For patients missing one or more teeth due to the effects of dental disease or decay, dental implants make an ideal solution for restoring a smile back to health. Dental implants offer patients the closest available alternative to replacing natural teeth. As a West Linn dental implant dentist, Dr. Dugger has the knowledge and expertise to help restore the form and function back to any smile in need of repair.
If you want to enjoy the freedom that comes from eating, drinking, smiling, laughing, talking and all of the other everyday activities most people take for granted without having to worry about your teeth, then dental implants may offer the solution you’ve been looking for. Reclaim your oral health by contacting our office to schedule a consultation with West Linn dental implant dentist Dr. Dugger today!
What are Dental Implants?
When the natural roots of a tooth become badly infected or destroyed by dental decay or disease, resulting in permanent tooth loss, a dental implant can replace that damaged tissue to restore a smile back to health.
It might help to consider implants as an artificial root that has a similar shape to a screw. When our West Linn dental implant dentist places an implant into a patient’s jawbone, it starts a fusion process where the implant begins to bond with the natural bone structure. Once this fusion process finishes, an implant becomes a solid foundation for the support of one or more artificial teeth, commonly known as dental crowns.
For over 30 years, dentists have used dental implants to repair damaged smiles. Implants offer the strongest support for replacement teeth, and they allow new teeth to look, feel and function just like natural teeth. When placed by an experienced West Linn dental implant dentist like Dr. Dugger, dental implant surgery offers an affordable and lasting solution that can permanently repair a patient’s smile.
How are Dental Implants Placed?
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient procedure that can take several weeks or months to complete. The implant process requires Dr. Dugger to administer care in several stages to allow for healing to occur between each step. Typically, the process of placing a dental implants involves the following steps:
- Removal of the damaged tooth. Before an implant can be placed, the damaged tooth and its roots must first be removed. Once the damaged tissue and tooth have been removed and the area cleaned, Dr. Dugger can begin the process of placing the implant.
- Implant placement. During the implant placement surgery, Dr. Dugger will make an incision to open up the gum tissue and expose the underlying bone structure. He will then proceed with creating a hole in the jawbone where the implant will be placed. At this point in the procedure, a patient still has a gap in their smile where the tooth is missing. A temporary crown or cap can be placed in this area to help improve a patient’s appearance and ability to eat.
- Healing process. Once the implant is placed, a process known as osseointegration begins. During this process, the jawbone starts to fuse with and surround the implant. The process of osseointegration can take several months to fully complete, but is a vital part of ensuring the implant provides a solid foundation for a new tooth.
- Placing the dental crown. After the implant becomes fused with the jawbone, an abutment – the piece a dental crown attaches to – is placed on top of the implant. Generally, it takes one to two weeks for the gums to heal after the placement of an abutment. Once the gums are healthy, Dr. Dugger will place the crown on top of the patient’s implant, restoring the tooth back and smile back to health.