If you’re missing one or more teeth, dental implants can complete your smile in a way that looks and feels natural. Dental implants are a preferred tooth replacement method among patients because they mimic the structure, function, and feel of a tooth. Their biocompatible titanium material allows the jawbone to fuse with the implant to create a stable, reliable foundation for a tooth restoration.
Before we begin the implant process, we use 3D cone beam imaging to precisely plan your treatment and see if there is enough bone to support the implant. It’s not uncommon for patients with missing teeth to have bone loss around the area. If that is true for you, we can perform a bone grafting procedure to strengthen the jawbone for implant placement at a later date. Once your jawbone has been determined as healthy and strong, we’ll surgically place the titanium implant(s) into position and give it time to heal. Once all of your dental implants have properly fused with your bone, we’ll top them with either a dental crown, implant-supported bridge, or denture depending on your specific dental needs.
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Single Tooth Implant
A single implant is topped with a dental crown using an abutment (connector). Single tooth implants can replace a missing tooth or teeth without relying on the surrounding teeth for support.
An implant-supported bridge can replace three or more teeth in a row. The bridge connects to the implants and has custom-made false teeth attached to it that fit perfectly into the spaces left behind from your missing teeth.
Implant-Supported Dentures & Mini Implants
Implant-supported dentures are fixed to the gums with mini implants. The mini implants are placed into the jaw, similar to regular implants, and attach to the underside of the denture to hold it into place. Implant-supported dentures are a reliable alternative for patients suffering from ill-fitting traditional dentures.
The All-On-4® treatment concept has led the way in edentulous treatment ever since it was pioneered almost 20 years ago. This is a cost-efficient, graftless solution that provides you with a fixed full-arch prosthesis on the day of surgery.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many different reasons why patients choose dental implants for their tooth-replacement needs and why doctors often recommend them over other restorative options.
They’re a permanent solution for tooth replacement.
The implant and the tooth restoration look, feel, and function like a natural tooth.
Implants don’t need special care, so you can brush and floss them as you would your other teeth.
They help prevent bone loss in your jaw and preserve your facial shape.
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How long do dental implants last? Are they really permanent?
Dental implants are considered a permanent solution for tooth loss. The lifespan of a dental implant is around 25 years, but if cared for properly, a well-maintained dental implant can last you for the rest of your life. The best way to ensure that your implant lasts for many years is to establish a thorough twice-daily oral care routine and visit the dentist for biannual checkups. There are no food limitations with dental implants; a good rule of thumb is to simply not eat anything with a dental implant that you wouldn’t eat with natural teeth.
How would a dental implant impact my gums?
Because dental implants are surgically placed into the gums, they will need at least one to two weeks to heal after the procedure. Sometimes a soft food diet is recommended for up to six weeks. For patients who have receding gums, that will need to be treated before the dental implant can be placed which is usually done through a tissue graft. Without a tissue graft, the implant would be partially exposed, leaving the patient susceptible to a variety of different dental issues.
Can dental implants be whitened?
Dental implants cannot be whitened once they are installed. This is because implants are made of stain-resistant materials, so they are unable to absorb whitening products. We will work with you to figure out how white you would like your implant to be and make sure that it blends in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth so that it is virtually indistinguishable. Have you been searching for a restorative dentist in Spanaway? Our knowledgeable team has many years of restorative dentistry experience, including placing dental implants. For more information about our affordable dental implants, give our Spanaway office a call or contact us through our online form and someone will get in touch with you shortly!
How Do I Care For My Dental Implants?
One of the best things about dental implants is that you can treat them just like natural teeth. To keep your dental implants healthy, you need to brush 2-3 times per day for 2 minutes using fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss once per day, and come to Elevate Smile Design every six months for a checkup. Dr. Perlman or Dr. Mai will clean your teeth and your implant, and make sure your mouth is healthy.Beyond this, simply take other steps to maintain a healthy mouth. Eat a diet that’s low in sugar and processed foods, and eat plenty of healthy dairy, lean meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains. You should also quit smoking and tobacco use, since tobacco use of any kind is associated with a much higher risk of premature implant failure.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From Implant Surgery?
The initial healing process takes only about 1-2 weeks. After this time, your mouth will feel completely normal and you’ll be able to get back to your day-to-day routine. However, this doesn’t mean you’re ready for your next appointment.This is because your implant must go through a process called “osseointegration.” This is when the titanium of your implant permanently bonds and attaches to your jaw bone. This process can take up to 3-6 months depending on your overall health and the strength of your jaw bone.So while the initial healing period is very fast, it will still take up to 6 months or longer to complete your dental implant. You’ll need to be patient, and you’ll come back to Elevate Smile Design several times during this process to make sure that you’re healing properly, and that your treatment is on track.
Who Is A Candidate For Dental Implants?
First, you must have a healthy mouth. If you have any serious oral health problems like gum disease, infected teeth, or other such conditions, these must be resolved before you can get dental implants. A healthy mouth is required to minimize your risk of oral health complications.You also must have a strong jaw bone. After you lose a tooth, you can lose as much as 25% of the underlying jaw bone mass within a year. That’s why you should get a dental implant in Spanaway as soon as possible. If your jaw bone has deteriorated, you can still get a dental implant. However, you will need a bone graft to strengthen it and ensure the implant can be placed safely.Non-smokers or those who are willing to quit smoking are also strongly preferred for dental implants. Smoking and tobacco use are associated with a much higher risk of complications. Smoking after dental implant surgery can prevent the bone from fusing with the implant properly, and slows down the healing process dramatically.
Are Dental Implants Covered By Insurance?
Typically, dental implants are not covered by dental insurance. That means that you will have to pay for your implant out of pocket. Dental implants are a fantastic investment in your oral health, and we want to make it easy for patients to get the care they need at Elevate Smile Design.That’s why we offer financial options for our patients. We provide both in-house payment plans and monthly financing through CareCredit. We can split up the cost of your treatment, and ensure that you get the dental care you need without breaking the bank.