, we’ll schedule you for dental implant surgery. During this appointment, the implants are placed directly into the jaw and the gum tissue is sealed so they can have time to heal. This integration process (known as osseointegration) occurs over the next four to six months. After the healing period, the gum tissue is reopened so an abutment can be placed. When the gum tissue has healed a few weeks later, your crown, bridge, or denture is attached to complete your smile.

Benefits of Dental Implants

actual patient with dental implants in Ranch Bernardo smiling

Compared to other tooth replacements, the benefits of dental implants in Rancho Bernardo are truly unmatched. Thanks to osseointegration – the process by which the implants fuse to the jawbone – dental implants provide a reliable foundation for your new crown, bridge, or denture. They’re able to improve virtually every aspect of your life, from easy oral hygiene to eating your favorite foods to making you look younger. Here are some of the unique advantages that dental implants have over traditional solutions:

Day-to-Day Benefits

woman biting into a red apple

  • Dental bridges and dentures only recreate the top parts of the teeth (the crowns), which makes them less table and more likely to break down after only a few years. Because dental implants also bring back the tooth’s root structure, they remain secured in your jaw. You won’t have to worry about your teeth slipping around like you would with dentures alone!
  • While denture-wearers often have to limit their diet, dental implants in Rancho Bernardo allow you to tear into crunchy, chewy, and tough foods with the same ease as real teeth.
  • You won’t have to spend time and money on specialized cleaning solutions for dentures; you can brush and floss dental implants as if they were your natural teeth. Not only does this save you time in your morning and bedtime routines, but you may feel like you never even lost any teeth at all!

Health Benefits

patient admiring his new smile with dental implants in Rancho Bernardo

  • No other tooth loss solution stimulates the jawbone in the way that dental implants do. This treatment is able to prevent the bone deterioration that typically occurs after teeth go missing. As a result, you’ll maintain a strong biting force and reduce your risk of further tooth loss.
  • Because you can eat practically all of the foods that you want, maintaining a balanced diet should be a breeze. People with dentures are often lacking in the nutrients found in crunchy fruits and vegetables, but dental implants have no trouble breaking down these foods. This makes it easier to get the nutrients you need and keep your whole body healthy.
  • If your dentist were to place a dental bridge, they’d have to permanently remove some enamel from the remaining teeth on either end of the gap, leaving them weaker and more sensitive. Dentures often rub up against the gums and cause sores, especially if they don’t fit well. Dental implants eliminate both of these problems since they can support themselves while being firmly anchored in place.

Long-Term Benefits

man in a blue polo shirt standing in front of trees

  • In most cases, your implant dentist in Rancho Bernardo will complete your smile with restorations made of 100% porcelain. Due to porcelain’s lifelike qualities, you’ll be able to smile confidently for years to come with the knowledge that only you and our team know which teeth are real!
  • As long as you take good care of your dental implants with good oral hygiene and routine checkups, they can last for 30 years or even longer. While they cost more up-front than bridges and dentures, their longevity makes them a smarter long-term investment. After all, you won’t need to pay for frequent repairs and replacements.
  • Believe it or not, dental implants can make you look younger! They do this by encouraging new bone growth in the jaw, preventing the facial collapse (including wrinkles and a sunken appearance) that occurs over time after teeth are lost.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

actual patient with dental implants in Ranch Bernardo smiling

Dental implants are also known for their high level of versatility, meaning they can be used for all levels of tooth loss. Best of all, dental implants can be used to replace as few as one tooth and as many as all of your teeth (one, or both arches). A lifelike solution that mimics how your natural teeth look, feel and function — dental implants truly are the gold standard in tooth replacement.

Depending on your situation and how many teeth are either missing and/or compromised, Dr. Howard can customize a treatment plan specific to your smile goals.

Missing One Tooth

Missing a single tooth? One dental implant placed into the jaw is all you need to provide an anchor for your future restoration. This means you won’t need to modify existing tooth enamel just to replace one tooth, which is what typically needs to be done with traditional bridges.

Missing Multiple Teeth

When you’re missing multiple consecutive teeth, a pair of dental implants can be used to anchor a more complex restoration, including a dental bridge. A series of crowns are fused together, then attached to the implants. This is also the case if a partial denture is needed, albeit more dental implants may be placed to ensure a stable foundation.

Missing All Teeth

One of the perks of dental implants is that you don’t need to have a dedicated dental implant for each tooth you intend to replace. For example, replacing a full arch of teeth can usually be done with just a handful of dental implants, typically four to six.

For some patients, too much bone loss has occurred for traditional dental implants to be successfully placed. If we determine this is the case for you, we can recommend mini dental implants instead. Mini dental implants are significantly skinnier than normal dental implants, making it easier for them to integrate with thin bone tissue and still hold your necessary restorations.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Diagram of a dental implant in Rancho Bernardo

It’s important to note that since dental implants are highly personalized to you, your dental care costs will likely not be the same as someone else’s. For example, the number of teeth you need to replace and the preparatory treatments needed to complete care will influence your cost dramatically. With that said, dental implants are still widely considered to be a more cost-effective solution for tooth loss thanks to their function and longevity, even with a higher upfront cost.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Diagram showing how a sinus lift works

When teeth are lost, bone tissue begins to resorb back into the body to areas where it’s more needed. This is especially common for older patients pursuing tooth replacement via dental implants. Thankfully, Dr. Howard has the skills and expertise to perform sinus lifts and ridge augmentations. Also known as bone grafting, these treatments are designed to expand the available amount of bone tissue in thinner parts of the mouth, particularly where the upper jawbone sits.

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