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Dental Implants – Eugene, OR

A Natural Smile
That Lasts for Decades!

For those with missing teeth, a smile may be a rare occurrence. If you’re embarrassed about an incomplete smile, Dr. Sutter can help. Dental implants from our Eugene, OR dentist can restore your full, healthy smile by replacing missing teeth with permanent, natural-looking prosthetics that blend seamlessly with your remaining teeth.

Why Choose For Beautiful Smiles for Dental Implants?

What are Dental Implants?

Dentist and patient looking at dental implant supported replacement tooth model

A dental implant is a durable prosthetic that looks, feels, and functions as a natural tooth. This is accomplished by surgically implanting a titanium anchor into the jawbone and then capping the post with a porcelain crown, color-matched to your existing teeth.

With dental implants, your bone tissue actually fuses to the titanium anchor, imitating nature and establishing a firm, durable foundation for the prosthetic. Because this system mimics the structure of a natural tooth, dental implants often last a lifetime, and no one ever has to know your smile was once incomplete.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Woman with dental implant supported replacement tooth smiling

Dental implants are so much more than basic tooth replacement options like dentures or bridges. Dental implants are unique because they work to restore your jaw’s bite force to its fullest, allowing you to eat all the same foods you used to love! You can’t have that same confidence from other options because they’re only designed to replace the visible crown on top. This treatment has the potential to improve your everyday life, support your health, and provide you with decades of reliable function. Click below to read more about the many benefits of dental implants in Eugene.

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Day-to-Day Benefits

Dental implants in Eugene have the potential to improve your everyday life in numerous ways:

  • Eat what you love. Dental implants are strong enough to stand up to virtually any food, including raw vegetables and tough meats. And unlike with dentures, you won’t have to use any special eating techniques to enjoy your favorite treats.
  • Enjoy renewed confidence. Implants and their restorations do not slip and slide around in the mouth, allowing you to speak and smile with confidence.
  • Easily keep your smile fresh and clean. Keeping dental implants clean is often as easy as brushing, flossing, and regularly visiting your implant dentist in Eugene.

Health Benefits

Health benefits of dental implants include:

  • Jawbone preservation. The jawbone naturally begins to lose strength and volume after the teeth are extracted. Eventually, this can affect your facial appearance. Dental implants stimulate the jawbone and help to keep it healthy, strong, and whole.
  • Protection for natural teeth. Dental implants prevent your remaining natural teeth from drifting out of place. Also, since they are self-supporting, they do not usually require that any of the nearby teeth be modified.
  • Regular dentures may cause gum sores and other unpleasant symptoms if they do not fit well. Dental implants and their restorations maintain their fit, thereby protecting your gums’ well-being.
  • A balanced diet. Because dental implants are so sturdy, they can help you to reap the disease-preventing benefits of a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.

Long-Term Benefits

You will begin to notice the benefits of dental implants soon after you receive them, and you could continue to enjoy them for decades. Some of their long-term benefits include:

  • Dental implant placement has a very high success rate for viable candidates. In fact, the average rate floats around 95 and 98 percent, even over 10 years! As long as you avoid tobacco products and keep up with your at-home oral care routine, there is a strong chance that your implants will last throughout your lifetime.
  • Save money. Dental implants present a significant upfront cost, but their cost per day over a few decades is less than a premium latte in most cases.
  • Save time. If you care well for your dental implants, you will not have to spend a lot of time at the dentist’s office to maintain them. Routine checkups and cleanings should be all you need to keep your smile healthy and functional.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

Man considering dental implants

Furthermore, dental implant placement has a very high success rate for viable candidates. In fact, the average rate floats around 95 and 98 percent, even over a 10-year period! As long as you avoid tobacco products and keep up with your at-home oral care routine, there’s no reason any problems should appear.

The dental implant process usually takes several months and requires multiple treatment stages. While it may seem time-consuming, the end result is well worth it! Dr. Sutter will coordinate your treatment plan and partner with local experts to help you enjoy top-level care during every stage of your journey.

Exactly how dental implants work in Eugene varies from case to case. However, there are four main steps that patients generally go through: the initial consultation, the implant placement surgery, osseointegration, and restoration.

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Woman talking to dentist during dental implant consultation

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

During your first appointment, Dr. Sutter will thoroughly examine your teeth and review your medical history. Armed with that information, he will be able to determine if you are currently a candidate for dental implants or if you require some preliminary treatments first. Some patients must get a bone graft, tooth extractions, or other procedures before they are eligible for implants. Feel free to ask questions during your consultation — as your implant dentist in Eugene, Dr. Sutter and our team want all of our patients to make well-informed choices about their oral care.

Dentist holding dental implant prior to placement surgery

Dental Implant Surgery

Dr. Sutter is committed to making sure you receive only the highest level of care throughout your implant journey. That is why he will refer you to a trustworthy local specialist for your dental implant placement surgery.

During the procedure, your doctor will numb your mouth and may sedate you. Then, they will create incisions in your gums and carefully insert your implants into your jawbone at precise, pre-planned positions. After that, the incisions are closed, and you can go home to begin your recovery. Most patients are able to return to work within a day or two of their surgery.

Animated smile with dental implant supported dental crown during osseointegration

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

As you heal from your surgery, osseointegration will begin. Osseointegration is the natural biological process wherein your jawbone fuses with the dental implants in Eugene, thus enabling the implants to serve as sturdy and long-lasting prosthetic tooth roots. Depending on your health and compliance with post-op instructions, osseointegration may take 3 – 4 months or longer.

After adequate osseointegration has occurred, you may undergo a second minor surgery. Your implants will be exposed, and healing caps will be placed on them. Later, you will receive abutments. Abutments are small connector pieces that will keep your restorations in place.

Woman examining her dental implant supported dental restoration in mirror

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

The last step of your journey is the design and placement of your crown, bridge, or denture. Dr. Sutter carefully plans restorations down to the last detail, ensuring that their size, shape, and color are all a perfect complement for the patient who will receive them. After a dental laboratory creates your restoration, Dr. Sutter will double-check its fit and quality before he attaches it to your implants.

Our team will coach you on how to care for your new smile before you leave our dental office and begin enjoying the benefits of your rebuilt teeth. 

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Man looking at smile in mirror after dental implant tooth replacement

Dental implants are ideal for a wide variety of cases, including individuals with significant tooth loss. Those missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire arch can restore their smile seamlessly! During your consultation, Dr. Sutter will carefully evaluate your oral health and medical history to determine whether you qualify for dental implants (most people do!), and then he will get to work on mapping out the treatment journey ahead of you.

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Dentist and patient discussing dental implant options

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Most adults who are missing one or more teeth qualify for dental implants, either right away or after some preliminary treatments. Here are the basic criteria that indicate someone is a good candidate:

  • Fair overall health. You should be free of any medical conditions that could hinder your ability to heal well after a minor surgery.
  • Good oral health. It is important that you are free of active gum disease because gum disease can greatly increase the risk of dental implant failure.
  • Adequate jawbone density. Your jawbone should be strong enough and thick enough to support dental implants. If it is not, a bone graft may be able to fortify it.
  • Good habits. Good habits, including diligent oral hygiene and avoidance of tobacco products, increase the chances that your dental implant procedure will succeed.
Animated smile with dental implant supported dental crown in place

Missing Single Tooth

Replacing a single tooth requires one surgically-placed implant and one porcelain crown that goes on top. The restoration is placed once the tissue surrounding the implant has fully healed and an abutment is added, which connects the crown and implant.

Animated smile during dental implant supported fixed bridge placement

Missing Multiple Teeth

Those missing consecutive teeth can use a dental bridge designed to connect to dental implants. Instead of filing down healthy teeth to make room for a bridge, implant-retained bridges are attached to two dental implants on either side of the gap. This option is ideal for replacing three or four teeth at a time.

Animated dental implant supported denture placement

Missing All Teeth

Implant-retained dentures are designed to snap onto four strategically placed dental implants throughout your mouth. In most cases, this option can increase your biting force up to 70 percent!

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Dental team member and dental patient at reception desk

Dental implants have no exact price because it’s determined on a case-by-case basis. The price is largely based on your unique treatment plan, which involves many steps in order to complete. While the upfront cost of implants is generally higher than other options, they are widely considered the most cost-effective solution because of their durability and function.

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Dentist surgically placing dental implant post

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Not all patients are able to receive dental implants right away; some preliminary treatment might be necessary. For example, Dr. Sutter might determine that you require tooth extractions, a bone graft, or gum disease treatment. Each of these treatments incurs its own fee. Once your mouth is ready to support dental implants, you’ll undergo your placement surgery, the price of which will depend on how many implants are being placed, the type of sedation used, and other factors.

Animated dental implant supported dental crown components

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Not all dental implants are the same. There are a variety of types of implants and implant manufacturers. For example, most implants are made out of a titanium alloy, but other materials, such as zirconia, are becoming more popular. Naturally, the type of implant that is best for you will have an impact on the overall costs of your treatment. If more than one type of implant would work for you, you may be able to choose one after you understand the pros, cons, and financial aspects of each option.

Man sharing smile after final dental implant restoration

Final Dental Implant Restoration

Whereas dental implants replace the roots of lost teeth, restorations replace the visible portion of those teeth. Logically, a single crown that replaces one tooth costs less than a bridge that replaces three, four, or more teeth. A denture that replaces an entire arch of teeth is likely to cost even more. In some cases, a patient may be able to save a bit of money by having their existing conventional denture retrofitted to work with dental implants.

Man discussing dental insurance coverage for dental implant tooth replacement

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

It is becoming more and more common for dental insurance to cover dental implants. However, some policies do not cover them. Our team will help you to understand how your policy applies to your treatment, and we will file all claims on your behalf. If your insurance does not cover the implants themselves, it is likely to help you out with other aspects of your care, such as your final restoration or your preliminary treatments.

Components of a dental implant supported replacement tooth

Making Dental Implants Affordable

In addition to helping you figure out your insurance, we offer an additional resource that may make it possible for you to afford dental implants: financing. We are pleased to work with CareCredit, a third-party lender that helps patients pay for medical and dental treatments over time — often without interest.

Also, keep in mind that although dental implants may cost quite a bit up front, when you calculate their cost per day over 30 or 40 years, they may be more affordable than a daily stop at Dutch Brothers!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Smiling mature woman with beautiful smile

Dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime. They can provide you with decades of strong, reliable function. However, they will only fulfill that potential if you take good care of them. Fortunately, doing so is easy. How exactly can you maintain your dental implants? Follow these simple tips:

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Woman preparing to floss her teeth

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Even though dental implants cannot develop cavities, oral hygiene remains of paramount importance. Maintaining a clean mouth can greatly reduce your risk of gum disease and other oral infections. You should:

  • Carefully brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Use floss or an oral irrigator to clean between and underneath your dental implant restorations.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • If your restoration is removable, take it out of your mouth each day for a thorough cleaning.

Variety of colorful, nutritious foods

Eat a Healthy Diet

You should feel free to eat all of your favorite foods with dental implants. However, keep in mind that a nutritious, balanced diet is important if you want to keep your new teeth in the best shape possible. Try to put limits on your intake of sugary, sticky, and hard foods. You should also be careful not to overindulge in alcoholic beverages. Consume plenty of items that contain oral health-friendly nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium.

Fist smashing pack of cigarettes

Break Bad Habits

Some habits could damage your implants and increase the risk that they will fail. Here are some habits that you should avoid:

  • Smoking is strongly associated with increased rates of dental implant failure.
  • Chewing on hard objects, like ice or pen caps. You might accidentally break your restorations.
  • Using your teeth as tools to open packages. It is best to use scissors or a knife instead.

Hand holding clear sports mouthguard

Protect Your Dental Implants

If you tend to grind your teeth at night, you might need a mouthguard to place a protective barrier between your upper and lower dental arches.

If you play sports, you may need a different type of mouthguard — one that is specifically designed to stand up against hard impacts. Over-the-counter guards can provide a degree of protection, but custom ones from a dentist are more comfortable and better for your oral health.

Dental appointment highlighted in green on calendar

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Even if you no longer have any of your natural teeth, it is still important that you visit our practice periodically for a checkup. We can monitor both your dental implants and oral health; if we notice any problems, we will try to address them before they become serious. We will also remove your implant restorations and thoroughly clean your mouth so you can enjoy a fresh smile.

Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions

Model of dental implant supported replacement tooth compared to natural teeth

Dental implants in Eugene may sound appealing. Indeed, if you decide to move forward with them, your smile has a bright future ahead of it! However, before you commit to the treatment, you may want to learn more about dental implants and what to expect from them. That is why we have compiled the following brief list of frequently asked questions. If you do not see the information you were hoping for, you are welcome to contact us directly.

How Does Dental Insurance Apply to Dental Implants?

Coverage for dental implants varies greatly between dental insurance policies. Some plans do not provide any coverage, while others consider dental implants to be a major treatment and may cover up to 50% of their cost. Even if your policy does not cover the implants themselves, it might cover other portions of your treatment, such as your restorations or any necessary preparatory work.

Do I Really Need Dental Implants?

How you care for your oral health is a highly personal decision. However, we strongly urge patients to consider dental implants, even if they are missing as few as one or two teeth. Rebuilding your smile as soon as possible after tooth loss can prevent future issues, keep your jawbone as whole and healthy as possible, and spare you from the inconveniences of having an incomplete set of teeth.

Is It Painful to Get Dental Implants?

You can expect to feel little to nothing during your dental implant placement surgery. After the procedure, swelling and tenderness are normal. However, the healing process is more comfortable than most people anticipate. As long as you carefully follow postoperative instructions, you can expect your recovery to go as smoothly as possible.

What Might Cause Dental Implant Failure?

As mentioned above, dental implant failure is quite rare. When it does occur, it is most often due to a condition known as peri-implantitis, wherein bacteria attack the tissue around an implant. Diligent oral hygiene can play a huge role in preventing peri-implantitis and enabling your new smile to stand the test of time. Physical trauma is another potential cause of implant failure, so it is important that you wear a mouthguard whenever you play contact sports.

Are There Any Foods I Should Avoid with Dental Implants?

Dental implants are able to stand up to virtually any food. However, you should take reasonable precautions. For example, you should avoid biting down on anything extremely hard, like ice or jawbreaker candies. It would also be wise to limit your intake of extremely sugary or sticky foods.

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