Seattle Total Dental Implant Solution provider Lance Timmerman DMD in Tukwila is sometimes confused with how to describe or categorize him. While a general dentist, his advanced training as well as advanced achievements and certifications (including fellowships in the International Congress for Oral Implantologists and the Academy of General Dentistry and a diplomate with the American Board for Dental Sleep Medicine) means that he has much more to offer his patients than simply cleanings and fillings. While he still works with specialists of all disciplines, he does have the ability to offer many services in his own office, making for a more convenient treatment and less possibility of confusing treatment (one doctor does one thing, the other planned another).
What may be confusing to many people is that not all implants are the same and an implant solution can be a hard decision. Depending on what the final restoration is going to be will determine what kind of implant, how many, and location of implant placement, among other factors. Some patients call the office to ask how much a dental implant costs, but really the question is not so simple. As Stephen Covey famously said, “Begin with the end in mind.” Due to the complexity of the situation, an exam and diagnostic records will always be done first.
A dental implant is most commonly used to replace a single tooth. Factors that determine complexity include:
- Is a tooth currently present?
- If so, is the tooth whole or fractured?
- Is there bone loss around the tooth?
- If the tooth is missing, is that recent?
- How long has the tooth been missing?
- What is the condition of the adjacent teeth?
- Where is it missing, front upper, back upper, front lower, back lower?
All of these factors need to be factored in when designing the case, and overcoming each will require different procedures and fees.
Often more than one tooth is missing, and a bridge is an option. A bridge uses 2 implants to replace 3 or 4 teeth. If more teeth are missing, more implants will be required to help distribute the chewing and bite forces.
Many denture wearers dislike the fit of their dentures, most commonly the lower arch. Implants with locators secured to them can allow more stability, as the denture can snap in place. However, people must understand that it is still a denture and it is still supported by the gums and bone. The implants merely act as stabilizers, not support.
A very common procedure is an all on 4 denture. This is often done by taking an existing denture and creating holes where 4 implants are placed. The hybrid denture is now screwed into the implants, so no gums and bone tissues are used for support, the implants are doing all the work. 4 implants are the minimum for this procedure, but more is often better. This is still considered a denture since it is entirely made of acryilic.
These same 4 implants (or more) can be used to upgrade the all on 4 hybrid denture and support a porcelain bridge. This material is very durable and lacks the porosity that will stink over time or have a lingering bad taste that is impossible to remove. The investment for this can be significant but worth it in the long run.
Another upgrade from an All on Four Hybrid Denture is the Deutsch Removable Bridge ZR®. The implants can be attached to zirconium abutments that support a gold plated framework of a bridge that is removable. This allows the ease of hygiene and still avoids the nagging coverage of the roof of the mouth. Most people that complain about their upper dentures are complaining about how the roof of the mouth, the palate, gets covered up. This avoids that.
Most of the time, Dr Timmerman can do all of the surgical and restorative procedures in his office. Some cases still require that assistance of specialists, but not very often. Sometimes the cases are still discussed and planned with the assistance of a specialist, but those cases are not that common.
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