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Why Dental Implants?


At West End Dental, your oral health is our concern. Oral health involves several aspects, including the removal of infection and providing the necessary function. Removing infection is obvious to all of our patients, they do not want to live in pain, but increasing function is one area that people are most often likely to ignore. Missing teeth is a problem. Missing teeth will lead to a chain of disruptions in your mouth. We can help. Our team at West End Dental, along with Dr. James Krippaehne can stop the damage that occurs from missing teeth.

We can replace damaged, broken, and missing teeth, restoring your function and providing you a smile to be proud of. Dental Implants have been rapidly increasing in popularity; this is due in part to their extremely high rate of success. With a greater than 98% long-term success rate, dental implants are the most successful dental restoration. We would love to meet with you, examine your oral health, and create a customized dental treatment plan that will fit with your health, budget, and needs.

What are dental implants?


A dental implant is not a false tooth or group of teeth. A dental implant is a titanium rod that connects your jawbone and a dental appliance. Resembling what we would think of as a screw, Dr. James Krippaehne surgically inserts this metal device to serve as an anchor to permanently retain a dental appliance, which could be a dental crown, a dental bridge, a partial denture, or a full denture to your gums. Without this secure base, you can not permanently replace a missing tooth. Other methods force the reliance on neighboring teeth, suction or clasps to provide that anchor, none of which is ideal. The only way to permanently anchor a dental restoration after a tooth is lost is with a dental implant.

Dental implants come in a variety of lengths and widths depending on the number of teeth you are replacing, the available bone mass and the health of the patient. From mini-implants, which do not require surgical insertion, to the All-On-4® Treatment Concept using immediate load dentures, which uses longer implants to reach the denser bone, we can customize the treatment plan that is right for your needs.

Why should I replace a missing tooth?


Missing teeth can be a problem. Patients often want to just live with the gap of a missing tooth, but this will not only not alleviate the current problem but will exacerbate it, causing new and bigger problems. When a patient loses even a singular tooth, there are several problems that occur, including:

•  Bone Loss:This may sound extreme, but when a tooth is lost, there is an immediate and growing problem with bone loss in that spot. Known as sorption, our bone requires constant stimulation to stay healthy. Our bone is a living tissue, comprised of billions of cells that cycle through life and death. As we use our bone, or exercise it, through movement and motion, then our body continues to send resources to keep the tissue regrowing and strong. When we stop using that same bone, then our body pulls back the resources and allows the bone to resorb. You may have seen this after removing a cast on an arm, or the legs of a person in a wheelchair. That unused part of the body is visibly smaller. The same is true with your jawbone. As you chew foods and speak, you are applying pressure to the tooth, through the root, and to the bone. This keeps the jaw healthy and robust. When a tooth is lost, the stimulation is also lost. When you lose a tooth, there is an immediate response of the bone receding. It will recede up to 25% the first year and then slowly continue with time. We can not give that needed stimulation with just a traditional bridge or denture because there is no base, nothing to transfer that motion to the bone. This is why patients who have these restorations frequently require adjustments
•  Older Appearance:As the patient loses bone mass in their jaw, there is a smaller, collapsing or droopier appearance to their facial shape. Though this facial appearance is due to missing teeth, missing teeth is more common in older age, and so the two have become associated. When people see a facial shape that is smaller or drooping, they automatically assume the person to be older. Dental implants would fill out the facial structure, both supporting the face and helping to keep the jaw bone robust, giving the patient a more youthful appearance.
•  Shifting:The shifting of your teeth may not sound bad, but the results can quite troublesome. With a gap in your teeth, due to a missing tooth, there is now room for the neighboring teeth to move. With time, they will begin to drift slowly. Some patients may think of the positive effects, such as decreasing the instance of overcrowding, but the problem is, you do not get to control the direction and how they shift, unlike when a patient has a tooth removed for an orthodontist. Teeth can shift sideways, or twist, and move out of alignment changing or adjusting your bite. Some of these bite issues can be serious, leading to painful TMJ disorders.
•  TMJ Dysfunction:We do not want our patients to suffer from TMJ dysfunction, it can be miserable, and some of the symptoms may not seem obvious to the cause, just adding to the misery. TMJ dysfunction is a condition of the upper and lower jaw not coming together in a correct bite. This can occur when teeth have shifted out of their normal spot due to a missing tooth. This may not seem like a problem, but it can be. Patients with TMJ dysfunction may experience a tired or sore feeling in their jaw, they may feel a popping sensation, and can even experience unusual pain in their ears, brow, or suffer from migraines.

There are several reasons on why you should replace your missing teeth, but the real answer comes down to your function. At West End Dental, your oral health is our concern. We want our patients to have functional teeth. Increasingly, people are living longer and healthier lives; we don’t want you to give up foods that you love, or abstain from social situations because of your teeth. There are costs associated with restoring your teeth, but there are costs associated with not restoring them too, and we feel that the costs associated with not restoring them are so much greater.

How Would a Dental Implant stop the problems that come with a missing tooth?


A dental implant can halt the problems that come from a missing tooth. We are not just replacing a tooth; we are creating a solid base after the original base has been lost. By placing a new base, we can then rebuild what was lost without relying on neighboring teeth while also keeping the bone strong and preventing bone loss.

Once the implant is in place, the patient no longer has to worry about the problems that are associated with tooth loss. The bone will stay stronger because the stimulation of chewing, motion, and movement are being transferred to the bone. The neighboring teeth will not be able to shift into that spot, helping your original bite stay intact, preventing the possibility of TMJ dysfunction.

How many teeth can a dental implant restore?


Using varying numbers of implants, we can replace a singular tooth, multiple teeth, or even all of your teeth using dental implants. In some situations, we use a single implant to replace a single tooth, but we can also use a single implant and a healthy tooth to anchor a bridge, or use four implants to anchor an entire denture replacing all of your teeth on an arch, the options vary. The best way to know how many implants you need is to meet with Dr. James Krippaehne and review your medical needs, oral health needs, and financial capabilities. We are happy to work within your limitations and help you come up with the best long-term plan to having functional teeth.

How long with a dental implant last?


For most patients, a dental implant will last them through the remaining of their life without ever needing replacement. Modern titanium implants have been used since the 1960s, and the long-term prognosis for them has been great. Implants have a greater than 95% success rate even after 20 years of use. This rate of success makes dental implants the most successful dental restoration over any other treatment. Clinical studies have shown the success rate for dental implants does not decrease over time.

The key to the success of implants is a natural process known as osseointegration. Titanium is biocompatible, meaning your body will not reject it as a foreign object; in fact, it will heal around it, incorporating it in. Osseointegration refers to integrating with the bone. As your body heals, it grows and heals around the bone, fusing the implant into your bone, making it part of your body. This fusion is solid. Your implant then becomes a firm and solid foundation to build the dental restoration from. This process makes a dental implant a great long term restoration.

The Costs of a Dental Implant


Costs associated with the dental implant placement can be broken into several factors. First is the preparatory work that needs to happen. This may be the removal of unhealthy teeth, and it may include a bone graft to bulk up the bone. The next expense comes from the surgical procedure for placing the implant. Dr. James Krippaehne has put in countless hours of continuing education to ensure that you are getting a skilled placement. Dr. James Krippaehne will open the tissue, create space in the bone, and with precision, place the implant in such a way that it can grab the healthiest bone to be solidly in place. You do not want this to be done by someone without the specific training; placement is key. The remaining cost is the dental appliance that is placed over the implant; this may be a crown, a bridge, or a denture device. Customised pieces can be costly, but the end product is a flawless tooth that fits comfortably in your mouth.

Health Issues and Dental Implants


There are some health issues that can make the success of dental implants fail. The issues will primarily be due to a decreased ability to heal. Patients who:

•  Take medication that slows healing.
•  Patients who have medical problems such as uncontrolled diabetes.
•  Patients who are undergoing cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy.
•  Patients who smoke or chew tobacco or cigarettes.


All of the health issues listed above are cause to have a decreased ability to heal. This not does exclude them from being able to get a dental implant. What it does mean is that we will need to create a course of action to get the patient in a healthy enough place before placement. This is why it is so important to discuss all health-related issues with Dr. James Krippaehne, even if the ailment seems unrelated to your oral health. We are happy to work with your physician to adjust medications or create a plan of action to help your body prepare for surgery. Our staff at West End Dental is happy to discuss these challenges with you and assist in preparing you for your implant surgery.

Dental Implants are a simple solution that can protect your oral health, allowing you the freedom of using your teeth. We use our mouths constantly, we use them to chew, to speak, and to express ourselves, they are so prominent on our faces. We want our patients to feel good, look good, and show their self-confidence. A beautiful smile, with functional teeth, can give you that confidence. Let Dr. James Krippaehne show you how a dental implant can protect your smile.
WE TREAT OUR PATIENTS WITH RESPECT
We believe in educating patients about their treatment options and listening to their questions and concerns.
WE BELIEVE IN HEALTHY TEETH FIRST
We focus on prevention so that you keep your smile healthy. We provide excellent comfortable care for all procedures.
WE'RE HERE FOR YOU!
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Portland, OR 97205

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