Dental Implants in Racine WA

New ‘roots’ are possible!

dental implantsWith dental implants, we actually are talking about roots! When you think about dental implants, picture them as artificial roots that provide support to your teeth.

Imagine your tooth as a tree….a healthy root means a healthy tree. Fortunately for us, unlike trees or plants, if we don’t have a healthy root structure for our teeth, we have the option of replacing the root with an implant.

Implants give your bite stability. You can chew better and more comfortable and they reduce the risk of gum disease compared to other options. An implant is like a natural tooth that can’t get a cavity. Bonus. AND they are comfortable and easy to place in the jaw.

Dr. Westman uses in-office cat-scan imaging for accurate planning, patient comfort, and safety when placing tooth-form implants. He can determine if implants may be an option for you. Dental implants Racine by Dr. Westman. The right choice.

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What other benefits do implants provide?

Dental Implants | Family Dentist Racine | Dr. Mike WestmanOne of the other benefits of an implant is that adjacent teeth don’t need to be restored, making implants an attractive option for single tooth and crown replacement rather than a bridge.

Many of our patients who wear conventional lower dentures have been amazed by the improvement in support and chewing function when Dr. Westman has placed as few as two implants. Four to six or more implants can completely eliminate the need for any removable denture while replacing a full set of upper or lower teeth.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

If you’re missing a tooth or a couple of teeth, there is no better replacement option than dental implants. They replace the individual tooth or teeth and look and function exactly as a natural tooth does. You’re also a good candidate if you have a tooth with severe decay or damage that likely needs extracting. It should be replaced with an implant.

Replacing all of your teeth with dental implants is not really realistic, but implants also serve as great anchors for either bridge or for full arches of dentures. Dr. Westman places four to six implants per arch. Your full-arch denture then snaps onto the implants. The implants provide the stability and anchoring that wearers of traditional dentures need, but do not get from traditional full dentures. Thanks to the anchoring provided by the implants, denture wearers no longer have to worry about their dentures slipping when chewing or talking.

Dental Implants | Family Dentist Racine | Dr. Mike Westman

Dental Implants | Family Dentist Racine | Dr. Mike Westman


To have implants placed, however, the patient must have adequate jawbone mass. If you’ve been missing a number of teeth in an area for some time you’ve probably lost bone mass in the area. There may not be sufficient bone mass to anchor the implant base without the risk of it failing. This doesn’t mean you cannot have an implant placed; it simply means Dr. Westman will have to do some bone grafting first to build up the jawbone mass. This isn’t a difficult or painful procedure; it just adds some time to the process. In some cases, if you don’t have too much jawbone loss, Dr. Westman can place the titanium implant base along with bone grafting material at the same time.

How are they placed in my mouth?

An implant is like an anchor for the replacement tooth. The implant is first inserted into the jawbone and then the replacement or false tooth is attached. Wondering what a Dental Implant exactly is?

Does getting a dental implant to require anesthesia?

Patients are amazed at how little discomfort is involved with the placement of dental implants. Dr. Westman uses local anesthetic when making the small initial incision in the gums to access the jawbone. Placing the titanium implant doesn’t require pain relief, as there aren’t any nerve endings in the jawbone. Another small injection of local anesthetic is used when Dr. Westman opens the gums to place the abutment onto the implant base once it has integrated fully into the jawbone. The final step of placing the artificial porcelain tooth atop the abutment doesn’t require any anesthetic.

What are the risks of having a dental implant?

Dental Implants | Family Dentist Racine | Dr. Mike WestmanThese are the most successful procedures in the dental world. Placing dental implants has a success rate of over 98 percent. The only real risk with dental implants is that the implant base will not successfully integrate into the jawbone and will loosen and fail. This is really only a possibility if the dentist has placed the implant in an area with insufficient bone mass. Because Dr. Westman uses our i-Cat Scan dental imaging system to create 3D images of the patient’s jaw when mapping his sites to place implants, this is not a problem with our practice. These are incredibly low-risk, high reward procedures.

What is the recovery process when having a dental implant?

There are two slight recovery periods. The first comes after Dr. Westman places the titanium implant base into your jaw in the hole formerly occupied by the natural tooth root. To access the jawbone, Dr. Westman makes a small incision in the gum tissue. Once the implant is placed, the incision is closed with a couple of stitches. You’ll need to let this heal for a week or so. During this time you’ll eat mainly a soft diet. Pain is manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers.

The second slight recovery comes when Dr. Westman places the post onto the implant base. Again, he has to make a small incision in the gums to access the top of the implant base. He attaches the post (also known as the abutment) and then he closes the gum incision around the post. The gums have to heal around the post for two to three weeks. This initially involves some minor discomfort, but again it is manageable with over-the-counter medications.

Dental Implants | Family Dentist Racine | Dr. Mike Westman

Dental Implants | Family Dentist Racine | Dr. Mike Westman


That’s all. There is no recovery when Dr. Westman attaches the artificial tooth to the post to complete the procedure.

How often will I have to replace my dental implant?

Dental implants are the longest-lasting dental prosthetic. In most cases, the implant lasts the remainder of the patient’s life. The artificial tooth may become damaged in rare situations, but this is easily replaced. The titanium implant base is a part of your jawbone and it will stay that way for the duration.

How much do dental implants cost?

No matter what your budget is, we know you care about your health. Dr. Westman wants to make sure you stay healthy as well and he will help you find solutions to make your dental treatments affordable for you. Dental implants Racine by Dr. Westman. The right choice.

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To learn more about dental implants please fill out our contact us form, or call 262.639.7000 today!

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