As your trusted Puyallup, WA dentist, it is our job to tell you when a tooth cannot be saved despite your excellent oral-hygiene practices and commitment to routine exams and cleanings. Whether you’re facing an extraction or have lost teeth because of an unexpected accident or decay, at Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry, we offer implant dentistry and dental implants — a permanent, restorative solution that will give you back your beautiful, natural-looking smile.
Dental implants are a safe and effective method for replacing missing teeth with new, natural-looking, permanent teeth. They help to preserve the tooth-supporting bone that naturally deteriorates when a tooth is lost, thereby sustaining your facial structure’s integrity. For many, dental implants offer a much-needed reprieve from ill-fitting, uncomfortable dentures or retainers with false teeth. As part of our ongoing partnership in the care of your teeth, your oral health history and lifestyle are always considered when we advise and educate you on the dental implant options that are available to you.
A dental implant is a small, screw-shaped, titanium post that replaces the root of a missing tooth. It is covered by a porcelain crown that looks and feels just like your old tooth. It is a minor surgical procedure: the post is inserted into the jawbone where the missing tooth once was and is left to heal for a set period of time, then the tooth-like crown is attached. While it heals, the bone fuses to the implant, leading to a 95 percent success rate that corrects even the most severe problems associated with missing teeth.
At Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry, we offer three primary tooth-replacement options. Depending on the number of missing teeth, certain implant options work better than others:
- Single-tooth replacements have the highest success rate, and because they will never decay or need root canal treatments, they are the best long-term investment for replacing a single tooth.
- Multi-tooth replacements are similar to bridges and are commonly performed when three or more teeth in a row are missing. A bridge must connect to a natural tooth, which often becomes weak and starts to decay. With implants, the surrounding teeth are not affected.
- Implant-supported dentures replace entire jawlines along the top or bottom (or both) rows. These dentures lock into place so they will not shift around in the mouth or fall out during jaw movement.
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Just like your natural teeth, with proper maintenance and cleaning dental implants can last forever. At Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry, we ensure the longevity of your dental work by guiding you through the maintenance and care of your implants at each stage, both right after and long after the procedure.