Are you missing one or more teeth? Dental implants can help you restore your beautiful smile without dentures or bridges. Dr. Rick Sodergren and Dr. Deborah Gur-Arie are skilled in dental implant procedures, helping men and women at First Impressions Dental Care feel more comfortable and more confident following tooth loss. As leading dentists in Renton, Washington, Dr. Sodergren and Dr. Gur-Arie work closely with each patient to ensure the best results for every patient.
Dental implants are medical-grade metal posts that are carefully implanted into the jawbone, where they fuse with the bone tissue over time. Most commonly, the posts are used to support an artificial tooth (or crown) that replaces a tooth you’ve lost. Implants also can be used to support a bridge or a denture containing multiple teeth.
Restoring teeth using implants has several advantages over bridges and dentures. Aesthetically, implants have the look of natural teeth, as well as being a permanent solution requiring little effort to upkeep. In addition, a single implant can serve as the basis for one or more false teeth, which are referred to as restorations. It’s not necessarily a matter of one implant per lost tooth, as the restorations may include several crowns anchored to one implant.
The complete restoration process happens in several stages. The first stage sets the implant into the bone of the jaw. It takes three to six months for the implant to fuse with the jaw, so it serves as a solid base for the remainder of the work.
The next stage attaches a metal piece called an abutment to the top of the implant. Then the false tooth directly attaches to the abutment. The type of abutment used depends on the teeth you’re having restored. After the abutment is connected, impressions are taken and the restoration is manufactured. A temporary restoration is typically fitted in the meantime.
Implants can also be used with full dentures as a way of fixing the plates to eliminate the common problems associated with conventional dentures. Called implant-retained dentures, these reduce the risk of trapped food particles and shifting of plates in the mouth.
Implants offer several advantages over dentures and bridges:
Secure: Because they are attached to the jaw bone, implants are much more secure. You don’t have to worry about slippage or sore spots.
Convenient: Implants are easier to care for - you can care for them just like you care for your natural teeth.
Natural: Implants look, feel, and “work” like natural teeth, so you’ll feel completely confident about your great-looking smile.
Sustainable: Unlike dentures and bridges, implants promote normal bone replacement and replenishment in the jaw by acting like a natural tooth root to stimulate the bone replacement cycle. Dentures and bridges rest on top of your gums, so they don’t stimulate bone replacement, That means your jaw bone will shrink and atrophy over time, making it much more likely to lose additional teeth in the future.
With proper care, including twice-year checkups and cleanings, your implant can last indefinitely - as long as a natural tooth.