For many years now, the most preferred and recommended way to replace missing teeth has been dental implants. Why? This innovative method goes beyond the surface of the gums to address the root as well as the crown, which is crucial for long-term oral health. Dr. Craig R. Harder collaborates with trusted oral surgeons in the area to make sure that you receive the same quality of care from beginning to end. To get on the path toward a fully restored smile, call our office today to schedule your consultation for dental implants in Moses Lake.
Dental implants are the only form of tooth replacement that you can’t actually see. The implant itself is a small titanium post that is surgically fixed into the jaw in place of the lost tooth’s root. Because titanium is biocompatible, the implant actually fuses with the existing jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Once the implant is in place, a metal abutment is put on top, allowing it to support your restoration, whether that be a dental crown, a bridge, or even a full denture.
Thanks to osseointegration, dental implants essentially become a part of your anatomy. The strong foundation they form with your jawbone gives them unparalleled reliability, durability, and longevity. With the right aftercare, they can last for decades or even a lifetime!
Receiving dental implants requires multiple appointments over a months-long period, but their ability to last a lifetime makes them worth the wait. At Moses Lake Family Dentistry, we are committed to excellence in treating our patients, and we expect the same level of dedication and quality in the oral surgeons that we collaborate with. When we recommend a specialist, you can rest assured that your experience will be just as smooth and positive with them as it is in our practice.
While the dental implant process looks different for everyone, the four basic steps you can expect are:
Because dental implants also replace the root of the missing teeth, they provide certain benefits that dentures and bridges simply can’t on their own. These benefits include the following:
Conventional methods of tooth replacement, like bridges and dentures, only replace the crown of the tooth, or the section that’s visible above your gums. Dental implants, on the other hand, replicate the entire structure of a lost tooth, including the root. They form a powerful bond with your jawbone that enables them to feel as natural as the pearly whites you were born with.
Additionally, your restoration is custom-made to blend in with the rest of your smile. Onlookers shouldn’t even be able to tell the difference!
While traditional dentures only restore about 30% of your original biting force, dental implants can replenish 70% or more. This allows you to enjoy a varied diet of healthy, crunchy foods like apples. Because dental implants are more stable than other solutions, you won’t have to worry about them slipping out of place while you’re chewing.
After tooth loss, your tooth’s roots no longer stimulate your jawbone through biting and chewing. As a result, the bone starts to shrink. It loses the ability to support your facial structures, contributing to premature wrinkling and dropping that ages you.
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement that promotes new jawbone growth to keep you looking young for years to come.
Taking care of your dental implants doesn’t involve anything that you weren’t already doing for your natural teeth. Brush and floss your restoration twice a day, protect your smile from injury, and see your dentist in Moses Lake for a checkup every six months.
Traditional solutions to tooth loss must be repaired or replaced every few years. This can quickly rack up costs as well as time spent in the dental chair. By contrast, dental implants have the remarkable ability to last for three decades or even longer. If you take proper care of your new smile, it could even last for the rest of your life!
One amazing feature about dental implants is that they are extremely versatile and can handle any tooth-loss situation. Whether you need to replace one tooth or an entire arch, dental implants can help you regain your smile’s full function, health, and beauty.
After the post is surgically placed into the jawbone, an abutment piece is attached. Finally, a single dental crown is bonded on top. This solution looks and feel so natural, you may even forget which tooth is artificial.
If you have a consecutive row of missing teeth, you can use an implant bridge, which anchors to two dental implants instead of your existing teeth. For gaps spread out along an arch, we can attach a partial denture to dental implants for added stability.
Even total tooth loss can be treated with dental implants, but you don’t need one implant for every missing tooth. In fact, using only four to six implants, we can restore a whole arch of teeth. By either bolting or snapping your dentures in place with dental implants, you ensure that they remain firmly in the optimal position.
There are basically limitless treatment options for dental implants, making a general estimate difficult. The number and location of the implants, as well as the type of restoration that will be placed on top, impact the price. Also, keep in mind that paying for dental implants may still be more cost effective than getting dentures or bridges alone because these restorations have to be replaced every five to ten years, but dental implants can last for much longer.
We can provide you with an accurate estimate for the cost of dental implants in Moses Lake during your consultation with Dr. Harder. After he evaluates your mouth, he can review your treatment options, helping us formulate a personalized estimate. Read on to learn more about the factors that determine the price of your implant treatment.
Before beginning your implant procedure, any preexisting issues like gum disease or necessary tooth extractions must be treated, which will add to the total cost of your implants. Then, you’ll have your surgery, which will cost more depending on the type of anesthesia used. We refer our patients to specialized oral surgeons for dental implant placement, so you’ll have separate fees from the implant dentist in Moses Lake and our office.
The number of dental implants you need will affect your cost, but the material used for this treatment will also play a role. Implants can be made of titanium, zirconia, and more. As with cars or clothes, certain materials work better/last longer than others. We are always transparent about the materials that we use, so you know exactly what you’re committing to. We partner with local specialists to ensure that our patients have access to the highest of quality.
The final implant restoration will also impact the total cost of your treatment. For a single missing tooth, we will recommend an implant-retained crown that seamlessly blends into the rest of your smile. If you’re missing multiple teeth consecutively, an implant-retained bridge can literally “bridge” the gap with an average of 2 dental implants. And, for those missing all or most of their teeth, we can use an implant denture for the most stable full smile replacement.
Usually, dental insurance will not cover dental implants in Moses Lake. However, there are some exceptions. Our team is always happy to communicate with your insurance provider directly to maximize your dental benefits in any way possible. In some cases, certain aspects of the process like the initial consultation and part of your restorations may be covered, but this will vary from plan to plan. We are committed to making your dental implants as cost-effective as possible.
At Moses Lake Family Dentistry, we want to make it as easy as possible for our patients to save on high quality dental care. That’s why we accept alternative financing through CareCredit. With this solution, patients can choose the monthly payment plans that work best for them. The best part is that these monthly fees come with low-to-no interest. In some cases, we are even able to make in-house financing arrangements – it’s as easy as speaking with one of our friendly and knowledgeable team members.
When getting dental implants at Moses Lake, you can count on Dr. Harder to make sure you stay comfortable throughout the process. In part, this means answering any questions you have about the procedure so that you know what needs to happen and can feel confident about scheduling your treatment. We’ve listed some of the most commonly asked dental implant questions below, but if you have other concerns, don’t hesitate to let us know during your consultation!
The timeline for getting dental implants is usually several months, although the exact length varies from patient to patient. If bone grafting is needed to add density to your jaw, it might be three to six months before we can schedule the implant surgery. Once your implants are in place, it will take another three to six months for them to fuse with the surrounding bone tissue. The final stage is the placement of the restoration, and it usually requires two visits about two weeks apart: one to take impressions so that the restoration can be made and one to attach said restoration to your implants.
You might think dental implants require some type of special maintenance, but taking care of them is actually a lot like taking care of your natural teeth. You should brush at least twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste that won’t scratch the restoration. Remember that plaque can build up under and around an implant crown, so don’t forget to clean these areas. To get rid of plaque and food particles in hard-to-reach areas, use dental floss that’s designed to help clean implants; an oral irrigator or an interdental brush coated with nylon can also help you reach these spots.
While dental implants are often an excellent long-term solution for missing teeth, it’s not usually recommended for younger patients. If the jaw grows after dental implants are placed, or if the bite shifts at some point, it could cause complications. That’s why it’s generally recommended to wait until a patient is at least 18 to get dental implants. There is no upper age limit for dental implants, although the possibility of bone loss in the jaw needs to be considered. Dr. Harder will need to examine your oral health before making any sort of recommendation.
Dental implants are a safe, reliable way to fill the gaps in your smile. Research over the last 30 years shows that implant surgery has a 95% success rate. However, implant failure is still possible, especially if your gums become infected or if there isn’t enough bone in your jaw. Call us right away if you notice loose implant posts or worrisome symptoms such as inflamed gums and severe pain; we can point you in the right direction for treatment. In many cases, it might be possible to try and place the implants again after the underlying problem has been addressed.