Dental Implants in Santa barbara, CA

What are my options for replacing missing teeth?

If you’re missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be right for you. Implants can restore the look and function of your smile and bite, enhancing your overall oral health. Made of durable materials, dental implants can last a lifetime, and seamlessly blend in with the rest of your natural teeth so you can smile with confidence.

Did you know…

tooth icon

Unlike your natural teeth, dental implants aren’t affected by tooth decay.

Ready to see if dental implants are right for you?

Call (805) 564-3600 today!

How it works: The dental implant placement and restoration process

tooth cleaning icon

The Initial Consultation

First, your dentist will meet with you to find out if dental implants are right for your oral health needs. They’ll perform a thorough exam of your mouth, including going over your x-rays and ensuring your jaw bone is healthy enough to support implants. Together, you and your dentist will decide if dental implants will provide the restoration your smile needs, or if your grin would be better suited to alternative restorative options.

tooth with checkmark icon

Your Oral Surgery Treatment

 Once your treatment has been approved, your dentist will schedule your oral surgery appointment and provide a detailed treatment plan. During the procedure, your dentist will make a small opening in your gums and place a small, screw-shaped titanium implant into your jaw. Your dentist will then clean and disinfect the area and suture it closed to begin the healing process.

tooth with clipboard icon

Healing & Osseointegration

Once your implants have been placed, your gums will begin to heal right away. Most patients heal completely from the initial surgery in less than 2 weeks. However, the implant itself must be given time to permanently bond with the jaw bone through a process “osseointegration,” which can take anywhere between 3-6 months to complete.

tooth brush icon

Creating the Prosthetic

While your implant is bonding with your jaw, you’ll visit our office for a few follow-up appointments to ensure the healing process is going properly. Your dentist will examine your mouth and take impressions of your bite. These impressions will be sent to our trusted dental lab, where they will craft the custom crown, bridge, or arch of teeth that will eventually be fitted to your dental implant.

dentist icon

Applying the Restoration

Once the lab has sent over your completed prosthetic, and your implant has completely bonded with your natural bone, you’ll visit us again for your final appointment. During this visit, your dentist will complete the procedure by attaching the restoration to your dental implant, and permanently securing it with dental cement or another adhesive.

dentist icon

Maintenance & Aftercare

One of the major advantages to dental implants is that they don’t require specialized care. Just practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, and visit your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and oral exams. Keeping up good oral health habits can help your dental implant last a lifetime.

Did you know…

floss icon

Dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime.

Have questions about implant dentistry? Find answers here.

arrow icon

How are dental implants made?

Dental implants are made of two main parts: the implant itself, which is a screw-shaped titanium “post”, and the restorative component, usually a dental crown and abutment. A wide range of post sizes are available to ensure every patient gets an implant that fits their smile perfectly. On the other hand, the restoration is a custom-made prosthetic. Once your dentist has completed the placement of your dental implant, they will create impressions of your teeth and gums to send to a dental lab.

The lab will use these impressions to craft a long-lasting dental implant restoration. Most are crafted out of porcelain or another durable composite material. Once the restoration is complete, the lab will send it back to our office, and you’ll come in for your final visit. Your dentist will complete the restoration by securely affixing your dental prosthetic to your implant.

arrow icon

How long do dental implants last?

Placed properly, and maintained with good oral hygiene habits, dental implants can last for decades. It’s very common for patients to keep their implants for the rest of their lives. 

The restoration, on the other hand, may not last as long. Although restorations like dental crowns, bridges, or overdentures are made from durable materials, they are still exposed to regular wear from chewing and biting. Over time, restorations will likely need to be replaced to keep your smile healthy and functional.

Can dental implants get infected?

arrow icon

Although it’s a rare complication, dental implants can become infected. Known as “peri-implantitis,” a dental implant infection is generally the result of the implant not being kept clean or cared for properly after surgery.

Will dental implants stop bone loss?

arrow icon

Yes. Bone resorption, or bone loss, occurs when your jaw is no longer stimulated by the natural pressure that comes from chewing and biting. Losing a tooth stops this regular stimulation, causing the jaw bone to weaken over time.

Dental implants bond directly with the jaw bone, acting as artificial roots that transmit the force of chewing and biting into your jaw bone, providing stimulation and pressure to keep you from losing bone density.

Can dental implants be done in one day?

arrow icon

There are indeed several types of dental implants that can be completed in a single visit. The restoration will be a temporary appliance to keep your bite functional until you have finished healing from your dental implant placement surgery. With this temporary restoration, you’ll be able to speak and eat normally throughout the healing process. 

Throughout the healing process, which usually lasts between 3-6 months, your dentist will schedule a series of follow-up visits, to monitor your progress and to take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will be sent to our dental lab, where they will be used to create your own custom-made restoration, which will be a more permanent, durable, and natural-looking prosthetic than your temporaries. 

Did you know…

floss icon

Titanium is durable, light, and biocompatible.

Ready to restore your smile?

Call (805) 564-3600 to Schedule today