Dental Implants | Tumwater WA
A dental implant is an anchoring mechanism that is surgically placed into the jaw bone.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
“Dental implants are the current standard of care.”
A dental implant is an anchoring mechanism that is surgically placed into the jaw bone. Dental crowns, bridges or dentures can then be attached to the dental implant for support and retention. Think of it as an artificial root.
Most dental implants are made from titanium, a highly biocompatible material. Dental implants are so biocompatible that the surrounding bone grows up to and completely surrounds the dental implant in a process called osseointegration. The success rates of dental implants are in the high 90% range.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Prevention – One of the greatest advantages of dental implants is that they mimic the missing tooth roots so that the surrounding bone does not resorb. Normally, when a tooth is lost, the remaining bone that used to hold the root begins to go away in a process called dental resorption. Dental implants can block most of this process from happening, thus preventing a great many dental problems down the road.
Comfort – Denture wearers will be happy to know that dental implants help do away with slipping or uncomfortable dentures. Dental implants can allow for a level of comfort approaching that of healthy natural teeth.
Function – Poorly fitting complete dentures can make chewing and speaking difficult. Dental implants can allow for eating and speech similar to what you had with healthy natural teeth. This is also true if you are replacing one or a few teeth.
Appearance – Whether you are replacing one, two or all of your teeth, dental implants can provide for truly excellent aesthetic results.
Health – You can eat without pain or worry. A healthier diet can lead to a healthier you.
Convenience – Imagine if you never had to take your teeth out again. Imagine if you never had to worry about which foods you had to avoid.
Self Esteem – Implant supported crowns, dentures or bridges can give you back your confidence and your smile.
Speech – Poorly fitting dentures can slip, causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without worrying about your dentures moving.
Conservation – If you have remaining surrounding teeth which are healthy, chances are they will not have to be altered in order to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
Who can have dental implants?
Just about anyone. If you are healthy enough to undergo a relatively simple surgical procedure, chances are you can have dental implants.
There are some factors, however, that may make someone a poor candidate for dental implants. Examples may include:
- Heavy smoking
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Severe tooth grinding or tooth clenching habits
- Other non-controlled major medical conditions
How many dental implants are needed?
The number and type of dental implants needed vary with the number of teeth that need to be replaced. If one tooth is missing it can usually be replaced with a crown on one implant. The same is usually true if several single teeth are missing.
If you are missing all of your upper teeth or all of your lower teeth or both, two or more dental implants can stabilize a complete denture. This stabilization greatly decreases movement and slippage which in turn increases comfort, function and even appearance for the wearer.
At other times, four or more dental implants can be placed and the denture or dental bridge can be completely lifted off of the gums. This is called a hybrid denture or a hybrid bridge.
Some dental implant supported bridges can be removed for easier and more effective cleaning while other types stay in full-time and are brushed and flossed similar to natural teeth.
The number of treatment options are many and depend upon numerous factors, not the least of which is your ultimate wants and goals. An examination and consultation will help you better understand your specific needs so that an individualized plan can be designed for you.
Give us a call and we will be happy to schedule a consultation for you at Tumwater Office Phone Number 360-438-0711.
What are Dental Implants?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, the surgeon first replaces the root with a small dental implant.
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”
For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.
Dental Implant Surgical Advances
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, surgeons and periodontists are able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implant can be placed at the same time as the tooth extraction – further minimizing your number of surgical procedures.
Dental implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist or prosthodontist such as Dr. Jude. A surgeon performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. Dr. Jude then fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. He will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
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