Dental Implants 101 Ask an expert about the art and science of implant dentistry

If you want to learn more about dental implants, just ask Dr. Kourosh Maddahi. Dr. Maddahi is an award-winning Beverly Hills dentist with over 23 years of experience in Implant Dentistry. Having personally restored thousands of implants, he has the experience, skill, and artistic eye to restore your smile to full health and beauty.

In this part of our website, you will find answers to some of the questions Dr. Maddahi hears most from his patients about dental implants. You can also call our office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Maddahi at any time.

Why do I Need a Dental Implant?

A Dental Implant is used to replace a missing tooth. Whether you've already lost one or more teeth or have just been told that a tooth needs to be removed, the impact can be devastating.

No one likes the idea that their smile will be incomplete, and we all rely on every one of our teeth for eating, speaking, and smiling with ease. In years past, the only solutions for tooth loss were bridges or dentures: artificial teeth that would anchor to either other teeth in your mouth, or to your gums. Neither of these solutions could actually replace teeth in a way that felt natural, and often they could lead to other problems – additional tooth loss, pain, and deterioration of the bones that define the very structure and character of your face.

Modern dentistry provides a better solution to the problem of tooth loss: dental implants. Whether you receive one, several, or an entire arch of implants, the result will be true replacements for your own teeth that let you eat, smile, and speak naturally. When you get them from Dr. Maddahi, no one will know that they aren't your natural teeth, unless you tell them.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a permanent, artificial tooth that replaces a tooth that is missing or is used to hold a denture in place. The implant has three parts:

  • A post, made from titanium, which is placed into the jaw bone to simulate a tooth root
  • An abutment or connector, also made from titanium, which is placed on top of the post above the bone
  • A crown, usually made from high-grade ceramic, which is built around the abutment and looks and feels like a natural tooth
Diagram of a dental implant

What are the advantages of Dental Implants?

It's important for both your health and your self-esteem to replace missing teeth. Not only do you lose chewing ability when a tooth is lost, but unreplaced teeth can cause other teeth to be stressed, lost, or crowded and create still more problems.

A lost tooth certainly affects your appearance in a negative way, and you may feel self-conscious about smiling or talking.

Single-tooth titanium dental implants became a solution for lost teeth more than 30 years ago, and today's technology makes them better, faster, and safer than ever before. While dental bridges or dentures also replace missing teeth, dental implants, correctly placed, are usually a superior replacement. Here are some of the reasons that we recommend dental implants for our clients if they have missing teeth, and meet the criteria for implant surgery.

Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth. Even the best dental bridges and dentures cannot compare to the look and feel of properly done dental implants. If you are looking for the best possible appearance, function, and feel, then dental implants are your best solution.

Example: Single Tooth Implant. This patient had lost her front tooth due to an accident and needed an immediate replacement.

Dental implants are permanently fixed

The dental implant post is inserted surgically into your jaw bone and, once the surgery has healed, the new crown is permanently attached to the post over the abutment. The new tooth will feel and function just like your own natural tooth, and you can expect to eat, brush and speak normally.

In contrast, dentures and many bridges are removable appliances requiring special care. It is not uncommon for them to come loose at inconvenient times, to cause pain or discomfort, or to adversely affect your speech and chewing ability.

Dental implants prevent further bone loss

Whenever you lose a tooth, you will find that the bone in the area of loss begins to recede. Over time, the bone around your teeth will begin to dissolve away, as it is no longer needed. As you can imagine, this loss of bone can affect more than your mouth. The entire structure of your face can change and become shrunken.

Dental implants reverse this loss

As long as you have enough bone to support the implant post, it can be surgically inserted into the bone. Over the space of the next few months, the post will bond to the bone, effectively becoming a part of your body's structure. The placement of the implant will stimulate the body to actually construct the bone cells necessary to bond to the implant. The result, if the implant is properly placed and your body responds as expected, is bone that is stronger and healthier than ever.

Dental implants allow you to preserve your remaining teeth

If you are missing only a single tooth or several, but still have remaining healthy teeth, a dental implant can replace the missing teeth without affecting the healthy teeth that remain. A dental bridge uses the teeth next to the empty space as anchors, and of necessity requires your dentist to cut down the healthy tooth and place a crown over it. A full or partial denture might similarly require your dentist to cut down or even remove adjacent teeth.

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Some dentists will recommend a bridge or denture even if it means compromising otherwise healthy teeth, perhaps because fitting the bridge or denture is an easier procedure for them, or because that is what they were taught to do in dental school. Of course, if a denture or bridge is truly the best solution for a client, then I will find the least destructive possible way to install the bridge or denture. I find, however, that this is rarely the best solution for a patient. A healthy, beautiful smile is much more likely to result from the careful and artful placement of perfectly-crafted implants.

This is a standard bridge. To replace the single missing tooth, the healthy teeth on either side are cut down to accommodate the crowns that support the center crown. These three crowns are permanently connected.

Diagram of a dental bridge

Call Us Today to Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation

If you are considering dental implants, call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Maddahi. Let Dr. Maddahi examine your mouth, and determine if you are a candidate for implant surgery.

Call 888-592-0974 now to schedule your free consultation for DENTAL IMPLANTS IN BEVERLY HILLS.

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What materials do you use for Dental Implants?

In our office, we use the NobelSelect implant posts and abutments from the innovator and leader in the dental implant field, Nobel Biocare. The posts are manufactured from chemically unchanged variants of commercially pure titanium. Our surgeon, Dr. Kapoor, prefers these implants because they attach to the bone more rapidly and promote rapid bonding as well. The exact size, shape, and configuration of the titanium portions of the implant are custom-designed to work precisely for each implant that she places.

When I design the crown of a dental implant, I use the best material for the individual specifications of the patient. I use no metal, and I make sure that the material chosen is compatible with your personal body chemistry.

I select the ceramic base for your crown based on a whole series of factors, including the type of tooth needed, the best match for your existing smile, and the durability of the ceramic. I will always let you know what choices you have and let you decide what you want. After all, it's your smile!

Our exclusive lab will custom-craft the crown to my specification, and my master lab technician and I will make any necessary adjustments to color, shape, or size right here in our lab. I make sure that every crown is just right before I place it permanently.

Are there things that could prevent me from getting Dental Implants?

Most people who are in good general health, and have a missing tooth or teeth are good candidates for dental implants. We will need to make sure that you have sufficient healthy bone in your jaw to support the implant. Even if you are suffering from some degree of bone loss, our surgeon, Dr. Kapoor, may be able to help you with a bone graft. We won't recommend a dental implant for young patients whose jawbones have not fully developed, or for pregnant women.

Some existing medical conditions will also prevent us from recommending dental implants. For the most part, if you can have routine dental treatment, you can have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant treatment as well.

As with any surgery, certain medications may prevent you from getting implant surgery. If you take medications such as steroids or drugs that suppress the immune system, for example, then implant surgery will not be right for you. Call Us Today to Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation.

If you are considering dental implants, call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Maddahi. Let Dr. Maddahi examine your mouth, and determine if you are a candidate for implant surgery.

Call (888) 592-0974 now to schedule your free consultation.

What if I need to have a tooth removed?

It happens all the time: a tooth is damaged in an accident, or cannot be salvaged from decay, and needs to be removed. You needn't be fearful if this is the case. In our office, our Periodontist will safely and quickly remove your tooth, in a gentle procedure that will not damage your underlying bone. Our extractions are so gentle and efficient because we rely on leverage rather than force to extract a tooth.

Using a special tool, called the Physics Forceps, we are able to put the exact amount of pressure gently against the tooth to cause it to pop out in 30 to 60 seconds, with no yanking, twisting, or bone damage. Our extractions heal rapidly, allowing your dental implant surgery to proceed on schedule. In most cases we can extract a tooth and place an implant on the same day.

As a side note, there are some dental implant centers and surgeons that advocate removing healthy teeth and putting in a denture supported by implants instead. I do not recommend this and prefer to focus on saving as many healthy teeth as possible using combinations of dental implants, all-porcelain crowns, and bridges to avoid the need for dentures and unnecessary extractions.

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Call Us Today to Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation

If you are considering dental implants, call us today to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Maddahi. Let Dr. Maddahi examine your mouth, and determine if you are a candidate for implant dentistry in Beverly Hills.

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