Dental Implants Hood River, Oregon
What are Dental ImplantsDental technology has progressed rapidly over the last century. Hundreds of years ago, if someone lost some or all of his or her teeth there was not much that could be done aside from using removable dentures carved out of miscellaneous materials. Today, we have numerous options available for replacing one or more teeth that have been lost to injury, trauma, or other reasons.
Simply put, a dental implant is a piece of metal that is inserted into a patient’s jawbone. Once the bone heals artificial teeth may be attached to the metal “root” to mimic the look and feel of real teeth. The artificial tooth may be used to anchor other dental work such as a bridge, if necessary.
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Options when Choosing an ImplantThere are three types of implants, each used for different purposes and each having its own unique characteristics. The first type—a root implant—is the most commonly used implant. Once completed, a root implant will mirror the shape, feel, and appearance of a patient’s natural tooth. The process of installing a root implant will require multiple trips to our office: first, we will anesthetize your jawbone area and insert the metal “root” into the bone. After this has healed you will return at a later time and an artificial tooth (which looks and functions exactly like a real tooth) will be attached to the implant. This process can be lengthy, requiring anywhere from three to eight months to complete the entire procedure.
The second type of implant is called a plate implant and is usually used in situations where the patient’s jawbone cannot accept a root implant. Although the procedure for insertion is identical to that of a root implant, the implant itself is narrower than a traditional implant. Occasionally, patients receiving a plate implant will be given the entire implant—including the restorative portion of the implant—in a single visit without waiting for the implant to heal first.
The final type, a subperiosteal implant, is only used when the jawbone cannot accept an implant. This type of implant is not anchored in the jawbone itself and, as such, is used only as a last resort.
Why Would I get an Implant?An implant can be used for a few different purposes. First—and most obvious—an implant can be used to replace a tooth that you have lost whether the loss was due to disease, or trauma. Second, in situations where you have lost several adjacent teeth, we may use implants on either end of the gap in order to anchor a bridge. A bridge is a piece of dental work stretching between (or bridging) a gap in your teeth. It mimics the look, feel, and function of real teeth.
When implants are used to anchor a bridge the entire process will involve multiple visits. First, the implants will be inserted on either end of the area to be bridged. Then, we may give you a temporary bridge to be used while your permanent one is created. At a subsequent visit the permanent bridge will be affixed to your implants.
How Long will an Implant Last?A dental implant should be cared for exactly like you care for your real teeth. With proper brushing, flossing, and dental hygiene, a dental implant can last decades.
Contact us today at (541) 386-2020 with any questions you may have about getting an implant.