Prosthodontics, Implants, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry

Dental Implants

Is your smile suffering from a missing tooth? This not only has the obvious aesthetic ramifications of showing a noticeable gap in your smile, but can hinder your overall chewing ability, effect the other teeth in your mouth, cause bone resorption and accelerate the physical aging process.

Dental implants are currently the best option to replace missing teeth with new fixed teeth that function just like your own healthy teeth would. They involve placement of a specially designed and coated titanium screw(s) which is surgically placed into the bone where teeth are missing. This new foundation or Implant acts as the root of the missing tooth. Customized small posts called abutments are then connected to the implants. These abutments provide stable anchors and connect a natural looking porcelain crown to the implant. Implant will ultimately replace your missing tooth and give you back your smile, chewing function, stabilize your other teeth and generally rejuvenate the aging process and collapse of the jaw and lips caused by missing teeth.

For most patients, placement of dental implants requires two steps. After the initial exam, CT Scan and consultation, Surgery begins by placement of the implant(s) in the bone using a surgical guide. This surgery takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour (3-4 hours for full mouth implant placement) and usually has mild post-operative discomfort or pain. You read this correctly, contrary to what people think, implant placement surgeries are usually not very painful. In fact, most patients have very little to no post-operative pain when they take their prescribed pain medication on time. After a day of recovery most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life. For the next 3 to 5 months following the first surgery, the implants remain beneath the gum surface, gradually fusing and integrating with the jawbone. After the implant has fused to the jawbone, the second phase begins. This second phase is a very minor 15-minute procedure that is almost never painful. Either Dr Zar or Dr Nakashian will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. This step is necessary if the implants are deep below the gums but may sometimes be avoided. Two weeks after this second phase the restorative process will begin. This is when we start making your crowns. Dr Zar will select the customized abutments or attachments for each implant, take impressions and photographs, record your bite, shade and all the necessary information before meeting meet with his lab technicians who are experts in crown fabrication specifically on implants. Not including the surgical phases that were discussed, the restorative phase can take 2 weeks (for one to 3 implants) to 10 weeks (for full mouth implant restorations with multiple implants). The entire implant procedure usually takes four to eight months from start of implant placement in the bone until the final implant crown is complete.

SAME DAY Procedure

It’s possible to get dental implants in one appointment. Tarzana Dental Care offers an innovative dental implant technique that enables the replacement of teeth in as little as one day to be possible. The procedure will give you give you a permanent, worry-free dental solution with the appearance and functionality of real teeth. Treatment in the traditional dental implant surgery took months and often meant that dentures had to be worn at all times during the period. With this technique, however, you are fitted with a set of fixed temporary teeth to help speed up the healing process. Therefore, you don’t have to wear dentures while waiting for the implants to heal.

The ground-breaking same day procedure does not require bone grafting since it utilizes specially constructed titanium rods that are placed at a specific angle. With this procedure, you can be sure of leaving the dental chair with natural and healthier teeth in less than 24 hours. Our specialists adopted this technique with the aim of helping our patients to get their smile back quickly and efficiently and regain their quality of life and in one day. With the same day procedure, you can eat, laugh, smile, and speak right away.

The Benefits of the SAME DAY Dental Implant Procedure

  • Restores your smile and self-confidence
  • You can eat soft foods after the procedure
  • May avoid wearing removable temporary dentures
  • Saves time and office visits
  • For most people the process is fairly comfortable and pain-free
  • You get to enjoy a life free of embarrassment that comes from missing teeth or dentures

Ultimately You must TRUST THAT YOUR DOCTOR IS AN ETHICAL INDIVIDUAL whom has your best interest in mind and wants to achieve perfection in the final results.

Please call us for a consultation, we must meet with you in advance to determine if you are a good candidate for the SAME DAY procedure. Our surgeon (Dr Nakashian) and our prosthodontist (Dr Zar) will take the time to answer all of your questions and provide you with the best care.

Our State-Of-The-Art Technology

We utilize state-of-the-art equipment, techniques, and procedures in delivering the highest quality dental care possible. With the sophisticated equipment, we are able to diagnose problems, address the treatment needs and come up with special treatment plans designed for each patient. This equipment significantly reduces any pain you may have associated with dental care. We hold dear the belief that dental procedures should be more comfortable, more accurate, more efficient, and less invasive. The dental implant procedure is completed after the initial consultation and before the implant placement thanks to the use of virtual planning software and high-resolution CT scans. The technology also enables us to fabricate the teeth uniquely to meet the specifications of your circumstances and the parameters of your mouth. We map out and plan everything before you arrive in order to ensure that you leave with a beautiful smile on your face.

All our treatment rooms have digital x-rays that allow the doctor to get different views of your teeth to better understand the current conditions and the proper course of treatment. Digital x-rays help reduce radiation to the patient. We use a panoramic x-ray in dental implants procedures since it gives a better view of the entire mandible and aids in the exact placement of the implants. When used with computer-driven technology and lasers, our patients are assured of improved procedures, accuracy, and a speedy treatment.

Cost of Dental Implants

There are several factors that determine the cost of dental implants, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required. In some instances, additional procedures may be required before the dental implants are placed in order to ensure your new smile has long-term health. Each dental implant procedure is tailored to the needs of our patients and Dr. Zar and his team will always offer personalized attention and best treatment for you. A more specific cost will be offered once the doctor takes a look at your mouth and verify the specific need.

Call us at 818-708-3232 for all of your Dental Implant needs!

Dental Implant FAQ

Are dental implants painful?

Most patients do experience some minor discomfort the first day after their dental implant surgery and may still have a little residual pain the second day, but when compared to tooth extraction, dental implants tend to be less painful.

Can I convert my dentures into an implant overdenture?

Yes, most of the time, it can be done as long as you have a proper set of functional dentures.

Are overdentures expensive?

Overdentures are more expensive than conventional dentures, so weigh this carefully with the vast benefits overdentures provide. Learn more about dental insurance and financing.

How long does it take to get overdentures?

From beginning to end, the entire process for overdentures takes several months. Expect three to four months for your overdenture fitting and placement.

Do I need two or four implants for overdentures?

Whether you need two or four dental implants is an individual decision. There are several considerations to be thoroughly explored by you and your dental professional before proceeding with two or four implants.

How Do I Know if My Dentist Can Place Dental Implants? Can a General Dentist Perform Dental Implant Surgery?

Currently, dental students get very little experience in implant surgeries and placement while in school. Most students don't get to place any implants during their entire 4 years in dental school, only some lucky students may get to place one or two implants. In order to get proper training, dentists have to either specialize in implantology on a post graduate level or they may take courses after dental school and learn how to place implants.

There are no specific guidelines dictating who can and who can’t place and restore implants. Any licensed dentist can take a few courses and choose to place and restore dental implants, some call themselves SPECIALISTS. But NOT ALL DENTISTS get the same training and education. It is very important that you have a dentist that has had proper training, experience and advanced education specifically in Implantology. The only Dentists who are truly specialists in Implant placement and implant surgeries are called PERIODONTISTS and ORAL SURGEONS. There are also dentists who specialize in restoration and treatment planing of Implants, they are called PROSTHODONTISTS. These SPECIALISTS GET AT LEAST 3 YEARS POST GRADUATE TRAINING after completing a 4 year general dentistry program. They have been selected as the top of their class to have advanced training at an accredited dental school or residency/hospital program. These specialists are trained by the leaders in their field. One cannot gain this level of experience and knowledge by taking a few classes. It is very important to keep this in mind when selecting a qualified dentist for yourself. Ask your dental professional if he or she has had this extra training. Although some general dentists are proficient, capable and excel at implant placement and restoration, many of them gain their experience by practicing on patients after taking several implant courses. It is highly recommended that implants are planned, placed and restored by a specialist (for example a Periodontist an Oral Surgeon or Prosthodontist) with many years’ experience. That is what we do at Tarzana Dental Care.

What Should I Know Before Having Dental Implant Surgery?

As mentioned above, we recommend you look for a specialist or a well trained and experienced general dentist. Your selected dental professional should thoroughly explain your dental implant surgery to you, from before it begins, through the procedure, and all after-care. You should be given plenty of options, information, instructions and directions prior to and after your surgery. At Tarzana Dental Care, we have Specialists with the proper background and training necessary to provide our patients with the best and most advanced care. Make sure you have a good understanding of what type of restoration and what materials are used in your treatment plan. There are many different ways to replace teeth, for example removable acrylic denture retained in your mouth by a few implants VS fixed porcelain teeth that don't need to be removed (more on this in the paragraph below). It is up to you to ask your dentist if he or she has the proper education and experience in all aspects of implantology. Please make sure you read all instructions forms and ask plenty of questions until you thoroughly understand and are satisfied.

Be Aware of the Low Priced Implant:

In recent years, some dentists are offering implants at an extremely discounted price. HIGH QUALITY MATERIALS, BRAND NAME implant parts, and components are expensive. Skilled laboratory technicians whom have a good understanding of implant restorations are also expensive. When paying for your implant, you must consider that quality dental work has all of these costs and components associated with it. If you have been offered implants at an unusually low price, it is either not representing the full cost of the procedure from start to finish, or it involves taking significant shortcuts using cheap materials and counterfeit implant brands. If the price is too good to be true, there is no way that your dentist can make money without compromising the fabrication of your implant. At Tarzana Dental Care, we assure you that our implants, the components purchased, our performance and laboratory work are at the HIGHEST SURGICAL AND RESTORATIVE STANDARDS. Restoring, planing and placing implants are highly technical and involved procedures. For example, the practitioner must take CT Scans to determine the volume and quality of bone. The 3 demential CT Scan will show the surgeon where vital anatomical landmarks are to the exact millimeter. These structures like nerves need to be avoided or the dentist can cause permanent paresthesia (numbness) to the patient. Surgical stents should be used to guide the surgeon in placing the implant in the exact position or the results can be unfavorable to say the least. Also, there are many different types of restorations that need to be considered for each patient’s needs. Make sure you understand what materials and what type of restoration has been offered to you. First you must decide if you desire to have a removable denture or a fixed restoration. If you choose to have dentures, make sure you are getting quality materials. Generally, Plastic or acrylic teeth don't last as long as porcelain. Plastic teeth get stained, are much cheaper and less esthetic than porcelain restorations. Porcelain restorations generally last longer and are more esthetic than denture teeth. Removable acrylic dentures retained in the mouth by Implants are very different that fixed porcelain teeth that stay in your mouth. Removable dentures need to be reinforced with a high quality, well fitting metal frame or they will often fracture and require multiple costly repairs after the work is done. You should know what type of metal (if any, as some dentists skip this step) or porcelain you are being offered. However, if high quality denture materials are used, with a good framework, proper fit and maintenance, removable dentures can work and last favorably at lesser cost than fixed porcelain restorations. Many shortcuts can be taken with your work both clinically and with the Laboratory. All this planning and technology has some cost associated with it. Although we do keep OUR PRICES COMPETITIVE AND REASONABLE, Implant surgeries and restorations are not a place to take short cuts or cut cost. We offer the best materials and techniques at a reasonable price because we have found the right balance thought years of experience and volume purchasing.

Same Day Implant Procedure or Teeth in a Day:

“Teeth in a day” is a common advertising slogan in dental implant centers. This is typically a bit misleading as few people are really able to get FULL MOUTH dental implants with teeth in a day and even then, it tends to be a few-days before you get your implants. The risk of implant failure is usually greater with these procedures. Having said that, for some people, if planned in advance, it can be arranged where you could have extractions, Implants and have a replacement fixed temporary tooth in about ½ a day. At Tarzana dental care, we do offer same day implants to our patients but we want you to be aware these procedures are not for everyone.

If you need one or few IMPLANTS, the possibility and predictability to have fixed temporary teeth in one appointment is greater. If the supporting bone in the area is adequate and there is no infection, SINGLE IMPLANTS placed in one day with temporary teeth have good success rates but FULL MOUTH same day implants are not for everyone. Full arch or full mouth same day implants that are loaded with temporary teeth the same day have increased risk of Implant failure. These procedures are possible only If the patients oral condition meets specific criteria. The surgeon and restorative dentist must make sure that the patient meets this criteria, as mentioned above, there can be no infection in the area where the implant is placed, also the patient must have adequate volume and dense bone to stabilize the implant. Be advised that all of these full mouth or full arch surgeries require one or two visits in advance in planning for the “same day” implant surgery and temporization and they often have very strict post operative limitations. At Tarzana Dental Care we do provide one day or same day implant procedures, but we must first evaluate, consult and examine the patient in detail before we can advise if the one day procedure is possible for you. If you are a good candidate for immediate implants, the procedure will give you a permanent tooth replacement solution with the appearance and functionality of real teeth. In the real world most implant surgeries although fairly painless, still take a few months to heal and often require that temporary dentures be worn by the patient during the healing period. If you are a good candidate for this immediate loading technique, you may be fitted with a set of full mouth fixed temporary teeth during the healing process. Therefore, you don’t have to wear dentures while waiting for the implants to heal. However, with this procedure, you still need to eat a very soft diet for about three to four months until the implants are fully integrated. We will discuss with you the many facts that you must be aware of before getting started. We want you to know in advance what you are getting involved in and we don't want our patients to have any surprises or disappointments after procedures. So please come in for a consultation and we will take the time to examine your mouth, discuss and find out what type of restoration is best for you.

If you are a good candidate for this type of Implant surgery, the ground-breaking same day procedure sometimes may not require bone or sinus grafting since it utilizes strategic placement of titanium implants at a specific steep angle where the areas with thin bone like the sinuses may be avoided entirely. Our specialists have learned this technique with the aim of helping our patients to get their smile back quickly and efficiently and regain their quality of life faster than what used to be the norm. With the same day procedure, you can eat (soft food only), laugh, smile, and speak right away.

Bone Grafting for Implants

Do I Have Enough Bone?

After tooth extraction, if the walls of the socket are very thick, they will usually fill naturally with bone in two to three months. However, when the walls of your socket are very thin (such as in your upper and lower front teeth), this type of healing will not be as predictable. In these situations, a bone graft is often placed at the time of tooth extraction to help your body fill in the empty socket with bone. This step will maintain the width and volume of bone you will need for implant placement several months later.

There may be inadequate bone for implant placement if your tooth was removed many years ago and your bony ridge is extremely thin. In this case, a bone graft can be placed next to the thin bone and allowed to heal for up to six months. After the graft has fused to your pre-existing bone, the ridge will be re-entered and the implant placed. Bone grafting is usually a relatively comfortable office procedure. Many different bone-grafting materials are available, including your own bone.

You may also need bone grafting if the sinus cavities in your upper jaw are very large, or very low, and extend into the tooth-bearing areas. This often occurs when teeth in the back of a person’s upper jaw have been removed many years before, and the amount of bone available for implant placement is limited. A “sinus grafting procedure” is then required. Most often, it is performed in the office with local anesthesia and perhaps sedation. During this procedure, the membrane that lines the sinus will be located and elevated. Bone will then be added to restore the bone height and ensure that dental implants of an adequate length can be placed. This procedure often can be performed at the time of implant placement.

Our Doctors

Dr. Zar is a prosthodontist specializing in this field with 18 years of experience. He believes there’s nothing more beautiful than a healthy smile. Dr. Zar and his team are committed to creating a positive change in your oral health and enhance the appearance and functionality of your teeth. Our team can help you achieve the smile that you want thanks to our state-of-the-art technologies and equipment. Our patients’ needs always come first and this is why we provide compassionate and professional dental care.  

Our team always works together to provide treatment of the highest standards. The doctors and lab technicians speak directly face-to-face in order to ensure patients get the best experience. The doctors are equipped with comprehensive experience and excellence in treating our patients. The key strength of Tarzana Dental Care is our dedicated team of professionals with a specific focus on Prosthodontics. In order to evaluate the best dental implant procedure, Dr. Zar and his team engage in thorough evaluation of each patient.

Expert treatment for complications with dental implants

Dr. Zar and his team have comprehensive experience with placing dental implants with an excellent success rate. Our doctors are always careful in avoiding any potential issues with dental implants through advanced diagnostics and pre-planning. Should complications arise with your implants, our doctors will provide treatment using the necessary skills they have gained over the years. You can also get the treatment even in cases when the implants were not placed by our dental professional.

If you experience redness and swelling around an implant, that may be a sign of a bacterial infection that contributes to bone loss. Our doctors will do an oral examination and gently probe the pockets between the gums to find out if there is any loss of bone around the implant. In order for the treatment procedure to be performed, the doctor will first assess the severity of the condition. This implies determining whether the implant needs to be removed or whether it can be saved without causing further complications. A periscope will be used to see the source of irritation and clear it. It can be difficult to determine whether an implant needs to be removed or not and the doctor will discuss this with you. An implant that has been placed incorrectly must be removed and replaced because it endangers the health of the other teeth. Bone grafting is usually required when an implant is removed because bone is often taken with it. Our doctors can place your new implant after the bone has regenerated and the area healed.

Post Op Care for: Dental Implants 

Day of Surgery

FIRST HOUR: Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze packs that have been placed over the surgical areas, making sure they remain in place. Do not change them for the first hour unless the bleeding is not controlled. The packs may be gently removed after one hour. If active bleeding persists, place enough new gauze to obtain pressure over the surgical site for another 30 minutes. The gauze may then be changed as necessary (typically every 30 to 45 minutes). It is best to moisten the gauze with tap water and loosely fluff for more comfortable positioning.

EXERCISE CARE: Do not disturb the surgical area today. Do NOT rinse vigorously or probe the area with any objects. You may brush your teeth gently. Smoking will retard healing, causing increased discomfort and increased chance of dry sockets. We strongly discourage smoking during the healing phase.

ORAL HYGIENE: It is important to keep the mouth clean. You should brush your teeth the night of surgery, but be gentle around the surgical sites. If there is minimal bleeding, saltwater rinses may begin 24 hours after surgery (mix 1 tablespoon of salt with 8 ounces of water.) Swish gently and allow the water to drip into the sink. Rinses should be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.

ACTIVITIES: Activities after surgery should be couch or bed rest for the first day. Bending, lifting, or strenuous activity will result in increased bleeding, swelling and pain. You should be careful going from the lying down position to standing. You could get light headed when you stand up suddenly. If you exercise regularly, be aware that your normal fluid and caloric intake is reduced. Exercise in the post-operative period may also result in increased bleeding, swelling and discomfort. Exercise should be avoided for 3-4 days following surgery.

OOZING: Bleeding will occur after surgery, and it is not uncommon to ooze blood for 24-48 hours after surgery. Keep in mind that oral bleeding represents a little blood and a lot of saliva. Placing a gauze pack over the area and biting firmly will control bleeding. If oozing is still active, replace gauze as needed every 30-45 minutes.

PERSISTENT BLEEDING: Bleeding should never be severe. If so, it usually means that the packs are being clenched between teeth only and are not exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try repositioning the packs. If bleeding persists or begins again sit upright or in a recliner, avoid physical activity, use ice packs and bite on gauze for 1 hour or on a moistened tea bag for 30 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea leaves helps to promote blood clotting. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.

SWELLING: Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days after surgery. It can be minimized by using a cold pack, ice bag or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off during the first 24 hours after surgery. If you have been prescribed medicine for the control of swelling, be sure to take it as directed.

PAIN: Unfortunately, most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You will usually have a prescription for pain medication. If you take the first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, you should be able to manage any discomfort better. Some patients find that stronger pain medicine causes nausea, but if you precede each pain pill with a small amount of food, chances for nausea will be reduced. The effects of pain medications vary widely among individuals. If you do not achieve adequate relief at first, you may supplement each pain pill with an analgesic such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Some patients may even require two of the pain pills at one time. Remember that the most severe pain is usually within six hours after the local anesthetic wears off; after that your need for medicine should lessen. If you find you are taking large amounts of pain medicine at frequent intervals, please call our office. If you anticipate needing more prescription medication for the weekend, you must call for a refill during weekday business hours.

DIET: Eat any nourishing food that can be taken with comfort. Avoid extremely hot foods. Do not use a straw for the first few days after surgery. It is sometimes advisable, but not absolutely required, to confine the first day’s intake to liquids or pureed foods (soups, puddings, yogurt, milk shakes, etc.) Avoid chewing food until tongue sensation has returned. It is best to avoid foods like rice, nuts, sunflower seeds, popcorn, etc., which may get lodged in the surgical areas. Over the next several days you may gradually progress to solid foods. It is important not to skip meals! If you take nourishment regularly you will feel better, gain strength, have less discomfort and heal faster. If you are a diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits or follow instructions given by your doctor.

NAUSEA: Nausea and vomiting can occur as a result of swallowed blood, discomfort, anesthesia or pain medicines. Post-operative nausea is usually self-limiting and sipping on flat cola or ginger ale often helps. Soda crackers also may be used. If nausea persists, stop taking the pain medicine and substitute an over the counter pain medicine for the next dose. If nausea persists, call our office.

Day 2 and 3 post surgery: Dental Implants

MOUTH RINSES: Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. Use 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gently rinse with portions of the solution, taking five minutes to use the entire glassful. Repeat as often as you like, but at least two or three times daily.

BRUSHING: Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing, but it is extremely important to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort. Maintaining a clean environment adjacent to the healing surgical wounds is required for optimum and speedy healing.

HEALING: Normal healing after placement of dental implants should be as follows: The first two days after surgery are generally the most uncomfortable and there is usually some swelling. On the third day you should be more comfortable and, although still swollen, can usually begin a more substantial diet. The remainder of the post-operative course should be gradual, steady improvement. If you don’t see continued improvement, please call our office.

DISCOLORATION OR BRUISING: The development of black, blue, green or yellow discoloration is due to bruising beneath the tissues. This is a normal post-operative occurrence that might appear 2-3 days after surgery. Beginning 36 hours after the surgery, moist heat applied to the area may speed up resolution of the discoloration.

SHARP EDGES: If you feel something hard or sharp edges in the surgical areas, it is likely you are feeling the bony walls which once supported the extracted teeth. Occasionally small slivers of bone may work themselves out during the following week or so. If they cause concern or discomfort, please call the office.

DRY LIPS: If the corners of your mouth are stretched they may dry out and crack. Keep your lips moist with an ointment such as Vaseline.

SORE THROAT: This is not uncommon after oral surgery. The muscles get swollen and this may make swallowing painful. This should go away on its own in 2-3 days.

STIFF JAW MUSCLES: This may cause a limitation in opening the mouth wide for a few days after surgery. This is a normal post-operative event that usually resolves during the week after surgery. Stretching these muscles may help to speed up resolution of this problem.