A dental implant is one of the best options for replacing a missing tooth. Replacing missing teeth is vital to your oral health and your overall health as well. Though patients have the option to replace teeth with bridges or partial dentures, we highly recommend dental implants because they look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

What Are Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants
in Santa Maria?

Dental implants don’t just replace the crown of the tooth – the part of the tooth you can see in your mouth. They also replace the root of the tooth.

A dental implant is comprised of three components:

The implant screw: Your Santa Maria implant dentist will surgically place a screw into your jaw. The implant will integrate into the jawbone within a few months, making it just as secure as a natural root.

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An abutment: After the bone and implant have integrated, your dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the top of the implant. They’ll place a temporary healing abutment over the top, which looks like a plastic cap. After a couple of weeks of healing, your dentist will remove the healing abutment and place the permanent abutment over the implant, screwing it into place.

The implant crown: Once the permanent abutment is in place, we’ll take an impression for the dental lab technician. The lab tech will fabricate a custom porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to metal crown to fit over the abutment. After a few weeks, the lab will deliver the crown, and we’ll make sure it’s a good fit before we cement it into place.

What Are the Benefits
of Dental Implants?

What Are the Benefits
of Dental Implants?

The main benefit of dental implants in Santa Maria is that they function like natural teeth. When a lost tooth isn’t replaced, the jawbone will eventually start to recede since nothing is anchoring it in place. Over time, jawbone density is reduced, putting adjacent teeth at risk of periodontal disease, or even needing to be extracted. A weak jawbone is also at risk for fracture.

Additionally, adjacent teeth will start to shift to fill the space of the missing tooth. This shift can disrupt your bite, resulting in misalignment that can cause jaw joint issues like TMJ disorder. It also puts excess pressure on the teeth, leading to chips, cracks, and fractures.

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Thankfully, dental implants from Santa Barbara Family Dentistry can prevent these issues. Other benefits of dental implants include:

  • Permanent solution
  • Improved chewing and speaking
  • Natural look and function
  • Improved appearance
  • Bone loss prevention
  • No special care required
  • Very secure
  • No dietary restrictions

How Much Do Dental Implants
in Santa Maria Cost?

The total cost of implant treatment depends on your specific needs. Cost factors include how many implants will need to be placed, where the implants will be located, and whether you require any preparatory dental work (like a bone graft or sinus lift).

For an accurate estimate, call our office to schedule your free initial evaluation and consultation. During this appointment, our team can give you an estimate and recommend resources for payment and financing.

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Am I a Good Candidate
for Dental Implants?

To determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants in Santa Maria, we’ll start by performing a thorough examination. Your dental team will review your medical history with you to determine if there are any conditions you have that could interfere with healing after surgery.

During the exam, we’ll also check the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. To get a clear picture of your oral health, we’ll take a panoramic x-ray and possibly a CT scan. Additionally, we’ll take impressions and bite registrations to create an accurate model of your mouth. Your Santa Maria implant dentist will then study the diagnostics carefully to determine which treatment options are best for you.

Most people are good candidates for dental implants. However, there are some situations in which a patient is not a good candidate, which include patients who:

  • Use tobacco products
  • Have poor oral health
  • Are under 18 years of age

If a patient uses tobacco or has poor oral health, they can take steps to remedy the situation. For example, quitting tobacco, addressing dental diseases, and practicing good home care. When changes are made, your dentist may determine that the patient is now a good candidate for implants.

Patients with certain risk factors might not be good candidates either. Certain risk factors may include:

  • Parkinson’s
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Systemic Diseases
  • Bone Deterioration
  • Osteoporosis
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Protect Your Health and Your Smile
with Dental Implants in Santa Maria, CA

Dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss. They contribute to good oral health, helping to prevent jawbone density loss, TMJ disorder, and damage to adjacent teeth. If you’re ready to restore your smile and oral health after losing a tooth, we’re ready to help!

Contact us today to request a complimentary implant evaluation.