What are Dental Implants?
Your natural tooth consists of a root hidden below the gum line and your tooth that sits on top of the root. A dental implant consists of the same components but with a slight difference. The root of the implant is made of titanium, a biocompatible material that naturally bonds with your jaw bone. Once the implant is placed then a custom-made crown is placed on top to restore your chewing and speaking capabilities. Dr. Pasquinelli and Dr. Olivares have enjoyed advanced training, allowing them to perform the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. They work alongside oral and maxillofacial surgeons and your restorative dentist.
Tooth Replacement Options
Dr. Pasquinelli and Dr. Olivares offer a range of dental implant treatments to restore your smile’s function.
One or multiple missing teeth can have a real impact on your bite, speech, and even your whole health. It is not just your health that is affected, your appearance suffers too because a missing tooth can result in your jaw rapidly deteriorating by up to 25% in the first year alone. Dental implants are an ideal solution as they look and act just like natural teeth. There are a number of different implant options to boost your oral health and appearance. Hover over each image to learn more.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
Before your implant procedure, your dentist in San Francisco administers a local anesthetic to the area. We also offer sedation options and antibiotics for those who are nervous. IV sedation and nitrous oxide are available to make you feel more relaxed and comfortable.
The procedure only begins when you are 100% comfortable. Dr. Pasquinelli or Dr. Olivares starts by making a small incision to reveal the jaw bone. They then gently create space and insert the dental implant post.
For some people, the dental implant can be restored during the same appointment, but for the majority, the bone and gums need time to heal. Your oral surgeon will assess your healing time with you and arrange your follow-up appointment.
Our experts aim to take impressions once the implant is placed so they can begin designing the crown. Once the implant is healed, we place the custom-made crown on top and restore your smile.
Typically the implant procedure takes 30-60 minutes for a single implant or up to three hours for multiple implants. Each patient is different, so the treatment time and healing period will vary. However, each patient is treated with the utmost care and each implant is placed with the greatest precision.
I was lucky enough to find Dr. Pasquinelli. It was definitely a long process given the complexity of my case, but I really appreciated the fact that he didn't try to rush it, but recommended an approach that would provide the highest likelihood of success over the long term.
Heather W. (Actual Patient)
Bone Grafting for Dental Implants
When you lose a tooth through an extraction, our implant dentists in San Francisco evaluate the thickness of the walls of your tooth socket. If the walls are too thin then a bone graft is often placed to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for implant placement several months later.
If your tooth has been missing for many years, there may be inadequate bone. This can be corrected with a bone graft being placed next to the thin bone then leaving some time for it to heal. During this time, the graft fuses with your bone and the ridge can be re-entered and the implant placed.
Sinus cavities that are large or low can interfere with implants. When this happens bone grafting can be used to elevate the membrane that lines the sinus. Next, the bone restores the height and provides adequate room for an implant to be placed.
- How long do dental implants last?
Less expensive restorative procedures such as a denture or dental bridge require repair or replacing every 5-10 years, whereas modern dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. So they actually provide an effective time-saving and money-saving solution.
- Are dental implants really worth it?
Around 98% of patients have found success with dental implants due to their stability and longevity. They mimic your natural teeth and thus restore your natural functions, e.g. chewing and speaking. Our implant dentists offer a variety of options to meet your specific needs.
- How much do dental implants cost?
First, check with your dental insurance carrier to see what portion, if any, of dental implants they cover. There are healthcare credit companies that offer no-interest and low-interest loans for medical procedures, including dental implants. As each patient is different, there may be variations in time and cost.
- Are dental implants healthy?
The titanium post of a dental implant is biocompatible, which means your body welcomes it. This material fully integrates with your jaw bone and stimulates bone growth. Titanium is strong and durable so it helps reduce the risk of future dental problems.
- How long does the implant process take?
The time for healing and placement varies from patient to patient and treatment to treatment. After the preparation phase, Dr. Pasquinelli or Dr. Olivares allows time for your bone to heal and fuse with the implant. In some cases, a temporary replacement tooth can be attached during the same treatment. But most people require some healing time.