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975 E Nelson Rd, Moses Lake, WA 98837 (509) 765-4351

Dental Implants – Moses Lake, WA

The Ultimate Tooth Replacement Choice

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.

older couple smiling with dental implants in Moses Lake

Why Choose Moses Lake Family Dentistry for Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

dentist showing a patient a model of a dental implant

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!

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

dental implant with crown next to a natural tooth

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, here are the four basic steps you can expect.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

a dentist in Moses Lake explaining how dental implants work

You’ll first visit our team for your initial consultation. This appointment is meant for us to evaluate your smile and facial structure, discuss your smile goals, and determine if dental implants are the ideal solution for rebuilding your pearly whites. We’ll also walk you through the entire process, and review the timeline and overall costs, before moving forward with your treatment.

If you have any underlying issues, such as cavities or gingivitis, then we’ll need to perform preliminary procedures to address them. This may even include tooth extractions or a bone graft if there isn’t sufficient jawbone density. Once you’re prepared for the procedure, we can begin your treatment plan.

Dental Implant Surgery

an oral surgeon in Moses Lake performing dental implant placement

Our team will refer you to one of our trusted local specialists for your implant surgery. On the day of your appointment, your oral surgeon will ensure that your mouth is completely numbed with a local anesthetic. They may even provide you with sedation dentistry to further reduce your ability to register pain as well as keep you in a relaxed and euphoric state. Once they’ve confirmed that you’re comfortable and pain-free, they’ll begin your treatment.

A small incision will be made in your gum tissue to reach your jawbone. Your implants will be placed exactly as planned before your surgeon sutures the gum tissue around them. They’ll also place a protective cap over the metal posts to protect them while you heal over the next few months.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

a digital illustration of the osseointegration process

For your implants to work, you’ll need to wait for the osseointegration process to be completed. This is when the jawbone bonds with the metal posts, allowing for a stable foundation for your restoration(s). After you’ve sufficiently healed, you’ll return to our office to receive your abutments—small metal connectors that will link your new teeth to your implants. You’ll then be sent home so your gums can heal.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

a woman smiling with her new dental implants

Once you’ve recovered from getting your abutments placed, you’ll be ready to get your new set of pearly whites. Our team will provide you with your dental crown, bridge, or denture, depending on the number of teeth that you were missing. We’ll verify that your results are correct and to your liking before sending you on your way to enjoy your newly rebuilt smile!

Benefits of Dental Implants

older couple in nature

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:

Look and Feel Your Best

happy older couple at home

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!

Eat All of Your Favorite Foods

woman holding a green apple

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.

Maintain a Youthful Appearance

woman pointing to her smile

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.

Care for Your New Smile Easily

man brushing his teeth in front of a mirror

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.

Enjoy a Smile That Lasts for Decades

happy man standing in his living room

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!

Who Dental Implants Can Help

woman smiling

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.

Missing One Tooth

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.

Missing Multiple Teeth

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.

Missing All of Your Teeth

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.

Learn More About Implant-Retained Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

person holding a hologram of a tooth in their hands

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.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Older couple smiling in each other’s arms

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 Parts of Your Dental Implant

Woman smiling during her initial consultation

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.

Final Dental Implant Restoration

3D illustration of a dental implant and crown

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.  

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Close-up of a man’s smile with short stubble

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.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Woman smiling in the dental chair during appointment

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.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

patient learning how to take care of his dental implants in Moses Lake

One of the main reasons why hundreds of thousands of Americans get dental implants every year is their longevity – with the right maintenance, they can last for 30+ years! However, you’ll only enjoy this impressive lifespan if you take good care of your new teeth. Fortunately, dental implants are as easy to take care of as your natural teeth. Here are the five basics steps you should follow to help your dental implants last a lifetime.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

man in a white T-shirt brushing his teeth

Like your natural teeth, dental implants have to be cleaned daily. If leftover food debris and plaque are not cleared away, they can thrive in your mouth and contribute to infections that spell disaster for your smile. Brushing your teeth twice a day – and flossing and rinsing with mouthwash on a daily basis – can keep your new pearly whites healthy and strong for years to come.

Eat a Healthy Diet

woman biting into a green apple

Dental implants in Moses Lake replenish the chewing power you had with your original teeth, making it easy to eat a balanced diet. Be sure to incorporate plenty of leafy greens, dairy products, and lean proteins into your meals in order to promote healthy gums. It’s fine to eat sugary and starchy products in moderation, but don’t have them too often.

Break Bad Habits

person breaking a cigarette in half

As durable as dental implants are, they’re not invincible. Just like real teeth, they’re simply not meant to withstand forces stronger than those required to eat food. Biting or chewing on inedible objects (such as pens, pencils, fingernails, and ice cubes), as well as using your teeth to open packaging or bottles, can severely damage your implants or restorations.

You should also avoid smoking, chewing, or vaping tobacco. Tobacco use doubles your risk of gum disease, which can lead to dental implant failure.

Protect Your Dental Implants

person holding a blue mouthguard in their hand

Sports-related injuries and bruxism (chronic teeth grinding) are common reasons why dental implants (and natural teeth) become damaged. To protect your smile from harm, ask your implant dentist in Moses Lake about a custom mouthguard. Dr. Harder can create a personalized oral appliance that fits comfortably over your teeth while you’re playing sports or sleeping (since most teeth grinding occurs at night), shielding them from damage.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

woman at a dental checkup

In addition to taking certain precautions at home, you should also visit our dental office at least twice per year for routine checkups and cleanings. At these appointments, Dr. Harder will closely examine your implants and remaining teeth to ensure your smile is functioning as it should. If our team detects any issues, we’ll be able to treat them as early as possible, potentially saving you from more invasive and costly procedures down the road. Plus, you’ll have the chance to ask any questions you may have about dental implant care in Moses Lake.

Dental Implant FAQs

dental implant with abutment and crown in the lower jaw

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!

How Long Does It Take to Get Dental Implants?

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.

How Can I Take Care of Dental 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.

What Is the Right Age for Dental Implants?

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.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

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.

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