In years past, an individual with missing teeth had only two options, dentures or bridges. Now, however, because of advancements in prosthodontics, our patients have the option of obtaining a dental implant that is practically identical to its surrounding teeth.

Here at Smooth Dental and Orthodontics, we work together with implant specialists to fabricate implant crowns, and we are known for some of the best dental implants La Habra and Santa Ana have to offer. An implant crown is custom-made from ceramic material to mimic the appearance of an actual tooth and is often indistinguishable from the real thing. The result is a perfectly restored smile that, with proper care, will retain its strength and appearance for years to come.


The first step is to take impressions of the patient’s existing teeth to be used as a basis for the size and shape of the crown. The look, color, and fit of the crown will be custom-made to the patient’s satisfaction. The brands of crowns that we use include Strauman, Zimmerman, and Nobel Biocare. Before an implant crown can be placed, a patient is referred to an implant specialist, who surgically inserts the implant anchor into the gums. The implant anchor actually fuses to the jawbone, which is what allows it to be so strong and enduring. After a period of healing and the addition of a post, the implant is ready to receive the crown. The crown is simply cemented to the implant post and a newly restored smile is born.

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Depending on your individual case you will need a particular type of implant. The different types of implants include:

Single dental implants: Single dental implants are used when a single tooth is missing and needs to be replaced. Unlike a bridge a single dental implant does not need to be attached to the adjacent teeth. The post of the implant is firmly fitted into the jawbone to prevent it from coming loose. A validate candidate for a single dental implant is someone with strong gums and sufficient bone in the jaw. Dr. Elizabeth Tran will first give you an oral examination and X-ray to determine if you are a good candidate for a single dental implant and will then walk you through the procedure. The implant specialist will attach the titanium post to you bone which provides an anchor for the crown to be fixed onto. Next an abutment which looks like a small tooth is fitted onto the post and finally the crown is fixed over the abutment. The finished look is like that of a normal tooth and the gap is completely filled. A single dental implant leaves the adjacent teeth intact and does not cause them any damage.

Multiple dental implants: If you are missing more than one tooth then you will require multiple dental implants. Again you will first get a full oral examination and X-ray to check your gums and bone structure. If you are fit for a dental implant the procedure will be performed. Multiple dental implants too do not require to be attached to adjacent teeth and leave these teeth untouched. Integrating the implant post into the jawbone helps to prevent the bone from being reabsorbed due to lack of use. The bone fuses around the implants holding them firmly in place. Just as with a single implant, abutments are attached to the posts and finally the crowns, which resemble the teeth perfectly, are attached. Both single and multiple dental implants take about six months or more to get completed. The reason for this long period is because the bone needs to fuse around the implant before the procedure can proceed any further. A short healing period is also required for the gums after the abutments have been attached.

Bone grafting: When a tooth is lost, the bone that supports it loses its function. The body is very efficient and as much as possible will not waste blood supply and nutrients on a functionless bone. For this reason the bone which formerly supported the tooth starts to get reabsorbed by the body. When this happens there is insufficient bone left to be able to firmly fix an implant. In cases like this bone augmentation or bone grafting has to be carried out. Bone augmentation or bone grafting requires bone from either the patient or a donor source to be fitted into the jaw. The donor bone can either be natural mineral or artificially created. Once the graft is fitted into the jawbone a few months are required for the graft to take and the body to start regenerating more bone in that area. Only once sufficient bone has been formed and is strong enough can a dental implant be placed in the bone. At Smooth Dental Group we take immense care to make sure that the bone grafting is carried out carefully and precisely. The implant will only be fixed once we are absolutely sure that the newly formed bone has the capacity to hold on to it firmly.

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As with all teeth, an implant crown will need to be properly cleaned and maintained in order to remain strong and healthy. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing thoroughly once a day are the minimum requirements. A professional cleaning by a dental hygienist is recommended twice a year, as with all natural teeth, to ensure that no plaque or tartar are allowed to build up at the gum-line.

It is also best to avoid chewing any hard foods or objects such as ice and hard candy. Patients with the habit of grinding their teeth may need to take additional measures to ensure that they don’t damage the implant crowns. In these situations, nighttime mouth guards are sometimes recommended.


If you are considering dental implants you can contact us and receive a consultation for some of the best dental implants La Habra and Santa Ana have to offer. Dr. Tran will answer any questions you may have about the procedure and advise you on your best options. We use the latest technology and equipment and our team is fully trained to provide the best possible and most effective dental care to all our patients.