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Dental Implants in Tijuana

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Before & After

We have a great staff of dentists at Dr. Mexico – Tijuana Dentist Center. We specialize, not only in restorative dentistry and dental implants, but we love to do smile makeovers. Our staff can design a new smile for you with the use of veneers, or porcelain crowns. The zirconium veneers and crowns are made with the use of computer-aided design and are the best materials on the market. Please look at our gallery of photos to see what we can do for your smile.

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What is a Dental Implant?

Dental Implants are cutting edge technology for tooth replacement. With a dental implant, a titanium screw is surgically placed into the jaw bone, taking the place of the tooth roots. After the bone has healed and bonded to the implant, a second stage takes place where an abutment, (the upper half of the implant), is mounted onto the implant itself, and then a crown is seated on top of the abutment, replacing the missing tooth.

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What are the benefits of dental implants in Mexico?

Dental implants are a superior method for tooth replacement. First, by replacing a single tooth, or multiple missing teeth with implants, it is not necessary to bring down the adjacent teeth, as is the case with a fixed bridge. Secondly, when teeth are extracted, you will begin to suffer bone loss at the extraction site, but an implant will hold the bone, and prevent the jaw bone from dissolving away. When a fixed bridge is used, or when nothing is done to replace a missing tooth, the resulting bone loss at the extraction site, will eventually affect the adjacent teeth, causing them to fail as well. An implant stimulates the bone, preventing bone loss.

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What are the disadvantages of dental Implants?

The biggest disadvantage of dental implants treatment is the time needed to finish treatment. This is the best treatment, but you will have to have patience, and be willing to come to Tijuana for two or three trips to get the treatment finished. If time is an issue, the alternative is fixed bridges, or partial dentures.

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How long does treatment take for dental implants?

Because the bone needs to grow to, and bond with the titanium implant, (called osseointegration), implant treatment requires at least two stages. (If a patient is already suffering bone loss, and is need of bone grafting before implantation, treatment will take 3 stages. In the case of bone grafting, after the graft, it can take 3 to 6 months before implantation). Once implantation is done, it will take 3 months of healing time for lower jaw implants, and 4 months for upper jaw implants. When the implants are healed and are solidly in place, we can do the final stage of placeing the abutment and crown.

Time required for individual treatments?

For both bone grafting, and implantation, usually the dentist will just need you in the office for one visit. A second visit the next day may be needed if you are having temporary teeth made. The final stage can take two or three visits over 3 to 5 days, depending on type of crowns, and number of crowns.

Are dental implants for everyone?

Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate. If you have too much bone loss, grafting may not be feasible. also, there can be health issues that would hinder the healing process needed for implants, such as un-controlled diabetes. Also, if you are a heavy smoker, nicotine can cause your implants to fail during the healing process, and therefore you will have to first get your smoking habit under control, cutting way back to just a few cigarettes a day. The doctor will advise you when you come in for evaluation

What are some of the options for dental implant treatments?

Bridges: We can replace multiple teeth with implants and fixed bridges, rather than each tooth with an individual implant and crown. For example, we can replace 3 or 4 adjacent teeth with two implants and a fixed bridge of 3 or 4 units. that will save you the cost of extra implants. Another example would be, replacing an entire arch with 8 implants and 12 crowns on fixed bridges.

Dentures:

A popular treatment for those who have have dentures is to place 4 implants per arch, and then make a new denture that snaps onto, and is held in place by the implants. This type of denture has the advantage that it does not require the roof of your mouth to be covered, leaving the palet open, and allowing all your taste buds to come in contact with your food. also, with the implants, your dentures are held very solidly in place, and you won’t have your dentures sliping when you talk or eat.

Our dental implants in Mexico specialist has top credentials, along with a lot of experience.

Our primary staff dentist, has had specialized training in dental implant placement. He is qualified, and has a lot of experience in dental implant treatments, and does most of the single implant procedures. For larger jobs of multiple implant placements, or oral surgeries, we utilize implant specialists. They have superior preparation, and are within the top implant dentists in Tijuana. In many dental clinics the dentist who is placing the implants has not had more than a course on implants, and has had little formal training. This can manifest itself with implants not being properly placed. They may be out of alignment, crooked, or at an improper depth. That is why we won’t use a general dentist for multiple implant placements. We only us a top specialist. Our implant specialists are so good, we will guarantee the implant placements for life. They many years of experience in dental implant placement, and do hundreds of implants each year.

Why we don’t do “Teeth in a day” implants.

There are a lot of advertisements for “teeth in a day”, also known as immediate load implants. With this type of implants, the implant is placed, and the same day the abutment is put on, and impressions made for the new crowns. To the patient who has little patience, and wants his new teeth NOW, this sounds great. However, our doctors will not do this type of implant. The reason is, these immediate load implants will end up failing in a few years, and the doctors cannot give them a lifetime guarantee. The way implants work, the bone needs time to bond to the titanium. When pressure repeatedly put on the implant, like it is when it is activated, the bone cannot bond. Also, with the immediate load implants, the thread is very coarse and aggressive, like the threads of a “lag bolt”, compared to a fine thread. When you chew on that type of implant, because of because the thread is coarser, it results tiny micro-fractures in the bone. Because of so many micro-fractures, the bone cannot regenerate fast enough, and bone loss results. After 5 to 8 years, they implants will get loose and fall out. But, with the type of implants we use, delayed load implants, the dentist can give a lifetime guarantee. The only drawback, is it requires 3 to 4 months of healing time before implant can be activated, which will require a second trip to Tijuana.

What is an “All on 4” or All on 6” dental implant treatment?

When a patient loses all the teeth on an arch, i.e. all your upper teeth or all your lower teeth, the most common way to replace the teeth is with a denture. The biggest complaint that most patients have about a denture is that it doesn’t fit right, it moves around, as the gums shrink, and it feels like a big piece of plastic in their mouth. Some people can never get used to a denture. However, it is still the most economical way to replace your missing teeth.  A few years back, dentists were able to offer dentures that snap on to previously placed dental implants, or “Snap on dentures”. This type of treatment is a great improvement on regular dentures, because the dentures are held firmly in place, However they still feel like a denture, although the pallet is more open, and the denture needs to be removed and cleaned, because particles can get under it, and poor hygienics will cause bone loss around the implant. Also, the strain on the implant, from constantly having to remove it for cleaning, can cause some of the implants to eventually fail. 

The newest and best dental implant treatment for full dental arch replacement is a fixed dental appliance, made of zirconia, that permanently mounts on to the dental implants. This appliance feels much more natural, doesn’t come out, and doesn’t move.  For a full arch of 14 teeth, at least 5 or 6 implants are needed. For replacing a shorter arch of 10 teeth, then just 4 implants are used. 

The patient will still need to practice proper dental hygiene, and the way that is done is by using a water flosser, i.e. Waterpik, to clean the place where the zirconia appliance or “bridge” presses up to the gum, to clean our any particles. (Actually, a water flosser is essential for all patients for good dental hygiene, as it is the best way to clean between your teeth, and under bridges. Know that bacteria build up under your gum line, causes periodontal disease and results in bone loss). Also, the patient with a fixed dental appliance will need to go to a dentist every 6 months for a cleaning. The fixed bridge will need to be removed and cleaned underneath regularly for good hygiene. 

For more information, you can call our patient coordinator. Also, you can read the section of our website on Hybrid dental appliances.

– More About Dental Implant:

Dental Implants surgery is the latest technology for teeth replacement. But, with anything, the more years that we do something, the more improvements in technology, and better treatment results are available.

A few years ago, dental implants were mainly used for replacement of individual teeth, or replacement of up to three teeth by use of a bridge. Dental implants are made of titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jaw. The titanium is a very strong alloy metal that the human bone tissue bonds with, and is the same material that is used in the medical profession for hip and knee replacement. It takes about 4 or 5 months for the ossio-integration to be complete, and the implant to be fully integrated. However with some new technology, under the right conditions, there are implants today that are treated with ultraviolet light, can integrate in less than half the time, and can have a special temporary crown placed the next day. But whether traditional implants are used, or the new UV implants, there are techniques where the patient will leave with some kind of temporary teeth.

Bridges with implants: Dental implants can not be connected by a bridge to a living tooth. The implant is screwed into the jaw and is rigid, where a living tooth is connected to the jaw bone by ligaments, which have give and flex. Because the living tooth moves, and the implant does not, if the two were connected by a bridge, when the patient chews, the movement of the living tooth would work the fixed implant loose, and it would fail. A bridge can only be made from implant to implant, or natural tooth to natural tooth.

Because of the expense of going to the dentist in the US, and the poor coverage of dental insurance, many people, neglect their teeth, and wait until they are in pain, before they make an appointment. The result is many patients in the US have poor dental condition, and have lost several teeth. Implants are so expensive in the US, they let things go and don’t have their teeth replaced, and what they don’t realize is that the teeth are like dominos. Once one tooth is gone, the adjacent teeth are affected. The bone doesn’t fill in at the extraction site, and the lack of a tooth root causes bone loss because there is nothing to stimulate the bone to regenerate. One tooth goes, and then after a few years the adjacent teeth get loose. The best thing, once a tooth is no longer viable, and needs extraction is to replace it with a dental implant, in order to save the other teeth. However, many times by the time patients come to us that have lost so many teeth, or because of periodontal disease, their teeth all have to be extracted. They can either go with dentures, or if they can stand the idea of dentures and Fix-O-Dent paste forever, we do now have some options for dental appliances that are fixed in the mouth, mounting onto dental implants. 

Snap on dentures: This is one of the older techniques for having a denture that is anchored in place. Usually we recommend the use of 4 implants. The tops of the implants have a locator placed that snaps into a connector inserted in the denture. The denture is held in place by snapping onto the implants, and doesn’t require suction to hold it in place. Therefore the denture does not need to be made to cover the roof of the mouth. It is held very firmly in place and is a great improvement over dentures that can move and need adhesive to stay in place. The drawbacks are the appliance still feels a little bulky in your mouth, and has to be removed to clean under it on a regular basis. Sometimes, after removing the denture to clean under it, if the patient isn’t careful, implants have been known to pull loose.

Hybrid all on 4 or all on 6 fixed denture: This type of dental appliance is a great improvement over the snap on denture. Mainly because there is a special type of connection, where the denture is screwed directly into the implant. This appliance does not come out, except by the dentist. It is held absolutely fixed in your mouth. To clean it, the patient must use a water flosser or WaterPik after every meal, just like you would brush, and you would need to use a soft brush to get any film off your denture. It is recommended that you come to the dentist twice a year to have the denture removed to make sure it is thoroughly cleaned underneath and to check the implants.

All on 4 or all on 6 Zirconium bridge: This is the best way of replacing all your teeth. This appliance is not a denture, but is a solid bridge screwed directly into the implants. Aesthetically, it looks far superior. It does not overlap your gum, but is pressed directly onto the gum ridge. Some rose colored edging is put on the top edges to contour the shapes of the teeth, and to match the gum. Food can’t get under it very easily, but you need to clean the crevice between the gum and appliance with a water flosser, regularly. This is the closest you can get to feeling like natural teeth, when your teeth have all had to be removed. 4 to 6 implants are used depending on the bone quality, and the size of the appliance. To replace all 14 teeth on the dental arch, there must be a minimum of 5 implants, and solid bone. But if an appliance is made to only replace 12 teeth, 4 implants can be used. 

What if you have poor bone quality? Bone grafting may be needed for implant surgery. When an extraction is done, often the size of the hole will need a little bone graft to fill it in. Sometimes there has been enough bone loss that the tooth hole is too big to hold an implant immediately, and a bone graft must be done, and then after some months to integrate into the natural bone, then an implant can be placed. Sometimes the patient’s bone on the upper arch is too thin and a sinus lift must be done to thicken the bone sufficiently so that the implant won’t perforate the sinus cavity.

Zygomatic implants: In some cases, the quality of the upper jaw is too poor to place implants, even after bone grafting. One option is zygomatic implants. They are about 4 inches long, and anchor in the cheek bone that forms the orbital socket. This bone is very dense, and unaffected by periodontal disease. This is a major surgery, and must be performed by a maxillofacial specialist, and done under general anesthesia in an operating room. We have had a number of patients who have had this procedure done successfully, and it was the only way they could have had an all on 4 procedure with permanent fixed teeth. The procedure is not cheap, but México dentists still charge just 30% of what the US dentists charge.

Water flossing: When dental implants are placed, we strongly recommend that patients get a Waterpik or water flosser. When food debris is left between teeth bacteria forms. This bacteria will cause periodontal disease and affect your natural teeth, but will also affect your dental implants as well. The bacteria will eat away at the bone, and just like it will cause bone loss around your tooth roots, it can cause you to lose bone around your dental implants. Part of good dental hygiene is to floss, but with dental implants the floss thread can’t clean like a water flosser.

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