Benefits of Dental Implants
If you are missing a tooth, you might not give it much thought beyond the practical inconvenience it poses when you are eating and chewing. Unfortunately, even a single missing tooth can create a world of problems for the health of your mouth and teeth. Dental implants are the most effective way of preventing these problems, restoring both the look and the functionality of your smile in the process.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a three-part prosthetic that mimics a tooth. The dental implant is placed into the jawbone, taking the part of a tooth root. A crown is attached to it with an abutment (connector) to complete the procedure. Able to withstand the same chewing and biting forces like a natural tooth, dental implants offer a natural-looking, functional, and strong tooth replacement that lasts a lifetime with good care.
Our office uses dental implants to restore one or more teeth that have been lost due to dental trauma, decay, or gum disease. This type of dental restoration is the best option because it restores the most functioning and natural appearance compared to other types of restorations.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are the modern way of replacing missing teeth. With our expertise at Cooley Smiles in Bellevue, we can help you to regain full function of your mouth and provide a cosmetic improvement to your smile. The benefits of dental implants go beyond function and esthetics.
Dental Implants Have a High Success Rate
Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular option for replacing missing teeth. Although they were initially considered to be expensive, and prices have certainly come down over the years, one of the major benefits of dental implants is they have an excellent success rate and offer a reliable long-term solution that can last a lifetime. Thus, compared to other teeth replacement options which may need replacing several times, dental implants are very cost-effective.
You Can Replace All of Your Teeth with Dental Implants
It is possible to replace all of your missing teeth with dental implants. One dental implant is used to replace one tooth. However, that has changed with new techniques and now more teeth can be replaced with fewer implants.
The All-on-4® Treatment Concept is a technique that replaces a whole arch of teeth on four dental implants.
Another technique for replacing all of the teeth is the implant-supported denture. This technique can support an arch on two implants, but the denture is removable, not fixed like the All-on-4.
If you have a row of missing teeth of three or more, an implant-supported bridge is an option, whereby dental implants are inserted at each end of the gap to support a bridge. More implants may be needed between the gap, depending on how many teeth are missing.
Oral Health Maintenance is Easy with Dental Implants
Compared to traditional restorations, dental implants lead to a healthier mouth overall. Without the shifting of restorations, you are not at risk of soft tissue weakening or bone tissue deterioration. Your natural teeth and oral structures are all left fully intact. This prevents the need for future dental work or tissue grafting.
Hygiene for dental implant restorations is also quite easy to maintain. Permanent restorations are treated like natural teeth. You simply need to brush and floss each day and continue to receive professional cleanings every six months. Removable dentures will be placed in a solution, and you do not need to take time to wipe adhesive paste or powder from your gums. Simply rinse them when you take them out of your mouth. You should still clean your gums and natural teeth. There is far less clean-up with dental implants, however.
Dental Problems Caused by Missing Teeth
When missing teeth are not replaced, several different dental problems can occur:
||Your remaining teeth can shift
||Food can become impacted in the empty socket, leading to infection
||Your bite pressure may be unbalanced, causing some teeth to flare out
||You may experience increased vulnerability to gum disease
||The bone loss that occurs can lead to future tooth loss
||Your facial muscles can atrophy, resulting in wrinkles and sunken cheeks
For all of these reasons and more, your best option when you are missing either a single tooth or multiple teeth, is to replace them with dental implants as quickly as possible, before too much bone loss renders an implant impossible to place. If you have experienced too much bone loss for implants to be successful, Cooley Smiles also offers dental bridges as an alternative treatment option. You may also receive a bone graft to augment the bone before a dental implant procedure can take place.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Thanks to modern dental technology, the dental implant process today is safer, more efficient, and more reliable than ever. Dental implants have a 95% success rate, and the dental crown restorations used by our Seattle implant dentists are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Since dental implants are bonded to your living bone - a process called osseointegration - they are also highly durable and functional, becoming a natural part of your smile.
It takes anywhere from three to six months for dental implants to anchor themselves to your jaw bone and heal. Once an implant is installed, the final crown restoration will be placed, and you can enjoy a new smile that not only looks and feels great, but protects your mouth from the many dental problems caused by missing teeth.
Caring for your dental implants is simple. Establishing good dental hygiene habits and scheduling regular implant dentistry check-ups with our Cooley Smiles dentists will help ensure your dental implants last for decades to come.
If you live in the Bellevue or Seattle areas of Washington and need to replace one or more missing teeth, please contact the experienced implant dentists at Cooley Smiles today to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants.