Dental Implants - Federal Way, WA
A Comprehensive Replacement to Rebuild Your Smile
If you’re missing teeth, you may already be familiar with the inconveniences of dental bridges and dentures. To enjoy the security and benefits of a truly comprehensive tooth replacement, patients choose dental implants after tooth loss. Dental implants act as a prosthetic root for the replacement device (a crown, bridge, or denture) that is secured on top. Dr. Beaty provides dental implants for patients in Federal Way, WA, as well as Auburn, Seattle, Tacoma, Lakeland South, and all surrounding areas. Contact us today to get started on rebuilding your smile!
Why Choose Drew Beaty, DDS Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for Dental Implants?
- All-Ceramic Materials for a Natural Appearance
- Partners with Highly-Trained Specialists
- Improved Comfort via Sedation Techniques
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant consists of three basic parts: a titanium post, a metal attachment called an abutment, and a custom-made artificial tooth called a restoration on top. The implant post is placed in your jawbone, and then the abutment is placed on top to secure your restoration into your smile.
Dental implants are the only tooth loss solution to rebuild the entire structure of the tooth that extends beneath the gums. Because of this, they are able to look, feel, and function more like your natural teeth than any alternative treatment. The vast majority of dentists, including Dr. Beaty, believe that for most patients, dental implants are by far the best option for tooth replacement.
The 4-Step Dental Implant Process
Dental implants are made of titanium, a material that has a special quality: its ability to fuse with bone. Once a dental implant has been surgically placed into your jawbone by one of our trusted specialists, a recovery period of four to six months is necessary for this fusion (known as “osseointegration”) to take place. After osseointegration is complete, your dental implants are just another part of your body -- and they provide unsurpassed stability as a result.
Initial Dental Implant Consultation
The first step to rebuilding your smile involves scheduling your consultation to ensure you’re a candidate for dental implants. We’ll perform a thorough examination to evaluate your oral health and discuss your medical history to ensure there are minimal risk factors for complications. We’ll also need to review a CT scan of your oral structures to look for any hidden issues. Depending on the results of your examination, we might recommend additional procedures, like tooth extractions, periodontal therapy, or bone grafting. You’ll need to be healed from any previous treatments before moving forward with your plan.
Dental Implant Surgery
You’ll need oral surgery to place a titanium post into your jawbone to serve as a new root. We partner with the best specialists in the Federal Way area to ensure you get the quality treatment you deserve. Sedation or anesthesia is used to make sure you are comfortable as your oral surgeon opens your gum tissue and drills a small hole into your bone to insert the post. Your gum tissue is stitched closed to begin the healing process.
Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement
With the implant post acting as a root, it will stimulate bone growth. Over the next several weeks, your jaw will fuse to the post through osseointegration. This provides a stable foundation for your replacement tooth while also allowing the post to stay in place forever with the right aftercare, like maintaining your oral hygiene.
After your jawbone has healed, your implant dentist in Federal Way will need to connect an abutment to a post, which will require a minor procedure. We’ll open your gum tissue to expose the head of the post to attach the special fixture. It will take about two weeks for your gum tissue to heal around the abutment. This creates a natural-looking gum line while also sealing out bacteria from the post.
Placement of Dental Implant Restorations
While you’re recovering from your abutment procedure, the dental lab will be hard at work creating your restoration. It will be made of all-ceramic material to match the color, size, and shape of your natural tooth. After it has been crafted to meet your exact needs, it’s attached to your abutment to complete your smile. Your restoration will look and feel natural, so no one will know it isn’t your real tooth.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Most patients who are in good health and on the brink of tooth removal or who have recently suffered the loss of one or more teeth are well-suited for the procedure. Generally speaking, dental implants can provide a wonderful solution for patients with any degree of tooth loss.
Missing One Tooth
For a single missing tooth, an implant-supported crown fills the space and does not require the alteration of the teeth that surround the gap. A dental crown retained by a dental implant looks, feels, and functions just like your natural tooth.
Missing Multiple Teeth
For multiple missing teeth, an implant-supported bridge or partial denture can fill in the gap. This restoration may be fixed or removable, depending on your needs and personal preference. Dental implants are especially beneficial in the case of multiple missing teeth, as they stabilize the jawbone which would otherwise be at a high risk of rapid degeneration.
Missing All Teeth
For an entire arch of missing teeth, a few strategically placed dental implants provide crucial stability for a complete denture. Sometimes, the implants can be restored with a full denture on the very same day as the placement. Whether fixed or removable, an implant denture solution keeps the jawbone healthier for longer and supports a well-balanced, nutritious diet.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Dental implants come at a higher price than other options, but it is certainly worth the investment for a stable, long-lasting, and health-promoting tooth replacement. To understand why they are more expensive, consider the fact that dental implants are placed in two stages: the initial surgery followed by the placement of the abutment and the final restoration. But this is a one-time expense that will not require as many replacements as a traditional denture or bridge. No matter the cost of a dental implant procedure, you are setting yourself up for an investment that will last for decades!
Types of Dental Implants
A primary factor affecting the cost of your implant journey is the number of implants you’re receiving. Fortunately, implants are versatile enough to solve any degree of tooth loss. Here are some of the types of implants that Dr. Beaty may discuss during your consultation:
- Single implant. For patients with just one missing tooth, a single titanium post can be placed in the spot and topped with a lifelike dental crown.
- Implant bridge. For several missing teeth in a row, we may suggest an implant bridge. Implants are placed at either end of the gap in your grin, with crowns in the middle. Unlike traditional bridges, no pressure needs to be placed on your natural teeth.
- Implant denture. If you’re missing all teeth on your top and/or bottom arch, four to eight implants can be strategically placed to secure a full denture, allowing you to smile and eat again comfortably and confidently.
What Are the Stages of Dental Implant Treatment?
The implant process has several stages, which Dr. Beaty will explain to you during your consultation. Since everything takes place over multiple appointments, you’ll be able to break your payment into manageable chunks. Your treatment will most likely include the following steps:
- Undergo any needed preparatory procedures, such as bone grafting or a sinus lift
- Have your implants placed below your gumline by a specialist
- Let your gums heal and your implants integrate with your jawbone
- Have the abutments (tiny metal connectors) placed atop your implants
- Attach your restorations to the abutments to complete your smile
Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?
Definitely! Dental implants offer countless benefits that make them well worth the cost. Although they may carry a higher initial price tag than other tooth replacement options, they’re well worth it in the long run. The main reason for this is their longevity. In most cases, you can receive dental implants and have them last a lifetime. Traditional bridges and dentures, on the other hand, have to be replaced every few years, which can accumulate costs higher than what you paid for implants. Not to mention, they feel and look much more natural than other tooth replacements.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
While most dental insurance companies don’t cover the cost of implants, they might pay for some aspects of the treatment, such as your consultation or any preliminary procedures. For this reason, it’s always worth your while to check your coverage. If you need help getting in touch with your insurance carrier, our team is always more than happy to help. After all, our goal is to help you find the best method of replacing your missing teeth in Federal Way and restoring your oral health!
Advanced Dental Implant Procedures
It’s not always the case that a patient who wants dental implants is the perfect candidate for the procedure right away. In fact, many people who have been missing teeth for several years suffer from bone loss in the jaw, which could affect the successful integration of your implants. In these cases, Dr. Drew Beaty and our team will discuss our advanced dental implant preparatory procedures to make sure that we achieve amazing results.
Dental implants in Federal Way boast an impressive 98 percent success rate, and that’s primarily thanks to an important process that occurs after your implant surgery, called osseointegration. This occurs when the implants fuse with your jawbone to provide your restorations with an unwavering, strong foundation.
Our patients who come to us to get dental implants and have been missing teeth for several years often suffer from jawbone deterioration. This happens when the roots of your teeth, which once provided necessary stimulation and blood flow to the bone, are no longer there. The area begins dwindling because it’s not being used. Unfortunately, this means that the bone won’t be strong enough to support the implants and undergo osseointegration. In these situations, Dr. Beaty will likely recommend a bone graft in Federal Way. For this procedure, a small piece of bone is taken from a donor or another area of your body and transferred to the treatment site to encourage new growth.
While it may take four to nine months for the bone graft to fully strengthen your jawbone, the end result will be worth it. You’ll have a powerful foundation for your brand-new smile!
During your initial consultation, we’ll capture an X-ray of your mouth to see your upper jawbone and how much bone loss it has experienced, if any. In some cases where patients have thin bone on their upper arch, there may not be enough room by your sinuses for us to successfully place the implants without having them protrude into the cavities. We can perform a sinus lift in Federal Way to gently lift them upward and insert bone graft material to protect your sinuses and provide enough room for the dental implants to be inserted in the upper arch.
Dental Implant FAQs
Curious about dental implants for yourself or for a loved one? We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about the procedure so that you can make a well-informed decision that’ll keep you smiling well into the future. Here are the answers to some of the more common dental implant FAQs in Federal Way. Feel free to call us if you don’t find the information you’re looking for!
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
Almost anyone with a missing tooth could be a candidate for dental implants, but there are some situations where we’ll need to take additional steps before the procedure can be performed. For example, if there’s been significant bone loss in your jaw, it might not be able to successfully join with and support dental implants; you could potentially still be a candidate if you get bone grafts. Also, oral health problems like gum disease will need to be dealt with so that we can avoid complications during the actual implant surgery.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
Compared to other restorations, dental implants have a very long lifespan. In many cases, they’ll stay for 20 or 30 years, and sometimes they might even last the rest of a patient’s life without needing to be replaced! To get the most out of your dental implants, brush and floss every day, and keep up your regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Beaty.
Keep in mind that the prosthetic teeth won’t have the same lifespan as the actual implant posts. In general, your prosthetics will need to be replaced every 5 to 15 years.
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
Getting dental implants is considered to be a very safe procedure. In fact, the surgery has a success rate of more than 95%! That said, to avoid dental implant failure, you need to make sure that you have excellent oral health overall. For example, if you smoke, it could stop your mouth from healing correctly and greatly increase your risk of a gum infection; these are both major reasons for implants to fail. Follow Dr. Beaty’s instructions before and after the procedure so that you can keep your mouth in good shape and help ensure that you can keep your new teeth for life!
What Happens After Dental Implant Surgery?
Before your prosthetic tooth or teeth can be placed, the area where the implant was placed needs to heal. Recovery time largely depends on the number of implants, individual healing time, and the overall health of your bones. You’ll be limited to a soft food diet for a time after the surgery. Yogurt, avocados, smooth soups, mashed potatoes, cooked fruits, soft pasta, and applesauce are all nutritious options.
After you get your implants, you’ll have to wait for them to become fully integrated with the jaw before we can top them with crowns, bridges, or dentures. In the meantime, don’t forget to brush and floss very gently around the area.
Dental Implant Aftercare
One of the biggest reasons dental implants are such a popular tooth replacement option is their incredible lifespan. Unlike methods like dentures and dental bridges, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime! That is, of course, if you take care of them properly. Thankfully, keeping your newly rebuilt smile healthy and sparkling is an easy task. Simply practice a few easy but essential habits and take a few simple precautions to ensure your dental implants last for decades to come.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Whether you’ve replaced one missing tooth or an entire arch with dental implants, it’s essential that you practice great oral hygiene. A buildup of plaque and bacteria around the base of your new teeth can lead to bacterial infections in the gums that damage the supportive tissues that help hold your dental implant in place. Thankfully, you can keep your dental implant and the rest of your teeth firmly in place with a few healthy habits like:
- Brushing your teeth for a full two minutes twice a day.
- Flossing between all your teeth on a daily basis.
- Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash regularly.
Protect Your Dental Implants
Dental implants in Federal Way form an incredibly strong foundation in the jawbone, but they’re not invincible! Continuous extra pressure or a sudden blow to the face could potentially loosen or dislodge them. Make sure to protect your dental implant by:
- Wearing a custom mouthguard when participating in contact sports like football, basketball, or baseball.
- Refraining from chewing on hard objects like pen caps, ice, or your fingernails.
- If you grind your teeth in your sleep, talking with your dentist about getting a nightguard for bruxism.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Even if you don’t have any natural teeth left, you should still visit your Federal Way implant dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. These quick and simple visits allow us to keep an eye on your teeth, dental implant, and the rest of your oral health. If we spot any early warning signs of issues like damage or infection, we can address them right away before they get worse and potentially threaten your dental implant. In fact, the main goal of these appointments is to keep your smile healthy and clean in order to prevent any problems from developing in the first place!