If you are looking for the most natural solution to replace a missing tooth or teeth, then dental implants in Bellingham are something you should consider. Just as every case and every patient are different, if you would like to know more about whether dental implants are right for you, please call our office to schedule an appointment to discuss your options with one of our dentists.
A dental implant can 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 it, just the porcelain tooth we put on top of the implant after it has healed.
A dental implant is a threaded titanium fixture designed to be placed in the jawbone. The implant surface is designed to allow the bone to grow in and around it – a process we call osseointegration. This occurs slowly over the course of three to six months. Once your implant has essentially become one with your jawbone, we place metal attachments, called abutments, that will allow us to secure your custom-made crown, bridge, or denture on top.
Dental implants have quickly become one of the most popular tooth replacement options for a good reason! To begin with, they have a success rate of over 90%, making them incredibly predictable. However, dental implants in Bellingham can also provide you with a unique set of benefits that you won’t be able to get with any other option. Read on to learn about these significant advantages!
Dental implants are a comprehensive replacement solution, restoring your teeth from the roots up. When you lose teeth, your bone loses stimulation it was once getting from their roots, leading to deterioration. If the jawbone shrinks too much, it can cause additional tooth loss. However, dental implants are surgically placed in your jawbone and they stimulate it to grow new bone and fuse to the jaw. This maintains your jaw health and your full facial appearance while preventing additional tooth loss!
Other tooth replacement options, like dental bridges, rely on your natural teeth for support. This requires the removal of your healthy enamel to accommodate the dental crowns that support your dental bridge. Dental implants are rooted in the jawbone, which allows us to avoid altering your existing natural smile. This helps you keep more of your original smile intact for a more conservative approach to dentistry.
Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth because they are firmly secured in your jawbone. The dental implants allow your restorations to mimic the way your teeth emerge from your gums for the most lifelike appearance. This gives you the confidence to flash your smile in any social or professional setting!
Part of the beauty of having a natural looking and feeling smile is that it also functions just like your original teeth! Instead of avoiding certain foods because of your dentures, you can confidently chew through your favorite foods with ease. Dental implants are made out of titanium, which fuses to the jaw to create incredibly sturdy supports for your restorations. This makes it simple to eat, speak, and laugh without ever worrying about your smile shifting around.
Unlike other replacement options that lose their strength or function, dental implants themselves can last for an entire lifetime as long as their cared for properly. While your restorations will eventually need replacing, your routine brushing, flossing, and visits to our office will ensure that you can enjoy your implants for decades to come.
If you know much about how dental implants work in Bellingham, you understand that it is a timely process. Although you devote much time to restoring your smile with these permanent and longer-lasting prosthetics, the results are well worth the investment in your time and money. At Moreno & Young Dental, we are pleased to provide start-to-finish dental implant placement and restoration all under one roof. This commitment to our patients as well as the advanced dental technology used to ensure proper placement and success makes the entire process seamless and far more enjoyable.
The dental implant process consists of four stages: consultation, surgery, osseointegration, and restoration. While each patient’s experience may vary, the same steps are followed to ensure optimal results.
Dr. Moreno or Dr. Young will go over your overall history during your initial consultation before using advanced technology to capture images that will allow for a closer look at your jawbone, gums, and other facial structures. Once they can determine if you are eligible for dental implants in Bellingham, they will discuss any preliminary treatments that might be necessary to ensure successful implant placement. These may include periodontal therapy, tooth extractions, or bone grafting depending on the density of your jawbone.
After formulating a personalized treatment plan and going over the details of the entire process, you will also discuss the cost of your dental implant placement.
At Moreno & Young Dental, the entire dental implant process is completed in-house under one roof. This makes for a much more convenient and comfortable arrangement for our patients, which we are pleased to provide. When meeting with your implant dentist in Bellingham the day of your surgery, you will receive local anesthesia to numb the areas of your mouth and help you stay pain-free throughout the procedure. After making small incisions in your gums and gently inserting each implant at the precise angle, we will close the gum tissue and place a protective cap over the top of your implants.
During the next 3-6 months, you can expect to recover at home. The process of osseointegration will occur, which is the fusing of your implants with your bone and tissues. To ensure stability and longevity for your new smile, this process must be successful, which means giving up bad habits (i.e., smoking, drinking) and abiding by your dentist’s instructions. If necessary, you will be required to return for another minor procedure that involves placing the metal abutments over your implants. These connector appliances make it possible for your restoration to attach to your implant with ease.
Once you are fully healed from your implant placement, you will return to our office to receive your customized dental restoration. The versatility of dental implants in Bellingham makes it possible to treat all types of tooth loss. Whether you are receiving a dental crown, bridge, or denture, we can ensure your new teeth will look and feel completely natural. After examining your bite and making sure everything is functioning correctly, you will be free to leave and start enjoying your new smile.
Depending on how many teeth are being replaced, your treatment process varies slightly.
A single tooth is replaced using one implant post. After your jawbone fuses to the post, an abutment is attached to it. This acts as a connector piece between the post and your restoration. Your new tooth is crafted to match the color, size, and shape of your natural ones to blend in seamlessly when you smile.
One to two implant posts are used to anchor your bridge in place. For three to six months following the placement of the implant, the post fuses with the gum and jawbone, mimicking the functions of tooth roots. Once this process, called osseointegration, is complete, patients return for the restoration phase of the treatment. Those who are only missing a few consecutive teeth will receive a bridge to replace their lost tooth structure. These restoration prosthetics are crafted to look and feel just like the lost teeth.
Those patients with more advanced tooth loss will likely want to consider an implant denture. Like its traditional, removable counterpart, this prosthetic is crafted using a gum-colored base material to support numerous replacement teeth. Rather than clasping to remaining dental structures of being held in place by natural suction, a series of strategically positioned dental implant posts anchor this restoration, offering superior comfort, stability, and longevity compared with traditional dentures.
Alternatively, we offer All-on-4 dental implants. 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 receive an implant denture safely and successfully without costly, invasive preparatory treatments like bone grafts.
There is no easy answer to how much you can pay for your new smile without first having a consultation with your dentist in Bellingham. The price is based on your individual treatment plan. There are various factors that influence the cost, such as how many teeth are being replaced, if any additional procedures are needed, and your dental coverage.
Often, your dental insurance will not cover the entire cost of the procedure. Depending on your specific policy, it may pay for certain aspects of it until you reach your annual limit. To cover any remaining balance, we accept a variety of payment options, including CareCredit.
One of the main contributing factors to the cost of your dental implants is the number of teeth that you’re missing. Implants can be used to replace one tooth, multiple teeth, or a whole row of your smile, with the cost greatly varying depending on the type of restoration that you need.
First, you’ll visit our office for a consultation, where your dentist in Bellingham will examine the condition of your oral health, strength of your jawbone, and how many teeth you’re missing. Those with weaker jawbones may need bone grafts, and gum disease must be treated before surgery.
Next, you’ll come back into our office for implant surgery. We will ensure that you’re relaxed and numb before making small incisions in your gums to access your jawbone. Then, we’ll drill small holes into your jawbone for the placement of your implants. After allowing three to six months for your implants to fuse to your jawbone, you’ll come back into our office where will place your custom-made restoration.
Many people see prices of dental implants online and wonder whether or not they’re worth the investment. While they do tend to have a higher cost than other replacements, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care—much longer than any other solution. Additionally, dental implants have health benefits that you simply can’t get anywhere else. They are the only tooth replacement that stimulates your jawbone to prevent it from deteriorating after tooth loss.
Unfortunately, most dental insurance plans will not cover dental implants. However, this doesn’t mean that they won’t cover certain aspects of the process like sedation or your restoration. Our friendly and experienced team will file your insurance claims and work with your plan to give you quality dentistry that is also affordable. We also have financing options for those without insurance to allow everyone an opportunity to receive this life-changing tooth replacement solution.
Because dental implants essentially become a part of your body through osseointegration, they can last several times longer than conventional bridges or dentures. In fact, your new teeth could last for 30 years or even a lifetime! However, this only happens if you practice proper dental implant care in Bellingham. Luckily, dental implants are surprisingly easy to maintain. Just follow these five simple steps.
Yes, dental implants are cavity-proof, but that doesn’t mean oral hygiene isn’t still important. In fact, it might be more important than ever. Poor oral hygiene often causes gum disease, which is the most common reason for dental implant failure.
To make sure your implants and the gum tissue that supports them stays healthy, you’ll need to keep your mouth clean. Brush your teeth (real and artificial) every morning and every night. You should also floss daily and rinse with a therapeutic mouthwash regularly.
Dental implants let you chew basically anything you want, so feel free to eat a varied, nutritious diet. However, foods that are overly hard or sticky can prove problematic for your implants; they could damage or loosen your restoration. Eat these foods sparingly.
We also recommend incorporating plenty of calcium-rich dairy products and leafy greens into your diet to promote a strong jawbone and healthy gums, respectively. This will give your dental implants in Bellingham the reliable foundation they need to last a lifetime.
Certain habits can spell disaster for your implants. Smoking is perhaps the worse of these habits. Whether you smoke, vape, or chew it, tobacco slows down the body’s healing process. It may prevent osseointegration from occurring, causing your body to reject the implants. Tobacco users are also more than twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop gum disease. For this reason, we strongly suggest that you quit using tobacco for at least two weeks before (and ideally after) dental implant surgery.
Chewing on hard, inedible objects is another habit that can wreak havoc on your implants. Whenever you feel the urge to bite your fingernails or chew on ice, pens, or pencils, try popping a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth instead to avoid damage to your pearly whites.
As strong as dental implants are, they’re not indestructible. If you play sports, you’ll want to shield them from injury by wearing a mouthguard. Your implant dentist in Bellingham can design a custom appliance that comfortably fits over your teeth to protect them from impact.
Similarly, you should wear a nightguard if you tend to grind your teeth while you sleep. Chronic teeth grinding can weaken and wear down your implants, leaving them more vulnerable to damage.
Even if you don’t have any natural teeth left, dental checkups and cleanings are still crucial. They give our team the chance to monitor the well-being of your dental implants and address any signs of trouble right away. By treating small problems before they have the chance to worsen, you can save a great deal of time and money in the long run.
Before you get started with your dental implant tooth replacement, the Moreno & Young Dental team want to help you feel fully prepared and 100% confident that you’ve chosen the best treatment plan. We know you’ll have questions, and our knowledgeable dentistry team will be happy to answer them. If you want to learn more from our team, call our Bellingham dental practice today. We will try to answer your questions over the phone or schedule a dental implant consultation in our office. Below, you’ll find the answers to some of our Bellingham dental implant frequently asked questions, but this by no means a comprehensive list. We welcome additional questions so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to find out more.
Dental implants have a 95% or higher success rate for most patients. Your risk for implant failure may increase due to age, poor health, inadequate oral hygiene, certain medications, and other factors. Before we begin your implant supported tooth replacement plan, we will carefully review your current level of oral health, overall health history, and past surgical experiences to help ensure successful implant placement. We will also carefully explain warning signs of implant failure after your surgical placement procedure. Increasing patient awareness of these implant failure symptoms makes it possible for us to intervene and save implants before they fail.
Receiving dental implants in Bellingham involves a type of minor oral surgery, so you can expect to deal with some degree of swelling or soreness for a few days following your procedure. During the implant placement, though, most patients report little to no discomfort. In fact, many prefer the implant placement to the tooth extraction. The reason for this is because we administer plenty of local anesthesia prior to beginning the procedure. We can even utilize sedation dentistry for our more anxious patients.
While your mouth may be sore for a few days afterward, this is nothing that can’t be managed by taking the pain medication we prescribe you as directed. You could also apply a cold compress to your face in ten-minute intervals for up to an hour to reduce both pain and swelling.
Yes, but the procedure comes with certain risks. Whether you smoke or chew it, tobacco use severely impairs the mouth’s ability to heal, which is crucial in the success of your implants. For implants to be successful, your jawbone must grow around the implant posts over a period of several months. If this process is disrupted or slowed, your body may reject the implant, meaning the whole placement procedure was all for nothing. We recommend quitting smoking for at least two weeks prior to implant placement. You can always ask your dentist in Bellingham for resources to help you kick the habit.
Yes, but like with smoking, there are risks involved, particularly if your diabetes isn’t well-managed. Uncontrolled diabetes hinders your ability to heal, which may result in implant failure. If you’re having trouble getting your blood sugar levels under control, talk to your endocrinologist or primary care doctor about ways to manage your condition before getting dental implants.
The answer to this question varies on a person-by-person basis. For example, if you’re only receiving one implant and undergoing nitrous oxide sedation, then you might be able to resume your day as normal afterward. On the other hand, if you’re having several implants placed and receiving a more advanced form of sedation, we highly recommend taking it easy for the rest of the day. Depending on your case, we may suggest taking the following two or three days to recover.
Once your dental implants are placed, you’ll begin the recovery process! To give you peace of mind, and help you understand what comes next, we’ve included some important dental implant post-op instructions in Bellingham below. Read on to learn about what to expect, the common symptoms you may experience, and how you can give yourself a smooth recovery.
The main priority for your recovery is to not touch the forming blood clot so the healing happens smoothly and swiftly. In order to ensure the success of your healing, make sure that you’re following these easy yet important rules:
While recovery is relatively comfortable, you may experience some of these common side effects:
All of these effects are temporary. If they do not gradually get better with time, contact our office right away!
During the first few days of your recovery, our implant dentist in Bellingham recommends consuming softer, non-abrasive foods. We’ve included some ideas for your diet below:
You can return to your normal diet as soon as you feel up to it. However, we recommend that you exercise extreme caution when eating crunchy or tough foods. It’s best to avoid items that are difficult to chew initially so you don’t put any direct pressure on the implant site. Try to chew on the opposite site of the affected area to leave the implant undisturbed.
The day after your surgery, it’s okay to gently brush your teeth but be very careful to avoid the surgical site. Rinse your mouth 2 to 3 times a day with a saltwater mixture or use prescription mouth rinse if you have it. Avoid mouthwashes that contain high levels of alcohol, including Scope or Listerine. Alcohol dries out the mouth, which won’t help the healing process.
After you get your final restoration, it’s time to relax! Unlike your implant surgery, there is no swelling, bleeding, or extensive recovery. That said, you may experience some very slight gum sensitivity, which can be easily controlled with pain medication. In fact, you’ll be ready to smile happily with your new set of teeth on the same day their placed. All that’s left to do is to enjoy your full, healthy, and strong set of teeth!