Have you been struggling with tooth loss for far too long? This serious level of dental damage can affect not only your oral health, but your smile’s ability to function and your everyday quality of life as well. At Soldotna Dental Arts, Dr. Mike Christensen would like to introduce you to a state-of-the-art method for replenishing strong, attractive teeth that exceed expectations: dental implants. Our team is happy to offer every stage of implant treatment, including the surgical portions, right here in our dental office for maximized convenience and comfort. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation for dental implants in Soldotna.
A dental implant by itself is not a replacement tooth in the way that a dental bridge or denture is. The implant is a thin post (made from biocompatible materials, usually titanium) that is surgically placed into the jawbone to mimic the root structure of one or more lost teeth. From there, it fuses with the jawbone and existing oral structures in a process called osseointegration. Once the implants are fully in place, metal abutments are attached, allowing them to secure dental crowns, bridges, and even dentures into place and complete your smile. Essentially, dental implants are the only option that can rebuild missing teeth from the roots up, which is why Dr. Christensen recommends them for most patients dealing with tooth loss.
While many general dentistry practices throughout the Kenai Peninsula have to refer their patients to separate specialists for the surgical component of dental implant treatment, Dr. Christensen has the necessary advanced training and expertise to perform this type of care right here in-office. This means that every stage of your smile transformation will be personally handled by a team you already know and trust — no time-consuming trips or “surprise” extra costs required.
While every patient’s dental implant process will differ, the four basic steps of the treatment are:
Unlike traditional dentures and bridges, dental implants seamlessly recreate every part of the natural tooth, including the “root” that exists underneath the gum line. This allows them to accomplish many things that other options cannot. Here are just a few of the benefits that dental implants can offer your smile, health, and overall quality of life.
Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth from every angle, including their cosmetic appearance, their ability to function, and their overall mouth feel. In fact, it’s likely that patients will forget which teeth are the “fakes” after some time has passed.
Additionally, they’ll renew almost all of the biting force that you had with your original teeth, allowing you to eat pretty much whatever you’d like. This includes hot beverages like coffee, which you typically wouldn’t be able to drink with dentures (since dentures can warp when exposed to heat). Because dental implants are secured in your jaw, you also won’t have to worry about your teeth slipping or falling out and creating embarrassing moments.
Because they act as replacement tooth roots, dental implants keep your jawbone strong enough to maintain your facial shape. They also don’t require surrounding natural teeth to be significantly altered to accommodate their placement, which is much better for the patient’s continuing health and wellbeing.
Dental implants can be cared for with diligent brushing, flossing, and checkups with your dentist, just like regular teeth — no inconvenient routine changes required. Because they’re easy to maintain, they naturally promote better oral health, which is directly linked to improved overall health. In fact, people who had lost five or more teeth before the age of 65 were more likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Dental implants can stop these health issues in their tracks and let you enjoy the many benefits of having a full and complete smile.
The longevity of dental implants is truly unmatched. They’re designed to last for multiple decades, and many patients are able to enjoy them for the rest of their lives without issue. Compared to traditional bridges and dentures, which typically break down after 10 years on average, dental implants can last for 30+ years with minimal maintenance.
While it’s true that dental implants have a higher up-front price than conventional options, they can actually save you money in the long run. Dentures and bridges have to be adjusted, repaired, or replaced entirely every few years, eventually compounding their lower initial cost. Plus, you’d have to invest in special adhesives and cleaning solutions to take care of them, while dental implants can be maintained almost exactly like natural teeth.
With all of the benefits dental implants have to offer, it’s no wonder they’re becoming millions of Americans’ favorite choice to replace missing teeth!
Dental implants are highly versatile and can benefit patients who are struggling with a wide spectrum of tooth loss, from a single small gap to an entire arch. Keep reading below to learn more about what types of restorations are available for each unique situation:
Single tooth dental implants can be paired with all-porcelain crowns for a conservative and successful replacement. The customized restoration will slip right into place alongside natural teeth without requiring them to be reduced, and the crown’s metal-free construction will even reflect light in the same way as your original tooth enamel for a highly lifelike result.
While dental crowns can be paired with multiple implants throughout the mouth, a dental bridge may be better suited to cases where the patient has lost several natural teeth in a row. You will only need two dental implants for this type of restoration, with each one being placed on opposite sides of the gap in question. The bridge itself is then anchored in place over them for a sturdy, functional fit.
When a significant number of natural teeth (or even an entire arch) have been lost, implant dentures can provide comprehensive, cost-effective coverage. Instead of placing one individual implant for each lost tooth, these modern prosthetics can be securely attached over a small number of strategically positioned implants throughout the jaw. Depending on the patient’s preferences and current level of oral health, the denture can be fixed permanently in place or left removable like a traditional denture. We even offer All-on-4 dental implants for additional convenience.
Determining the cost of dental implants is a complicated question, and one that cannot be determined without first undergoing a dedicated consultation with Dr. Christensen. Every patient’s oral health needs are different, and there are several components to the treatment process that will affect the overall cost. This includes the number of implants needed, if abutments (connectors between the implants and restorations) are necessary, and the type of restorative solution we’re creating.
While dental implants are certainly an investment, our team strongly believes they are one worth making. While more traditional prosthetics will more than likely require costly repair and replacement over the years, dental implants are truly built to stand the test of time. You can count on them to benefit your overall health and wellbeing far into the future.
There’s not a set price for dental implants because the cost is based on several factors, such as the number of teeth you’re replacing. On average, you can expect to pay more to replace multiple teeth because you’ll need more than one implant post. The type of implant post used also impacts the cost, such as if they are titanium or ceramic.
Your treatment will take several months to complete because there are multiple stages involved; however, it’s time well spent. Each phase has separate costs, which can make it easier to pay for dental implants because you won’t need to pay the entire amount upfront. On average, you can expect to pay for:
Dental implants are initially more expensive, but they will save you money down the road. Unlike any other tooth replacement option, dental implants have the potential to last for a lifetime. They have over a 95% success rate to last for several decades, so you’ll never need to worry about having them replaced if you care for them correctly.
They can also lower your long-term dental expenses. The implant posts stop dental drift by preserving your jaw’s density. This protects any remaining natural teeth to reduce your risk of cavities, gum disease, and additional tooth loss.
Unfortunately, most dental insurance companies don’t cover the entire cost of the treatment, but they may pay for certain aspects of it, like your restorations. We work on your behalf with your insurance carrier to reduce the amount you need to pay out-of-pocket. We’ll help you find the solutions you need to cover any remaining balance, such as using third-party financing with CareCredit.
If you’re ready to permanently replace your missing teeth, dental implants may be the answer for you. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.
Are you wondering whether dental implants in Soldotna are the right choice for you? It can be stressful making the best decision for your oral health. At Soldotna Dental Arts, we will be more than happy to address any questions you may have. We want you to feel confident in your decision to restore your smile, so we’ve compiled some common dental implant questions we receive.
Depending on how many implants you’re having surgically placed, most patients can be sedated. In fact, at Soldotna Dental Arts, we offer several sedation techniques including nitrous oxide. With all the latest advancements in the dental field, implant surgery is relatively pain-free. While your gums are healing, you may experience soreness and slight discomfort, but it’s usually nothing that can’t be remedied with pain medication.
When you get dental implants in Soldotna, you can put your mind at ease knowing that we utilize the latest technology in our field to increase the precision and accuracy of the procedure. Some of these features include a cone beam scanner.
The modern version of dental implants has been used for over 40 years. They’re proven to be safe and effective and even boast a 95 percent success rate. Plus, when you visit your dentist in Soldotna, Dr. Christensen, he’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and walk you through the process.
The dental implant timeline drastically varies from patient to patient, so for a precise timeframe, it’s best to visit our office for a consultation. The length of your treatment depends on a variety of factors. Starting out, we’ll determine whether you need any preparatory procedures such as gum disease treatment, tooth extractions, or a bone graft. These may take weeks or months to heal from before we can schedule your dental implant surgery.
Once you get your implants placed, you’ll need to wait for your gums to heal and the titanium posts to naturally fuse with your jaw. After that, your abutments can be connected. Once your permanent restorations have been created and your gums have fully healed, we can connect your replacement teeth. Typically, the process takes place over several months. During your consultation, we will examine your oral health and help create your individualized treatment timeline.
Everyone’s smile is different, so this question is incredibly subjective. But, if you’re a good candidate for the procedure, it’s definitely worth the investment. Because implants replace the root of your missing teeth, they help prevent jawbone deterioration and provide a durable and stable foundation for your restorations to be placed on top of. Your mouth is always changing, so dentures can slip and shift and need to be replaced more often. Plus, because they only replace the biting surface of your teeth, they aren’t able to prevent jawbone erosion.