Dental Implants

Implant Restorations in Shoreline

Dental ImplantA dental implant is an option to replace one or more missing tooth/teeth.  It involves placing a biocompatible titanium implant placed into the jaw.  The implant then is allowed to heal and integrate with the bone (a process known as “osseointegration”).  This can take up to 6 months in most individuals.  After adequate healing, a structure known as an abutment is placed on the implant body in order to retain the implant crown.  Dental implants have been around for many years and are considered the standard of care for replacing a missing tooth.

What happens when I lose a tooth?

Teeth rely on each other for support.  They help share the load evenly during chewing cycles, provide sensation and communicate temperature and pressure changes to your brain, help produce different sounds during speech, maintain your bone volume, support your face, and more.  When a tooth is lost, a number of events may occur:

  • Adjacent teeth tend to shift into the vacant space
  • Unopposed tooth can migrate down or up in the space
  • Neighboring teeth can rotate as the bite relationship changes
  • Jaw bone loses volume over time when there is no teeth to support
  • Bite can collapse and affect the joints that may contribute to TMD
  • Chewing ability diminishes
  • Uneven wear due to change in the biting forces to the remaining teeth that can lead to TMD

It is, therefore, recommended that the tooth/teeth be replaced as soon as possible to avoid the need for more complicated corrections down the road before an implant can be placed.

Goldfinch Dental Implant Process

Planning is one of the most critical steps that leads to a successful dental implant.  At Goldfinch Dental Care, we take meticulous planning and communication very seriously.  The following is a general abbreviated summary of what to expect from start to finish:

Initial Appointment

After a thorough review of your health history and clinical examination, a preliminary determination is made on if you are a good candidate for one or more dental implant placement.  We will then refer you to an office for a Cone Beam scan (CT scan), which is a 3-dimensional image that allows us to evaluate your bone volume, proximity to vital anatomy, and whether or not bone grafting is necessary prior to dental implant placement.

We will make an impression of your mouth and send it to a special lab to have diagnostic casts made and to create a detail report of your specific case to present to you.

Subsequent Appointments

Dr. Lin will review the report with you, discuss any concerns, and go over the game plan that is tailored to your specific case. She will also go over what to expect, instructions for before and after the procedure, and answer all of your questions.  We will provide you with a consent form to read through and we encourage you to come to us with any questions. Once you consent to your treatment plan, we will have the laboratory digitally fabricate what is called a ‘surgical guide’ that allows for precise placement of the implant(s).  Click here to see a sample case report that will be included in your dental implant information packet.

Dental Implant Process 1

Dental Implant Process 3

Dental Implant Process 2

 

 

 

 

 

Surgery Appointment

We will review the procedure once again along with postoperative instructions and obtain written consent if we haven’t already done so.  You will be brought in to try-in the surgical guide for fit.  Dr. Lin will address any questions before she begins surgery.  Once you are numb, the dental implant will be placed.  You will be given written postoperative care instructions, prescriptions for medications and we will have you scheduled for your follow-up appointment before you leave.

Dr. Lin will call you 24-48 hours after the surgery to see how you’re doing and to answer any questions you may have.

Typically, it may take about up to 6 months for the implant to integrate to your bone (a process known as “osseointegration”) and be ready for the final restoration.

Follow-Up Appointments (4-6 months)

On your follow-up appointments, Dr. Lin will evaluate to determine if the integration is adequate to place the final restoration such as implant-supported crown, bridge, or denture.  If it is optimal to proceed, we will schedule you for the final impression, which is then sent to the lab for the fabrication of the final restoration. This process will vary depending on the type of final restoration is chosen.

Final Appointment

Once the final restoration is checked for accuracy, Dr. Lin will deliver the final restoration.  We will schedule follow-up appointments as necessary for any adjustments and to ensure that you are acclimating to the new restoration within normal limits. Your next routine exam and cleaning appointment will be scheduled to promote longevity of the implant(s).

Should there be any concerns that arise at any time throughout the process or thereafter, we encourage you to contact our office right of way.