Dental Implants Specialist

Lighthouse Family Dentistry

Patricia Van Kooten, DMD

Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Monterey, CA

If you’ve recently had a permanent tooth pulled due to disease or infection, or have been in an accident that knocked out a tooth, you no doubt want a replacement tooth as soon as possible. The replacement tooth will likely involve a dental implant. Left unfilled, gaps from missing teeth can cause lots of problems, such as: bone loss, trouble chewing, and an unsightly appearance. Dr. Patricia Van Kooten, DMD, at Lighthouse Family Dentistry in Monterey, California, ensures that your dental implant procedure goes smoothly and that once again you can smile, eat, and speak with confidence. To talk with her about dental implants, contact our office for an exam and consultation appointment.

Dental Implants Q & A

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are metal rods that act as roots for replacement teeth. If you lose a tooth to disease or injury, you are a candidate for an implant. An implant fits into the jawbone and provides support for a replacement tooth.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Implants have become popular in recent years and are becoming a great alternative to dentures. Implants allow you to eat all of the foods you like with confidence, whereas dentures can make chewing some foods more difficult. Implants are permanent; you eliminate the embarrassment of removing dentures and the messy adhesives that make dentures adhere to your mouth.

Additionally, when dentures are removed, the mouth sags and caves in, making you look older than you are. With the strides that have been made in modern dentistry technology, that’s just unnecessary today. In addition, implants protect against bone loss, which endangers other surrounding teeth. Implants will produce a beautiful smile that you’ll wear all day long!

What happens during the implant procedure?

The implant, a small titanium rod, goes into the bone where your old tooth was. As your jaw heals, which takes from six to 12 weeks, the post adheres securely to the bone. Then a small attachment is added to the post. A new crown fits over the attachment. Dr. Van Kooten matches the color of the crown to your surrounding teeth.

Implants are a group effort. A specialist places the implant and works closely with Dr. Van Kooten to ensure your implant process is smooth and a total success. Dr. Van Kooten will give you local anesthesia to ensure that you do not suffer pain during the procedure.

How do I take care of the implant?

Good oral hygiene is important. Brushing and flossing daily, along with making regular dental appointments, will keep your implant and other teeth in good shape.