Silver Lake, WA
Having a missing tooth can cause many problems and inconveniences. Over the course of evolution in dental technology, treatment options have improved significantly. Dental bridges, crowns, and electronic hardware and software all have become great tools for dentists. To treat missing teeth in particular, getting a dental bridge or dental implant are both popular solutions, with each having its own pros and cons.
For example, dental bridges are more suitable for patients with consecutively missing teeth, while dental implants require a separate surgery for each one. If you are suffering from tooth loss, please reach out to us at Cooley Smiles to get started, and our providers here in Silver Lake will ensure that you receive the best, personalized treatment possible.
Why Dental Implants?
Having a missing tooth replaced will restore your biting and chewing ability to its maximum potential. Unlike dental bridges which can potentially damage surrounding healthy teeth, dental implants will not only keep them safe, but it also helps prevent premature facial aging and bone deterioration. Furthermore, gum lines will be kept undamaged, and the new teeth can last 15 years or more with proper care and will have their natural look just like your other healthy teeth. With a carefully designed shape based on your jaw, the new teeth will be very comfortable for you.
Furthermore, dental implants have a 97% success rate, with fewer complications than dental bridges. You also never will need to worry about going to the dentist to clean your new teeth as regular brushing and flossing will be enough. Lastly, getting missing teeth replaced will greatly boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Can I Get One?
Getting a dental implant has numerous benefits and is a common treatment for many people. However, dental implants are not for everyone, as certain health conditions and habits can make a person ineligible for the treatment.
Since the implant relies on your bones to hold its root, your jawbone needs to have good bone density, and your jaw needs to have enough bone. If you have gum conditions, then that will have to be treated first as the gums are important in supporting the implant as well. Sometimes, a tooth may be severely decayed or damaged but have not fallen out yet. In that case, a tooth extraction might be needed before getting a dental implant.
If you are a smoker, tobacco user, or someone who drinks a lot of alcohol, getting dental implants might be difficult because your oral health will be damaged by those substances. Similarly, drugs such as steroids will weaken the immune system and jaw. Having illnesses such as cancer and diabetes are also risk factors and may result in infection.
The Procedure and Cost
A dental implant is a somewhat precise surgery, and the exact procedure will vary by patient. We will first examine your medical history as well as current health conditions and medications. To collect information regarding your teeth and gums, we may conduct x-rays and digital imaging.
For the majority, only local anesthesia will be required. We will also give pain relievers if needed. A hole will be drilled in your jaw for the dental implant. The root, usually made out of titanium, will be inserted in. Over the next few months, the implant will be secured by the jaw, making it ready for the abutments to attach.
After several weeks once the gums fully heal, your new tooth – customized in every aspect according to your other teeth – will be connected to the abutments, finishing the dental implant. The entire process can take around six months, with one to two visits to the dentist. Although this might seem long, having damaged or missing teeth will plague you with dental problems until they are dealt with, making dental implants worth it overall.
There are many factors contributing to the cost of dental implants. Your insurance plan and your exact treatment process are such factors. It is important to remember that this procedure is an investment in your smile, and a healthy set of teeth is priceless. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the details of the treatment and pricing.
Although the process of a dental implant is long, you can usually go right back to work after surgery, so your normal life will not be much impacted. During the first few weeks of recovery, you might experience some levels of discomfort such as bruising and swelling in the gums. Please check in with us regularly so that we can monitor the health of the implants and surrounding teeth and issue medications if necessary.
To keep your new teeth healthy, having good oral hygiene comes into play. Be sure to floss and brush regularly so that infections and other complications do not occur. Using mouthwashes is a great way to maintain your oral hygiene as well.
How fast you recover will depend on your body and conditions. Patience and care are key to a successful recovery. Please reach out to us at Cooley Smiles to discuss your dental concerns and issues, and we will assist you with our trained professionals with the latest dental technology available.