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Restoring Your Smile with Dental Implants

Older man with healthy smileIf you are looking for the most natural solution to replace a missing tooth or teeth, then dental implants are something that you should consider. Just as every case and every patient are different, if you would like to know more about whether or not implants are right for you, please schedule an appointment to discuss your options with either Dr. Moreno or Dr. Young.

An implant has the ability to replace the root of a missing tooth. You may never have considered the root of your tooth before - likely because you have never seen it. Such is the case with a dental implant. You will never really see the implant, just the porcelain tooth we will put on top of the implant after the implant has healed. A dental implant is a threaded titanium fixture designed to be placed in the jaw bone. The implant surface is designed to allow the bone to grow in and around it - a process we call integration. Integration occurs slowly over the course of 4 to 6 months.

A common misconception is that dental implants are painful. We certainly understand why you might think so, but when we inquire about postoperative discomfort among our implant patients, most report being very comfortable on over-the-counter pain medication. Another misconception is that implants are excessively expensive. This is not true. While they do present a significant expense, the expense can be alleviated by dental insurances as well as 0% payment plans.

There are several medical conditions and several anatomical restrictions that may disqualify you from having dental implants placed. Dr. Moreno or Dr. Young would be happy to evaluate your case and let you know if you are a good candidate for implant therapy. Generally, advanced age is not a restriction.  Instead, our senior patient population can very predictably enjoy one less thing to worry about in the autumn of life - instead of the usual 'where did I put my teeth?"

Our professional, friendly dental team will make sure you have a wonderful experience at Moreno & Young Dental. We provide comprehensive preventive, family, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services for Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, and surrounding areas.

Implant Placement

Animation of implant supported dental crown

Dental implant tooth replacement is completed in two phases. During the initial phase of treatment, one or more implant posts is surgically placed below the gum line. Depending on the number and placement of the implants, the procedure may vary in length, and while many patients are concerned about this aspect of treatment, the surgical implant placement is safe and has a 98% success rate. We simply make a small incision in the gum tissue. Then, the implant post is positioned where it will create the maximum amount of stability for the necessary tooth replacement prosthetic. Finally, a protective cap is placed that allows the area around the implant to heal without the gum closing over the top of the implant post.

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Implant-Retained Crowns & Bridges

Model of implant supported bridge

For three to six months following the placement of the implant, the post fuses with gum and jawbone mimicking the functions of tooth roots. Once this process, called osseointegration, is complete, patients return for the restoration phase of treatment. Those who are only missing one or a few consecutive teeth will receive a dental crown or bridge to replace their lost tooth structure. These restorations prosthetics are crafted to look and feel just like lost teeth.

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Implant-Retained Dentures

Model of implant supported denture

Those patients with more advanced tooth loss will likely want to consider an implant-retained partial or full denture. Like the traditional, removable counterparts, these prosthetics are crafted using a gum-colored base material to support numerous replacement teeth. Rather than clasping to remaining dental structures or being held in place by natural suction, a series of strategically positioned dental implant posts anchor these restorations, offering superior comfort, stability, and longevity compared with traditional dental prosthetics.

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All-on-4 Implant Dentures

Model of All-on-4 implant denture

The All-on-4 technique is a unique method of placing a dental implant supported full denture. Rather than placing implant posts across the jaw line, the All-on-4 technique utilizes the naturally denser portions of the jawbone to provide support for the entire tooth replacement prosthetic. This innovative procedure has made it possible for more patients than ever before to safely and successfully receive a dental implant retained denture without costly, invasive preparatory treatments like bone grafts.

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