Tooth Replacement

Tooth Replacement Options in San Diego

The older we become, the more our teeth are susceptible to possible damage, and whether by natural aging, dental trauma, or tooth decay, one or more teeth can go missing over time. But rather than dwell on the reasons why your teeth went missing, it’s more important to consider your next steps.

The sooner you replace and restore your missing teeth, the healthier your dentition becomes. At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics in La Jolla, San Diego, we provide both dental implants and dentures to help you regain a natural-looking and healthy smile. Dr. Kohani works with each of his patients to determine the treatment method that works best for the structure of the teeth, oral health, timeframe, and budget.

Tooth Replacement Types

  • Dental implantsA dental implant consists of a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone as well as an artificial ceramic crown that is placed atop the implant to create a natural tooth replacement. The procedure is capable of replacing one or more missing teeth and can can be completed in a matter of two or three appoints over a period of several months.The titanium implant acts as a natural tooth root while the ceramic crown provides the protective enamel-like qualities that allow you to chew and bite down properly. The result is an artificial tooth that functions exactly as a natural tooth would; the ceramic crown can even be stained to match your enamel’s natural coloring. You can speak, chew and eat just as you would with natural teeth as well as practice regular oral hygiene without having to remove any dental hardware.
  • DenturesA denture takes the form of a dental arch, which works well for people who are missing several teeth. Full or partial dentures can be created depending on the number of teeth you have missing, and the appliance is completely customized to fit your jaw’s alignment. Impressions are taken of your mouth that create the basis for your dentures as well as a bite analysis, which tells Dr. Kohani exactly how you bite down. Your dentures essentially rest on top of your natural gum line and look completely natural.Like the ceramic crowns in dental implants, your dentures are also stained to mach your natural tooth enamel, and in some cases the dental arch itself can be secured into place using four or six dental implants. Wearing an implant-supported denture improves the security of the denture and keeps it from falling out of place while eating or speaking. Your oral hygiene routine will change slightly with your new dentures, but your appearance and confidence will improve when you receive a new set of teeth that can increases your quality of life.

What Is the Dental Implant Process?


How Are Dental Implants Fitted?

Before work starts, you will take part in a full assessment to ensure you are eligible. Once you have explained your needs and expectations, we will perform a visual exam and take a 3D CT scan to assess bone quality. If the bone is suitable, we can start work straight away. If not, we might need to carry out additional procedures before getting started with your dental implants.

During the appointment, we give you a local anesthetic to numb your mouth. Using a special dental drill, the titanium implant is gently implanted into the jaw bone. Dr. Kohani stitches your gum, and the healing period commences, which can last between two and six months, depending on the bone quality.


Is Everyone Eligible for Dental Implants?

Dental implants are suitable for most people, but medical issues might prevent a small minority from being eligible. For instance, unmanaged or poorly managed diabetes can reduce blood flow, weakening gums and bones in the mouth. Likewise, radiotherapy in the jaw can increase your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Certain lifestyle habits might also affect how successful your dental implants are, for example, smoking or using e-cigarettes. We recommend that you cease smoking before getting dental implants fitted because it affects gum health and could slow the healing process.

In some cases, you might need to undergo an additional procedure to ensure your mouth can accommodate implants. Sinus lifts or bone grafts could be necessary if there isn’t enough bone in your mouth to support your implant.


Are Dental Implants Painful?

When Dr. Kohani fits your dental implants, he will numb the area using a local anesthetic, so you don’t feel the procedure. Afterward, just as with any other type of surgical procedure, you might experience some mild discomfort after the anesthetic wears off. Bruising, swelling, and any pain are unlikely to last more than a week, and you should be able to go back to work the day after the implants are fitted.
Painkillers, such as ibuprofen or TYLENOL®, should be enough to manage any pain. If you feel particularly anxious about the procedure, you might consider dental sedation.

What Is the Denture Process?


How Are Dentures Fitted?

The first step is an initial consultation in which Dr. Kohani examines your mouth to assess suitability. In some cases, it’s necessary to remove teeth before the procedure takes place. If you currently have no teeth, your dentist will assess the suitability of your gums to ensure they are healthy.

Next, Dr. Kohani creates a mold from dental putty and asks you to bite into it. We use this impression as a blueprint to make sure the dentures are crafted according to your individual needs.


Can I Sleep in My Dentures?

We recommend removing your dentures at night, cleaning them thoroughly, and storing them in water overnight. This helps to maintain the dentures and gives your jawbone and gums a chance to recover from the pressure placed on them by the dentures.

Some people prefer to sleep in their dentures for social reasons or to stop their jaw from over-closing. In this case, you should be careful to never wear dentures 24 hours per day without removing them and cleaning them at least once.


How to Clean Your Dentures

You will need to get a specialty toothpaste to clean your dentures, which are made from highly durable plastic and not suitable for use with standard toothpaste. Use dish soap and a denture brush to clean your set of dentures by hand each day and store them in water overnight.

Feel free to browse through our procedure pages about dental implants and dentures, and if you would like more information about the restorative options that we offer, contact La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics at 858-295-0603 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kohani. With a dental examination and a discussion of your cosmetic goals, we can determine which restoration method will work best for you.

Tooth Replacement Frequently Asked Questions

Adult teeth do not merely die or fall out in response to age. Gum disease, bacteria around the teeth, untreated dental conditions, or oral trauma are the main culprits of adult tooth loss. The vacancy in the mouth that results from tooth loss can be corrected by dental implants or dentures.

No, they are not. Dental implants are permanent tooth replacements that have become an increasingly popular alternative to dentures in recent years. Dental implants are inserted and permanently secured to your jaw bone; dentures are removable teeth replacements. Due to their permanent nature, dental implants often last longer than dentures and are cared for in the same way as your natural teeth. Dental implants are available in single tooth, multi-teeth, or full-mouth.

Dentures are beneficial for patients who have a weak jaw or are searching for a more cost-effective option. Similar to our ceramic crowns and dental implants, your dentures are uniquely stained to match your tooth enamel for a natural appearance.

Dental implants are typically recommended over dentures for several reasons. Dental Implants are more permanent and not removable. They also keep the integrity of the bone, whereas dentures do not. Unfortunately, when you have no teeth, the bone has no reason to live; therefore, it disappears over time, leaving no bone for the dentures to hold on to. Implants are typically recommended for missing teeth. If the patient is missing all of their teeth, we will recommend implants to support the denture and keep the integrity of the bone.

Dr. Kohani has over three decades of professional knowledge, and expertly offers both dental implants and dentures to fit your specific needs. At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry & Orthodontics, we will help you regain a natural-looking and healthy smile by carefully molding implants or dentures that imitate the structure of the teeth on a budget that is comfortable for you.

Once your gums and the surrounding soft tissue have acclimated to your dentures, you should experience no discomfort. While there is no recovery time after receiving dentures, most patients take up to 30 days to adjust to the sensation of the new teeth. You will be provided with extensive details about caring for your dentures and any regulations regarding eating or chewing. Don’t hesitate to call our office if you need your dentures adjusted.

Because dental implants must fuse with the bone, they require an extended recovery period. It can take between six to eight months for an implant to fully heal and be ready for the addition of the crown restoration.

The use of bone grafting techniques may or may not cause the process to be prolonged.

You may have heard of your grandparents only being able to eat certain foods after they get their first pair of dentures. Fortunately, the newer technologies behind dentures enable patients to eat almost anything they would eat in their regular routines. While individuals with dentures have more options, they should still be cautious when eating harder or stickier foods.

During your recovery from dental implants, you should focus on a soft diet and refrain from hard or sticky foods. Most patients can eat any food without irritating their implant after 10 to 14 days.