A Patient’s Guide to Dental Implants

X-ray view of denture with implant , 3D illustration.

If you require dental implants in West Linn, our team at Dugger Dentistry offers the skill and experience needed to restore your smile back to health. If your smile suffers as the result of one or more missing teeth, dental implants make an affordable and lasting solution that can restore your ability to confidently eat, smile, and laugh just like before. When placed by Dr. Dugger, dental implants offer the closest option possible for a natural solution to restoring a missing tooth.

Dr. Dugger understands that many patients have questions about dental implants they need answered to determine if an implant is the right solution to restore a missing tooth. If you’re considering dental implants in West Linn, here’s what you need to know about the procedure, and how it can restore your smile back to health.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are metal posts, usually made of titanium or another bio-friendly metal, that act as an anchor for the placement of a replacement device, such as a dental crown, bridge, or denture. Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone by Dr. Dugger to replace the roots of a tooth that was lost due to injury or dental disease. Given the time to heal, the implant will fuse with the jawbone, providing incredible support and stability for the placement of a replacement device.

When are Dental Implants Needed?

When gum disease progresses into the periodontitis, it begins to attack the tissue and underlying bone structure that holds our teeth into place. When allowed to progress without treatment, periodontitis will eventually erode away the base of our teeth, destroying the roots and jawbone, eventually leading to permanent tooth loss.

When a gap appears in our smiles, it causes more problems than just making it more difficult to eat and drink. Teeth that neighbor the gap will start to slowly shift into the spot left vacant. This can cause a smile to become crooked, teeth to crowd, and for a misaligned bite to develop. Even more troubling, the longer a gap remains in a smile, the more the underlying bone structure continues to deteriorate, leading to the loss of more permanent teeth.

Fortunately, with the placement of a dental implant, patients can receive a lasting solution that enables them to restore their smile and prevent further damage from occurring.

How are Implants Placed?

First, Dr. Dugger will examine the current state of your oral health. If Dr. Dugger identifies any failing teeth, ones that cannot be restored back to health, he will need to remove them. This will enable patients to avoid any future problems that may arise from the loss of a permanent tooth.

Next, Dr. Dugger will thoroughly numb your mouth, and then make a small incision into the gum tissue to expose the bone underneath. Dr. Dugger will then open a hole in the jawbone that’s large enough to hold the implant post. The post is then inserted into the hole and secured. A healing cap will be placed over the implant, and then Dr. Dugger will stitch the gum tissue back together. Before Dr. Dugger can place a replacement device over the implant, the implant and jawbone must be given time to heal so the fusion process can take place.

After a few months, your mouth will be fully healed and ready for the placement of an abutment. During this second procedure, Dr. Dugger will reopen the gum tissue and replace the healing cap with an abutment, which acts like a cap a bridge, denture, or crown can be attached to. Dr. Dugger will then carefully place your replacement device to ensure that it fits comfortably.

Once placed, your dental implant will blend seamlessly into the natural color and complexion of your smile.

How to Get Dental Implants in West Linn

Don’t let a missing tooth rob you of confidence in your smile. Contact our office today to schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Dugger.