Single Tooth Implants in Seattle, WA
Dental implants are an advanced treatment option for missing teeth replacement, as they allow greater stability and function of the replacement tooth and its neighboring teeth.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are made from titanium screw-like cylinders or posts and are surgically inserted into your jawbone. The procedure is an invasive surgery in which the dentist will drill holes inside your jawbone to place the implants, on top of which a replacement tooth is mounted.
The dental crown, your new tooth, will look and function similarly to natural teeth. Dental implants are designed to replace missing teeth roots, providing the same level of stimulation to the jawbone and stability to the tooth to prevent bone deterioration or damage to neighboring teeth.
Who Should Get a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are a convenient treatment option for people not comfortable wearing dentures or dental bridges. Dental bridges and dentures may result in poor tooth support, inadequate oral hygiene maintenance, discomfort, and slipping of the replacement teeth.
In such cases, dental bridges are a far more durable treatment option that preserves gum and jawbone health and doesn’t involve damage to neighboring teeth of the replacement tooth.
How Painful is Getting a Tooth Implant?
Three anesthesia options are available during the implant surgery: local, sedation, or general anesthesia.
Dental implant surgery is generally pain-free. The surgery is performed under anesthesia, but the extent of anesthesia or sedation is up to your comfort level.
You can expect minor discomfort or swelling after the surgery, which is relieved by rest and OTC pain relievers.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Your doctor will examine your oral health before the dental implant to determine whether you can go through with the procedure. You are a good candidate for dental implant surgery if you have healthy gums and jawbone density.
People with excellent oral health and who do not suffer from periodontal diseases like gingivitis or chronic diseases like diabetes or leukemia are good candidates for getting an implant.
Such health conditions interfere with bone development and density, bone and gum health, and jawbone healing.
For people with inadequate bone density or a jawbone that is too soft to support an implant, the doctor might suggest getting a bone graft that will regenerate enough bone to support an implant.
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants are of two types: single-tooth implants and multiple teeth implants.
Single-Tooth ImplantSingle-tooth implants are a great solution to replace one missing, damaged, or decayed tooth. Single tooth replacement via dental implant efficiently places a dental crown without affecting the structure and health of surrounding teeth.
A single-tooth implant will also prevent bone erosion around the missing tooth. A team of periodontists and oral surgeons will decide the right implant for single tooth replacement, which is decided after examining dental x-rays and computer software-assisted planning.
Multiple Teeth ImplantReplacing multiple teeth is possible due to various treatment options like dentures or dental bridges. Where dentures have chances of slipping or misplacing during biting, chewing, or speaking, implants offer a stable foundation for dental crowns as they are fused with your jawbone instead of sitting on the adjacent teeth or gums.
The All-on-4® Treatment Conceptreplaces the full set of teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Four dental implants are drilled into the jawbone at a precise angle and location, fully restoring the dental implant arch.
Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges and Dentures
Dental implants offer a realistic-looking and functioning replacement tooth. The main advantage dental implants hold over dentures and bridges is that they maintain the integrity and density of the jawbone.
Dentures and dental bridges sit on top of the gums to fill the missing tooth space, but they do not stimulate the jawbone due to missing tooth roots. Dental implants, on the other hand, act like prosthetic tooth roots and stimulate the gums and jaw, functioning exactly like natural teeth. In this, the jawbone doesn’t deteriorate over time, preventing the development of a collapsed smile.
Dental implants allow patients to clean their replacement teeth with regular brushing and flossing efficiently. However, the collar of dentures or bridges risks accumulation of food debris and bacterial growth. It is inconvenient for many people to take out their replacement teeth every night to clean them.
What is the Procedure of Single Tooth Implant Placement?
The single-tooth implant consists of three major parts.
The implant is a titanium screw-shaped post or fixture inserted into the jawbone.
After the implant placement, the abutment is screwed on top of it. This metal connector passes through the gums into the oral cavity, allowing the placement of a dental crown.
The crown is made of porcelain and matches the neighboring teeth, giving a natural look to your replacement tooth.
The whole process can take months to complete and can become lengthier if your doctor suggests getting a bone grafting process before implant placement. In such a case, it will take four to 12 months for the bone regeneration before the jawbone is prepared enough to support an implant.
Single Implant PlacementThe oral surgeon will perform the dental implant surgery under local or general anesthesia. The surgeon will cut your gums to expose your jawbone, then drill a small hole holding the metal implant.
After that, it takes several weeks for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. Meanwhile, your dentist may fabricate a temporary tooth to fill the missing tooth gap.
Abutment PlacementThe surgeon will make a second incision onto your gums to screw the abutment on the dental implant. The process is followed by gum healing, and a temporary dental crown fills the gap of missing teeth until the healing process is finished.
Dental CrownThe dentist will make the final prosthetic tooth that will either be cemented permanently on the abutment or kept as a removable tooth.
The new tooth looks and behaves like surrounding natural teeth, and cleaning the single tooth implant with regular brushing and flossing is easy.
Pacific Modern Dentistry recommends taking care of your oral hygiene and regularly visiting your dentist to maintain the lifelong durability of your dental implants. Dr. Jae Seon Kim will ensure to provide the best dental services. Call us at (206)284-4505 if you want to schedule an appointment with us.