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Dental Implants – Burien, WA

The Closest Replacement to the Real Deal

Dentist showing patient dental implant tooth replacement model

For decades, dental implants have become increasingly popular due to their unique structure and the variety of benefits they offer. The procedure boasts a 98 percent success rate and has provided countless people with lifelong replacement teeth that they can count on. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for this modern solution to missing teeth in Burien, contact our dental office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Thomas to discuss tooth replacement options using dental implants in Burien, WA.

Why Choose Seahurst Park Dentistry of Burien for Dental Implants?

What is a Dental Implant?

Animated dental implant supported dental crown placement

A dental implant is a titanium post that can be placed below your gumline to restore the root structure of a missing tooth. Since it’s made from a biocompatible metal, it’s able to naturally fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration once it’s inserted. This allows it to provide the necessary blood flow to your jawbone and unmatched support for your restoration. Once the gums have healed after implant placement, we can attach a customized dental bridge, crown, or denture to it, completing your smile.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Older man with dental implant tooth replacement laughing with granddaughter

Due to their realistic structure resembling a natural tooth, dental implants offer a wide array of unique benefits, making them a popular tooth replacement choice among patients. Implants are completely natural-looking and feeling, which means it shouldn’t take you any time to adjust to them and others should not be able to tell your teeth are prosthetic. Compared to other replacement options, implants come the closest to giving you your real teeth back!

Day-to-Day Benefits

people talking and enjoying the day-to-day benefits of dental implants in Burien

If you’ve spent any amount of time in dentures, you know how frustrating and difficult they can be while you’re trying to eat. They can slip out of place even while you’re simply talking! This instability can make you feel self-conscious. However, dental implants hold your replacement teeth firmly where they belong. Consequently, you can talk, laugh, eat, and smile in front of others without worrying about awkwardness from your teeth.

Also, dental implants, unlike dentures, require easy upkeep. You just maintain them as you would real teeth, which means you will need to brush and floss every day. In addition, you will need to come to Seahurst Park Dentistry at least every six months for a checkup and cleaning. It’s really that simple!

Health Benefits

woman about to eat an apple and enjoy the health benefits of dental implants in Burien

Did you know that the moment a tooth root is gone, the jawbone starts to lose strength and density? This process is called resorption, and traditional dentures do nothing to stop it, which is why many denture wearers still have a sunken, older look. On the other hand, implants keep the jawbone strong and preserved.

With dental implants, you can enjoy not only better oral health but also overall health. Being able to eat basically anything, you can make more nutritious choices in your diet, which leads to better digestion and well-being.

Long-Term Benefits

couple smiling and enjoying the long-term benefits of dental implants in Burien

About every couple of years, five at most, traditional dentures have to be refitted and replaced because of the ever-changing jawbone. Even normal bridges require frequent replacement about every ten years. However, dental implants have a lifespan of more than 30 years! In fact, there is about a 98 percent success rate even 20 years after the implants have been put in.

When you calculate the cost of treatment over time, the more traditional tooth replacements can add up to quite a bit of money. In fact, you may even find that dental implants can actually help you save in the long run!

Who Dental Implants Can Help

A middle-aged woman contemplating tooth replacement after meeting with a dental implant dentist in Burien

The best way to learn whether dental implants are the right treatment for you is to visit our dental implant dentist in Burien, Dr. Thomas, for a consultation. You’ll be pleased to learn that most adults are eligible for treatment; however, it may be necessary to receive preliminary treatments before moving forward with dental implant surgery. Because we partner with the best local implant surgeons in the area, you can expect your new smile to last decades or longer. During your initial consultation, our team will take images of your mouth and conduct a thorough examination. Based on all of the information collected, we’ll create a customized treatment plan and walk you through it, so you know exactly what to expect throughout the process. Contact us with any additional questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

An older couple smiling after receiving dental implants in Burien

When meeting with Dr. Thomas to discuss your eligibility for dental implants in Burien, you can expect us to consider these factors:

  • If you are in good enough health to undergo minor oral surgery.
  • If you have generally good oral health and no signs of gum disease or severe tooth decay.
  • If your jawbone is dense enough to support your implants and customized restoration.
  • If you are committed to maintaining a good oral hygiene routine once your implants are firmly in place.

During your visit, we will examine your oral cavity and facial structure before recommending whether you need preliminary treatments. If so, do not be dismayed, as this will only ensure the success of your dental implants once they are put into place.

If you are unaware, dental implants are a versatile method of tooth replacement that is known for addressing various types of tooth loss, including:

Missing 1 Tooth

A single dental implant in Burien located in the lower arch of the mouth

Even one missing tooth can lead to serious problems if left untreated. Eating and talking can become increasingly difficult, and you will likely suffer additional bone and tooth loss the longer you wait to address it. Fortunately, we can fill the gap left by a single missing tooth by placing one dental implant in the area below your gums. Once you’ve healed and the implant has fused with the jawbone, we’ll attach a customized dental crown to the post to complete your arch of teeth.

Missing Multiple Teeth

A digital image showing a dental implant bridge sitting in the lower arch in Burien

If you’re missing multiple teeth in a row, instead of getting a traditional bridge that alters the structure of your existing healthy teeth, you can get an implant bridge. Rather than being secured to healthy natural teeth, the prosthetic will be attached to two dental implants located on either side of the gap in your smile. And if you are missing multiple teeth that are not next to each other, an implant partial can be created to fit like a puzzle piece on top of your implants, eliminating the need for metal clasps or clips.

Missing All Teeth

A digital image of 4 dental implants in Burien on the lower arch of the mouth and full dentures attached

To replace an entire arch of missing teeth, we’ll place anywhere from four to eight dental implants below the gums. These will secure your customized full denture, eliminating any instability like shifting and slipping. Implant dentures are far greater stability, functionality, and longevity. Not to mention, you’ll never need to worry about paying for dental adhesives, special cleaning supplies, or seeing your implant dentist for regular adjustments or replacements.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

diagram of a dental implant surrounded by natural teeth

To someone unfamiliar with dental implants, the process can seem overwhelming, but we’ll guide you through it from start to finish. To ensure premium results, Dr. Thomas partners with local oral surgeons to complete the implant placement portion of the treatment. After your initial consultation, we’ll schedule your placement surgery for dental implants in Burien with a trusted expert in our area. Finally, after the implant has fully integrated, we can complete your smile with lifelike restorations.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

dentist working out financial details in the consultation

First, as with any other procedure, dental implants start with a consultation. At this appointment, Dr. Thomas will evaluate your smile and put together a treatment plan to restore your missing teeth. He takes many factors into account, such as how many implants you need and what kind of restoration is required. Also, during this visit, we can talk about pricing, timelines, and how dental implants work in Burien, giving you more specific information to help you decide to move forward.

Dental Implant Surgery

oral surgeon placing dental implants

Again, although Dr. Thomas will not be personally performing the placement surgery, he works with the finest specialists in the area. By referring you to one of these oral surgeons, he ensures you receive the highest quality of care and have your implants put in correctly.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

abutment piece showing above the gums

After the implants have been surgically positioned in the jawbone, your mouth will need time to recover. More specifically, the jawbone will need to grow and surround the implant posts in a process called osseointegration.

Once this part of the treatment is complete and you’ve healed, our team will take over from there by attaching the abutments, which are connective pieces between the post and the restoration. In this quick procedure, Dr. Thomas will make a very small incision in the gums and insert the abutment into the implant with a tiny portion of the abutment protruding above the gumline.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

diagram of implant dentures

A couple of weeks after the abutments have been placed, we can focus on creating your prosthetics that will complete your smile. We will take impressions of your mouth and send them to our dental lab, where your implant-retained crown, bridge, or denture will be fabricated. Finally, when they are finished, you’ll return to our office and have them permanently bonded to your implants, making your smile whole again.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

money with a dental implant in Burien

The dental implant procedure is customized to each patient’s specific needs, which is why there’s no singular price that we quote for this treatment. Based on our findings during your initial consultation, we’ll walk you through the procedure and discuss the costs with you. Feel free to ask our dental staff any additional questions you may have. We are happy to discuss payment options and your insurance coverage with you as well.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

man getting preliminary treatment for dental implants in Burien

Sometimes, before performing the implant placement procedure, we need to take care of other issues first. For example, you may require gum disease therapy or a bone graft to ensure your implants’ success. Or perhaps certain teeth need to be removed before we can replace them. These preliminary treatments add to the overall cost. Also, because we refer our patients to specialists for the placement procedure, we have no control over their pricing.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

diagram showing the parts of a dental implant

Think of a dental implant like a car. Just as different makes and models vary in the cost of their parts, so do the parts of dental implants. The implant posts, abutments, and restorations can be priced depending on which kind you need and the manufacturer. After we create a treatment plan for you, we can determine the specific parts necessary for your case, which will let us know how much treatment will cost.

How Dental Implants Pay For Themselves

man with dental implants in Burien that paid for themselves

When you think about the many, many priceless benefits dental implants provide, dental implants definitely become worth serious consideration. In addition, traditional dentures and bridges must be replaced about every five to seven years, while dental implants can go for more than 30! Factoring in all the replacements, the cost of traditional restorations can really add up and possibly exceed the upfront cost of dental implants. Over time, the dental implants pay for themselves!

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

blocks that refer to dental insurance

Although there are a few exceptions, most dental insurance policies do not include benefits for dental implants. However, there are certain elements that are likely to be covered in part with your insurance plan. For example, if you require gum disease therapy prior to getting your implants, your out-of-pocket costs should be reduced because of insurance. Also, the restoration attached to the dental implants should be covered. After Dr. Thomas creates your treatment plan, we will take a look at your insurance plan and see how much it will contribute.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

money and dental instruments making care affordable

Whether you have insurance or not, the amount may be overwhelming to pay all at once. That’s why we happily accept payment through CareCredit, a trusted financing company. In fact, we can even assist with the application process. By financing your treatment, you can pay off your dental implants through smaller monthly payments, which makes it much easier to afford your fully restored smile!

Maintaining & Caring For Your Dental Implants

An older woman smiles after learning about proper dental implant care in Burien

Dental implant care in Burien is necessary if you want your new smile to last a lifetime. Knowing what to do, what to avoid, which habits, to break, and when to see your dentist will ensure that your prosthetics remain in optimal shape over the years. At Seahurst Park Dentistry of Burien, our team will go over all the important details with you so that you can feel confident about taking care of your smile when you return home. If you have any questions about the information provided below, please contact our office.

Making Oral Hygiene a Priority

A young man brushing his teeth to keep his dental implants in Burien clean

Your dental implants cannot decay; however, the natural teeth surrounding them certainly can. Also, your soft oral tissues can be at risk for gum disease if you do not commit to practicing good oral hygiene at home. Brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash will ensure that your regular teeth and dental implants in Burien remain healthy and fully intact for the future.

Eating a Healthy Diet

A woman buying fresh vegetables and leafy greens at the market in Burien

Enjoying a slice of pie or a cookie now and then won’t cause dental implant failure; however, if you consume these types of foods every day, you will put your smile at risk for serious problems. Sugars and starches are known for causing cavities and gum disease. Eating too much can weaken your natural tooth enamel as well as cause bacteria and plaque to attack your gums and eventually destroy the bone. As a result, you can be faced with potential implant failure. Swapping out these foods for healthier options like leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and lean protein will allow you to better manage your waistline and better protect your smile.

Breaking Bad Habits

A person breaking a cigarette in half to stop a bad habit in Burien

Everyone has bad habits they need to break. If yours is smoking, chewing on non-food items, biting your fingernails, or using your teeth as tools, you’ll want to make sure you quit long before you ever receive dental implants. Your implant dentist in Burien will explain why this is important, but if you want to keep from damaging your artificial teeth and spending additional time and money on replacing what are supposed to be permanent prosthetics, you’ll give up your bad habits sooner than you think.

Protecting Your Dental Implants

An older couple out running after receiving dental implants in Burien

Do you grind your teeth at night? Do you enjoy playing sports? If so, you’ll want to invest in a mouthguard. These oral devices are easy to use and will protect your dental implants and natural teeth from harsh blows and excessive wear and tear. Whether it is your pearly whites grinding against each other while you sleep or the threat of an accidental fall while out for a run, a mouthguard is one of the best forms of mouth protection you can invest in to safeguard your smile.

Scheduling Regular Dental Checkups

A woman and her dentist discuss after a regular dental checkup in Burien

Seeing your dentist every six months is important. No matter if you have dental implants or not, we want to be able to examine your smile for any potential problems and provide immediate care. When living with dental implants, however, these visits make it possible for us to quickly review your prosthetics and customized restorations to ensure they have no damage and are firmly in place. It also allows us to discuss ways to improve your smile and minimize any potential issues in the future.

Dental Implant FAQs

If you have questions about dental implants, you’re not alone. This treatment is among the most complex in dentistry! We invite you to come prepared to your consultation with Dr. Thomas, so he can address your concerns with as much detail as possible. We have taken the opportunity to answer some of the most common questions below to help you understand a little bit more about the procedure and give you a clearer idea of what to expect.

How Long Is the Dental Implant Process?

We base the timeline of treatment on each patient’s unique case. To know how long your treatment will take, you need to meet with Dr. Thomas. After examining you, he can offer a more precise estimate. In general, from the first appointment all the way through restoration, most cases take between six months to a year to complete, depending on complexity, whether preliminary treatment is needed, and how many implants are being placed. Regardless of how long it takes, our team can answer your questions and guide you through the process.

Is Getting Dental Implants Painful?

As with any surgical procedure, with dental implants you’re likely to experience at least a bit of discomfort. However, it usually can be managed with over-the-counter pain reliever. Your oral surgeon can give you more detailed aftercare instructions for smoother healing, but basically you’ll need a few days after the placement procedure to recover, and you’ll need to eat soft foods for a while. Once your restoration is bonded in place, however, your mouth should feel pretty natural!

Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Eat with Dental Implants?

In the immediate aftermath of your placement procedure, you should stay away from hard, crunchy, or chewy foods and have softer options like scrambled eggs or oatmeal. Again, your oral surgeon will likely provide more detailed instructions for what you should and shouldn’t eat following the procedure. However, once you fully recover from the surgery and your implant is restored, you are free to eat basically anything you would with real teeth!

What Can Cause Dental Implants to Fail?

The two main causes of implant failure are an infection called peri-implantitis, which is a form of gum disease, and failed integration with the jawbone, which occurs within a few months of the placement procedure. Other culprits include chronic teeth grinding, smoking, and certain medications or conditions. That’s why Dr. Thomas gets your medical history and makes sure you understand dental implants before moving forward with treatment. We also emphasize the importance of maintaining your smile through healthy habits like daily flossing and regular checkups.

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