Dr. James S. Kim, DDS. SC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Dental Implants

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We strongly encourage and invite questions from our patients. An educated and informed patient is a patient who is empowered to take control over his or her own healthcare. Please take a look through this selection of questions our patients often ask. If your question is not answered here or if you’d like further information, please give us a call at 715-849-5667

How to Choose a Cosmetic Dentist

Dental Implants

Not right away.

Although a missing permanent tooth is a serious situation and needs to be addressed, dental implants cannot be used until a patient’s bone growth has completed, which is usually some time during adolescence. If an implant is placed while the bone is still growing, it may shift out of its place and cause problems in the future.

Space Maintainers for Kids

What you can consider is the use of a device called a “space maintainer.” This device prevents the development of surrounding teeth from being affected by the missing tooth. When your child’s bone growth is complete, the space maintainer can be replaced by a true implant. We will closely monitor your child’s development to most effectively plan treatment.

Dental Emergencies in Wausau, WI

If your child loses a permanent tooth, this is a dental emergency. Please call our office right away so we get you in, assess, the problem, and plan treatment. Not only can a missing tooth cause social stigma (which can be devastating for a child), the missing tooth can cause other teeth to shift out of place. This can affect your child’s bite and require orthodontic treatment.

Your child’s long-term dental health is valuable, and – just like you – we take it very seriously! 

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If you have any questions about your child's oral health or their baby and permanent teeth, please contact our office today. A friendly member of our team will be happy to answer all your questions.

A dental implant is a tooth replacement option made of biocompatible titanium that is used to replace the roots of missing teeth.

The post is surgically placed into the jawbone at the site of the missing tooth. As it heals, the post fuses to the jawbone and becomes a permanent part of your mouth.

Once the implant is stable, we can restore it with a lifelike crown (or other restoration, including bridges and even dentures) to take the place of the missing tooth.

 

dental implant | dentist wausau wi

 

Dental implants are the tooth-replacement solution that is most like your natural teeth. Because the implant replaces the root as well as the visible part of the tooth, it has an advantage that isn’t available with other replacement options. The implant restores the symbiotic relationship between the roots of your teeth and your periodontal bone, which allows the bone to maintain itself and stay strong. This helps to protect the health of your remaining teeth – and even the shape of your face.

You can care for your dental implants and crown restorations just like your natural teeth. While they can’t develop cavities, they can build up plaque, which can affect neighboring teeth and gum tissue. Brush your crown just as you would your other teeth, and return to our office as directed for regular check-ups! 

 

Dental Implants in Wausau, WI

Placing a dental implant requires the bone in your jaw to have sufficient quality and quantity. If you’ve been missing teeth for a long time or your tooth was lost to advanced periodontal (gum) disease, the bone in your jaw may be too weak to support an implant.

Don’t despair! This doesn’t necessarily mean that you can never have an implant; it simply means that some extra work is needed to build up the bone and make it strong enough to support an implant.

Bone Grafting

This can be done using certain surgical procedures, such as bone grafting. During bone grafting, donor bone is used to restore lost bone. As it heals, your own bone integrates with the donor bone, creating a stable base that can be used to support an implant.

Sometimes anatomy can make placing a dental implant more challenging. For instance, if we are placing an implant in the upper jaw, sinus cavities can sometimes get in the way. This is why we are so careful to use imaging to assess and evaluate your facial anatomy when we are considering implants. If this is true in your case, however, a procedure called a sinus lift could make you a better candidate.

Contact Us

The best way to find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants is to call and schedule an evaluation with Dr. James Kim. He’ll carefully assess your needs and provide you with all your options.  

If you are missing one or more teeth, you’ve probably been carefully considering your options.

Compared to bridges and dentures, dental implants do cost more, which can lead patients to wonder what makes implants so special and why dentists recommend them.

Dental implants have a key feature that makes them a big improvement over a bridge or a denture – the implant post, which is surgically placed in the jawbone. This post actually integrates with the bone and then functions similarly to your natural root. Bridges and dentures are only meant to replace the visible crown of the tooth, so while they complete your smile and help you look better, they don’t help you maintain your long-term dental health.

The root is an important part of your tooth and it actually works hard to help your bone stay strong. When the root is gone, the bone stops maintaining itself, becoming weaker and thinner. In time, this leads to more lost teeth and even changes to the shape of your face.

The dental implant stops this cycle. By functioning like your root, it helps the bone maintain itself and stay strong, protecting the long-term health of your bone and your other teeth. 

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