More than 120 million Americans have missing teeth. If you’re one of them, dental implants can restore your smile, as well as your biting and chewing abilities. At Battle Ground Dental, in Battle Ground, Washington, family dentists Jeffrey Kockritz, DDS, and Spencer Woodbury, DDS, specialize in the placement and restoration of dental implants. To learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment with the team online or by calling the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff.
Dental implants are titanium posts that fuse with your jaw. They provide a supportive base for restorations like crowns, implant-supported dentures, or bridges. Implants don’t rely on your existing teeth for support. As a result, they’re much sturdier and longer-lasting than other dental prosthetics.
To receive dental implants, you need enough bone to support them and healthy gums. If you have low bone volume or gingivitis, the team might recommend a bone graft or periodontal treatment before placing your implants.
During your first appointment, let the team know if you’re living with a chronic health problem like high blood pressure, kidney disease, or diabetes. These conditions won’t necessarily keep you from restoring your smile with implants, but they may increase the risk of infection or implant failure.
Getting dental implants typically takes between 6-12 months and a series of at least three appointments.
At your first appointment, the team conducts an oral exam, reviews your dental health history, and takes digital X-rays to assess the health of your jaw and gums.
If you have plenty of bone to support the implants, the team administers a local anesthetic and places a series of posts into your jaw. The number of implants you receive depends on the type of prosthetic you’re getting and the number of teeth missing. Following implant placement, your mouth heals for a period of several months.
Once the implants integrate with your bone, your return to Battle Ground Dental. The team takes impressions of your mouth and sends them to a dental laboratory that creates your crowns, bridge, or implant-supported dentures. The team then attaches a metal piece to each implant, called an abutment.
Several weeks later, you visit Battle Ground Dental for your third and final appointment. The team lines up your crowns, bridge, or implant-supported dentures and bonds them in place. The restorations restore your smile, allowing you to bite, chew, and speak confidently.
It’s important to care for your dental implants like you would your natural teeth. To prevent chips, cracks, or other damage, the team at Battle Ground Dental recommends brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and visiting the office every six months for an oral exam and professional cleaning.
Try to avoid bad habits like nail-biting, chewing on ice, or opening packaging with your teeth. By following these tips, your dental implants can last a lifetime.
To see if dental implants are right for you, request a consultation at Battle Ground Dental. Book an appointment online or call the office to speak with a member of the administrative staff today.