Whether you are missing a single tooth or several teeth, dental implants can restore your mouth to a healthy and functional condition. Dental implants replace both the missing tooth and missing root, providing you with a beautiful smile and the ability to chew and bite properly. The oral health risks of tooth loss are too serious to postpone immediate treatment. If you need to replace a missing tooth, contact Yakima Smiles at (509) 941-2957 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Pete Nathe and find out if you are a candidate for dental implants in Yakima, Washington.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the most effective way to replace missing teeth. While a natural tooth comprises a root and crown, implants consist of three structural elements:
- A biocompatible titanium post, inserted directly into the jawbone
- A connecting device, called an abutment, which secures the crown to the implant
- A porcelain crown or denture
Depending on your individual needs, dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, or they can replace multiple teeth when attached to dentures for additional support.
Benefits of Implant Dentistry
There are several advantages to choosing dental implants over dentures or dental bridges. Some benefits include:
- Durability: With proper care, dental implants can last for the rest of your life.
- Convenience: Thanks to the permanent nature of dental implants, you can care for them just like your natural teeth and eliminate the hassles associated with removing dentures for cleaning.
- Improved appearance: Your dental implants will look and feel like natural teeth, blending seamlessly with your smile.
- Improved speech: Dentures can slip, making it difficult to speak clearly. Dental implants eliminate this embarrassing complication, making it easy to pronounce words correctly.
- Improved ability to eat: Since your dental implants are just as strong and functional as your natural teeth, you can eat all of your favorite foods without concern.
- Improved oral health: With dental bridges or crowns, your adjacent teeth may need to be altered. This is not the case with dental implants, which improves your long-term oral health. Dental implants also preserve more of your natural bone structure.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
There are relatively few conditions for successful implant treatment. To be considered a good candidate for dental implants, you should:
- Have adequate bone structure in your jaw
- Be free of gum disease
- Be in generally good health
Although the requirements for being an ideal dental implant candidate are few, there are some conditions which could impact your candidacy, such as:
- Severe clenching or grinding of teeth
- Uncontrolled diabetes or other chronic disease
- Heavy smoking (and unwillingness to quit)
- A jawbone that has not yet reached its full, adult state
Even if you have one or more of the above conditions, you may still be eligible for dental implants. During your implant consultation, Dr. Nathe will assess your unique oral health needs and determine the best strategy to achieve your goals.
To schedule your appointment with our skilled dentist and learn more about implant dentistry, please contact our office today.