Dental Implants Shoreline & Seattle WA
This 48 year old woman had deep cracks in the front tooth on your left. The tooth could not be repaired.
The tooth was removed and a dental implant was immediately placed into the socket.
The patient had a temporary tooth for three months while the bone healed.
This is the result after the final porcelain crown was attached to the implant.
Dental Implants: The choice is clear
Patients and dentists strive to maintain natural teeth. When a natural tooth is damaged, restoration of the tooth is always the best option as long as the fix is predictable and cost effective. Dental implants are the best solution for replacing teeth that cannot be fixed and for replacing teeth that are already missing. There is no need to use other teeth for support when implants are used. For patients, this means less dentistry, and less dentistry leads to more stable results. Patients with dental implants can eat and socialize with complete confidence. Dental implants are made of medical grade titanium- the same material used in orthopedic surgery for bone fracture repair, and joint replacement surgery. Research studies prove that dental implants last much longer than any other method of tooth replacement. In fact, dental implants frequently last forever.
Why should I replace a missing or failing tooth?
When a tooth is lost, chewing efficiency is diminished. Confidence in social situations may be lost due to the unappealing look of a missing tooth. Statistically, there is a significantly greater chance of loosing a tooth next to the missing one, as teeth tip and shift position. When a tooth is removed, the bone that was supporting it will shrink away over time. This creates a poor foundation for replacement of the tooth. Additionally, bone loss will effect facial contours by increasing wrinkles and sags. These problems are avoided when teeth are replaced with dental implants.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants offer a method for replacing teeth that is as close to natural as possible. Whether a single tooth or multiple teeth, it is not necessary to involve any other teeth in the process when implants are used as the foundation for tooth replacement. Bridges and removable partial dentures can be used to replace teeth, but they require other teeth being used for support (the dental term is abutment). Abutment teeth have to be shaved down to provide support for a bridge or partial denture. This means enamel and other healthy tooth structure must be removed when bridges or partial dentures are placed. Bridges and partial dentures also place high levels of stress and strain on the supporting teeth: Teeth used as abutments for bridges and removable partial dentures suffer increased rates of fracture, bone loss, mobility, gum disease, decay, and tooth loss. These issues are avoided when dental implants are used. Dental implants do not rely on other teeth for support. Dental implants never get cavities and never need root canal work. Dental implants have been studied more than any other procedure in dentistry, and the evidence is clear; dental implants provide the most stable means available for replacing lost teeth.
How long does it take to place a dental implant?
In many situations, the surgical procedure to place a dental implant will take 30 minutes or less.
How long before I can chew on my implant?
Don’t be fooled by aggressive marketing promising “same day teeth. ” Dental implant surgery, like any other surgery, requires adequate healing prior to functioning normally again. Research studies prove beyond a doubt that allowing bone to heal around an implant before chewing on it is the best strategy.
Do you want it fast, or do you want it to last?
A broken bone, a failing hip, or a failing knee can be repaired with titanium plates & screws, or titanium joint replacements. Each must be given time to heal before resuming normal function. The same is true for dental implants which are also made of titanium. In a limited number of circumstances, it may be acceptable to chew on an implant before the bone has healed. But the chance of implant failure is always increased in these scenarios.
Decades of experience and research studies from across the globe provide these guidelines: Implants in the lower jaw should be allowed to heal at least six weeks prior to normal chewing function. In the upper jaw (generally softer bone than the lower jaw), implants should be allowed to heal at least 10 weeks.
What do I smile and chew with while my implants are healing?
While waiting for the surrounding bone to heal, a temporary tooth can usually be attached to the implant. The temporary tooth can be made to look pretty natural, but will not make biting contact with other teeth. In some circumstances, it is best not to attach anything to the implant for a while. There are many options for providing you with esthetic, cost effective, temporary teeth, while your implants heal.
I’ve been told I don’t have enough bone for implants. Now what?
Bone loss is a common problem following tooth loss. In nature, form follows function, and a basic function of jawbone is to hold onto the teeth. If teeth are lost, then the bone will usually shrink away to some degree. At North Sound Oral Surgery, our office CT scanner is used to evaluate the dimensions of your bone in all 3 dimensions prior to implant selection and placement. Careful selection of implant size and position will help assure a successful result in spite of bone loss. In some instances, bone grafting procedures will be recommended to develop a solid foundation for your dental implants. Click here to read more about bone grafting.
How long do implants last?
The success rate for dental implants is among the highest for any surgical procedure. Most studies quote success rates greater than 93% . An excellent rate of success holds up over the long term (10, 15, 20+ years) when routine follow-up visits are maintained. Problems such as changes in chewing angles or bonding cement under the implant crown can be easily corrected if caught early. Frequently, a dental implant will last forever.