Dr. Douglas Wirth and Dr. Derek Wirth provide tooth-replacement solutions with dental implants in Oak Harbor, WA. Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing a single missing tooth, or several missing teeth. If multiple teeth or all teeth are missing, Dr. Wirth can design an implant-supported denture to restore full-mouth function.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a devise that replaces the root of a tooth. It is made of three components: the implant device (the piece that is inserted directly into the bone), a restoration (crown or denture), and an abutment (the part that connects the implant to the restoration).
While we offer several tooth-replacement solutions, dental implants have become the gold standard to restore health and function at Whidbey Dental Associates. Dental implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support like a fixed bridge, which uses two or more adjacent teeth in order to support the crown that will fill the empty space where the tooth was lost. Additionally, unlike implants, a bridge may need to be replaced in the future if the supporting teeth develop cavities or periodontal disease.
Removable dentures, both full and partial, are also options, but proper fit may become an issue over time as bone loss may occur.
Dental Implants at Whidbey Dental Associates
There are several stages involved in getting a dental implant at Whidbey Dental Associates. Following a thorough oral examination, Dr. Wirth will determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. If there is untreated dental infection or disease, these issues need to be resolved first, because they can affect the success of your implant surgery and overall outcome of your dental implant. We will develop a comprehensive treatment plan addressing all of your oral health needs, as well as reviewing all of your care options.
If you and Dr. Wirth decide that dental implants are right for you, you can have your entire implant treatment—from implant placement surgery to the final restoration—at the convenience of our Oak Harbor dental office. Dr. Wirth will surgically place the implant in your jawbone in place of the missing tooth below the gum surface. The implant is left to heal by a process called osseointegration, during which the bone cells attach themselves to the implant, therefore integrating the implant into the jawbone.
Once adequate integration has taken place, a second surgery is performed to expose the implant beneath the gum tissue, and an abutment is placed in the implant. Once the gum tissue heals around the abutment, the finished individual crown, partial denture, or full denture is prepared. The finished tooth or teeth are attached to the abutment, which is attached to the implant.
Dental Implant Care
Care of your implant crown is important for the continued good health of your new tooth. Daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to Dr. Wirth and your dental hygienist are important, as are periodic exams and X-rays to check the bone level around the implant.
Implant crowns do not get cavities; however, poor oral hygiene may lead to gum inflammation, infection, or bone loss around the implant crown. This is known as peri-implantitis.
Why choose Whidbey Dental Associates for your dental implants?
Our team has made it our mission to educate our patients about their care options, and we invest the time necessary to understand each patient’s needs and treatment desires for the final outcome. We make sure that both the patient and the doctor share the same vision prior to embarking on a health care plan to insure the continuity of care.
In 2013, Drs. Wirth invested in a Cone Bean 3D digital CT (CBCT) scan system to improve the dental care that we provide to our patients. This state-of-the-art technology provides incredible accuracy for precision planning and placement of dental implants. When patients ask us if dental implants are an option for them, our initial evaluation begins with a CT scan. The 3D scanner delivers high-quality detailed visual information that we use for diagnosis and planning and is a key component in improved patient care. This can result in more confidence and satisfaction in their treatment choices and their results.
Training and Experience
Dr. Douglas Wirth has more than ten years of experience placing dental implants. His training in implant dentistry includes hundreds of hours of implant-related education, as well as membership with the Advanced Dental Implant Studies (ADIS), Fellowship with the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), and Associate Fellowship in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID).