Dental Implants

The average person has heard of dental implants yet does not fully comprehend the merits of this remarkable breakthrough in dental technology. After all, dental implants are fairly new to the mainstream, so most people are understandably uninformed. Our oral health experts are here to educate you about dental implants, analyze dental challenges to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants and place them in your mouth.

An Explanation of Dental Implants

The days of relying on dentures as a tooth replacement solution are fading away. More and more patients are opting for dental implants as time progresses. Though dental implants are not inexpensive, they probably won't bust your budget. Ask anyone who uses dental implants about their merit, and you will be inundated with praise. Dental implants are worth every penny and then some.

Dental implants involve the placement of titanium rods in the jawbone. These rods fuse to the jawbone across the ensuing months in a process referred to as osseointegration. Crowns are added to the top of the titanium rods after the process of osseointegration is complete. Once the dental implants are in place, no one will have any idea you are using artificial teeth as opposed to your natural teeth.

Why Dental Implants are the Best Option for Tooth Replacement

If you were to poll those who use dentures about their experience, most would report they are somewhat disappointed with their artificial teeth. Alternatively, just about everyone who gets dental implants is ecstatic with the result. It was not long ago when removable dentures and fixed bridges were the sole options after tooth loss. There is no sense relying on fixed bridges that are dependent on adjacent teeth to serve as anchors when dental implants are available. Furthermore, removable dentures have the potential to slip or generate annoying clicking sounds as you talk that will make you that much more self-conscious.

Alternatively, dental implants are comprised of titanium metal that connects to the jawbone, functioning as an artificial root of the missing teeth. While fixed bridges tend to be replaced a couple times throughout a patient's lifetime, dental implants are comparably durable. In fact, dental implants have the potential to last the entirety of your lifetime. At the very least, dental implants will last an entire decade or longer.

Candidacy for Dental Implants

The majority of patients with tooth loss or significant dental decay/damage are excellent candidates for dental implants. As long as your jawbone is fairly strong, your gums are fairly healthy and your overarching health is halfway decent, you will qualify as a candidate for dental implants. The jawbone is particularly important as dental implants connect to it to serve as the foundation for the crowns that will be placed above. Most patients have adequate jawbone remaining that is of the proper strength to support dental implants. However, if your jawbone is insufficient, it might be possible to build it up ahead of the dental implant procedure so there is sufficient support. Every patient considering dental implants should know smoking has the potential to double the chances of losing one or several dental implants. If you smoke, be honest about the habit with your dentist so she can determine if you are a viable candidate for dental implants or if another tooth replacement solution will prove optimal.

Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery

There is no reason to fear the placement of dental implants. Our prosthodontists will complete a comprehensive dental examination to create your personal treatment plan. Your unique treatment plan takes an array of factors into account ranging from the condition of your jawbone to identifying the number of teeth to be replaced and beyond. The prosthodontist will explain the details of the surgery so you can know exactly what will occur on the day of your surgery.

Placing the Dental Implant

Adding a dental implant to the jaw is a procedure completed in our prosthodontist office with local anesthesia. It will likely take between two and six months for the process of osseointegration to occur. You will be provided with a temporary crown, denture or bridge to facilitate the speaking and chewing processes until the process of osseointegration is complete. Once the titanium rods are firmly connected to the jawbone, the crown or artificial tooth is added.

It is possible that some pain and/or swelling will occur after the procedure. If you experience such discomfort, do not panic! Prescribed pain medication will help mitigate the discomfort. Patients provided with dental implants are advised to consume soft food that is either cold or lukewarm in the days after the procedure.

The Many Advantages of Dental Implants

Once dental implants have replaced your lost or damaged teeth, you will be able to eat whatever food your desire, no matter how sticky or crunchy it is. Your dental implants will look just like regular teeth. Furthermore, the timely placement of dental implants prevents adjacent teeth from moving toward the area of tooth loss and causing subsequent facial sagging. Your dental implants will remain firmly in place. There is no risk of shifting or slipping as is the case with dentures.

A large part of the appeal of dental implants is the fact that they do not have to be removed in order to be cleaned. You do not have to soak dental implants as required with dentures. Go ahead and floss/brush your dental implants just like your regular teeth and they will serve you well for upwards of several decades or even the remainder of your life. The icing on the cake is the fact that dental implants are not dependent on adjacent teeth for support. This is a stark contrast to dental bridges that damage tooth structure.

Are you missing one or several teeth? Even if your teeth are significantly damaged or decayed, you might benefit from dental implants. Give us a call at (509) 796-0885 to schedule an appointment. We will evaluate your compromised teeth, determine if you are a candidate for dental implants and ultimately improve your dental health. Pacific Northwest Prosthodontics is the office to contact if you’re searching for a professional, experienced Spokane prosthodontist.