Losing a tooth can be traumatic. It can make a serious emotional impact, and you wish you could have the tooth back somehow. With dental implants, you practically can. In form, function, and appearance, they are almost exactly like the tooth you lost. Your smile is made whole again, giving you a second chance on a full, beautiful, healthy smile.
If you have lost one or more teeth and want to learn whether dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you, please call (509) 927-2273 today for an appointment with an implant dentist at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics in Spokane Valley.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants really are the tooth replacement option most like your natural teeth. Dental implants:
- Let you eat all the same foods
- Don’t slip or fall out of your mouth
- Require no special maintenance
- Stimulate bone and gums
- Can last a lifetime
With dental implants, you can keep eating all your favorite foods, including a healthy, nutritious variety of fruits, vegetables, and meat–even steak.
Implants are anchored in the jawbone similar to natural teeth. They won’t slip or come out, even if you’re shouting, laughing, or sneezing.
Plus, you don’t have to take special care of them. Just brush, floss, and make regular dental checkups to keep implants functioning.
Since they’re anchored in the jaw like natural teeth, implants stimulate the jawbone and gums. This keeps your body from removing the excess bone.
Can Implants Really Last a Lifetime?
People are skeptical when we say that implants can last a lifetime, but it’s true. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for decades.
Large clinical studies show that more than 90% of implants last over 20 years. Smaller studies show similar life out to 30 years. Anecdotal evidence exists that some people have implants for over 50 years.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants function like natural teeth because they are like natural teeth. Like natural teeth, they have two distinct regions: a root that is designed to bond to your jawbone, and a crown that is made to be attractive and functional.
With most implants, the root is made of titanium. Titanium has the special power to bond directly with your bone. It’s also strong enough to withstand the forces of biting and chewing. Plus, it makes a strong coating on the outside so it doesn’t rust apart.
The crown is made of high-strength ceramics that can also stand up to strong bite force, but is attractive and natural-looking. If you’re replacing multiple teeth, we might use bridges instead of crowns, but they’re still made of highly durable materials.
How Long Does it Take to Complete a Dental Implant Procedure Start to Finish?
It takes 8 months from start to finish to complete the dental implants procedure if you require a tooth extraction first. For patients who don’t need an extraction, the entire process only takes 4 months. The actual dental implants procedure itself only takes about 5 minutes to complete.
How Much Pain Do Patients Say They Experience During the Procedure and Recovery?
Most patients report only minimal pain during the healing process.
How Long is a Typical Recovery Time? When Can Normal Eating Habits Resume After Dental Implant Surgery?
Full recovery from surgery takes about a week but patients can resume eating normally the same day as their procedure. We recommend avoiding crunchy or seedy foods for the first week.
Bridges or Implants?
One question we get a lot is whether people should choose dental bridges or implants to replace their teeth. It depends on their situation. Dental bridges can work, and they are very good in some situations. But they don’t stimulate your jawbone the way implants do, and they’re not as likely to last a lifetime. Plus, dental bridges depend on your teeth for support, which can sometimes put the supporting teeth at risk.