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Posts for tag: Dental Implant

By Lake Oswego Smiles
December 26, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implant  

In looking at options to replace your missing teeth, you might have heard others rave about dental implants. You're almost sold on this innovative restoration method—but you're a little skittish about the upfront cost.

Here are 3 reasons why getting dental implants to restore your missing teeth is a sound investment.

A solid long-term solution. Based on findings from over 3 million implant installations over the last forty years, more than 95% of implants continue to successfully function after ten years—and many are on track to last decades. That's something that can't be said for other forms of restoration. An implant's large upfront cost could in fact even out over the long-term and ultimately cost less than other restorations that may need to be replaced sooner.

A benefit to bone health. One of the more negative consequences of missing teeth is ongoing bone loss, a process that can continue to occur even when teeth are replaced by dentures or bridges. But bone cells readily grow and adhere to the titanium metal implant imbedded in the bone, slowing or even stopping continuing bone loss. If for no other reason, their positive impact on bone health is a top reason for choosing implants.

A range of choices. Replacing multiple missing teeth individually with dental implants can be quite expensive. But individual tooth replacement is only one of the ways implants could benefit you. It's possible to place just a handful of implants along the jaw to support other types of restorations like bridges and partial or full dentures. Not only is this cost-effective, but the implant-supported restoration may be more stable and secure. And these implants may also contribute to bone health.

But before you make your decision, visit us for a complete dental examination. We'll assess if your dental condition makes you a good candidate for implants, and then provide you more information on the process and costs.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants 101.”


Getting a new implant tooth in only one day sounds too good to be true. But it's true—up to a point. Whether or not you can undergo an immediate crown replacement (attaching a crown to an implant right after surgery) will depend mostly on the underlying bone.

Traditionally, an implant crown isn't attached until several weeks after surgery to allow bone cells to grow and adhere to an implant's titanium surface (osseointegration). The gums are sutured back in place to protect the metal implant until it develops a durable hold within the bone. But this also leaves you with a noticeable missing tooth gap during the integration period.

A “tooth in a day” procedure gives you a full smile right after implant surgery. There is one catch, though—this first crown will be temporary and it won't be able to receive biting pressure.

Until the bone and implant fully integrate, attaching a full-sized permanent crown can damage the implant. To avoid this, the initial crown is slightly shorter than the future permanent crown. This prevents it from contacting solidly with teeth on the other jaw while biting or chewing, which can generate enough force to potentially damage the implant.

If you undergo an immediate-load crown on your implant, you'll have to return later for the full-length permanent crown. In the meantime, though, you'll avoid the embarrassment of a missing tooth in your smile.

With that said, the target bone must be healthy and intact for you to undergo a “tooth in a day” procedure. That isn't always the case with missing teeth—over time, bone volume can gradually diminish. The subsequent loss can complicate implant placement, which must be exact to achieve the most natural outcome. If extensive bone loss exists, you may need grafting to build up enough bone to adequately support an implant.

Even if an implant can be placed, the bone may still be too weak to allow for immediate crown placement. In that case, the traditional procedure may be the best course to allow the bone and implant to fully bond.

To determine if you're a candidate for a “tooth in a day” implant procedure, you'll first need to have a thorough dental exam that includes an assessment of bone health. If it's sound, you may be able to have a full smile right after implant surgery.

If you would like more information on dental implant restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Same-Day Tooth Replacement With Dental Implants.”


Dental implants are far and away the most “tooth-like” restoration available today for missing teeth. Not only do they look real, they also mimic dental anatomy in replacing the tooth root.

To install an implant, though, requires a minor surgical procedure. And, as with any surgery, that includes a slight risk for a post-surgical infection. For most patients this isn't a major concern—but it can be for people with certain medical conditions.

One way to lessen the risk for implant patients whose health could be jeopardized by an infection is to prescribe a prophylactic (preventive) antibiotic before implant surgery. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the measure for patients with artificial heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant and other heart-related issues.

In the past, their recommendation also extended to people with joint replacements. But in conjunction with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery (AAOS), the ADA downgraded this recommendation a few years ago and left it to the physician's discretion. Indeed, some orthopedic surgeons do recommend antibiotic therapy for patients before surgical procedures like implantation for up to two years after joint replacement.

These changes reflect the ongoing debate over the proper use of antibiotics. In essence, this particular argument is over risks vs. benefits: Are pre-surgical antibiotics worth the lower infection risk for patients at low to moderate risk in return for increased risk of allergic reactions and other side effects from the antibiotic? Another driver in this debate is the deep concern over the effect current antibiotic practices are having on the increasing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

As a result, dentists and physicians alike are reevaluating practices like prophylactic antibiotics before procedures, becoming more selective on who receives it and even the dosage levels. Some studies have shown, for example, that a low 2-gram dose of amoxicillin an hour before the procedure can be effective with much lower risks for side effects.

If you're considering dental implants and you have a medical condition you think could be impacted by the procedure, discuss the matter with your dentist and physician. It may be that pre-surgical antibiotics would be a prudent choice for you.

If you would like more information on getting dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Implants & Antibiotics.”

May 11, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Tooth Loss   Dental Implant  

Your appearance isn't the only thing that changes after tooth loss. Biting difficulties, shifting teeth, and other problems can all occur as a result of losing one or more teeth. Fortunately, dental implants provided by your Lake Oswego, OR, dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, can help you restore your smile.

The Consequences of Tooth Loss

Losing a tooth, whether the loss occurs due to an accident, tooth decay, or another reason can be more challenging than you anticipated. Every time you look in the mirror, you're reminded of the dramatic change in your appearance. Even if the gap in your smile isn't visible, you may still experience one or more of these tooth loss consequences:

  • Eating Difficulties: Eating is no longer second nature if you've lost teeth. Tearing, grinding, and chewing may become difficult depending on the location of the lost tooth. If you only chew on one side of your mouth, stress and wear may increase on those teeth.
  • Poor Nutrition: A healthy diet is essential for good health. If chewing becomes difficult, you may avoid certain foods or even omit entire food groups. Without a mix of nutrients in your diet, your health may be affected.
  • Shifting Teeth: After tooth loss, your teeth begin to move as they try to fill in the gap in your mouth. When the teeth drift, they may begin to overlap. The change to the alignment of your teeth not only affects your appearance, but it may also change the way your upper and lower teeth fit together when you close your mouth.
  • Jawbone Resorption: Resorption occurs when your jawbone shrinks due to loss of stimulation from tooth roots. As the bone shrinks and weakens, some of your teeth may begin to loosen. If the bone can't adequately support facial muscles, you may experience sagging in the lower part of your face.

Dental Implants Help You Avoid Common Tooth Loss Consequences

Dental implants offer a long-term solution to tooth loss. Thanks to innovative implant technology, it's possible to create a brand new synthetic tooth. The process starts when you undergo minor oral surgery to implant tiny titanium posts in your jawbone. The posts bond to your jawbone, replacing your lost tooth roots.

When bonding is complete in a few months, you'll visit the Lake Oswego dental office for the next step in the process. Your dentist will add tiny screws to the tops of your implants and make an impression of your mouth. The impression is used to create dental crowns to restore the visible parts of your teeth. Once the implants are connected to the crowns with the screws, you'll have fully functioning teeth that act and feel like your natural teeth.

Do you have missing teeth? Dental implants can fill the gaps in your smile. Call your dentist in Lake Oswego, OR, Dr. Smith, at (503) 635-3653 to schedule an appointment.