At Cooley Smiles we are excited about telling our patients about dental implants. No longer are conventional bridges or dentures our only option to replace missing teeth. Dental implants provide a whole solution, designed to help keep your jawbone healthy, and provide you the function of your natural teeth. Taking your jawbone into consideration makes a significant impact on your long term success for this restoration. When a patient loses a tooth, their bone pays the price. Our teeth apply pressure to the root which transfers the pressure to your bone, keeping your bone exercised and strong. When the root connection is broken, even if you place a false tooth, the pressure can not be transferred to the bone, and the bone responds immediately with resorption. Most devices replace the tooth, but they can not replace the root. Only a dental implant can replace the root, serving as an important base for a replacement tooth.
Following your dental exam with one of our Cooley Smiles dentists, we can then create a treatment plan using implants to replace your missing teeth. Our Cooley Smiles dentists will surgically place the implant below the gums. For single implants, this is done over a series of appointments. In many situations, we are required to rebuild already atrophied bone with a simple bone graft procedure before placement. With other implant procedures such as securing a denture device, we can surgically place your denture with 4-6 implants in one day. The options are vast. After the implants are placed, the bone will heal around the titanium device. Through an amazing natural process known as osseointegration, the device will integrate with your bone, fusing the two together for a firm hold.
Dental Implant Procedure
Placing your dental implant is a minimally invasive procedure that is done in our office. The patient is anesthetized with a local anesthetic, or in some situations, we may use conscious sedation. Once the patient is comfortable, the procedure resumes.
Our Cooley Smiles dentists begin with opening the tissue to expose the bone. Your dentist will then use a specialized drill to create the space needed for the bone to fit the implant. The implant is placed, and the tissue is then sutured closed. The entire process will take less than one hour.
Healing from your implant surgery will take time. This is because we are not just waiting for the soft tissue to heal, but for the bone to heal. Most patients find that they can resume their regular activities within a day or two, though they will need to make cautious decisions on the foods they eat for a period.
There is a high rate of failure of implants in patients who have difficulty healing. This would include patients who smoke, who suffer from diabetes, or are taking certain medications. We will review this information with you before treatment. These conditions do not eliminate you as a patient, but we may need to take some extra steps or speak with your physician before treatment.
For more information about whether dental implants are the right option for you, call our office at (425) 998-6998 to set up your initial consultation with Cooley Smiles today.