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.  

We ask that you please call when you arrive to the office. Diana, Chelsea or Susie will meet you at your car to take a quick, touch-less temperature scan of the forehead, also you will have a small device clipped to your finger called an oximeter. This gadget shines light through your fingertip or earlobe. It works out how much oxygen is in your blood. We will 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

Mini Dental Implants vs. Traditional Implants

mini vs. traditional implants
Mini dental implants are smaller in diameter than traditional implant posts.

There are several types of dental implants that can be used to replace missing teeth, including standard and mini implant posts. Traditional implants are larger than mini implants and provide a more stable, long-term solution. However these implants also require sufficient jawbone tissue for support. Patients with jawbone atrophy may not qualify for traditional implants without a preliminary bone graft. Fortunately, mini implants provide a solid alternative. Smaller in diameter, mini implants do not require as much healthy tissue and can restore a single tooth or an entire dental arch without the need for preliminary treatment. Your dentist can review the differences between mini dental implants vs. traditional implants at your initial consultation.

dental implant
A dental implant is embedded in the jaw and can support a crown, bridge, or denture.

Understanding the Differences

In conjunction with implant-supported restorations, mini dental implants and traditional implants replace missing teeth. The implant posts act as synthetic tooth roots and help to keep the jawbone strong and healthy. Depending on the extent of tooth loss, both options can stabilize custom crowns, bridges, or dentures. Though traditional and mini implants serve the same function, there are important differences to consider.

Size

Mini dental implants are significantly smaller in diameter than traditional posts. Whereas a standard post ranges from 3.5mm to 6mm, a mini implant can be anywhere from 2mm to 3.5mm wide. Because of their size, mini implants have less impact on the jawbone and require less bone for support. However, keep in mind that smaller posts may not be as stable as larger posts. As a result, minis can pose a higher risk of implant failure. 

Shape

Traditional implants feature two pieces: a post and an abutment. The abutment serves to connect the implant to the restoration. A mini implant, on the other hand, is a solid one-piece screw. It consists of a post and a ball-shaped end that rises above the gum line. Restorations crafted for mini implants are fabricated with a rubber O ring that fits around the ball. 

Candidacy

To qualify for traditional dental implants, you must have a strong and sturdy jawbone, as well as sufficient space for implants to reside. Jawbone atrophy can compromise the success of your treatment, causing implants to weaken or fail altogether. If you have sustained bone degeneration after tooth loss, you may require a preliminary bone graft to restore the integrity of your jaw before undergoing traditional implant treatment. You may also need a sinus lift if bone recession has affected the height of your sinus floor.

Patients with a receding jawbone may be eligible for mini implants.

In comparison to their full-sized counterparts, mini implants do not require as much jawbone tissue for support. Patients with a receding jawbone may be eligible for mini implants without the need for preparatory procedures. However, because minis are not as strong as larger posts, they may not be appropriate for patients who struggle with teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism). Bruxism can place enormous pressure on teeth, and over time, the force can weaken mini implants.

Placement

Mini implants can often be placed in a single office visit, without the need for sutures. Traditional implants, on the other hand, require two procedures. The first surgery is more extensive than that of mini implants, as your doctor must create a larger pilot hole for the implant posts. The second surgery is minor and involves uncovering the post and attaching the abutment.

Recovery and Restoration

If you require a preliminary bone graft or sinus lift, you must wait six to nine months for your jaw to heal before implants can be placed. After traditional implant surgery, you must wait an additional three to six months for the posts to integrate with surrounding tissue before you can receive your restoration.

As mini dental implants do not typically require a preliminary procedure, the treatment timeline is reduced significantly. In many cases, patients can also receive temporary restorations on the same day as treatment. With same-day restorations, patients can leave the office with renewed dental function and a well deserved boost in confidence. 

Cost

Mini implants usually cost less than traditional posts because they are smaller and made with less material. However, keep in mind that you may need more mini implants to support a larger restoration. As a result, it is important to consider the complexity of the treatment, the materials used, and your dentist's experience when calculating the cost.

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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