52 NW 2nd Street

Stevenson, WA 98648



Dental Implant FAQ's

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a new replacement root for a missing tooth. It is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. An abutment and crown is then placed on the implant to provide a new tooth that is secure and looks just like a natural tooth.  It is even possible to have dental implants that replace dentures.

How are dental implants different than dentures?

Dentures and partial dentures are removable prosthetic appliances that rest over the gums and typically over the roof of the mouth.  Dentures are bulky, frequently unstable, and are prone to coming loose at inappropriate times, especially the lower.  Frequently they will need to be relined because the bone under the denture will continue to shrink away over time.  Stimulation is vital to maintaining healthy bone and gum tissue. Dental implants fuse to your jawbone to function just like your natural teeth. They stimulate the bone to preserve form and density.  Implants preserve the natural facial contours and restore oral function in a manner that is almost impossible to tell from natural teeth. That means you can show off your improved smile with confidence, and participate in social situations, never being limited by what’s on the table.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

More people than ever before are choosing dental implants to replace missing teeth. They are a long-term and cost effective solution, looking and behaving just like your natural teeth. Dental implants can actually be an improvement upon natural teeth, as they cannot develop cavities. Plus, unlike a fixed bridge or removable denture, dental implants will not affect neighboring healthy teeth or lead to bone loss in the jaw. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Who can place a dental implant?

Not every dentist routinely restores and maintains dental implants, and not all placers of dental implants are surgeons. Dental implant surgery is of course surgery, and is best performed by a trained surgeon.  Not all dentists restore dental implants or meet regularly with a team of an oral surgeon, restorative dentist, dental laboratory, and support staff to maintain a high level of communication and coordination.

Dr. Clifton has been recognized by the American Society of Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry (ASIRD), and continues to develop and maintain teams in this association.  ASIRD dentists complete a rigorous clinical peer review process, which requires a high degree of commitment and skill. These qualifications of membership are how you know your ASIRD dentist is experienced in advanced procedures, techniques, and products, and will provide up-to-date dental care in a safe and comfortable manner. Through their commitment to education and technology, ASIRD teams are able to provide optimal treatment and quality dental care.  For more information about our implant team and ASIRD, please visit our team website at… http://www.asird.org/d/lieblick/clifton/

How much do implants cost?

Not all patients or their needs are exactly the same, so treatments, number of appointments, and procedures, are customized to meet those individual needs, with costs varying accordingly.  After an exam and initial evaluation your team of restorative dentist and oral surgeon will provide you with a treatment plan including the cost, and notify you if there are any changes during the process.    We can also help you estimate insurance benefits, and discuss a financing plan if necessary.  Because your teeth affect everything from your smile and confidence, to your ability to eat, speak and participate in the activities you enjoy, and because there is no better option to restore missing teeth, dental implants are an investment well worth considering.

Do dental implants hurt?

Usually this is a relatively painless procedure. Often, the surgeon can remove the tooth needing replacement and place the dental implant at the same surgical appointment.

Patients are surprised to learn that this procedure is often performed in about one hour, and requires only local anesthesia so the patient is awake. You are able to drive to and from your surgical appointment. If you are nervous about the surgery, you may decide to have your surgeon put you to sleep for the surgery by administering a general anesthetic.

How long do implants last?

When cared for properly, implants can last a lifetime.  Some of the earliest contemporary dental implants placed more than 30 years ago are still functioning well.  However, it is possible for the implant or implant restoration to fail.   There are parts of the implant system that may wear and need to be repaired, or replaced.   Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to the success of your implant.


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