We are now open!

Greetings to all of our patients!  

I want to take this time to reach out to you all and reconnect so as to let you all know what we've been up to during the Novel Corona Virus Pandemic.  I want to state that our #1 priority is, and has always been the health & safety of our patients, and, of course, to provide to you the highest quality dental care we can!  

I am sure most of you have questions and concerns regarding the safety of dentistry during this time, so we'd like to share the measures and actions we are taking to ensure your safety here at our office.

First of all, the culture here will be a little bit different in the “post novel corona virus world”.  At least until researchers come up with therapies and /or a vaccine!  We will be implementing some new systems in our practice to mitigate the risk of disease transmission here.  

What to expect when you come to the office?  Prior to your appointment, when Diana calls you to confirm your appointment date and time, she will ask a few quick questions regarding your medical status, and any symptoms suggestive of an illness...We ask that if you are ill with a fever, coughing, etc. to please reschedule for when you are well.  

When you come to the office, we ask that you wait in your car in the parking lot.  Diana will be calling you at your appointment time to let you know that your dental operatory is ready for you.  Susie, Chelsea or I will meet you outside to take a quick, touch-less temperature scan of the forehead, and then escort you directly to your treatment room.  

We will be spacing out our patient appointments so that there is only one patient on the dentistry side with Susie and I, and only one patient in the hygiene side with Chelsea.  For the most part, no one is allowed to wait in the lobby until further notice...We will of course, accommodate people escorting children or elderly patients.

All surfaces will be disinfected with Hospital Grade Disinfectants (as we've always done in the past) between patients.  All door knobs, light switches, etc. will be disinfected every 30 minutes throughout the day!  This will mitigate the risk of any infectious disease transmission via surfaces.

Ever since the HIV epidemic in the 1980's, dentistry as an industry has employed “Universal Precautions” (masks, gloves, “single use” disposable equipment, etc.) to mitigate disease transmission.  

The most concerning of transmission routes for infection, including novel corona virus, is via “'aerosols”.  Dentists and hygienists  have used “High Volume Evacuation” (HVE) routinely for decades to capture aerosols generated by dental hand pieces (drill) and ultra-sonic scaling devices.  HVE reduces aerosols by 90% !  

We will continue to use HVE for all procedures that generate aerosols.  In addition to HVE, we've invested in Medical Grade H-13 HEPA aerosol scavengers in our operatories (basically a very powerful vacuum) with a snorkel hose that we can position adjacent to the treatment field to scavenge any aerosol the HVE misses.

We have also invested in nine medical grade H-13 HEPA air filtration units placed throughout the office which will completely clean/turn over the air every 10 minutes, or six times per hour.

Another investment made was having medical grade UVC (Ultra-Violet C) units installed in our Central  Air Conditioning/Heating units that kill Bacteria and Virus as the air passes through. 

Finally, we will fog the office with Hypochlorous Acid, a human safe, yet powerful disinfectant at the end of each day.

We want you all to know that we are taking all possible precautions and measures to ensure your safety, and the safety of our team here!

To further streamline your experience at the office, we will be scheduling return visits for you in the operatory, at the end of your appointment.  We will make available electronic payment options in order to minimize visiting the front desk.

Warm regards,

Dr. Paulerio and Team

Implant-Supported Bridge

An implant-supported bridge can replace two or more missing teeth in a row, restoring full form and function to your smile. This restoration is similar to a traditional bridge, however, it is supported by dental implants rather than adjacent healthy teeth. Dental implants provide unparalleled support and stability for restorations, and they help to keep the jawbone strong and healthy after tooth loss.

Understanding Candidacy

As an implant-supported bridge relies on dental implants, the jawbone must be strong and dense enough to support implant posts. Patients who have suffered jawbone atrophy as a result of prolonged tooth loss may require a bone graft or sinus lift prior to treatment. You may qualify for an implant-supported bridge if you:

  • Have two to three consecutive teeth missing
  • Are looking for a permanent tooth replacement solution
  • Are in good oral health and free from periodontal issues
  • Are in good physical health and do not suffer from diseases that may compromise healing
  • Do not smoke

The best way to determine if you are a good candidate is to meet with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon. Your doctor can conduct a thorough examination to determine whether your gums, jawbone, and nearby teeth are healthy enough for surgery. Your doctor may also reference x-rays or other advanced images to determine the most suitable placement for implants.

What Happens after Tooth Loss?

Tooth loss can be challenging, as it significantly impacts your daily life. Missing teeth not only affect the aesthetics and function of your smile. They can also take a serious toll on your oral health. Healthy teeth stimulate the jawbone with each bite you take. However, when a tooth is lost, the jawbone no longer receives stimulation, and vital nutrients are rerouted to other areas of the body. As a result, the jawbone begins to deteriorate and remaining teeth can shift out of place to fill in the gap.

An implant-supported bridge will look and feel like your natural teeth.

Unaddressed tooth loss can lead to dental misalignment, jaw pain, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), and structural changes to the face. While traditional dental bridges provide a quick and affordable solution, these restorations cannot counteract bone degeneration.

The Structure of an Implant-Supported Bridge

How an Implant-Supported Bridge Works
An implant-supported bridge rests atop two dental implants, which are embedded in the jaw.

The Gold Standard of Tooth Replacement

Dental implants are small titanium posts that mimic former tooth roots. After placement, they become a permanent part of your anatomy. In conjunction with implant-supported restorations, dental implants stimulate the jawbone and promote bone regrowth. As a result, they can protect the longevity of your smile, prevent more widespread tooth loss, and preserve your oral health.

What to Expect during the Procedure

Before you can receive your restoration, you must first undergo dental implant surgery. To ensure your comfort, the dentist can administer local anesthesia to numb the area. You may also elect to receive sedation if you feel especially nervous about treatment. During surgery, the dentist will insert dental implants into the jawbone through small pilot holes in the gums before closing the incisions with sutures.

Over the next three to six months, the implant posts will fuse with the jawbone. This process, known as osseointegration, is integral to the success of treatment. Once your gums have fully healed, you can return to the office for a minor follow-up procedure to place abutments. These small devices will connect the implants to the bridge. Recovery typically takes about two weeks, after which your dentist can take impressions of your teeth. These will be used to fabricate your custom bridge. Once your restoration is ready, your dentist can check to ensure it does not disrupt your bite before securing the bridge to the abutments. With your bridge in place, you can feel confident in the structure and function of your smile.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Implant-Supported Bridges

The cost of an implant-supported bridge will depend on several factors, including:

  • Doctor’s experience: Typically, doctors with more experience charge more for their services than those who are new to the field. It is also important to keep in mind that not every dentist can place dental implants. Some dentists refer patients to an oral surgeon for implant placement and then restore implants once they have healed. Working with more than one doctor can increase the cost of treatment. However, choosing experienced medical professionals can lower your risk for complications and provide better results.
  • Preliminary procedures: If bone grafting or sinus lift surgery is necessary prior to implant surgery, you can expect a higher cost of treatment.
  • Number of implants: The number of implants required will impact the cost. Placing a single implant ranges from $1,600 to $2,200.
  • Type of materials: Dental bridges can be composed of a variety of materials, including porcelain and zirconia. The more durable and lifelike the material, the greater the cost. However, dentists and patients alike consider implant-supported bridges an invaluable investment into your long-term oral health.

Although implant-supported bridges cost more than traditional bridges, many dentists accept third party financing or offer payment plans to help make this vital treatment more affordable.

Benefits of Implant-Supported Bridges

Implant-supported bridges provide invaluable benefits, including:

  • Improved Self-Confidence: You no longer have to feel self-conscious about tooth loss. After treatment, you can engage in life more freely, laugh openly, and smile confidently. 
  • Better Oral Health: Implants help counteract bone atrophy and prevent other serious complications after tooth loss.
  • Lifelike and Lasting Results: An implant-supported bridge will look and feel like your natural teeth. While you will have to replace the restoration after several years, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime.
  • Complete Dental Function: Tooth loss can make it difficult to enunciate clearly and chew comfortably. An implant-supported bridge can restore full dental function. 

As an implant-retained bridge is entirely customized to your smile, it can provide optimal comfort and security.

Point Loma Family Dentistry team

Point Loma Family Dentistry

Dr. Louis E. Paulerio is a top-rated dentist who is committed to providing the latest dental treatments in a caring, warm setting. He is a member of several prestigious dental organizations, including: 

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • International Dental Implant Association

He also uses CEREC technology to create beautiful, long-lasting dental restorations in just one appointment. Ready to schedule a consultation at our Point Loma office? Request your appointment online or call us at (619) 223-3811.

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San Diego Office

1635 Rosecrans St
Ste A
San Diego, CA 92106

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