At Downey Park Family Dentistry, Dr. Acree offers end-to-end implant dentistry in Modesto. We can handle the entire implant planning, placement, and restoration process in-house under one roof, providing you with the highest-quality dental care. Implants are the best long-term option for replacing missing teeth. Book a consultation today to learn more about this permanent replacement option.See If You Qualify
Implant Placement – After Dr. Acree develops your treatment plan at our Modesto dental office, your implant will be surgically placed. First, Dr. Acree will clean and numb the treatment area. Then, a metal, screw-shaped piece of titanium will be placed directly into your gums and jaw bone. Once it has been placed, the area will be cleaned and disinfected to promote healing. In some cases, sutures may be needed.
Healing & Osseointegration – The initial healing process takes about 1-2 weeks, and you’ll need to follow Dr. Acree’s instructions to ensure that you recover properly. However, it will take around 3-6 months for your implant to fully heal and osseointegrate. Osseointegration is the process by which the titanium implant bonds permanently and integrates with your jaw bone, ensuring that your implant will never move or shift.
Implant Restoration – While you heal and recover from your implant, you’ll come in for a few follow-up appointments at our office in Modesto, CA. During these visits, Dr. Acree will check your healing progress and take dental impressions of your smile. We will use these impressions to build your crown at our in-house lab. Once your implant has fully healed and osseointegrated, Dr. Acree will attach your crown to your implant, restoring your smile and completing the process.
Compared to bridges and dentures, implants are a superior way to replace missing teeth. Implants help support the health of your jaw bone and prevent bone loss, unlike these alternatives. In addition, dental implants never move or shift in your mouth. They are easier to care for, and look and feel more natural. Implants also last much longer than dentures or bridges.
Dental implants have a number of unique benefits that make them our preferred method of smile restoration at Downey Park Family Dentistry. Unlike all other options for tooth replacement, dental implants bond to your natural jaw and act as an artificial tooth root. Here are a few more benefits to consider:
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that support and stimulate the underlying jaw bone. This ensures that you don’t have to worry about bone loss, which is a common complication after losing one or more teeth.
Dental implants last 30+ years with proper care, which is longer than any other method of smile restoration, including bridges and dentures. In fact, many patients will keep their dental implant for the rest of their lives once it is placed.
Your implant from our Modesto office will look and feel completely natural. It will never move or shift while you eat or speak, and you can clean it just like you would clean one of your other teeth. You will feel comfortable and confident about your smile!
The implant process does require a significant investment of time and money. So you may be wondering what will happen if you choose not to replace your missing tooth right away.
What effects can this have? Is it okay to wait to replace your missing tooth? Here are a few of the common things that will happen if you lose a tooth and don’t get a replacement from Dr. Corey Acree at Downey Park Family Dentistry in Modesto.
Self-consciousness about your appearance – Losing one or more teeth, particularly front teeth, can make you feel bad about how you look. Tooth loss negatively affects your appearance and how others perceive you. You may feel judged for missing your teeth, and this could even cause issues in your personal life or your professional life, depending on your situation.
Difficulty eating certain foods – Losing a few front teeth, for example, could make it harder to bite into an apple, carrot, or other such tough and crunchy fruits and vegetables. Or, if you lose a few rear molars, you may have difficulties chewing and grinding tough foods like jerky or steak. If you don’t replace your missing teeth, you’ll definitely have to adjust your diet.
Problems speaking clearly – This is mostly a problem if you’re missing one or two of your front teeth. Your tongue pushes against your teeth to make a lot of different sounds, and if you’re missing a few teeth, you may sound “slushy,” or like you have a lisp. You may have more difficulties making yourself understood, or you may feel self-conscious about the way you speak after you lose a tooth.
Teeth shifting – Teeth shifting happens when you lose a tooth and the nearby teeth try to shift toward it in an attempt to fill up the new gap in your smile. This is a natural response to tooth loss, but when your teeth move around, this can cause problems with your bite position and make your teeth crooked. This is particularly undesirable if you’ve invested in orthodontics in the past to correct your bite and the alignment of your teeth.
Bone resorption – This is a health issue that can only be treated with dental implants. When you lose a tooth, the jaw bone below your tooth will no longer be stimulated by the pressure of chewing and biting. In turn, this causes the jaw bone to weaken and become thinner.
Dental implants can prevent this. They are surgically placed directly into the jaw. This means that, just like natural teeth, they stimulate and support your jaw bone, and stop it from getting weaker after tooth loss. Other treatments like partial dentures and dental bridges don’t have the same effect, since they simply rest on top of your mouth rather than being surgically implanted into the jaw.
For all of these reasons, we highly recommend that you replace your missing tooth as soon as you can after you’ve had it extracted. Dr. Corey Acree in Modesto can discuss your options in more detail and help you understand which treatments may be right for you, so contact us for a consultation now.
Bleeding - First and foremost, you’re going to experience minor bleeding for up to 48-72 hours after implant surgery. This is normal, but be alert for signs of excessive or prolonged bleeding, which could be signs of Mucositis or Peri-implantitis.
After placing the implant, you will be instructed to bite down on a piece of gauze for 30 to 45 minutes to stop the bleeding, changing the gauze every 30 to 45 minutes for the first 2 hours after surgery. After 2 hours the bleeding should slow down. If the bleeding continues to be steady, bite down on a wet caffeinated tea bag instead, this promotes blood clotting. You should rest and avoid strenuous exercise, especially for the first 24 hours to avoid excessive bleeding and dislodging blood clots.
Swelling - Swelling will peak 2-3 days after your surgery and then starts to subside. To help reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the area in 15-minute on-and-off cycles. Elevating your head will also help to reduce the swelling as well as taking anti-inflammatory pain medication.
Pain - The actual implant procedure is not painful because you will be numb with a local anesthesia in the area of treatment. However, once the anesthetic wears off, this is when you may start to feel some discomfort, pain, or tenderness.
Take any prescribed medication as instructed or take anti-inflammatory pain medication as needed. Pain will be the most intense in the first few days and will improve with each day. After day four, you can expect your discomfort to significantly reduce.
Let’s start with what you’ll want to avoid doing after receiving new dental implants. You need to protect the blood clot that forms at the implant surgery to promote fast healing and avoid complications.
You should avoid strenuous activity and all forms of suction for the first 24 hours, which can dislodge the blood clot. Do not drink alcohol, smoke, or consume hot foods or drinks for at least the first 24 hours, but ideally the first week. Smoking should be completely avoided.
You will stick to a diet of soft foods for the first 3 weeks and then start incorporating more foods once you feel more comfortable and with the approval of your dentist. You’ll also need to keep your mouth clean and bacteria-free.
Don’t rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours; but after this period, you can swish around a lukewarm saline solution and brush and floss like normal. Be careful to avoid the implant site and don’t chew on that side of your mouth.
Rest is very important in the first week as well as staying hydrated, getting enough nutrients, and practicing good oral hygiene.
The actual titanium post that is implanted into your jawbone will last for 25 years to life. However, the dental crown which is attached to it has a shorter lifespan and could need to be replaced about every 10-15 years.
The most common reason for early replacement is wear and tear resulting in fracturing or failure of the crown materials.
Do not smoke or use tobacco products. Practice good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing as well as attending dental visits in Modesto every 6 months. If you grind your teeth, a mouthguard is recommended to protect dental implants and dental crowns. Avoid hard, chewy, and crunchy foods.
Interested in dental implants? Ready to regain your beautiful smile and tooth function? Contact us at Downey Park Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment with Dr. Corey Acree in Modesto and find out if you're a good candidate today. And ask about our in-office membership plan to see how it can help you save money on your dental care.