Dental Implants In Spokane, Washington
Titanium dental implants are considered to be the treatment of choice for the replacement of missing teeth. Structurally secure and independent of other teeth, implants help preserve healthy enamel of adjacent teeth as well as supporting bone in the jaws. They also complete a smile and hide gaps left by missing teeth.
An implant consists of two parts:
- A titanium post that replaces the natural tooth root; and
- An artificial tooth that is affixed to the top of the implant post
They are placed in the jawbone and natural bone formation around the implant post helps create stability and hold it securely in place for years to come. With the proper care and oral health habits, dental implants can successfully last a lifetime.
The Options Are Limitless!
A dental implant can support a single crown or, with other implants, it can anchor a bridge or even a full denture. The stability of implants makes them function as if they were a natural tooth. In fact, they are considered to be even stronger than the healthiest of teeth in a person’s mouth. They are customized to match the patient’s surrounding teeth for a flawless looking smile.
The Importance of Replacing a Missing Tooth
Teeth may fall out or require extraction because of any of the following:
- tooth decay
- failed root canal
- gum disease
- trauma to the mouth (e.g., a sudden blow)
- extreme wear and tear
- poor oral hygiene
Missing teeth are not only cosmetically problematic — because they tend to draw the eye’s attention almost immediately — but also detrimental to overall oral health.
Chewing on a tooth keeps the underlying jawbone stimulated and healthy; without that stimulation, the jawbone can start to deteriorate and the gums can recede. The neighboring teeth may become weak and fail, and the teeth on the opposite jaw may start to grow into the gap. Eventually, the reduced jawbone and missing teeth can cause the facial structures to collapse and look hollow or sunken-in. Another problem with missing teeth is that the surrounding teeth may drift or shift into the gap left by a missing tooth.
Also, missing teeth make chewing and speaking difficult. People with missing teeth may feel too self-conscious of the gap(s) to smile or talk to others. They might hide their mouth behind their hand whenever in public.
Dental implants restore a normal appearance to the smile and resolve some of the problems caused by missing teeth. Chewing on the implant post provides the stimulation that the jawbone needs to thrive. Closing the gap prevents the adjacent teeth from migrating in the mouth and developing other problems. Replacing missing teeth with an implant also provides the strength and stability to eat virtually any food without struggling to chew.
Good Candidates for Dental Implants
Dental implants in Spokane are designed for individuals that are in:
- Good general and oral health
- Free of any active tooth decay
- Free of gum disease
- Not suffering from an uncontrolled autoimmune disorder that could impede healing
- Good oral hygiene habits
- Understand the healing process of dental implants
When You’ve Been Told Implants Weren’t an Option
Not having enough healthy jawbone support is one of the primary reasons that dentists turn patients away for dental implants. Thankfully, that does not have to be a concern any longer, with the implementation of cone beam guided technology. Dr. Ryan R. Love utilizes the Sirona Galileos CBCT (Cone Beam Technology) to create a guiding device that allows implants to be placed in a manner that takes advantage of a person’s natural bone patterns.
Dental Implant Placement Process
The dental implant placement process typically requires a few visits to Dr. Love’s office, including an initial consultation to establish the treatment goals and plan.
The first step of dental implants placement is to surgically implant the titanium implant post into the jawbone. An opening is created in the appropriate jaw site to allow for placement of the implant post. The post is covered and left there to heal, until it has integrated into the surrounding jawbone and formed a stable base for the tooth replacement. The post becomes part of the jawbone anatomy during this time. The healing process, known as osseointegration, usually takes between four and six months.
A temporary tooth replacement may be used so the patient does not need to go toothless during this time. Also, using a temporary tooth replacement enables the gum tissue to grow around it and shape itself properly.
After the implant post has healed, the temporary tooth replacement is removed and replaced with the permanent, customized crown or bridge. The tooth replacement (usually a crown in single tooth replacement cases) is screwed onto the top of the implant post with a connector piece called an abutment. Several implant posts can be placed to support a denture that replaces the entire upper or lower arch of teeth.
Adjusting to Life with Implants
There may be a slight adjustment period as the patient adapts to life with an implant. In general, though, the implant looks, feels and functions almost exactly like a natural healthy tooth.
Implants require diligent at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Though artificial teeth and implant posts cannot develop decay or cavities, they must be treated like natural teeth, meaning brushed and flossed regularly.
The leading cause of implant failure is infection that occurs when the surrounding teeth are not properly cleaned. Smoking is also likely to cause implant failure, so quitting or avoiding cigarettes is important.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Why are dental implants a popular way to replace teeth?
Implants are stable, versatile and last a very long time compared to other tooth replacements. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth or all of the teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw. They do not need to be replaced or repaired every few years like bridges do. Also, implants do not shift around in the mouth like dentures because they are secured in the jawbone.
Who is not a good candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants are generally not suitable for individuals who:
- have serious medical conditions that could affect how the implants heal
- are in poor general health
- have still-developing jawbones (jawbone health must be complete at the time of implant placement)
- are pregnant
- smoke and cannot quit prior to treatment
How long do dental implants last?
Properly placed dental implants can last indefinitely with the proper care and maintenance. Patients should be diligent about at-home oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing and schedule regular check-ups with a dentist to have implants checked. Luckily, implants do not require any special care above and beyond what a natural tooth requires. They can be brushed and flossed normally.
Can dental implants help me if I have dentures?
Yes. Implants can anchor a full or partial denture appliance to the jawbone for added stability and a more comfortable fit. Implant-retained dentures do not slip or slide around in the mouth or cause audible clicking or popping noises when speaking.
Can I smoke if I have implants?
Smoking can interfere with the implant placement healing process, leading to a poor bond between jawbone and implant post. Smoking can also cause infections that lead to implant failure. Patients with implants are encouraged not to smoke.
How soon can I eat after dental implant placement?
Dr. Love will provide complete aftercare instructions including what foods to avoid after implant placement. In general, try to stick to only soft foods for a few days after implant placement and eat on the side of the mouth opposite to the implant.
Does it hurt to get dental implants?
Dr. Love’s goal is for patients to feel no pain during implant placement. Patients can be partially or fully sedated and numbed to prevent pain and discomfort. With sedation, patients have little to no recollection of treatment afterward. Pain or discomfort following the placement can be alleviated with prescription pain relievers.
How many visits does dental implant placement require?
The treatment timeline varies by patient, depending on his or her exact needs. Dr. Love can provide more specific information upon consultation.
Can dental implants get cavities?
No, dental implants cannot develop cavities because they are made from artificial materials. However, it is still important to brush and floss around implants.
Will I be able to tell the difference between my implant and my natural teeth?
No. Dental implants are designed to match the surrounding natural teeth in size, shape and color. Dr. Love carefully plans out each implant to blend in with the patient’s natural smile; he works with the finest outside dental laboratories to construct the implants according to his specifications.
Contact Dr. Ryan Love
Dr. Love believes that the right dental technology can make treatment quicker, safer and more comfortable for his patients. He invests in high-tech systems and tools that help him to be more efficient and treatment outcomes more accurate.
The revolutionary CEREC system enables him to plan, create and place top-quality crowns and bridges in a single visit. Tools such as cone beam CT scans help Dr. Love to capture three-dimensional images of the teeth, soft tissues and bone of the jaw for more precise treatment planning. Systems like the Sirona guided implant system help Dr. Love carefully map out treatment for more predictable dental implant results. Thanks to these key pieces of technology, Dr. Love’s patients save considerable time, money and effort on dental treatment.
Best dentist ever. I can't say enough nice things about him. Everyone in the office is amazing.
Always friendly and they do amazing work!!!
Such a great place! They always take good care of us whenever we need them! Thanks for all the love Dr. Love!
Ryan has been my dentist for a number of years now… Love his professional manner, technical skills and ability, and great professional and friendly staff. If you're looking for a top flight dentist I would strongly recommend Ryan and his team!!