If you’ve lost a tooth due to decay, injury, or periodontal disease, a dental implant can replace the missing tooth root. It’s positioned in your jawbone during a minor surgical procedure and serves as a foundation for a false tooth. Bill Gilbert DDS offers this dental service to repair your smile in a way that doesn’t slip or shift, as can happen with dentures. If you live in the area of Bellevue, Washington, call the office or use the convenient online booking tool to find out if implants are the right option for you.
A dental implant is a titanium post embedded into your jaw to replace the root of a missing tooth. The top of the implant contains an abutment, which connects to a crown that provides a permanent replacement for a missing tooth. Dr. Gilbert sometimes uses implants to replace severely damaged or broken teeth instead of trying to repair them.
Implants offer a number of benefits, especially as an alternative to bridges or dentures. They don’t slip and serve as a long-term solution to missing teeth. Other benefits include:
Dr. Gilbert develops a dental implant treatment plan individualized just for you, based on your oral history and specific needs. During the initial procedure, Dr. Gilbert places the small titanium post — or implant — directly into the bone socket of your missing tooth. You’re sent home for the implant to heal and for the bone to grow around the metal post. This may take between six and 12 weeks.
After it heals, Dr. Gilbert adheres a small connector post to the implant. This post holds your new tooth, which is crafted from porcelain and designed according to impressions of your existing teeth so it matches your bite. Depending on your needs, you may have one or more implants and crowns.
Placing the implants is an outpatient procedure, but the entire process from implant to crown takes several weeks. It depends on how quickly the implant and jawbone bond. You can continue enjoying your normal activities while waiting for this process to complete.
Implants work just like natural teeth. In fact, implants are often stronger than natural teeth, and Dr. Gilbert sometimes refers to them as "bionic teeth." You use your normal oral care routine for implants just as you do for your natural teeth. This includes:
With proper care, implants should last a lifetime.
If the crown attached to your dental implant is damaged, replacing it is simple. Dr. Gilbert can remove the broken crown and attach a new one. The implant itself should remain in place through this procedure.