DENTAL IMPLANTS

What shall we use
To fill the empty spaces
Where we used to talk?

–Roger Waters

Now that you have lost a tooth, whether to trauma or to neglect, you probably want something to fill that space…something that looks a lot like a tooth. An implant is a good option. Once a revolutionary and pricey idea (like the automobile),they are now so commonplace that market forces have driven down prices to make dental implants an option for everyone at Woodland Hills Dental Care.

What is a Dental Implant?

Once there were only bridges, where the “space-filling tooth-like item” held itself up by putting its little arms around neighboring teeth. Then there were dental implants, which are stand-alone items resting on their own solid bit of bone. The dental implant cleverly attaches to the boney foundation, like a replacement root with a place on top for your choice of crown. As with cars and crowns, dental implants range from Toyota to Lexus, and you had better not ask Dr. Leila to put a 20-year crown on a 5-year implant.

“I’m ready, let’s do it.”

Not so fast, if the needed bit-of-jawbone is too small, it cannot hold the implant. That cozy house needs a solid foundation. You might need a “bone graft” first, a horrible name! Instead, imagine Dr. Leila waving a magic wand over your jawbone, which instantly becomes big and strong. Now imagine the wand applying a bio-compatible matrix under the gum, and your bone growing into that area
over the course of several weeks. It is still quite magical, but not so instantaneous.
Dr. Leila performs this magic regularly in her office.

The upper jaw poses additional potential problems because above the bone we find sinus cavities.
Long-rooted teeth, like canines, may extend into the sinus cavity. Making room there for
the bone graft is called a “sinus lift”, where Dr. Leila raises the delicate sinus membrane (without tearing it)
to make room for the biocompatible matrix to hold the implant to seat the crown.
This won’t all happen in one visit.