By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
August 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants can offer you both security and comfort as a permanent replacement. Implants look dental implantsand function like natural teeth, and help preserve tooth-supporting bones in the jaw that deteriorate when a tooth is lost. 

Our family dentist in Bothell, WA, Dr. Kimberly Chapman, can examine each patient and determine whether they are a good candidate for dental implants.

About Dental Implants

Implants are made of biocompatible titanium and surgically placed into the jawbone. They are the strongest, most natural-looking and natural-functioning artificial teeth available, and they will never be lost due to decay.

A typical dental implant has 3 parts:

  • a screw-like titanium device which is placed into the empty tooth socket,
  • a metal alloy abutment or extension post that is screwed into the titanium implant, and
  • a porcelain crown that sits on top of the abutment.

The titanium implant is placed during a simple, in-office procedure into good quality bone. After some weeks or months of healing, the jawbone and implant fully join together through a natural process scientists call osseointegration. Osseointegration anchors the dental implant, making it feel and act like a real tooth.

During a subsequent visit, your Bothell family dentist screws the metal abutment to the implant, then may either bond or screw the custom-fabricated porcelain crown to the abutment. The patient brushes and flosses the artificial tooth just as they would a real tooth. In fact, good oral hygiene keeps the implant free from plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar can threaten implant retention by causing loss of bone, just as poor oral hygiene creates gum disease with natural teeth.

Implants are Versatile

Implants can replace one tooth or even multiple teeth lost to decay, gum disease or oral injury. Versatile and lifelike, these prosthetics also support partial or full dentures that can be fixed or removable. Unlike traditional bridgework, implants are not supported by neighboring teeth. Also, implant-supported devices provide unparalleled chewing and smile aesthetics. The jaw bone actually strengthens in density and size the longer an implant is in place!

In terms of oral hygiene, dental implants should be cared for the same way as natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing 2-3 times a day. Excessive biting or tooth grinding can lead to the implant failing due to metal strain and metal shearing of the abutment or screw, so a night guard may need to be worn. 

To learn more about dental implants and if you’re a viable candidate, contact our Bothell, WA family dentist, Dr. Kimberly Chapman. Call (425) 488-6120 to schedule an appointment today.