Dental Implants

Bring Your Smile Back with Lasting Tooth Replacements

When it comes to making your smile look exactly the way you want it to, Dr. Vatavuk is truly a perfectionist. He remains dedicated to expanding his dental education to ensure those who visit are only getting the best of the best. When it comes to tooth replacement options like dental implants, there’s certainly no exception. During your consultation, you can expect him to take the time to talk to you and address your concerns upfront, so you can feel 100% confident about your future care before beginning your tooth replacement plan with dental implants in Palo Alto, CA.

Why Choose Branimir Vatavuk, DDS for Dental Implants?

  • Partners with Highly-Trained Implant Specialist Nearby
  • Restorations Made from Durable, High-Quality Materials
  • Kind, Caring, and Listens to Patients’ Needs Directly

What are Dental Implants?

Animated smile with dental implant supported dental crown

A dental implant is a type of tooth replacement that works to replace the crown portion as well as the root, making it unique from other options like bridges or dentures. Because of this additional function, the replacement tooth not only looks incredibly natural, but feels that way as well. Technically, the implant of a dental implant only consists of the titanium post that sits underneath the gum line. Attached to it is an abutment, which holds a dedicated restoration in place.

The Dental Implant Process

Woman looking at smile after dental implant process

When you first arrive at Dr. Vatavuk’s dental office, he’ll perform a detailed examination of your mouth to gain a better understanding of your needs. If you are eligible to receive implants, you’ll be referred to a trusted team of implant specialists located right across the street where your oral surgery will take place. Upon completion of your dental implant surgery, you’ll need to wait several months for the implant to fuse with your bone tissue, then come back to have an abutment (or small connector) and permanent restoration attached.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Older couple with grandchild enjoying the benefits of dental implants

Dental implants do far more for your smile than simply make it complete. In fact, they offer benefits that cannot be said for other methods of replacing teeth, including the following:

  • Lasts for decades and even for life when properly maintained
  • Makes chewing even the toughest foods easy and natural-feeling
  • Prevents shifting of neighboring teeth, keeping the bite even
  • Promotes healthy bone tissue and a strong biting force
  • Prevents facial sagging and changing of the jaw shape

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Older couple smiling together after tooth replacement with dental implants

Whether you’re an older patient who’s ready to move on from a traditional denture or you’ve had to have a tooth extracted and are looking for replacement options, dental implants make a great solution. Before you start treatment, it’s important to confirm with Dr. Vatavuk first if dental implants are the best option for you based on your current oral and overall health. If so, you’ll be happy to learn that dental implants are ideal for just about any level of tooth loss.

Missing One Tooth

Animated dental implant supported dental crown placement

To replace a single tooth, a small incision is made in the gum tissue and a tiny hole is created so that an implant can be placed. Because the implant post is strong enough to hold a dedicated restoration, there’s no need to modify existing enamel just so it can hold the tooth replacement.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Animated dental implant supported fixed bridge placement

Dental implants are also capable of replacing multiple consecutive teeth, similar to a dental bridge. The difference is a pair of dental implants are placed adjacent to your remaining teeth inside the gap, then an implant bridge is attached to abutments located inside of the implants.

Missing All Teeth

Animated dental implant supported denture placement

If you have always lived with a full or partial denture, you’ll find dental implants to be a substantial upgrade. Depending on the severity of your tooth loss and the amount of bone tissue available, anywhere between four and six implants may be attached to hold a dedicated implant denture.

Cost of Dental Implants

Dentist and patient discussing the cost of dental implants

Because dental implants are a complex process, Dr. Vatavuk makes sure to be upfront about the costs you can expect to pay ahead of time based on your specific needs. For example, if you need multiple implants placed or more comprehensive restorations to complete your smile, you can expect to pay more. During your consultation, our team can break down each step of your tooth replacement treatment and the estimated costs then, so you’re never caught off guard by surprise fees later.

Dental Implant FAQs

Dentist explaining model of dental implants in Palo Alto

If you’re not very familiar with dental implants (or oral surgery period), we understand if you have questions about your tooth replacement. We want to ensure you feel as informed as possible ahead of your procedure, so feel free to look over some of the most common questions we’ve heard over the years about dental implant treatment! If yours is not mentioned, please let us know during your consultation.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

Before the procedure begins, the oral surgeon will administer a local anesthetic to your tooth and surrounding gum tissue so you do not feel any sensations during treatment. Your jawbone does not contain any nerve endings, so there should not be any sensations in this area during your procedure anyway. With that said, it’s normal to experience some mild discomfort and soreness after the surgery. This is a normal side effect that should improve over the next few days. Taking painkillers and applying a cold compress to your face should help you manage your side effects as well.

How Can I Tell If My Dental Implant Is Failing?

Some of the most common signs your dental implant is failing include severe pain around the implant, inflammation or swollen gums, or the feeling that your dental implant is loose. While dental implant failure is rare, it can happen, so it’s important to know the symptoms just in case. If you do notice them, call our office right away.

How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take?

The length of your procedure depends on how many implants you need to have placed. In most cases, placing a dental implant takes about one to two hours. This also includes the time needed to administer anesthesia as well as create a sterile surgical atmosphere. If you need to have three or more implants placed, you can expect your treatment to take several hours. The surgeon will tell you this in advance so you can prepare.

Am I Too Old to Get Dental Implants?

Technically, there is no upper age limit for dental implant treatment. Once you become an adult, you can receive dental implants if you have missing teeth, have sufficient bone tissue, and positive oral and overall health. However, if you have other health issues that complicate your dental implant treatment, you may need to have them addressed first.

Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?

Smokers tend to have a higher rate of dental implant failure as using tobacco in any form causes dry mouth, slows down healing, and can interfere with the implant’s ability to fuse with the jawbone. Your risk for developing dry socket can also go up as the suction motion required for smoking cigarettes, cigars, or using electronic cigarettes can dislodge the blood clot. If you currently smoke, you should quit at least two weeks before the procedure and then wait for at least two to three months afterwards before resuming. We would strongly recommend quitting tobacco for good.