Dental Implants: Filling the Gap in Dentistry
Dental implants are the next best thing to your natural teeth. Known for their comfortable durability and seamless integration with your traditional teeth, dental implant procedures performed by our experts here at Spokane Dental, offer a more affordable, long-term solution that works with you and your smile.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a type of artificial tooth that provides a strong and more permanent base for fixing or replacing teeth. Compared to expensive dental procedures such as bridges, crowns and dentures, implants are a highly effective, stable solution for chronic dental issues. Because they feel and fit just like your natural teeth, dental implants are quickly growing in popularity as a new standard in teeth replacement.
At Spokane Dental, we offer two types of implants that deemed safe by the American Dental Association. These are:
- Endosteal Implants – Endosteal implants are surgically established directly into the jawbone. After the surrounding gum tissue has completed healed, a second surgery is required to connect the post to the implant. In a final step, the artificial teeth (or tooth) is individually attached to the post or grouped on a denture or bridge.
- Subperiosteal Implants – Subperiosteal implants are comprised of a metal frame. This metal frame is fitted just below the gum tissue on the jawbone. Posts are then attached to the frame protruding from the gums. Lastly, artificial teeth mounted to the posts.
Why dental implants?
Dental implants are great for a natural looking smile. Implants look, feel and function just like your natural smile, allowing you speak easy and eat as you normally would.
Dental implants can last a lifetime. Traditional dental bridges typically only last from four to six years and may need to be periodically replaced. Dental implants on the other hand, are designed to last a lifetime and only require minor adjustments.
Dental implants complement your natural face shape and smile. Unlike removable dentures, implants are fixed and fused to your jawbone, meaning they won’t move or click when you talk, smile, eat, laugh or yawn.
Dental implants promote healthier teeth and bones. Leaving empty space in your mouth can lead to long-term health complications such as jawbone deterioration. Implants not only preserve, but also stimulate healthy bones while preventing the shift of existing adjacent teeth.
Dental implants are a durable, cost-effective, long-lasting solution that allows you to fall back in love with your smile. Finally enjoy a life without worrying about your teeth, so your time can go to what matters most to you.
How do they work?
Implants are actually fused with your natural jawbone, replacing the roots of one or more missing teeth. This method tends to be more comfortable and stable than other surgical dentistry methods, allowing you to bite and chew as you naturally would. Dental implants can be used to replace a missing tooth or teeth completely, including some of the tooth roots.
Because implants are fused to your jawbone, they look and feel just like your natural teeth. When mounted to implants, bridges and dentures won’t sleep and fall out of your mouth. This is especially important when you are speaking and eating. Implants offer a secure fit that helps bridges, dentures, and individual crowns placed over dentures, feel more natural than conventional dentures and bridges.
For many people conventional dentures and bridges are not comfortable or even possible due to sore sports in the mouth, gagging, and poor ridges. Additionally, traditional bridges have to be attached to teeth on either side of the open space. One of the greatest benefits implants offer are the fact that they are attached to the jawbone, meaning adjacent teeth are not affected.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
- Do you want to hide your smile because of their missing teeth?
- Do you wear uncomfortable dentures?
- Are you dissatisfied with your removable dentures?
- Are you concerned with keeping your other teeth intact?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, implants may just the answer to your oral needs. While dental implants can be great option for patients of all ages who have one or more missing teeth, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone is a good candidate for the dental procedure.
To determine if you are a good candidate, your Spokane dentist at Spokane Dental will look for:
- Healthy Gums: Healthy, strong gums are important because implants are intimately connected with the gums in your mouth. Therefore, those that have periodontal disease or gum disease may not an ideal candidate.
- Strong Bone Density: In order to adequately support the implant and artificial teeth, you need to have a sufficient amount of healthy bone space and density.
- Positive Oral Health: Besides having a missing tooth or teeth, a good candidate for dental implants will have an otherwise well cared for and healthy mouth.
- Patience: Dental implants are not a quick procedure. In some cases it can take up to 6 months for the mouth to full heal itself, and up to 12 months to fully complete the procedure. This is because the mouth must fully heal between each step from grafting the bone, inserting the implant, and placing the artificial tooth, denture, bridge, or crown.
- Other Factors: Your dentist will also consider various other factors in your health history, such as smoking habits and disorders/diseases. Non-smokers, or smokers who are willing to stop smoking for the duration of the procedure are preferred. Candidates cannot have any disorders or diseases that impact the body’s ability to heal. For example, those who are being treated with oral cancer.
You’d think your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, but often times they don’t! Replacing your missing teeth is not only important for your general health, wellness, and happiness, but also for the health of your other teeth. Foregoing a tooth replacement can cause other teeth to be tipped, lost, or crowded.
If you’d like to know more about the dental implant procedure process or would like to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, contact Spokane Dental today at (509) 822-5614.