While the thought of losing a permanent tooth is not a pleasant one, it is a reality that many adults will face at some point in their lifetime. Through the use of implant dentistry, patients are able to restore — and even enhance — their smiles more easily than ever. Dr. Jeffrey Allred and the highly skilled dental staff at Allred Dental are proud to offer a wide array of restorative dentistry services at their state-of-the-art dentist office in San Marcos, CA. During an initial consultation, Dr. Allred will carefully evaluate each patient’s case, answer questions, and recommend an appropriate course of action.
As with any medical or dental procedure, it is imperative that patients select a qualified, certified, and knowledgeable provider. In addition to his long list of accolades and experience, Dr. Allred is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry, meaning he is a dedicated specialist in the field of implant dentistry. This is a distinction held by a limited number of dentists across the country and further speaks to the level of care and treatment patients will receive at Allred Dental.
When patients are looking to replace a missing tooth, implant dentistry can help. Some of the most common reasons for tooth loss include:
Disease or decay: Though most periodontal disease can be prevented through good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, in some cases disease or decay may be unavoidable. Dr. Allred and his exceptional team use every available tool and treatment to save an existing tooth, but in cases requiring extraction, implant dentistry is a wonderful option for replacing the tooth.
Trauma: There are numerous stories of patients losing a tooth unexpectedly, whether it is associated with a sports injury, a fall, or other traumatic event. Dental implants are available to replace the newly missing tooth and restore the patient’s original smile.
Infection: Just as in the case of a diseased tooth, most dentists will attempt to save an infected tooth using all means possible before resorting to extraction. When an infection has stopped responding to treatment and the tooth needs to be pulled, patients can choose an implant as a restorative option.
What is a dental implant?
Technically speaking, "implant" is the term used for the titanium post that is implanted into a patient’s gums and supports the artificial tooth, which is called a restoration, though many people use the terms interchangeably. Unlike a traditional restoration such as a crown, an implant-supported restoration is designed to look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. One of the many benefits of dental implants is a patient’s renewed ability to smile, eat, chew, talk, and laugh with confidence. Dental implants are not at risk of being pulled out of place by sticky foods and are oftentimes more durable than a dental crown or natural tooth, resisting cracking and normal wear.
What kinds of implants are available?
Depending on a patient’s specific situation, there are a variety of implant options that may be recommended by experienced restorative dentist Dr. Jeffrey Allred. Some of the most frequently used San Marcos, CA, dental implant options include:
- Traditional implants
- Implant-supported partials
- Implant-supported bridges
- All-On-4® implants
Scheduling a consultation with a skilled dentist is the best way for patients to determine which kind of implant may best fit their needs. Dr. Jeffrey Allred and the caring staff at Allred Dental are committed to providing the highest level of patient service and will take the time needed to educate patients on all of the available options and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Aside from the previously mentioned durability, functionality, and aesthetically pleasing look, dental implants offer additional cosmetic and health benefits. Implants can be used to build a beautiful, even smile for men and women who are interested in enhancing their look. From a health perspective, one of the lesser-known benefits of dental implants is their ability to function like a natural tooth root. The root of a tooth actually stimulates the growth of healthy gum tissue, and a missing root may lead to atrophy of the face. When a titanium implant is inserted, the gums respond in the same way they would to a natural root, maintaining — or restoring — the tissue stimulation and structure that may have been lost.
What is the process of getting dental implants?
The first step is to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced dentist. If Dr. Allred determines that a patient is a good candidate for dental implants, he will make impressions, take x-rays, and put together a custom treatment plan.
On the day of surgery, patients can typically expect to be put under some level of sedation. The compassionate staff at Allred Dental is committed to keeping patients as comfortable as possible throughout the entire process. Dr. Allred will insert the titanium implant into the jawbone through an incision in the gums and close it with sutures. In most cases, patients will then be fitted with a temporary restoration that will be worn until Dr. Allred determines it’s time for the permanent restoration. Most patients experience some mild discomfort and swelling following the procedure, but are able to return to normal activities within a few days or less.
Over the next 2 – 6 months, the implant will gradually integrate with the bone and become structurally sound enough to support a permanent crown. In some cases, full integration and healing can take up to a year, but the majority of patients are ready for their permanent crowns much sooner. It is imperative that patients follow the pre-operative and post-operative care instructions carefully to ensure the best possible chance of quick and successful integration and healing.
How do I get started?
The best way to determine if dental implants are right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Allred. Call our San Marcos, CA, office today to learn more about how dental implants can enhance your look, restore your smile, and boost your confidence!