Dental implants, introduced in 1965, have become wildly popular – and for good reason. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 3 million people have dental implants, and the number is growing by at least half a million a year.
In his 26 years as a Spokane Valley, WA dentist, Family Dental of Spokane Valley’s Dr. Craig Ellsworth has placed his share of dental implants. And he uses technology like a CBCT scan, a special type of 3D X-ray that helps him determine exactly where to place your dental implants. Call our Spokane Valley, WA dentist office at 509-850-3217 to find out more about this tooth replacement option.
Dental Implant Benefits
Dental implants offer advantages over other methods of replacing teeth, such as dentures. Among them:
- Dental implant looks and functions more like your natural teeth. They will not shift or move in your mouth like dentures can.
- A dental implant is not removable. So you brush and floss just like you would your natural teeth.
- Dental implants require no modification of your natural teeth. A dental bridge, another option for replacing teeth, requires your dentist to grind down your surrounding teeth to attach the bridge. In contrast, Dr. Craig Ellsworth does not have to alter your other teeth for a dental implant.
- Dental implant helps preserve your bone. Lost teeth causes bone damage over time, since the jawbone deteriorates if it is not being used to support teeth. Dental implants help prevent this bone loss.
What, Exactly, Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a strong titanium rod that Dr. Craig Ellsworth inserts into your jawbone. It functions as the root of your lost tooth. Over a few months’ time, it fuses with your bone, becoming a strong foundation for a dental crown that replaces your natural tooth. Multiple implants can also support a dental bridge or dentures.
So a dental implant procedure actually involves three basic steps:
- Dr. Craig Ellsworth inserts the dental implant into the jawbone
- He places an abutment on top of the implant to connect it to your dental crown or other restoration
- Dr. Ellsworth puts a custom-made dental crown or restoration atop your implant, giving you natural-looking replacement teeth
Mini dental implants are similar to dental implants but smaller, so we can use them in areas that may not have enough bone for full-sized implants.