San Francisco Dental Implants by SF Oral Surgery
Dental implants form the groundwork to place prosthetic teeth to replace a missing tooth or teeth. As an alternative to dentures, dental implants coupled with prosthetics mimic the look and function of your natural teeth, allowing you to brush, eat, and smile normally. At SF Oral Surgery, we specialize in dental implants and providing our San Francisco patients with options to restore their natural teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants replace your root that has been extracted along with your tooth. Because the root anchors your tooth to your jaw, a dental implant is needed to stabilize a prosthetic tooth. Dental implants are made of biocompatible metal, usually titanium, that fuses with your bone over time.
If your tooth and its roots are extracted, a dental implant should be placed to preserve the bone and prevent your facial contour from becoming sunken.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
If you are a good candidate for dental implants, Dr. Michael Chan, Dr. William Chan, Dr. Kirsten Rittenbach or Dr. Brian Yang will schedule an appointment to place the dental implants. This procedure can be performed with just local anesthesia, but many San Francisco patients prefer general anesthesia to avoid discomfort.
Your first visit will involve the placement of dental implants in your jawbone to replace the missing root. It will take three to six months for the implants to fuse with your jawbone and Dr. Michael Chan, Dr. William Chan, Dr. Kirsten Rittenbach or Dr. Brian Yang will schedule follow-up exams to ensure that you are healing well.
During your recovery from the first surgery, you may need to wear a temporary tooth replacement and restrict your diet to soft foods.
Once the implants have completely healed, your restorative dentist will need to connect your new teeth to the dental implants, and Dr. Kirsten Rittenbach will attach small posts to connect the artificial teeth that replace your natural teeth. These posts are only used to anchor your prosthetic teeth to your jawbone and will not be visible after the procedure.
Once healed, your new teeth will function exactly like your natural teeth.
SF Oral Surgery offers San Francisco patients the option of combining the two-stage dental implant surgery into a one-stage procedure. While you will still need at least six weeks to heal until your prosthetic teeth can be placed, the recovery time is much faster than the traditional method.
Another option for dental implant placement is immediately following a tooth extraction. This method of immediate dental implants reduces the need for additional surgery and restores the appearance and function of your teeth in one procedure.
Who Performs Implant Placement?
The ideal team for dental implant placement is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and Restorative Dentist. Dr. Michael Chan, Dr. William Chan, Dr. Kirsten Rittenbach or Dr. Brian Yang are qualified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons with years of experience performing dental implant surgery and your dentist will create any prosthesis, both temporary and permanent, and eventually fit the permanent prosthesis.
For patients who prefer immediate dental implants, Dr. Michael Chan, Dr. William Chan, Dr. Kirsten Rittenbach, or Dr. Brian Yang will collaborate with your restorative dentist during the procedure to restore the function and appearance of your teeth with just one procedure.
What Types of Prostheses Are Available?
The choice of prosthetic teeth depends on how many teeth are extracted and where they are located. There are three different options available to replace natural teeth:
- Crown for a single missing tooth. A crown needs to be attached to its own dental implant.
- Partial Prosthesis (fixed bridge) for two or more teeth. The partial prosthesis does not need to be attached to its own dental implant and normally requires only two or three dental implants.
- Complete Prosthesis for all teeth in your upper or lower jaw. There are different options for the number of dental implants recommended based on whether the prosthesis is removable or fixed. An overdenture (removable prosthesis) attaches to a bar or ball in socket and you can remove it yourself, while a fixed prosthesis can only be removed by a dentist.
Why Dental Implants?
Dental implants have gradually replaced dentures as the preferred way to replace missing teeth. Unlike partial or complete dentures that are not secured to your gums and require adhesives, dental implants are:
- Not going to slip.
- More comfortable.
- Do not need to be removed.
Your prosthetic teeth secured by dental implants can be cleaned and maintained the same way as natural teeth. They also look and feel more natural than dentures, which cause many patients discomfort and embarrassment.
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Before undergoing a dental implant procedure, one of the following doctors Dr. Michael Chan, Dr. William Chan, Dr. Kirsten Rittenbach or Dr. Brian Yang and your restorative dentist will need to review your medical and dental history. San Francisco patients who have experienced bone loss may require bone grafting or other procedures to prepare for dental implants.
How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?
Dental implants function the same way as your natural teeth. This means that you will need to continue good oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist to keep them healthy.
If you are considering dental implants, contact our San Francisco office at (415) 776-6710 to schedule a consultation.