Dental Implants
Our first plan of action is always to save the natural tooth, but this is not always possible. In these cases, the next best treatment is replacing the tooth with a natural-appearing and fully functional implant. Dental implants are a modern standard that offer a whole host of benefits such as the preservation of the jawbone, reinforcing the alignment of teeth, and avoiding all the negative consequences that accompany a missing tooth.
Implant Special
Implant Benefits
Implant Benefits

Restored self-esteem and renewed self-confidence. Our patients who now enjoy the benefits of their new implant-supported replacement teeth talk openly about their restored self-esteem and self-confidence as a result of a younger appearance, ability to eat the foods they want, increased comfort, and improved overall health.

Improved appearance. Since implants preserve bone, preventing deterioration of the facial structures and appearance is improved. When all the natural teeth are severely compromised or missing, there is nothing left in the jawbone to stimulate bone growth. The body senses that the jawbone is no longer necessary and begins to dissolve it away. This results in facial collapse.

After about ten years, it often becomes difficult to wear a denture because there is little bone left to support it. This results in the lips folding in, and the lower face shriveling up (witches chin) with wrinkles around the mouth making you look like a much older looking person. With dental implants, the appearance of these wrinkles caused by posterior bite collapse or complete facial structure collapse are virtually eliminated.

Remove the embarrassment factor. Implant-supported replacement teeth never have to come out, not for daily cleaning, not for home care hygiene maintenance (brushing and flossing), nor even during a hospital visit or other medical exam. They are permanent. Just like your new smile.

The mouth is restored as closely as possible to its natural state. By replacing the entire tooth, including the root, it is possible to replicate the function of natural teeth with a strong, stable foundation that allows comfortable biting and chewing. In addition, nothing in the mouth looks or feels artificial. Dental implants are the closest thing we have to our natural teeth.

Your smile is improved when replacement teeth look more like natural teeth. Even when only one tooth is missing, long term aesthetics are usually much better with an implant-supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth-supported bridge. This is particularly important in the front of your mouth, where preventing a visible bone defect is critical for natural appearance.

Healthy adjacent teeth are not destroyed to replace missing teeth. Tooth replacement with traditional tooth-supported bridges requires grinding down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth, so that the bridge can be cemented onto them and into place. This tooth structure can never be replaced and the long-term health of these "prepared" teeth is compromised. Partial dentures have clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth, putting pressure on the adjacent teeth as the partial rocks back and forth. Eventually these teeth can loosen and fail as a result of this unnatural pressure. Replacing missing teeth with implant-supported crowns/bridges does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, so they are not compromised, damaged or destroyed.

Overall quality of life is enhanced with replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. With implant-supported replacement teeth, the appearance of the smile is more natural and the teeth function more like natural teeth. The result is increased comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating. If dentures and partials are replaced with implant-supported teeth, the overall enhancement in quality of life is even more significant, with an ability to eat all types of foods, elimination of messy adhesives, and improved speech, comfort and appearance.

If removable dentures and partials are replaced with implant-supported fixed bridges, the overall enhancement in quality of life is even more significant.

  • Your eating habits will improve
  • Messy and potentially toxic adhesives used to hold dentures in place are eliminated
  • Unsightly destructive metal clasps common with partial dentures, which tend to damage adjacent teeth and gums are now non-existent.

Failing teeth can cause other health issues. It is well documented that periodontal disease is a bacteria-induced chronic infection and inflammatory disease that does not resolve by itself. Unchecked, inflammation and infection contributes to heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Dentists and cardiologists have long known that neglecting your teeth can lead to more than just a toothache. Scientific studies indicate there is a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. It has been shown that improving poor oral health can actually improve your overall health.

Convenient oral hygiene. Caring for an implant-supported crown is the same as caring for natural teeth; however, it is one of the most frequently overlooked ingredients in implant success. It is recommended that you request an appointment to have regular dental check-ups and get annual x-rays to make sure the surrounding bone is supporting the implant correctly and to discuss and questions or current concerns you may have. These periodic visits will help keep your replacement teeth healthy for many years to come.

Single Tooth Implant

Do you have missing teeth? It is critically important to replace missing teeth. Eating and chewing with missing teeth can sabotage your bite and lead to incessant discomfort. Missing teeth can give rise to a mouth rearrangement that often results in facial changes that look decrepit. If a tooth is missing or has been extracted for any reason, a single implant can be used to replace the missing tooth. The implant is placed into the bone of the jaw and acts as the new tooth root. After the bone has healed over the implant, an abutment can be placed on the implant and a crown can then be attached. This method of tooth replacement looks and feels like natural teeth.

Multiple Tooth Implants

In cases where multiple teeth are missing or have been extracted, multiple implants can be used to bring back your smile. The implants are placed into the jawbone and are given time to heal. After the bone has healed around the implants, an abutment is attached to the implant which then allows for a crown or bridge to be placed right on the implant. These new teeth will look and act just like natural teeth.

Ask Dr. El Ghaoui, a popular implant dentist in Pinole, if dental implants are right for you.

Implant Supported Dentures

This implant technique, is the optimal solution for those who have lost or are about to lose all of their upper and/or lower teeth. It's a procedure that comes closest to having a new set of permanent teeth.

Ridge Regeneration

When a tooth is lost and not immediately replaced, the bone reacts to this event by 'shrinking back'. The bone becomes thinner from a width perspective and the bone height is frequently reduced. This process is known as bone resorption. In order to place implants, it is necessary to rebuild the bone width and height through regenerative surgical therapy. Bone grafting of the ridge is almost always required to enable accurate placement of dental implants. The grafting is completed utilizing tissue bank and/or synthetic bone particles combined with collagen membranes. It is a highly predictable procedure.

Sinus Lift

In the back of the upper jaw bone, dental implants are frequently needed. In order for a dental implant to be successful in this area of the mouth, there must be sufficient bone height and width to connect (integrate) to the dental implant. When the upper back teeth are lost and not replaced, the sinus cavity becomes enlarged destroying any bone that is left behind. This very large sinus is like a "giant air pocket" and not capable of supporting an implant. A procedure known as sinus grafting (sinus lift) is performed to create bone that will ultimately hold the implants within the sinus. Sinus grafting is an extremely common form of bone grafting.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is commonly performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to replace or augment bone in areas of tooth loss. Bone grafting to the jaws and facial structures may be necessary in a wide variety of scenarios. The most common bone grafts are facial skeleton and jaw procedures. Other common procedures include tooth extraction site graft, bone graft reconstruction and for a sinus lift. Shrinkage of bone often occurs when a tooth is lost due to trauma, severe caries, or periodontal disease. Additionally, bone loss may have already occurred due to infection or pathology around a tooth. There are many artificial biocompatible bone substitutes available; however, the best material for a bone graft is your own bone, which most likely will come from your chin, the back part of your lower jaw or your hip bone. The hip is considered to be a better source because the hip bone has a lot of marrow, which contains bone-forming cells. There are also synthetic materials that can be used for bone grafting. Most bone grafts use a person's own bone, possibly in combination with other materials.

To place the removed bone in the recipient site, little holes are drilled in the existing bone to cause bleeding. This is done because blood provides cells that help the bone heal. The block of bone that was removed will be anchored in place with titanium screws. A mixture of the patient's bone marrow and some other bone-graft material will then be placed around the edges of bone block. Finally, a membrane is placed over the area and the incision closed.

The bone graft will take about 6 to 12 months to heal before dental implants can be placed. At that time, the titanium screws used to anchor the bone block in place will be removed before the implant is placed.

After Placement of Dental Implants

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.

BLEEDING. Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding area for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues please call the office for further instructions.

SWELLING. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon as it is the body's normal process in repairing itself. Swelling does not always appear immediately. It may take 12 to 24 hours before swelling becomes apparent. Swelling may not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-surgery. Swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs post-surgery. Two baggies filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be left on continuously while you are awake. After 36 hours, ice has no beneficial effect. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days call the office.

DIET. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or hot food. Soft food and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery. Return to a normal diet as soon as possible unless otherwise directed.

PAIN MEDICATION. You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. For moderate pain, 1 or 2 Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol may be taken every 3-4 hours. Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may be taken instead of Tylenol. Ibuprofen, bought over the counter comes in 200 mg tablets: 2-3 tablets may be taken every 3-4 hours as needed for pain. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic, or have been instructed by Tara Hills Dental not to take it.

HOME HYGIENE CARE. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) should be used at least 4-5 times a day, as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth and the healing abutments is no problem, but be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas. Good oral hygiene is essential to good healing.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. Physical activity could cause throbbing or bleeding of the surgical implant area.

WEARING DENTURES. You will always have teeth during your recovery period. Temporary partial dentures or full denture arches should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days.

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Dr. El Ghaoui would love to meet you and your family and provide you with the dental care you deserve!