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Dental Implants

Dental ImplantsWhat exactly is an implant?

A dental implant is a titanium cylinder which replaces a missing tooth. The dental implant is essentially a tooth replacement. The implant does not require anchorage by other good teeth like a bridge. It is incorporated in the bone exactly like your real tooth. You can floss it brush it and best of all chew with confidence! Implants can also support a denture. Many insurance companies cover dental implants. The dental implant is placed in the jawbone by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon only after careful treatment planning and review of your medical history to make sure the dental implant is the right restoration for you.

The dental implant replaces the root of the missing tooth. After the dental implant is placed in the bone, it is held intact by the titanium-bone mechanical bond. This is called osseointegration which can take anywhere from three to six months. During osseointegration, it is important to eat soft foods during this healing time since any extreme chewing forces can lead to implant failure. After osseointegration is complete, the dentist can place a crown onto the implant. Dr. Sabbagh will work closely with your restorative dentist to insure the implant is ready for restoration.

Why Implants over Bridges?

Dental implants preserve adjacent teeth
Bridges require preparation of adjacent teeth. The implant differs from a bridge in that a bridge involves preparation of the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth space. The three unit bridge consists of three crowns one on each tooth next to the empty space once occupied by the tooth and a crown attached to each tooth. This is required to fill the empty space. This type of restoration can lead to bone resorption under the bridge where there is no tooth as well as decay under the part of the bridge which rests on the natural teeth. Bridges may be a better option in certain circumstances and this is best discussed with the restorative dentist. When there is the opportunity to place the dental implant that is usually the best option for bone health and function.

The dental implant, unlike bridges, can stimulate and maintain the health of your jawbone
When you loose a tooth, the bone that used to support the tooth will begin to resorb. This is similar to the shrinking of the human skeleton when weight bearing forces are minimum or non existent. By having a dental implant in the jaw to replace the tooth root, every time you chew on it you distribute chewing forces down the long axis of the implant. This directs the chewing force into the bone thus stimulating dense bone formation in the same manner as the natural tooth.

The dental implant is very natural looking
You can brush it and floss it just like natural teeth. It is important to maintain good oral hygiene around the dental implant because just like a natural tooth can get periodontitis or inflammation of the gum around the tooth you can also get peri implantitis or inflammation of the gum around the dental implant.

What is An Immediate Implant Placement?

An immediate implant placement is when you have a tooth extracted and immediately following the extraction, an implant is placed in the extraction socket. The immediate implant placement is appropriate when there is enough bone structure after the extraction to support the immediate placement.

Another crucial anatomical criteria for the immediate implant placement is the angle of the placement. Often the present extraction site may not be the proper angulation for the implant placement and thus a bone graft may be required and the placement must be delayed several months after the bone graft is placed.

Another clinical situation which dictates whether an immediate implant should be performed is infection. Implant healing may be comprimised by dental infection. It may be necessary to wait for implant placement if there is a dental infection. In cases where the tooth is abscessed, extraction should be carried out. The patient should be placed on antibiotics and re-evaluated often until the infection is under control. When the infection is resolved the patient should start thinking about implants.

When Is Immediate Implant Placement Performed?

An immediate implant placement is performed when the freshly extracted tooth was not infected and usually resulted from a crack or trauma to the tooth where infection was not a factor. Also a single rooted tooth is the best candidate for an immediate implant since roots of multi rooted teeth such as the first molar have diverging roots which would not accommodate an implant in the correct orientation. Dr. Sabbagh works closely with your restorative dentist to plan the best treatment options for you.

The immediate implant placement is best on non infected teeth that have only one root and the lost tooth is in a good anatomical position.

Are Implants covered by Dental Insurance?

Often dental implants are covered by dental insurance. With the increased understanding of the dental implant and the advances in implant technology, they have become one of the leading restorative tools in dentistry. Some dental insurance companies cover implants under certain conditions. As with any insurance there are variations in coverage and different levels of coverage for every dental procedure. Dr. Sabbagh's highly trained insurance coordinator will make every effort to assist you in receiving pre authorization and insurance information which leads to an insurance estimate for the necessary treatment. If by some reason the implants are not a covered benefit by your dental insurance, Dr. Sabbagh has payment arrangements for those that qualify. Call Sabbagh Oral Surgery today for a consultation and see if dental implants are right for you.

Does it hurt to get an implant?

Once you and Dr. Emily Sabbagh decide on the treatment, you will receive local anesthesia to the area and may be administered IV anesthesia for added comfort and relaxation. Most patients just doze and wake up with minimal or no recollection of the surgery. Afterwards you may be given a prescription for pain medicine, antibiotics as well as a prescription mouth rinse. You will be given written and verbal instructions on how to take care of yourself during the healing process. As with every procedure Dr. Sabbagh performs, you will be given her phone number and are encouraged to call her with any questions that may arise regarding your post operative care.

Emily M. Sabbagh M.D, D.D.S. places dental implants in her  Federal Way office.  Her office is close to highway 18 and I 5 allowing people from Tacoma, Auburn,Tukwilia,and Burien to easily access her location. Many insurance companies cover dental implants. Dr. Sabbagh can verify your insurance coverage. Contact Us if you have any questions.