Have you got missing teeth, and ever felt self-conscious about them when smiling or talking? Having gaps in your smile is something that can cause embarrassment when it comes to interacting with others and even lead you to shy away from certain situations. It’s not all about your appearance either; having missing teeth can cause problems when you eat and negatively impact your oral hygiene and health. For example, it can be hard to properly clean in the gaps and food can get trapped there, leading to bad breath and gum disease. When you lose a tooth, it can also affect the bite forces in your mouth, causing extra pressure on your remaining teeth and ultimately damaging them. Lastly, over time you are likely to experience bone loss in your jaw as a result of the gaps.
There are many reasons why you might have been left with gaps in your smile, and the best approach is to deal with them as soon as they arise in order to avoid future problems. However, even if you have put it off for months or even years, don’t worry! It’s never too late to do something about it. Here at South Hill Dental in Puyallup, we are skilled and experienced in placing dental implants for patients who have missing teeth.
The solution to missing teeth: dental implants
Dental implants are a strong, reliable, and long-lasting tooth replacement option. To have an implant, you undergo a simple surgical procedure which is carried out by your dentist or at specialist clinic, in the dental chair. A dental implant consists of two parts. The first part is the titanium post that is inserted into your jawbone. The bone in your jaw then meshes with this post, and once this has healed, we attach the second part of the implant on top of it. This second part is the ‘tooth’ part -- a ceramic crown (one prosthetic tooth) or bridge (several prosthetic teeth in a row), depending on your needs and how many gaps you have in your smile.
Dental implants are designed to look as close to your natural teeth as possible, so most people probably won’t even be able to tell that they are not real. Since they function like real teeth, you will also have restored function when it comes to speaking, eating, and chewing normally. When they are properly looked after, dental implants are a long-lasting solution which will give you back your confident smile.
Types of dental implants
There are different types of dental implants and the right type for you is determined by the quality of your jawbone. The first is the endosteal implant, which is the one you are likely to have if you have a healthy bone.
With this type of implant, the process is the same as we described above: we insert a titanium post into your jawbone in a surgical procedure and then, once this is healed, we anchor a crown or a bridge on top of it.
However, as we mentioned before, bone resorption — bone deterioration — is common when patients have a missing tooth or teeth. In these cases, there are simple surgical procedures which can be delivered to restore this bone in the jaw around the missing tooth and make it possible for endosteal implants to be fitted. The types of surgery include a bone graft, which is when artificial bone is added to the area in the jaw to make a stable base for placing implants, or a sinus lift, which is when bone is added below the sinuses. These are simple procedures which will get your jaw ready for the dental implant to be placed and ensure greater success.
However, if you have some bone resorption but can’t or prefer not to have the surgical procedures, there are subperiosteal implants:
In this type of implant, we fit a metal frame above your jawbone, underneath your gums. We use this frame to attach the posts, and the crown or bridge is then anchored on top of them.
Why choose South Hill Dental for dental implants in Puyallup
We know that choosing to have dental implants is a big decision, and we want to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Our team of dental professionals at our practice is trained and experienced in performing dental implant procedures; Dr Kunal Walia is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
Our treatment is backed by science and we invest in the latest technology to make the process much more comfortable, predictable, and precise for you.
Before we begin, it’s important for us to thoroughly assess your current situation so that we can make sure treatment is suitable for you, and plan it precisely. To do this, we use advanced intraoral scanners to get the most accurate image of your teeth, gums, and jaw. By doing this, we are able to decide on the correct placement of the implant to ensure long-term success. We also use technology to precisely deliver treatment: we use X-Guide computer-guided surgery technology to perform our dental surgical procedures, ensuring the most precise placement of the implant and a more predictable, accurate, and efficient procedure for you.
Would you like to find out more about dental implants and how they can transform how your smile looks and feels? Get in contact with us by phone, email, or via our online form and we’ll help you find an appointment that suits you. Our friendly team will be available to help you feel at ease and answer any questions you might have about treatment options and what you can expect. Our office is also comfortable and will make you feel at home from the moment you step through the door.
Book your appointment today to learn more about dental implants and why they could be the right option for you.