Missing teeth can cause severe dental health issues as well as emotional distress. We know that tooth loss can be an intimidating issue to face, but we make it much easier to manage with judgment-free care and beautifully-crafted dental implants. As a member of the International Implant Association, Dr. Muñoz is pursuing a fellowship in implantology to better serve our patients with specialized, high quality care and beautiful results. Contact us today to make an appointment.
Single-tooth implants consist of two parts; the implant itself, and a dental crown. The dental implant is a small piece of titanium that is surgically placed into your gums and jaw where your missing tooth used to be. As the site heals, the implant bonds permanently with your surrounding tissue, essentially acting as an artificial tooth root.
The second part of a single-tooth implant is a dental crown. This crown is made of porcelain and is designed to look and feel just like a natural tooth. After your implant heals, the crown is attached to it permanently to restore your smile and your bite.
Dental implants consist of a two-part system:
Implants are a major advancement in modern dentistry because they permanently replace missing teeth in a way that no previous dental technique could accomplish. Since implants act as artificial tooth roots, patients don’t need to worry about bone degeneration after tooth loss, and implants are often even stronger than natural teeth.
Once you’ve been confirmed as a good candidate for dental implants, impressions and images will be taken of your mouth along with x-rays. These will be used to create your personalized placement plan.
Next, Dr. Munoz will use this plan to strategically place one or more dental implants. Each implant will be placed into your gums and jaw tissue, then the area will be cleaned and sutured shut. You will be given about 3-6 months to heal and during this time, Dr. Munoz will create your implant-supported restoration, such as a crown or set of implant-supported dentures. Once your mouth has healed, you’ll come back in and Dr. Munoz will permanently place your restoration.
It’s normal to experience some pain, discomfort and tenderness of the surgical area after your procedure. Dr. Munoz will give you detailed instructions to follow and ensure that you care for your mouth properly while you recover.
You should be free of most symptoms within a week and your mouth will feel completely normal after about two weeks. However, the process of “osseointegration,” which allows your implants to bond permanently to your jaw bone, takes much longer. It may take between 3-6 months for this process to be completed, which is why the process of receiving a dental implant requires patience.
The cost of your implant procedure depends on a number of factors, including how many implants you need, where in your mouth they will be placed, and whether you need an extraction or other preparatory dental work. To discuss your needs and get an estimate, come in for a consultation with Dr. Muñoz. During your appointment, he will work with you to develop a treatment plan, discuss your budget, and let you know what the cost of your treatment will be.
Since dental implants require sufficient jawbone and healthy gums, Dr. Muñoz will need to assess your oral health to ensure that implants are a good option for you. This assessment includes a comprehensive exam and x-rays. Depending on your dental health, Dr. Muñoz will either approve you for implant surgery, suggest other preparatory work to strengthen your jawbone and gum tissue, or recommend other restorative options for tooth replacement. The best way to find out whether implants are right for you is to schedule a consultation. We can’t wait to meet you and be a part of your journey to a complete, confident smile!
Not at all. During your dental implant surgery, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort. That’s because Dr. Ricardo Munoz will numb the treatment area thoroughly using local anesthetic to keep you comfortable.
We also offer a variety of sedation dentistry options at North Park Dental, such as laughing gas (nitrous oxide). Nitrous oxide requires no needles or pills. You’ll just breathe through a comfortable nose mask and relax.
However, we will note that the implant site will hurt after your numbing and sedation wear off. This is to be expected, since the process involves cutting into your gums and jaw. Dr. Munoz will provide you with instructions on how to reduce your pain and discomfort and speed up the healing process, so follow these closely as you recover from your surgery.
The dental implant itself, which is the small piece of metal implanted into your gums and jaw, will never wear out. As long as you brush and floss properly and keep the implant and surrounding gum tissue healthy, it won’t fail. That’s why up to 90% of implants remain in place after 30 years.
It’s important to note, though, that the same thing is not necessarily true of implant restorations, which are the false teeth that attach to your implant. A dental crown, for example, may wear down within 10-15 years and require replacement.
This is because dental implant restorations, unlike the implant “post,” are exposed to wear and tear from chewing and biting. Over time, the restoration could crack, loosen, or otherwise become damaged. When this happens, it will need to be replaced to keep your smile looking and feeling great.
The good news is that replacing a damaged implant-supported restoration, such as a crown, is an affordable, fast, and simple process that requires no surgery. Dr. Munoz can quickly repair any damaged implant restorations at North Park Dental.
If your implant is damaged, it’s very likely that the damage is only superficial, and only affects the implant restoration, such as your dental crown. For example, if you bite down on a popcorn kernel and crack the crown, or you’re hit in the face while playing sports and your implant feels loose, this is probably because the restoration is damaged.
That’s good news, because repairing a dental implant restoration is a lot easier than repairing a damaged dental implant post. If your implant feels loose or damaged, schedule an appointment at North Park Dental right away to get a consultation with Dr. Munoz and get the help you need.
However, there are some circumstances where the implant itself may be damaged. This usually only happens if the implant did not heal properly during the placement process due to a titanium allergy, poor aftercare, or other complications.
The implant can also be damaged by oral trauma, but the force required to do so is very high, so it’s unlikely that minor dental injuries will seriously damage the metal implant post.
"I love being able to make a positive impact on my patients’ mood and self image."
– Dr. Muñoz