Dental Implants Tacoma & Gig Harbor
Replacing Missing Teeth
If you lose one or more teeth due to periodontal disease, or another cause, there is hope. Dental implants are changing the way people live! They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. Dental implants act as the artificial replacement of teeth roots. Once in the bone, they are left to heal between 4-6 months depending on the location they were placed. Your restorative doctor will then fabricate a crown which will be connected to the dental implant giving you the function and aesthetics that was lost.
Dental Implants help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
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Dental Implant Evaluation
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, we will address your specific needs and considerations. Your questions and concerns are important to us and our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between your restorative dentist and us. While Dr. La Rosa performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary, the restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves often, but not always, two surgical procedures. First, dental implants are placed within your jawbone. Healing time following surgery varies from person to person and is based on a variety of factors, such as hardness of bone. In some cases, dental implants may be restored immediately after they are placed.
For the first three-to-four months following the surgery, dental implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet at this time.
After the dental implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Silvia La Rosa will uncover the dental implant(s) and attach a small healing collar. After four weeks your restorative dentist will be able to start making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the dental implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six-to-eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
Single-Stage and Immediate Implants
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology including 3-D CAD/CAM technology Dr. Manuel La Rosa very often is able to place single-stage implants as well as immediate implants. Single-stage dental implants do not require a second procedure (second stage) to uncover them. There are even situations where the dental implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction (known also as immediate implants) further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
What types of prosthesis are available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth — each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three dental implants. A complete dental prosthesis replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by your restorative doctor or by us.
Dr. La Rosa performs in-office dental implant surgery in operating suites. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip or tibia
Dr. La Rosa has received extensive training in Dental Implantology. Through continuing education, Dr. Manuel La Rosa and Dr. Silvia La Rosa are abreast of the most current information on implant dentistry.
Oral Surgery: 253-564-1000
Oral Surgery: 253-857-1000
Why select dental implants over more traditional types of restorations?
There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Are dental implants bad for my other teeth?
Dental implants offer a method for replacing lost teeth that is as close to natural as possible. When a single tooth or multiple teeth are replaced with dental implants, it is not necessary to involve any other teeth in the process. Other techniques for replacing teeth such as bridges and removable partial dentures require other teeth being used as attachments (the dental term is “abutment”). The abutment teeth provide the support for the artificial bridge or partial denture teeth. Invariably, bridges and partial dentures require the removal of healthy tooth structure from the abutment teeth. By using other teeth for support, bridges and partial dentures place unnatural levels of stress and strain on them. Teeth used as abutments for bridges and removable partial dentures suffer increased rates of decay, fracture, gum disease, bone loss, mobility, and tooth loss, and often do not provide the aesthetic result one is looking for.
Unlike bridges and partial dentures, dental implants remain isolated from other teeth. In other words: when dental implants are used as the foundation for tooth replacement there is no need to use other teeth as abutments.
Do dental implants need special care?
Once the dental implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists. Remember, although dental implants won’t develop decay as they are titanium made, they can develop periodontal disease like your natural teeth as they are surrounded by bone and gum tissue. Please make sure to brush and floss your dental implants like you do for your natural teeth. We will be glad to give you instructions on proper home care techniques if you have any questions.
Patient Reviews for Dental Implants
Sound Surgical Arts
Very good experience.
- John B
I love the staff and Dr. LaRosa has been the kindest and most knowledgeable.
- Sean K
The Tacoma Office made what can often be an unpleasant experience (implants) a pleasure. They took away the fear of the unknown with thorough explanation of procedure before committing. They addressed all financial concerns upfront so no surprises. They stayed on track in terms of timeframe promised. They provided up to date technology in my care. Ultimately they delivered an aesthetically pleasing result. But most of all the doctor and her staff, (Laura, Paxton, Marika etc) all created a warm, friendly, and welcoming atmosphere to have dental work done in. I respect Dr. La Rosa’s knowledge and expertise and I would most definitely recommend Dr Silvia La Rosa for any dental work.
- Johnna F
Absolutely amazing experience. Everyone has been so wonderful. Dr. Larosa is the best. Love her and the whole staff!
- LoAnne North R
I am more than happy with my implants. They look and feel like they have always been in my mouth. I really appreciate that there was no pain with the procedure. I recommend Dr.LaRosa to anyone and appreciate her care.
- Linda R
I have always felt comfortable having any procedure completed here. I just wish the location was closer to my home in Auburn.
- Michelle K
Delighted with my new smile and 4 front teeth. Will be a pleasure to look in the mirror while performing my daily floss !
- Duke V