Dental implants are a tooth replacement option that involves the surgical placement of small metal posts into the jawbone to support a natural-looking prosthetic. Their design mimics the look and function of natural teeth, providing individuals with a fully restored beautiful smile. Dentists can use them to restore one or several teeth.
A dental implant is made of a biocompatible material, commonly titanium, allowing it to naturally fuse with the jawbone over time. This process, known as osseointegration, creates a strong foundation for the custom prosthetic. It also allows patients to achieve a natural-looking smile that can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene care.
At Aesthetic Dental Associates, our Seattle dentist offers dental implant surgery and treatment
options. We’re here to help you meet your oral health goals and restore the function and beauty of your smile.
The Dental Implant Structure
A dental implant consists of the following three components:
- Implant Body: The main part of the implant that’s usually made of titanium or a titanium alloy. It’s surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as the foundation for the rest of the implant.
- Abutment: The part that protrudes above the gum line and provides a connection point for the prosthetic tooth. It’s typically made of titanium or a similar material.
- Artificial Tooth: The visible restoration that replaces the tooth. It’s most often a dental crown that can be made of porcelain, ceramic, or acrylic resin.
Types of Dental Implants
Endosteal Dental Implants
The most common type of dental implant is endosteal. With endosteal dental implants, the post gets inserted directly into the bone and is used for those who have enough bone structure to support it.
There are various dental implant treatments available today. However, each dental office offers different options. To learn more about the options offered at our Seattle practice, contact our dentist today.
Single-Tooth Dental Implants
Single-tooth dental implants completely replace one lost tooth from root to crown. It involves the placement of a titanium implant into the jawbone that serves as the foundation for a custom-made prosthetic single-tooth replacement itself. Most patients receive a dental crown as the visible portion of their implant treatment. Single-tooth replacement with a dental implant provides patients with a permanent solution for missing or damaged teeth.
All-on-four dental implants are full-arch replacement options. It involves placing four dental implants in the upper or lower jawbone and securing a full arch of prosthetic replacement teeth to them. The All-on-four technique is less invasive and can be completed in one day. All-on-four implants are a good option for those who have lower bone density, as it allows for the restoration of a full arch of teeth while using fewer implant posts.
Implant-supported bridges are excellent options for replacing multiple teeth. A traditional dental bridge or artificial tooth root is anchored to the jaw using dental implants. The bridge is typically made up of two or more artificial teeth that are connected and attached to the implant abutments. The number of posts needed will vary depending on the size of the bridge.
Implant-supported dentures are removable appliances anchored to the mouth and jaw using dental implants. They provide a more secure fit and eliminate messy adhesives that removable dentures typically need. Implant-supported dentures are also a more stable option than traditional dentures and can improve overall oral health by providing stimulation to the jawbone.
Mini Dental Implants
Mini dental implants are a smaller version of traditional implants. They’re a less invasive implant surgery option typically used to replace a single tooth or stabilize a loose denture. They shorten the healing process and have a lower cost. However, they may not be suitable for patients who don’t have adequate bone density.
Immediate-Load “Same Day” Dental Implants
Immediate-load dental implants, also known as same-day implants, are done in one appointment. With immediate-load implants, dentists place the implant and prosthetic tooth in the mouth at the same time, allowing the patient to leave the dental office with a fully functional replacement tooth after just one dental implant procedure.
Zygomatic Dental Implants
Zygomatic dental implants can restore lost teeth for patients who don’t have enough jawbone density to support a traditional endosteal implant. While zygomatic implants are still in use, they’re less common today and aren’t used by our Seattle dentist.
Subperiosteal Dental Implants
Subperiosteal dental implants sit on top of the jawbone but under the gum tissue. Subperiosteal implants are rarely ever used because of modern technological advancements in the field of implant dentistry.
What’s the Best Implant Treatment Option for You?
When determining the best dental implant treatment, consider your individual dental needs and smile goals. Factors such as the number of missing teeth, the condition of your jawbone, and your budget all play a role in determining the best option. When weighing your options, you should also evaluate the dental implant benefits and costs. Your dentist or oral surgeon can help you evaluate your options and make a recommendation.
If you’re wondering where to start, find out how to find the best dental implant provider for you and your needs. For those located in the Seattle, WA, area, contact our implant dentist today to schedule your consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, a missing tooth needs to be replaced as soon as possible. By not reversing tooth loss, you may experience:
- Shifting of the surrounding teeth: When you experience tooth loss, the surrounding teeth may shift to fill the gap. Shifting teeth can lead to misalignment and bite problems.
- Bone loss: The jawbone needs stimulation from the roots of the teeth to maintain its density. When a tooth is missing, the jawbone may shrink, leading to bone loss.
- Increased risk of periodontal disease: Missing teeth can create space for bacteria to accumulate, increasing your risk of gum disease.
- Difficulty speaking and eating: Missing teeth can make it difficult to speak clearly and chew food properly.
A few different types of dental professionals can place dental implants, including:
- An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon: Dental professionals who have completed additional training and education in the surgical placement of dental implants. They have the most extensive training and experience in implant placement and are often considered the most qualified to place them.
- A Periodontist: Specializes in the treatment of periodontal disease and placing dental implants. They have completed additional training in implant placement and have a good understanding of the underlying bone and tissue structure.
- A Prosthodontist: Specializes in the replacement of missing teeth and the restoration of natural teeth. They’re also qualified to place dental implants.
- A General Dentist: They’ve completed training in implant placement and are qualified to place them.
Certifications and qualifications vary based on the country, state, or region. Some states or countries may have different laws and regulations regarding who’s qualified to place dental implants.
On average, dental implants can last for between 20 years and a lifetime. To increase the long-term success of your dental implant, maintain excellent at-home dental care and schedule regular dental visits for checkups and cleanings.
Dental implants require maintenance just as natural teeth do. By brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly, your tooth replacement can last for decades.
Yes, dental implants may replace several missing teeth. Between implant-supported bridges, All-on-4 dental implants, and implant-supported dentures, there are various options for patients missing multiple teeth. Consult with your dentist, and they’ll discuss the best treatment for your needs.
Learn More About Your Dental Implant Options
Ready to find out if dental implants are exactly what your smile needs? If you happen to live in the Seattle area, contact our implant dentist today to schedule a consultation and see how we can improve your oral health with a customized treatment plan.
If you’re not a good candidate for a dental implant, we also offer other restorative dentistry options.