What’s involved with getting a dental implant?

Dental implants are a really remarkable tooth replacement method that has helped millions of people regain their whole and healthy smile. Even though implants have been around for many years, most people are unfamiliar with the process involved.

To understand the process you need to know that a dental implant is actually composed of three parts – the implant, the abutment, and the restoration. These three pieces work together to form what you refer to as the dental implant.

First, a very small titanium screw is surgically placed in your jaw. The body easily accepts titanium, so the implant eventually forms a secure bond with the bone in the jaw.

Once the site of the implant has healed, the abutment is secured to it. The abutment is the portion of the implant to which the dental restoration is attached. Finally, the dental restoration – usually a crown – is affixed securely to the abutment.

The result is a fully functional, permanent tooth that looks and feels just like a natural tooth. The implant portion is part of your jaw, so it is permanent. The restoration will last for many years with proper care, but it may need to be replaced.

Please contact our Queen Anne office if you’d like more detailed information about the dental implant process.

What’s the big deal about dental implants anyway?

Up until about the late 80’s, the only options we had for replacing missing teeth were dentures and bridges. These remain effective treatment options, even in the 21st century. Dental implants, on the other hand, are meant to be a full tooth replacement, with an artificial root planted in the bone as well as a crown that is meant to simulate natural enamel. You can think of it as a “bionic” tooth. It will look and feel just like a tooth.

How do dental implants work and what is involved in the process?

There are three components to a dental implant: the actual implant, the abutment, and the dental restoration.

The implant is a tiny titanium post that is surgically placed planted in your jaw. The titanium is naturally biocompatible, so it integrates seamlessly into the surrounding bone.

The abutment is the part that attaches to the implant once it has fully healed and integrated into the bone. It provides an anchor of sorts for us to secure the dental restoration, which is more or less a crown (it can be made from many different types of material like porcelain or gold).

The treatment sequence goes like this: first the implant is placed in the jaw. Then we wait for your body to heal from the surgery, and for the implant to fully integrate into the bone. Next, the abutment is attached to the implant. Finally, the dental restoration, which is more or less a crown, is securely attached to the abutment.

If you have missing teeth, and would like more information regarding implants, please contact our office today and arrange a consultation with our doctors. 

How stable are bridges?

A dental bridge is a very effective and durable restoration. With proper homecare, a well fabricated bridge can provide many years of service. There are certain cases where implants may be utilized in order to stabilize a bridge if the supporting teeth are not strong enough to do it on their own. Our doctors have extensive experience placing bridges. Contact us today for a consultation if you feel you need a bridge. 

Why should I get a dental implant?

At Queen Anne Dental, our goal is to do everything we can to prevent the loss of a tooth. But sometimes situations do make tooth extraction the only option we have to protect your teeth and prevent further damage.

We know that losing a tooth can be traumatic enough, but determining which type of tooth replacement is best for you can really leave you confused. Dr. Goel will talk to you about tooth replacement so that you understand all of your options. This way, we can create a treatment plan that best suits your specific needs.

Dental implants are one of the best tooth replacement options available. They are preferred by many patients because they look most like your natural teeth. They are also very stable and function just like a real tooth. The replacement root created by the implant also helps prevent bone loss.

Dr. Goel creates dental implants that are custom-made to perfectly match the appearance of your natural teeth. He will make sure that the shape, size, and color of your implant restoration (dental crown) complement your own teeth. Since our implants look so natural, no one will ever know you have had an implant placed.

If you’re facing the prospect of losing a tooth or already have a toot missing, please contact our Queen Anne Dental office. We will arrange a consultation so that Dr. Goel can sit down with you and explain dental implants and other tooth replacement options.

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

If you have missing teeth, you may have thought about getting dental implants. Not replacing missing teeth can have a negative effect on your appearance. Furthermore, the jawbone in the region of the missing teeth will atrophy, and this can lead to problems with your bite as well as your ability to talk and chew properly. A dental implant will stimulate your body to grow bone, thus the jawbone won’t atrophy as it would if you did not replace the tooth. In order to decide if dental implants are for you, we will take a close look at the density of your jawbone. We will also look at your overall physical health, to make sure you are healthy enough for the procedure. Please call us today so we can arrange a consultation to decide if implants are right for you.

Are dental implants better than bridges?

It is difficult to say which one is better because it really comes down to the individual patient. For some, an implant may be better, for others, bridges.

A dental implant is a titanium post that is placed in your jaw, where it is allowed to integrate into the surrounding bone. It takes the place of the missing root, which stimulates growth of the bone and gum tissue. This important process prevents your jawbone from deteriorating in the region of the missing tooth. 

A bridge is a dental prosthesis consisting of an artificial tooth held in place by crowns attached to neighboring teeth. The bridge fills the space left behind by the missing tooth, restoring your ability to speak and chew properly. A bridge typically requires support from the two teeth in front and behind the empty space.

Dental implants are preferable because of their proven predictability, however, not everyone is a good candidate. Ultimately, the best option depends on your oral health, budget, and timeline regarding treatment completion. A bridge procedure can be completed within 2 weeks, but an implant procedure can take anywhere from 6-10 months, due to healing time post surgery.

If you feel you may need an implant or a bridge, please call our Queen Anne office today to schedule a consultation. We will take a detailed look at your situation and help you determine the best option.