Dental Implants are a fantastic way to replace missing teeth. Many Tri Cities residents suffer tooth loss due to periodontal disease, decay, injuries, or failure of previous dental treatments. We, at Tri City Dental Care in Kennewick, educate our patients on how dental implant options are superior to a partial denture or traditional bridges.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a peg placed in the jaw bone. It functions as a tooth root for man-made teeth, or to attach a floppy denture.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Most people are healthy enough for dental implants. Healthy gums and bone around the implant are an absolute must. If there is a lack of bone, a bone graft must be added to a site months before placing the implant. You must commit to daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits.
Smoking, uncontrolled diabetes, and other systemic diseases can complicate the procedure. Dr. Antonio Lopez-Ibarra must evaluate each patient’s health individually before placing the implant.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?
Fortunately, dental implants are now widely recognized as the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. Most insurances now cover implants and bone grafts. As a courtesy, we make calls to insurances to check on your dental implant coverage.
What Steps are Involved in Dental Implants?
First and foremost, Dr. Lopez will evaluate how dental implants can benefit you as a patient. He will develop a treatment plan that suits your needs, and addresses your concerns. At Tri City Dental Care, we use 3D x-ray technology to evaluate the bone levels. This 3D technology allows Dr. Lopez to place a dental implant virtually, before placing it in the mouth.
After the treatment plan is developed, Dr. Lopez will place the etched Titanium peg in bone. As the bone remodels, the body will tighten the implant in bone. This entire process takes anywhere from 4-8 months, depending on bone density.
Once the implant is sufficiently stable, an impression is taken to measure the size and contour of adjacent teeth.
After the impression, the lab will send us an abutment to screw on to the implant. This is a small platform that is screwed onto the implant to hold a crown. Once the abutment is in place, a crown can be cemented on it.
Since the implant is fixed in the jawbone, you can enjoy long term stability on this crown.
For dentures, other types of abutments are used that snap on to the inner part of your denture. This will allow you to prevent denture displacement.
Are Dental Implants Painful?
Most patients that have a dental implant procedure done report less pain than having a tooth extraction. Discomfort 2-3 days after the procedure is a not uncommon, but can be treated with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Dr. Lopez will evaluate the difficulty of the procedure and prescribe accordingly.
How Do I Take Care of My Dental Implants?
Daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash is an absolute must. Since dental implants function similarly to natural teeth, they must be taken care of in the same manner. Regular dental visits are necessary to evaluate the need for adding bone grafts to the site, if necessary.
Come see us today at Tri City Dental Care in Kennewick for an evaluation of your dental implant needs! Dr. Lopez is very passionate about this area of dentistry, and stays up to date with the most cutting-edge technology.
For more information, take a look at Dr. Lopez’s YouTube Video at: http://tricitydentalcarewa.com/servicepost/implants/
Other Useful Links:
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry