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Dental Implants – Tukwila, WA

Truly Comprehensive Tooth Replacement

Dental implants for Tukwila, WA dentistry patients are replacement teeth mounted on artificial dental roots. Each root is comprised of titanium, which encourages new bone formation within the jaw and added stability. Titanium is used in surgical procedures like joint replacement because of its extreme biocompatibility with the human body. Dr. Timmerman always places implant roots into the area of the highest bone quality, which produces extremely predictable results for his patients.

The design of implants allows Dr. Timmerman to replace an entire tooth, or even all of the teeth, with something that is the next best thing to a natural tooth. In fact, implant roots are even stronger than real ones!

Older woman with whole healthy smile

Why Choose Lance Timmerman, DMD for Dental Implants?

  • Implant Placement Performed In-House
  • Highly Trained Dentist with 20 Years of Experience
  • Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantology

Benefits of Dental Implants

Older man and woman outdoors

By design, dental implants are able to:

  • Preserve bone integrity
  • Promote a fuller facial profile
  • Offer permanent replacement of missing teeth
  • Prevent the movement of adjacent healthy teeth

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Indications for Dental Implants

Older man sharing healthy smile

Implants can be used to replace one or all of a patient’s teeth. From single dental crowns to dental bridges, or even a full mouth denture, implants provide the security of brand new teeth. They’re the most natural treatment option you’ll ever find! Single implants can support crowns, or 2 implants can support either end of a permanent fixed bridge. If implant retained dentures are your goal, just 2-4 implant roots can provide the stability that you’d expect from a mouthful of real teeth – implants are that strong!

Missing Single Tooth

Animation of implant supported dental crown

To replace one tooth, we’ll put one titanium post into the empty socket and jawbone. Over the course of several months, the bone will grow and attach to the post, and the gum tissues with heal around it. When this process is complete, an abutment is positioned, and then finally, we attach a dental crown.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Animation of implant supported fixed bridge

Depending on the number and location of your missing teeth, we can use an implant-retained bridge or an implant-retained partial denture. In both cases, the restorations rely on just a few implants for stability instead of your remaining teeth, helping to keep them healthier for longer.

Missing All Teeth

Animation of implant supported denture

Even if you have no teeth left at all, dental implants can help! Full dentures can be affixed to dental implants, providing significantly more security than traditional dentures. In fact, you won’t ever have to worry about your replacement slipping whenever you bite, chew, speak, laugh, or smile.

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How Dental Implants Work

Animation of implant supported dental crown placement

Dental implants are placed in our Seattle dental office, and we provide start to finish treatment in one convenient location. Dr. Timmerman has extensive training and experience with dental implant therapy, allowing him to provide comprehensive service for his patients. Unlike most dentists who send their patients away for the implant placement process, Dr. Timmerman performs the entire treatment right here in our dental office. His advanced training and our state-of-the-art equipment allow him to both place the implants as well as restore them.

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Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Model smile with dental implant restoration

Dental implant costs can vary. Probably the biggest concern our patients have about dental implants is the cost. Investing in a permanent tooth replacement option can be more expensive than other types of restorative treatment upfront, but in many cases, implants actually help patients save money in the long run. For instance, dental implants typically do not have to be changed out every 10-15 years as a bridge might. By the time a patient has their bridge replaced once or twice, they could have paid for a dental implant.

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Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Smiling, healthy woman with dental implants in Tukwila

One of the most popular benefits of dental implants is their potential to last for decades. In fact, they can easily keep your new smile fully functional and beautiful for a lifetime! That is, of course, as long as you take care of them properly. While dental implants boast an incredible success rate of over 98%, their lifespan will rely heavily on how well you care for them. Thankfully, there are a few easy precautions to take and habits to practice that can protect your dental implant for decades to come. Read on or schedule an appointment to learn more about how to maintain your new smile for life.

Make Oral Hygiene A Priority 

Young man brushing his dental implants in Tukwila

No matter how many teeth you’ve had replaced by dental implants, it’s essential that you practice great oral hygiene. While you won’t have to worry about your new tooth developing a cavity, a buildup of plaque and bacteria can cause infections in the gums that eventually damage the supportive tissues that help hold it in place. Thankfully, you can easily keep your smile healthy and your dental implant firmly in place by:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
  • Flossing between all your teeth on a daily basis.
  • Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash regularly.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Closeup of patient with dental implants in Tukwila eating a strawberry

Since dental implants can help you regain 75% or more of your natural biting power, they can help you enjoy a full, nutritious diet of all your favorite foods! However, there are still some foods you should watch out for. Overindulging in particularly hard foods such as hard candies or nuts can wear down the restoration on top of your dental implant and chip it. Additionally, you should refrain from eating too many sugary treats. Not only will this benefit your overall health, but it will help lower your risk of gum disease, which can cause your dental implant to fail.

Break Bad Habits

Woman with dental implants in Tukwila chewing on a pen

If you’re planning on getting dental implants or have already rebuilt your smile with them, now is an excellent opportunity to break some habits that are bad for your oral health, such as:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco: Tobacco products are bad for you in a number of ways, one of which is threatening the success of your dental implant. Smoking or chewing tobacco slows down your natural healing process, which could prevent your dental implant from fusing with your jawbone. Additionally, smokers are much more likely to develop gum disease, which can easily cause your dental implant to fail.
  • Chewing on hard objects: Do you chew on a pen cap or pencil at work? Do you like to chew on ice when you’re bored? Do you find yourself chewing on your fingernails when you’re anxious? Chewing on these hard objects weakens your dental implant and can damage the restoration.
  • Using your teeth as tools: It may seem convenient to open that bag of chips, birthday package, or long-awaited piece of mail with your teeth. However, one wrong move could significantly damage your dental implant or even shove it out of place! Always keep tools like scissors somewhere easy to reach so you won’t be tempted to use your teeth instead.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Outstretched hand holding mouthguard to protect dental implants in Tukwila

Dental implants are crafted from high-quality dental ceramic and titanium, which are well known for being durable and strong. However, dental implants are not invincible. A sports-related injury, such as a blow to the face or a fall, could break the restoration or even potentially knock the implant post loose. If you like to play sports, we can help you protect your newly rebuilt smile with a custom-made sports mouthguard.

You should also take extra steps to protect your dental implant if you grind your teeth in your sleep, which is a condition called bruxism. The excess pressure caused by habitually grinding or clenching your teeth can damage your replacement tooth or possibly cause the implant post to come loose. If you have bruxism, a custom nightguard can help protect your smile while you sleep.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Tukwila implant dentist and smiling patient discussing dental implants in Tukwila

No matter how many natural teeth you have left, you should still visit your Tukwila implant dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. This gives us a chance to clean and inspect your teeth and dental implant. If we spot any warning signs of issues like damage or infection, we can treat them right away before they become larger, more complicated problems in the future. In fact, the main goal of biannual dental checkups is to prevent any issues from developing in the first place!

Dr. Timmerman is proud to offer his patients a permanent, reliable, and beautiful solution to missing teeth with dental implants. As a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, he’s completed countless hours of advanced training on dental implants, so you can feel confident that your smile is in good hands. If you’d like to learn more about caring for your dental implant, don’t hesitate to give him a call today!

Dental Implant FAQs

Animation of implant supported dental crown placement

Now that you’re armed with a basic knowledge of dental implants, you’re very likely curious about some of the finer details of the process. Not to worry; we’ve gathered some of the dental implant questions that we get asked the most often and answered them here for your convenience. If, however, you have a query about implants that you don’t see answered on this page, just contact our practice and we’ll be more than happy to provide you with an answer.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

You would think that getting a titanium post inserted directly into your jawbone would cause extreme pain, but most patients actually report very little discomfort during the procedure, thanks to local anesthetic and sedation if necessary. In fact, most patients prefer getting an implant placed to having a tooth extracted. However, as with any oral surgery, you can expect some swelling and soreness following your procedure. This can be managed by applying a cold compress or taking over-the-counter pain medication as needed.

After Implant Surgery, Can I Return to Work?

The answer to this question depends on how complex the surgery ends up being. Many patients feel well enough to resume their days after the surgery provided their case was relatively simple, like when placing a single implant. However, for more complicated cases, it’s recommended that you take a couple days after your surgery to rest.

What Can Cause Implant Failure?

If the site isn’t able to heal properly, your body could reject the implant, resulting in implant failure. Infections in the jawbone or soft tissue in the mouth could compromise the integrity of the implant. This is why it’s imperative that you have adequate oral health and your mouth is free from infections like gum disease before we place a dental implant.

How Long Will It Take for My Dental Implants to Heal?

The healing process is affected by a few factors, such as the type of implant procedure you’re undergoing and how dense your jawbone is. While implant-retained dentures can usually be placed on the same day as your implant procedure, others require several months of healing before you can receive your restoration. Additional treatments like a bone graft or gum disease therapy can also lengthen the process. No matter how long you have to wait, just remember that it will be worth it to have a full, stable smile!

Why Do I Need a Bone Graft?

The success of your dental implants depends in part on the amount of jawbone mass you have. When you’ve been suffering through tooth loss for some time, your jawbone naturally begins to atrophy due to no longer being stimulated by your tooth roots. If your jawbone doesn’t have enough mass to accommodate an implant, it could lead to implant failure. That’s why we can graft some artificial bone tissue onto your jawbone to strengthen it so that it can support your implant for decades to come.