Sound Dentistry Seattle, Rick Nicolini DDS: Dental Implants
Losing your teeth to an accident, gum disease or something else – can be detrimental. Teeth loss not only creates problems with eating and speaking but can also make you feel more self-conscious about how you look. Losing your teeth can be physically and emotionally upsetting, but luckily there’s an answer.
Dental implants are a substitute for missing broken down, or loose teeth. Teeth restored with dental implants look, feel and function just like normal teeth do.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is basically fused into your jawbone. As opposed to bridges, dental implants don’t damage the neighboring teeth and are a great long-term solution for missing teeth or a single tooth. Dental implants are made of special material – titanium metal, which makes them highly durable, and biocompatible.
Before the procedure
Dr. Nicolini will do a thorough dental exam and take x-rays of your teeth and jaws. Molds of your mouth will also be taken for evaluating the areas being considered for dental implants.
Your gums and remaining good teeth will need to be healthy before proceeding with dental implants, to prevent complications or implant failures. The entire dental implant procedure is a 3-step process.
Placing a dental implant
First step involves surgically placing the implant into the jaw bone to replace the missing tooth root. Surgical placement of the dental implant is typically performed by an oral surgeon or a periodontist.
At the second stage the surgeon checks how the implant has assimilated and evaluates the surrounding gum tissues.
Restoring dental implant
Two to four months after the implants are placed and the surgeon has confirmed the implants are fully integrated and ready to restore you will be referred back to Dr. Nicolini for impressions. The third and final step of course is fabricating and placing the abutments and artificial teeth. The abutments attach to the implants and the artificial teeth attach to the abutments.
Benefits of dental implants
First of all, implants do not shift or move, therefore giving you the stability and feeling much like with your own teeth. Secondly, they should be easy to maintain – again, you can brush them just like you brush your own teeth. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, they prevent the shifting of neighboring teeth and maintain the natural shape of your face. Last but not the least – implants are the best solution for missing teeth because they look good, function like teeth and they help people feel better about themselves.