Dental implants are the gold standard of care for single- or multi-tooth replacement. They are the closest thing to tooth root replacement, and are available from Dr. Petrie right here at our Tacoma dental practice. We use only Nobel implants and integrate state of the art digital planning into our treatment to get the best possible placement and outcomes. Very few offices are utilizing this technology.
An implant is an artificial root replacement that is placed within the bone and restored with a crown. Implants can also be used to support a denture or a partial denture, giving patients almost complete restoration of their lost dentition and chew the foods they previously could not without an implant retained denture.
At Petrie Advanced Dental, we exclusively offer Nobel Biocare® implants, the leader in and largest manufacturer of implants in the world. We’re so confident in the quality of Nobel implants and components that we cover them with a component lifetime warranty.
Implants are typically placed under local anesthesia, resulting in very little pain or discomfort. We also offer oral sedation and/or nitrous in conjunction to treatment to ease additional fear or anxiety. Most implants are places in less than an hour. Recovery time is minimal and varies by patient and procedure, but most patients are back to work the next day. Once your dental implant restoration is completed, it is important to keep the area clean and infection-free. The area should be treated with caution and meticulous oral care over the next few weeks following the procedure. Full after-care instructions will be provided prior to implant surgery.
Single or Multiple Implants
Implants are versatile. If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Advantages Over Dentures or Bridges
Dental implants are different than traditional dental prosthetics in the sense that they replace the entirety of the missing tooth (root and crown) without affecting adjacent teeth. A conventional bridge requires the cutting down of healthy tooth structure of the teeth adjacent to the missing teeth. If one of the teeth supporting the bridge goes bad, the entire bridge will need to be replaced. Implants look more natural, have a stronger biting force, and feel similar to natural teeth.
Consider your dental implants to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups at our Tacoma dental office. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last. While there is no definitive life expectancy of implants, if taken care of properly, an implant can last for many years if not a lifetime.
Our implant services include:
- Sinus Lift Augmentation: Often the sinuses will enlarge following loss of the upper back teeth. This can preclude placement of dental implants in the upper back areas of the mouth, since the sinus is an air-filled space and dental implants need to be surrounded by solid bone. A sinus lift augmentation/graft is a surgical procedure that restores the sinus cavity to its original size, and replaces the bone that has been lost as a result of the enlarged sinus. This new bone graft typically takes nine to 12 months to heal before a dental implant can be placed into the grafted bone.
- Autogenous Bone Grafting: Occasionally, the ideal areas for dental implants do not have sufficient bone quantity to support the implants. In these cases, it is often necessary to “borrow” bone from another area of your mouth and graft it into the deficient area. Often, the area of choice is from the chin or in the back of the jaw where your wisdom teeth used to be.
- Implant Site Development: When a tooth needs to be removed due to infection, it is not uncommon to have lost bone around the infected tooth. In these cases, various types of bone grafting can be done at the same time the tooth is removed to facilitate the placement of a dental implant at a later date.
- Computer-Enhanced Treatment Planning: We utilize advanced computer technology that allows us to evaluate your dental CBCT scan in three dimensions for bone quality, bone quantity, and bone location, enabling the best possible placement of your dental implants.