Category Archives: Dental Implants

Financial and Emotional Cost of Not Getting the Best Dental Implants San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Dental implants are the number one tooth replacement option when it comes to prioritizing your oral health. Not only are dental implants reliable, long-lasting, and natural-looking, but they also support jawbone health. A healthy jawbone plays an important role in both your oral health and your overall health. It holds your teeth in place, allowing you to chew the foods that nourish your body. No other tooth-replacement option does that. 

Still, many people opt for lesser tooth replacement options because of the financial costs associated with dental implants. And many of them regret that decision because in the end, the lesser option often costs more. Dental implants may require you to spend more initially, but in the long run, they can save you money, time, and emotional strain. Here’s why:

Dental implants last longer

It may be tempting to opt for the less expensive tooth replacement options, such as dentures or bridges, but if they have to be replaced more often, then in the end you may actually be spending more. Maintenance costs should be calculated into the total as well. Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants don’t need replacement, maintenance, fixatives, or refitting. 

Dental implants do not require special care

Caring for dental implants is the same as caring for your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist are all you need to keep them in good condition. Dentures, on the other hand, need to be removed, soaked, brushed, and rinsed daily. Dental implants are more convenient, and less socially awkward—with dental implants, you don’t have to spend a single moment of your day without all your teeth. 

Dental implants help to preserve your jawbone

Your teeth and your jawbone have a symbiotic relationship. The jawbone supports the teeth, keeping them in place so you can eat and talk comfortably.  In turn, the teeth support the jawbone, giving it a reason to continue growing and to stay strong. Dentures can replace the missing tooth crown, but not the root, without which the jawbone begins to deteriorate. This can affect the rest of your teeth, resulting in loose teeth, shifting teeth, and other dental issues that cost time and money to fix.  Dental implants, however, replace the whole tooth, including the root, preserving your jawbone and saving you money and trouble down the road. 

Dental implants fit, feel, and function like natural teeth

Although some dentures do look quite natural at first, they will never stay that way for long. Because as the jawbone deteriorates, the dentures become loose and shift position at inopportune times.  Dental implants are permanent, and they look and function just like natural teeth. They save you the discomfort and embarrassment associated with slipping or loose-fitting dentures. 

Dental implants save your appearance

Our teeth play an important role in the way we look. When the jawbone deteriorates, the face loses structure and definition. As mentioned above, dentures cannot support the jawbone.  And while your appearance may not have a monetary value, losing what makes you look like you can have a significant emotional toll. When you opt for dental implants, you’re investing in your self-esteem, and that counts for a lot. 

The financial and emotional cost of not getting the best dental implants

When you make the decision to invest in yourself and replace your missing teeth with dental implants, the best way to ensure that you get exactly what you want is to choose a highly experienced dental professional who uses the highest quality dental implants.  Not all implants are created equal, and not all dental practitioners have the same experience or skill level in performing the procedure. Discount dentists and low-cost implants could end up costing you more in time, effort, and frustration. Just as you’re choosing the best tooth replacement option, and the best dental practitioner, you also want to be sure the implants themselves are manufactured with the highest quality materials and created with the best implant design for maximum comfort, strength and durability. 

Need dental implants? You’re in excellent hands with Dr. Kennie Kwok

At San Diego Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, you’re under the care of one of San Diego’s most well-respected and sought-after dental implant surgeons. Dr. Kwok is Board Certified in both periodontology and dental implant surgery, and he has a thorough knowledge of the teeth, gums, and jawbone, as well as extensive experience performing dental implant surgery.  If you’re looking for a compassionate and highly skilled dental practitioner with a commitment to patient satisfaction and comfort, you’re in the right place.

Give us a call at (619) 543-0905 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kwok today. 

Are Dental Implants Painful by San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

When it comes to tooth restoration options, dental implants have the most benefits compared to other options. Not only do implants last for decades, but they are also the strongest and most natural-looking solution for replacing missing teeth. The strength comes from the titanium screws implanted within the jawbone, which fuse with the bone to provide unparalleled durability and resistance to biting and chewing forces.

Because the idea of implanted screws sounds intimidating to many people, one of the first questions we typically receive from prospective implant patients is how painful the procedure will be. If you’re thinking about getting dental implants to replace a missing tooth, here’s a brief overview of what you can expect:

What happens during the dental implant procedure?

During the dental implant procedure, the dentist will make an incision in the gums and drill into the jawbone to make room for the titanium screw. After the screw is implanted, the dentist will attach an abutment piece that connects the screw to a temporary implant crown. Once the surgery site has healed and the screw has fully fused with the bone over the course of a few months, the dentist will attach the permanent, color-matched porcelain crown to the abutment. 

Is dental implant surgery painful?

While the dental implant procedure is considered major oral surgery, dentists employ either general or local anesthesia, and sometimes sedation as well, which means you probably won’t feel any pain. Plus, there are no nerves in the jawbone, so after the incision is made in the gums, you will feel pressure as the screw is implanted but no pain. Your dentist might also give you pain medication to take before the procedure so it will be working by the time the anesthesia wears off.

Will there be pain after the dental implant procedure? 

Most patients feel discomfort in the dental implant site, face, and jaw for about 10 days following the procedure.  Over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient for reducing the discomfort. In some cases—for example, when multiple implants are placed at once—the dentist will prescribe a stronger painkiller. Within two weeks, most patients have no further pain as the implant continues to heal, but if you still have pain and swelling by the 14th day after surgery, you might have an infection and you’ll need to return to the dentist immediately. 

How can I reduce pain and discomfort following dental implant surgery?

There are several ways dental implant patients can reduce discomfort and maximize the healing process after surgery. It’s important to strictly follow the dentist’s postoperative instructions, including taking antibiotics if prescribed. Be sure to also maintain your regular oral hygiene even if you have to be gentle around the implant site. Other ways to reduce discomfort and aid the healing process after dental implant surgery:

  • Use cold compresses to help control pain and swelling
  • Stick to a liquid diet for 24-48 hours after surgery
  • Regularly rinse with warm saltwater to help kill germs and promote healing
  • Avoid hot, spicy, or crunchy foods for 10 days after surgery
  • Avoid using straws for 24 hours following surgery
  • Attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist

Dental implants by Dr. Kwok of San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Recovery and healing after dental implant surgery varies from person to person, and everyone has a different pain threshold. Still, getting dental implants is relatively manageable in terms of pain and discomfort both during and after surgery, and dental implants are a worthy investment in your long-term oral health.

For more information about dental implants or to schedule a consultation, call San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at (619) 543-0905.

Related: Types of Dental Implants

Types of Dental Implants San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

If you’re missing teeth, dental implants can help improve your quality of life – both functionally and aesthetically. Implants are the closest you’ll get to replacing your natural teeth, providing stability, strength, and a custom-designed fit.

The type of implant you receive depends on the shape and structure of your supporting jawbone. Your dentist or periodontist will be able to determine which type of dental implant will best help to restore your smile and allow you to achieve optimal oral health. Read on for more information about the different types of dental implants and how they work. 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that fuse to your jawbone, providing a sturdy, permanent support for restorations, like crowns. Constructed of durable titanium alloy, implants are considered far more comfortable and longer lasting than other tooth replacement solutions, such as bridges or dentures.

Most anyone with tooth loss is a candidate for dental implant surgery, but healthy gums and adequate bone structure are needed to support the implant.

Types of dental implants

There are two main types of dental implants used today:

1.  Endosteal implants

These are the most common dental implants. Shaped like small screws, they are drilled directly into the jawbone, much like a natural tooth root. Patients who receive endosteal implants must have a sufficiently dense and healthy jawbone to support them.

2.  Subperiosteal implants

Aging and tooth decay can cause deterioration of the jawbone, so for those with severe bone loss, a subperiosteal implant may be an option. Rather than drilled directly into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants are placed on top of the jaw bone but underneath the gum tissue. Once the gum heals, the crown can be installed atop the frame. This method is rarely used today. 

Preparing your mouth for dental implants

Even if you’ve suffered bone loss in your upper or lower jaws, you may still be a candidate for endosteal implants. There are several procedures that can help rebuild your bone structure before your dental implant surgery, such as:

  • Bone grafts

Your periodontist can perform a bone transplant using either bone removed from another area of your body or an alternate source, either cadaver or animal bone. After several months, new bone growth replaces the graft material, creating a strong base for an implant to be placed.

  • Sinus lift

When your upper jaw doesn’t have enough bone to support an implant, grafting material can be added to the space above your molars and premolars in a procedure known as a sinus lift.

  • Ridge augmentation

Sometimes, after a tooth is extracted, bone loss can occur in the remaining socket. A ridge augmentation recreates the natural contours of the space left behind by the missing tooth, building up enough bone to accommodate an implant.

What type of dental implant is best for me?

As you can see, dental implants aren’t one size fits all. Because so much depends on your individual anatomy, your periodontist will have to take a close look at both the internal and external structure of your teeth, jaw, and mouth before deciding on a treatment plan.

While x-rays are still the standard for evaluating tooth decay, 3D dental imaging machines can provide more details about your facial and oral framework, including bone structure and density. Using lower levels of radiation than a traditional x-ray machine, a 3D imaging device captures clear, precise images of your teeth, jaw, bones, nerves, and blood vessels to help your periodontist select the dental implants that will work best for you.

See our Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions page here

Get Dental implants at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

If you’re suffering from tooth loss, dental implants may be just what you need. At San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, we can help determine which type of dental implants is right for your individual needs. Using the state-of-the-art Planmeca Promax 3D Scanner, we’ll create a virtual model of your face and jaw before developing a treatment plan to reconstruct your smile. The end result is a healthy mouth full of strong, natural-looking teeth.

To make an appointment for a dental implant consultation with Dr. Kwok, call us at (619) 543-0905.

Dental Implant Procedure Explained by San Diego Periodontist

Dental implants are one of the most popular dental procedures, but few understand what goes into a dental implant procedure. Before any dental procedure, it is important to understand exactly what is being done to your teeth and mouth, so let’s break down exactly what a dental implant procedure entails.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the best way to replace missing or damaged teeth, providing a long-term and healthy solution. The dental implant will look, chew, feel and function just like normal teeth, making the issues and ailments that come with a missing tooth disappear. You can smile with confidence again with dental implants.

What is the Dental Implant Procedure?

The dental implant procedure is safe and predictable if performed by a dental implant specialist or periodontist. Here are the crucial steps in the dental implant procedure.

Develop a Dental Implant Individualized Treatment Plan

It is important to go into the dental implant procedure with a plan to meet your specific goals and situation. Every person is different and each missing tooth site has different surrounding anatomy, so it is important to carefully evaluate and create a customized plan specific to each individual. Our team will inspect your mouth, analyze your situation, and come up with a treatment plan that is best for you.

Place The Titanium Tooth Root Implant

Once the treatment plan is established, it is time to start the dental implant procedure. The first step is inserting the titanium root into the missing tooth area, fusing the implant post to the bone socket. Once placed, the jawbone will slowly grow around the dental implant root, anchoring it in place and securing it to the jaw. This is why healing time varies with each individual as every person heals at a different rate.

Attach the Abutment to the Dental Implant Root

Once the jawbone has finished growing around the implanted titanium root, it is time to attach the abutment. The abutment is a tiny connector that attaches the titanium root to a new replacement tooth.

Model Tooth for the Dental Implant Procedure

In order to make a new tooth or new set of teeth specific to your mouth, a mold must be made of your teeth. Dentists will make an impression of your bite and create a model that shows the size, shape, type, and arrangement of your teeth. The new tooth is fabricated based on this model.

Attach Crown to the Abutment and Tooth Root

Now that you have an accurate replacement tooth, it is time to place it into your mouth. The replacement tooth, called a crown, is attached to the abutment and put firmly in place. The color of the crown is made to match the teeth around it, and just like that, you have a beautiful new tooth! Would you like to schedule a Dental Implant Procedure? Give us a call today at (619) 543-0905.

Bone Grafting for Dental Implants at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

When a person with good general health loses a tooth due to periodontal disease, injury, or another infection, a dental implant is an excellent, safe, and long-term solution. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that a Board Certified Specialist in Periodontology and Dental Implant Surgery inserts into the jaw in order to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. Implants feel and look natural, and once the process is complete, they function exactly like natural teeth. Implants can also assist in saving other teeth, because they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support. Bone grafting may be a necessary part of the process when it comes to inserting a dental implant. Continue reading