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Envision this:

you’re hanging out with some friends, enjoying your favorite hard candy or taking a gigantic bite of your favorite pizza when you hear and feel a powerful crunch. It vibrates all the way through you into the soles of your feet, and the next thing you know, an ache spreads from your jaw. You’ve just broken a tooth.

Fast forward to sitting in your dentist’s chair, where he or she tells you that there’s nothing they can do except remove the broken tooth. Immediately, your heart starts pounding. Visions of your future gap-toothed smile rush into your head, and you think, I’m not ready for dentures!

Fortunately, with today’s modern dentistry, you have many options for tooth replacement — including dental implants. These innovative synthetic structures can offer a comfortable, reliable, and permanent solution to missing or damaged teeth for people of all ages.

At The Art of Dental Wellness in Beverly Hills, Kerri M. Hill, DDS has been restoring smiles with dental implants for more than a decade. If you’re curious whether dental implants are a viable solution for you, you can browse this page to learn more, or schedule your consultation with Dr. Hill today. We’re ready to help you get your smile back!

Defining Dental Implants

Dental Implants Are a Great Solution for Tooth Replacement

Dental implants

— sometimes called “tooth implants” — are man-made structures that can replace missing or damaged teeth. As their name suggests, dental implants are surgically implanted directly into the jaw bone.

They are made of three primary parts:

  • Implant: The actual dental implant is a titanium fixture that looks like a screw. This is fitted directly into the jawbone, below the gumline, providing a comfortable, secure, permanent anchor for the replacement tooth. Over time, the jaw bone will grow around the implant in a process called “osseointegration.”
  • Abutment: The abutment is a small connector post that secures the tooth crown to the implant itself.
  • Crown or Bridge: Each dental implant is topped with a tooth crown (or tooth bridge, for replacing multiple adjacent teeth), which will look, feel, and function like a natural tooth.

(Note: although technically the “dental implant” is only the screw-like fixture, the term is commonly used to refer to all three parts together: implant, abutment, and crown.)

Dental implants are a great solution to the age-old problem of tooth loss because they permanently mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth.

DENTAL IMPLANTS ARE IDEAL

FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF PEOPLE

People of all ages can benefit from dental implants. Dental implants may be a viable solution for you if you:

  • Have loose or missing teeth
  • Have worn down, damaged, or broken teeth
  • Have suffered from gum disease
  • Want an alternative to dentures or bridgework for tooth replacement
  • Want to prevent bone loss from missing teeth
  • Want to keep your existing teeth while replacing your missing teeth
  • Want a permanent, convenient solution for tooth replacement

Dental Implants Appear and Function Like Natural Teeth

After being placed, a dental implant will stimulate the jaw bone and go through a process called “osseointegration” in which the bone grows around the implant. This prevents the bone loss that is usually associated with missing teeth, and it allows dental implants to feel and function just like natural teeth.

Dental implants work the same way natural teeth do in terms of:

  • Cleaning: Dental implants are cleaned like regular teeth, with regular brushing, flossing, and periodic deep-cleans at the dentist office.
  • Chewing: Just like natural teeth, dental implants transmit force directly to the jawbone. This means that, unlike dentures (which place force on the gums and adjacent teeth and can be painful or displaced), dental implants completely restore natural chewing capacity.
  • Longevity: Dental implants never need to be removed, and with proper care they can last for 25 years to life!

Dental Implants Provide a Wide Range of Benefits

Compared with other methods for tooth replacement (like dentures or bridgework), dental implants offer a wide variety of benefits. These include:

  • Slip-free design: Like natural teeth, dental implants are rooted directly into the jaw bone. This means they’ll never slip around or fall out of your mouth.
  • No removal necessary: The tooth crowns on top of your dental implants do not have to be removed. If you want the option to remove the crowns or bridges that attach to the implants, you can ask your dentist for a removable prosthesis (dentures).
  • Replace any number of teeth: Whether you need one dental implant or full mouth dental implants, you can replace any number of teeth. Additionally, adjacent teeth can be replaced using one bridge implant — you won’t need a separate implant for every single tooth.
  • Easy to clean: Dental implants require the same care and cleaning as your natural teeth. Brush and floss them every day to keep them shining and support a healthy smile!
  • Natural look and feel: A well-placed dental implant with a well-matched tooth crown is virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. It will look and feel like your other teeth do.
  • Comfortable: Unlike dentures, which transmit the biomechanical forces of chewing and grinding to your gums and adjacent teeth, dental implants are very comfortable and preserve your natural chewing capacity. You can continue to enjoy hard foods like crunchy vegetables and fruits!
  • Prevent bone loss: Your jaw bone is preserved by the pressure and stimulation of chewing. Tooth extractions or loss without tooth replacement can often cause bone loss in the jaw, which can affect the integrity of the entire facial structure and cause you to look older. Dental implants prevent this.
  • Lifetime solution: While dentures need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years (there’s no such thing as “permanent dentures”), dental implants can last for more than 25 years and even up to a lifetime with proper care. Even if you have missing or damaged teeth, with dental implants, you can enjoy a lifetime of loving your smile!

What To Expect From Your Dental Implant Procedure

If you are interested in dental implants, it can be difficult to know where to start. At The Art of Dental Wellness, we understand that the process can be intimidating, so we’re breaking it down here to give you confidence and make sure that you are comfortable throughout the entire experience. It all begins when you schedule your consultation.

Consultation

To begin your dental implant journey, set up a consultation with Dr. Hill. She will assess your teeth, review your medical history, determine whether tooth extractions are needed, analyze the bone structure in your jaw, and provide her customized recommended treatment plan. In some cases, she may recommend a bone graft to restore strength and stability to your jaw to prepare it to hold a dental implant.

At The Art of Dental Wellness in Beverly Hills, Dr. Hill has been performing dental implant procedures for more than a decade. Using a three-dimensional scan to view a patient’s complete bone structure, Dr. Hill can plan for optimal implant placement.

Preparation

After the initial analysis, Dr. Kerri Hill will determine the number of implants recommended for you and schedule any necessary tooth extractions or bone grafts. This paves the way for your dental implants and ensures they will have a solid foundation.

The length of time between tooth extraction and dental implant placement depends mostly on the condition of your jaw bone. In cases where there is enough bone present to stabilize the dental implant, you may be able to have it placed the same day and minimize the number of procedures you need to schedule. However, if the extraction site needs extra time to heal, or if you need a bone graft, then you will likely need to heal before scheduling the actual dental implant placement. Talk to Dr. Kerri Hill about the timeline for your dental implants to make sure you know what to expect.

Implant Placement

During the actual placement of the implant, Dr. Hill may utilize Dental X Guide Navigation technology. This allows her to precisely match the pre-planned position, angle, and depth of the implant, helping to ensure its success in both function and appearance. She is one of a select few dentists in California who have invested in this technology for her patients. A well-placed dental implant is indistinguishable from natural teeth, so getting it in the correct position is critically important. Dr Hill may also use a surgical guide if multiple teeth implants are placed.

Healing

After the implant itself is placed, if the bone in your jaw is strong enough, you can have your crown placed the same day as the implant. In other cases, Dr. Hill may recommend burying the implant underneath the gums and allowing it to heal for a period of time before having your crown placed.

If you need to wait for your implant to heal before placing the final crown, then there are several options for temporarily filling the gap in your teeth that you and Dr. Hill can discuss.

Crown Placement

After the site is fully healed and your bone is strong enough to support an attachment, Dr Kerri Hill will fix the tooth crown (or bridge) and abutment to the top of the dental implant.

Your dental implant tooth replacement is complete!

Maintenance

The beauty of dental implants is that once the implant and crown are placed, they function just like your natural teeth. With proper placement and regular dental cleanings and check-ups, dental implants can last for 25 years to life. Enjoy your new smile!

Choose The Art of Dental Wellness For Your Dental Implants

We understand that losing a tooth can be frightening, and surgically replacing it can feel even more so. You should know that modern dental implants are a safe, convenient alternative to dentures or ill-fitting bridges. If you’re in or near Beverly Hills, and you think dental implants may be right for you, then you can feel confident choosing The Art of Dental Wellness for your dental implant procedure because Dr. Kerri Hill:

  • Has 17 years of experience practicing dentistry
  • Has more than a decade of experience placing dental implants
  • Offers safe sedation and pain management options, including IV sedation
  • Offers implants from Nobel Biocare, which is known as the world leader in implant dentistry
  • Uses the innovative I-CAT FLX V17 to assess each patient’s complete 3D bone structure while planning dental implant placements
  • Utilizes precise Dental X Guide Navigation technology or precision planned surgical guides to place each dental implant
  • Offers a variety of crown and bridge options to ensure the best dental implants for your mouth’s unique needs
  • Has a patient-focused approach
  • Strives to ensure that you are informed, comfortable, and confident throughout the entire dental implant process

If you have any questions about dental implants, or would like to schedule your initial consultation, please contact our Beverly Hills dental clinic today. The Art of Dental Wellness team looks forward to hearing from you and helping you restore a smile that you will love!

Schedule Your Consultation at The Art of Dental Wellness Today

Are you ready to get started on your new smile? Dr. Hill and the entire Beverly Hills team at The Art of Dental Wellness is ready to help. Contact us today if you have any more questions or would like to schedule your dental implant consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

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