If you are missing one or more teeth, you may want to consider dental implant treatment. A dental implant is a metal screw that we surgically place into the jawbone. After a brief healing period, we will attach an abutment (support structure) to the screw. The abutment links the screw to your restoration. Most restorations are made using porcelain, because of its unmatched aesthetic value. At Cooley Smiles, we use dental implants to support a single crown, fixed bridge, or a complete denture.
Am I a Suitable Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are not right for everyone; however, the majority of patients will qualify. To receive a dental implant, you must be in good oral and physical health. Certain dental issues may need to be addressed before we begin with treatment. Patients who have a compromised immune system may also need to take special precautions.
The most crucial part of qualifying for implants is your bone structure. If your tooth loss remains untreated for a significant period, your underlying bone may deteriorate. There must be a sufficient amount of bone to properly support the implant. If your bone is too thin or too soft, we may recommend a bone graft. During your consultation visit, Aaron Cooley, DDS or Brandon Cooley, DDS will be able to determine if dental implants are right for you.
What Is a Dental Implant?
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is broken down into several appointments. During your first appointment, we will use local anesthetic and some form of sedation to numb the area, eliminate pain, and reduce anxiety. Once you are properly anesthetized, we will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone. Next, we use a very small drill to create a hole in the bone so we can deeply embed the implant. After the implant is in place, we will suture the incision.
For the next several months, your bone and the implant will undergo the process of osseointegration. During this time, the implant will fuse to the bone to create a powerful bond capable of supporting even the strongest bite forces. Once we have determined that osseointegration is complete, we can schedule your next appointment.
During your next appointment, we will expose the implant and place the abutment. We may also place a healing collar to ensure that the gum tissue heals in the correct position. Next, we will take an impression and send it to our dental laboratory. There, they will fabricate your final restoration. This process typically takes several weeks to complete. Once your restoration is complete, we will check the margins before permanently cementing it to the abutment.
Implant Supported Bridge
After You Receive Your Dental Implant
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they can be treated like your natural teeth. Most implant-supported restorations can be brushed and flossed without the use of special appliances. To avoid any issues, be sure to implement excellent oral hygiene practices, and schedule regular checkups and cleanings.
Schedule Your Consultation Today!
If you would like to learn more about dental implants, call (425) 320-5000, and schedule your consultation today!