Federal Way, WA
Diagram of dental implant in jawbone, as seen in dentist office in Federal Way, WA.Losing teeth, even just a single one, can have a serious impact on your quality of life. Your teeth allow you to do very basic, yet extremely important, everyday tasks, such as eating and speaking. They also provide you with a full, dazzling smile, which shows those around you your confidence. Without teeth, all of these functions become impaired, and you may suddenly find yourself smiling behind your hand. At Tran Family Dentistry & Associates, we offer dental implants, helping to restore both the function and the beauty of your smile.
What happens when you are missing teeth?
When you are missing teeth, numerous things start to happen:
- Eating becomes difficult, and your digestion suffers.
- People have a hard time understanding you when you speak.
- Food can get stuck in the empty spaces, increasing your risk for gum disease.
- Your jawbone begins to deteriorate, which can cause your adjacent teeth to shift from their natural position.
- You may experience jaw pain as a result of shifting teeth.
- Your smile suffers.
Causes of Tooth Loss
Tooth loss can occur as a result of any one of several different reasons:
- Advanced gum disease.
- Oral trauma.
- Bruxism (grinding and clenching of your teeth).
Traditionally, the way to deal with missing teeth was with either a fixed bridge or with a partial or full denture. These restorations are still in use today, but there is also another, more advanced, a method for replacing missing teeth: dental implants. Dental implants consist of titanium rods, which we surgically place into your jawbone. As you heal from surgery, the bone, and the implant fuse together, creating a "root" on which your new tooth, or teeth, will rest.
There are a few different types of implants, designed to suit individual needs:
- Single Tooth Implants: As the name suggests, these implants replace one missing tooth.
- Multiple Tooth Implants: One or more implants support new teeth to replace a section of missing teeth, rather than using a bridge or partial denture.
- Implant Supported Dentures: These replace an entire arch of missing teeth.
Before you can receive implants, we first conduct a thorough examination. We do a visual inspection of your mouth and take any images that we deem necessary. These images help us to assess the condition of your mouth below the gum line, such as the amount of bone loss in your jaw. With these images, we can figure out if you are a candidate for implants, and create an effective treatment plan.
On the day of your surgery, after the local anesthetic is administered, we begin by removing any unhealthy teeth that have not yet fallen out. We then make incisions in your gum tissue and drill into your jawbone. The implants are placed, and your gums stitched closed around the titanium rod.
As you heal, a process which can take several months (depending upon your procedure), we will monitor the health of your mouth and make sure that the bone and rods are fusing. Once healed, abutments are placed on the exposed ends of the rods and impressions of your mouth taken. These impressions allow us to create your final restoration. When ready, the restoration is set permanently in place.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have several benefits:
- Improved chewing, which leads to better overall health (better digestion).
- People will be able to understand you when you speak.
- Better oral health.
- Easier to care for than traditional dentures.
- Implants are secure. They will not slip or fall out of your mouth.
- Improved smile.
Replacing missing teeth, even if it is only one, is important for your smile, and your oral health. Contact Tran Family Dentistry & Associates today to learn more and schedule your appointment.