Dental Implants in San Diego, CA

At Integrative Dentistry we strive to offer the best options for patients looking to restore their smiles with bio-compatible materials. Dental Implants are the best alternative for replacing missing teeth due to their natural look and feel. With Implants you can chew and floss again just as you would with a natural tooth. Alternatives like dentures and partials can be a nuisance to move and chew with, but dental implants feel like real teeth! Integrative Dentistry offers treatment plans for dental implants to the San Diego and Encinitas areas.

Dental Implants are Often the Best Solution

Titanium (Left) vs Zirconia (Right)

Implants are created by inserting a titanium or zirconia post into the jaw to support a new crown (cap). Modern materials and techniques have made implants more predictable, having the potential to last for decades if cared for properly. The first recorded dental implant case was in 1965 and many of these early implants were still in place decades later. Traditionally dental implant posts have been composed of titanium, but more recently Zirconia Implants have taken the stage as a more bio-compatible option.

A Good Treatment Alternative for Root Canals and Weakened Teeth

Sometimes teeth can become weakened by root canals, multiple dental visits or bite stresses. This renders them as poor candidates for additional dental work. You are more likely to have additional tooth problems or pain, costing more in re-treatment.

When a root canal tooth fails and has to be re-treated, it will usually need to be re-treated again, sometimes within a few years. There is no substitute for a real tooth, however, once a root canal has become re-infected it may be more cost-effective to pull the tooth rather than deal with the possibility of future re-treatments. Dental Implants offer a long-term, durable solution that is more conservative than bridges. Bridges require that adjacent, often healthy teeth, be ground down so that crowns and be made into crowns.

The Treatment Process

The entire implant process depends on different factors but generally takes about four to six months to complete. Initially your dentist will use your radiographic information to determine whether there is sufficient bone to do without grafting, but if necessary it will be recommended as a part of the overall treatment. Different types of bone grafting materials should be taken into consideration, so it’s important to find out all of your options before proceeding. Implants can be expensive depending on who’s placing them and there is a wait time in between the period when the implant is place and when it’s finished. Ask for more information or get a second opinion if you still have questions.

Implants Can Fail Like Teeth

The same factors that cause you to lose teeth can cause you to lose a dental implant as well. Some of the more common causes of tooth and implant failure are bite forces such as clenching and biting, an imbalanced bite, health conditions like diabetes, lifestyle habits like smoking, some medications and bacteria populations that are present in the mouth. Some of the above causes of implant failure do not cause pain or swelling.

The same bacteria that causes gum disease and tooth loss can eventually lead to implant loss as well. This happens by way of erosion of the bone supporting your teeth and implants. The only way to be sure about the kinds of bacteria in your mouth is to get it tested. The best lab test, Oral DNA Lab, usually costs around $150. A saliva sample is taken by your dentist and sent in for results.

Microscope Evaluation

A more convenient way to test for harmful bacteria is with a microscope evaluation in our office. This is the best solution for many patients because it can be done during a dental appointment, saving time and money. In comparison with the above test, our patients pay $75 for the microscope evaluation, so it can be much more affordable.

Most often test results show the presence of damaging bacteria. The good news is that there are very simple and inexpensive ways to treat and decrease these bacterial populations. Expensive deep cleanings are often unnecessary because proper home care can be sufficient to solve the problem. You’ll receive a customized home care program and appropriate, conservative in-office treatment will be recommended.

Harmful bacteria should be treated before you have dental implants to improve the overall health of your teeth, not only your implants. It is important to minimize inflammation in your mouth before proceeding with any major dental treatment. You’ll _feel_ better as well.