Missing teeth are a part of life for many people. They occur for a variety of reasons, some of which cannot be prevented. No matter the reason you have to deal with missing teeth, TruDental Spokane is proud to offer dental implants. This tooth restoration option is a much more successful way to replace missing teeth than other procedures including dental bridges, crowns, and dentures. Dental implants offer the ability to stimulate the jawbone, allowing for constant growth of your bone throughout the rest of your life. This is not something that any other tooth replacement option can offer, which means that you could suffer bone loss down the road by not taking care to replace the tooth’s roots in your mouth.
What do dental implants do?
Dental implants are different than other tooth restoration options because they are surgically implanted into your jawbone, not just placed in your mouth. Dental bridges and crowns strictly lay over the top of your teeth, using your existing enamel or surrounding teeth as support. Dental implants, on the other hand, have a titanium screw that is implanted into your jawbone which becomes the replacement root for your teeth. This root becomes one with your body as the titanium fuses with your jawbone. This allows the jawbone to keep going through the natural cycle of growing and dying off, eliminating the risk of bone loss in your mouth.
How does the dental implant process work?
At TruDental Spokane, we take the dental implant process very seriously, which is why it takes several appointments to complete the process. The very first step involves us determining whether or not you are a good candidate for implants in the first place. Unfortunately, not every patient is eligible for implants right away. If you have gum disease, bone loss, or tissue loss, the implants will not take. This does not mean that you are not eligible for them at all; you will just need to undergo a few other procedures before we can provide you with dental implants.
At your evaluation we will determine not only which teeth need replacing, but what the health of the rest of your mouth is like. If it is determined that your mouth is in good condition and there is no sign of gum disease or tissue/bone loss, then we can move on to the second step. If we do find issues, we can help you with a bone graft, tissue graft, or treatment for gum disease, which typically requires scaling and root planing to fully clean the roots of your mouth that are underneath the gum line.
Once your mouth is ready to accept implants, we will start the procedure. This means that the surgery will begin, which is how the implants are placed. The implants are titanium screws that are placed on the jawbone. We will open up your gums and place the implant where it needs to go. Once it is placed, we will close the area up with stitches. These stitches will remain in your mouth for at least ten days, sometimes longer. Once they are removed, your mouth is left to heal for another few weeks to ensure that the screws fuse with your body and that your mouth is fully healed.
The next step is to place the post in your mouth. This cannot be done until the area is fully healed. Because the post is what the overdenture, crown or bridge will lie on, it is important to ensure that the post is properly positioned and stable before moving on to the next step. The post is always what keeps everything stable, providing your mouth with full function once again.
The last step typically takes place around six months after the initial procedure. This is the part that every patient waits for – when the crown or overdenture is attached. Before this appointment, however, we will have taken impressions of your mouth. These impressions are then used to create custom crowns, bridges or dentures which will be placed over the implant. The use of the impressions ensures that the tooth looks exactly like your natural teeth. Once the replacement tooth is ready, it is placed over the post and cemented into your mouth to become a permanent fixture.
How do you Care for Dental Implants?
Just as with your natural teeth, the care of your dental implants is crucial to their success. You will need to understand the importance of brushing your teeth as often as possible – with a minimum of twice a day and flossing at least once. We typically recommend that our patients brush their teeth first thing in the morning and once at night. Before brushing at night, however, it is important to floss in order to get all of the food and bacteria out from your natural teeth as well as the dental implant. When you brush then, you are ensuring that the debris is completely removed from your mouth. In addition, you should avoid smoking or chewing tobacco and should minimize the consumption of acidic, sugary, or excessively hard foods. This will ensure the integrity of your dental implants for many years to come.
If you are worried about your missing teeth, call us today! We will help you determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. If it is determined that you are not, we will work with you to find the right solution to ensure that you can get them down the road. Dental implants are one of the most successful ways to provide yourself with the look and function that you desire. Our staff is ready and waiting to help you get the look you desire today!
Call our office (509) 593-3033 for your appointment and get on the road to optimal oral health!