Dental Implant vs Bridge: Which Is Better?

Benefits and Drawbacks

Tooth loss among adults is a very common issue in the US. At least 69% of those aged 35 to 44 have at least one tooth lost; 25% of people by age 74 have their entire dentition gone. Teeth replacement had become quite commonplace as well. Dentists and their patients tend to choose between two popular options. Which is better – bridges or implants?

Dental bridges and dental implants both address the problem of missing teeth. Bridges, usually of porcelain or plastic false teeth, are held in the place of the missing natural teeth by attaching them to the surrounding natural teeth for support. On the other hand, dental implants, which are artificial roots, are surgically implanted into the missing space or spaces by screwing or mounting them into the jawbone. They protrude through the gum on which an artificial tooth or teeth is/are secured.

Bridges and implants each have their set of advantages and disadvantages.

The Advantages of Bridges: cost less than implants, do not require surgery or bone grafting and so do not need anesthesia, require at least only two dental visits in a span of a couple of weeks, and are likely covered by insurance.

The Disadvantages of Bridges: can lose its natural look with age, need replacement every 5 to seven years, sometimes ten years with stringent care, can do damage to the neighboring natural teeth to which it is attached, and, more prone to cavities and tooth decay.

The Advantages of Implants: long-lasting to up to 15 years or sometimes a lifetime, retain its natural look over time, do no damage to any of the natural teeth around, and, a high success rate of 97%.

The Disadvantages of Implants: require invasive surgery and anesthesia, surgical complications do happen though not common, may take several dentist visits spanning over 3 to 6 months (due to the healing and integration processes), cost more than bridges and are less likely covered by insurance.

Comparing the cost between bridges and implants will depend upon certain factors. For example, it will cost more to replace multiple missing teeth; hence, more expensive for multiple implants. Another is materials used; titanium implants are high-strength and high-end and so cost more than zirconium. For bridges, zirconia, all-ceramic, or porcelain-fused-to-metal cost more than metal. Where you live also affects the cost; generally, dental practices in metro key cities charge more than those in rural areas.


Knowing Your Best Option in Federal Way

Let us help you determine which option is the best for you. When you come see us, your Federal Way dentists, let’s sit down and talk about bridges and implants.

How Do I Prepare For Dental Implant Surgery?

Proper Preparation: Key To Success

When you are already committed to having dental implant surgery, your dentist will help you prepare for it. Know what the planning process entails and how you can prepare yourself before and after the procedure.

The dental implant procedure may require several surgical tasks and preparations, and, hence, a few specialists may get involved in the planning task. You might have an oro-maxillofacial surgeon, one who specializes in conditions of the mouth, jaw and face. You may have a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the supportive structures of the teeth – the gums and the underlying bone. There’s a prosthodontist, who designs the artificial crown and oversees its fitting. And, if necessary, an ear, nose and throat doctor or an ENT may be involved.

The preparation you make prior to the procedure may strongly affect the outcome. Hence, your dentist will make a thorough oral examination, including x-rays and impressions of your teeth and jaw. A good medical history must be taken, to include any medical conditions, medications and allergies. A treatment plan to be agreed upon will be drawn out so you will know what to expect step by step; also includes a discussion on the use of anesthesia or any sedation option.

Is dental implant surgery painful?

Within the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery and after the anesthetic effect has completely subsided, you may experience some pain, swelling or discomfort. Your dentist will prescribe an over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen. However, being a surgical procedure, you may still feel some discomfort after 7 to 10 days, though to a lessening degree.

From your end, as the patient, here are guides to consider:

  • Try to relax and be mentally prepared for the surgery.
  • Have lots of rest and sleep before the appointment.
  • Arrange your schedule and activities around the date of the surgery as you would need to take it easy afterwards.
  • Be mindful about your dentist’s instructions and advice about aftercare and what you can do in the event of an untoward incident.
  • You may need to go home with a companion who will see to your well-being and safety.
  • Be prepared for the recovery period because it can take months for healing and bone integration with the implant.
  • Your dentist will also inform you about a special soft diet to undertake from after the procedure to some time afterwards.

Having The Best Implant Surgery Experience in Federal Way

For an anxiety-free and safe dental implant surgery, look no further than your Federal Way dentist at West Campus Dental. Come see us for a consultation soon.

What Dental Implant Surgery Is All About

Versus Dentures and Bridgework  

Dental implant surgery is an option for dentures or bridgework for those who have lost their entire tooth, including the root. The procedure replaces missing teeth and is a viable and increasingly popular alternative due its high success rates. Learn about the treatment’s amazing benefits and why you should have it.

One or more missing teeth can impact appearance and self confidence, impede eating  and even speaking function, cause loss of bone mass, and change the shape of the face. A good replacement must prove to be strong and sturdy, last a long time, and restore the appearance and function of natural teeth. To have dental implant surgery addresses all these needs. It is basically implanting a metal, screw-like post into the space through the jaw bone and capping it with an artificial crown. The post serves as the root that eventually will integrate with the bone. Hence, the look and function of missing or damaged teeth are restored.

How would you know if dental implant surgery is for you?

First of all, your jawbone must have reached full growth and that is why it is not recommended for children. You must also have adequate and healthy bone mass to secure the implant in place and ensure proper bone integration around the post. It would be better that you do not have health problems that might jeopardize the healing process, like diabetes; or have a smoking habit that can delay healing and integration.  

Also, among other things, candidates for dental implant surgery want to improve speech and appearance, and want no visible dental work showing. These candidates are not able to or refuse to wear dentures, and they must be willing to commit to the treatment process duration and implant aftercare. 

Compared to having dentures or bridgework, dental implants won’t slip or fall out accidentally. The materials used for implants, basically titanium, do not decay unlike what natural teeth are prone to when they support bridgework. They are also easier to clean. Implants may cost more than other restorations, but over the long run prove more cost-effective because they last longer, even over one’s lifetime.  

Just like any surgery, dental implants face some risks; however such risks may be lessened with proper care. Site infection, injury to neighboring structures, nerve damage, and sinus problems are minor issues and easily treated.    

Dental Implant Surgery in Federal Way

When you are contemplating dental implant surgery and would like to know more about its advantages over dentures and bridgework, come see us at West Campus Dental. Your Federal Way dentist is more than willing to help.

What is Peri-Implantitis and How Do You Avoid It?

The Perils of Peri-implantitis and Its Prevention

Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the gums (soft tissue) as well as the bone (hard tissue) surrounding the dental implant. It can potentially be destructive. Know more about it and how you and your dentist can prevent or manage it.

What peri-implantitis is is an inflammation around the dental implant. The most common culprit is the buildup of decay-causing tartar at the implant site, which usually is the result of poor oral hygiene. Tartar emits toxins that carry bacteria and cause irritation and then infection of the gums and the bone that supports the implant. If left unattended, the condition can ultimately result in gum destruction and loss of bone. Hence, at the onset, regular and proper brushing and flossing are key to prevention of this inflammation.

You can tell if your implant is in danger of peri-implantation. These signs and symptoms may be present: Pain at the implant site, swelling, tenderness, or redness of the gums, bleeding or pus discharge which may produce a foul odor, development of a pocket around the crown that may cause tooth movement. Once the anchor of the implant to the bone is lost, the implant can become loose or may fall out.

A risk factor, as mentioned earlier, is poor oral hygiene or a lack of an implant maintenance therapy. It may also be that the patient is unable to easily access the implant while brushing or flossing, or is not comfortable cleaning the area of the implant. One other risk factor is an excess of or a residual of cement. Cement is used to retain the implant in the bone tissue, and cement has a potentially rough surface that bacteria can lodge. This is possible with cement-retained implants. The alternative here is the screw-retained implant.

Other risk factors for peri-implantitis are diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Another risk factor is genetics.

If peri-implantitis is discovered early, before there is bone loss, the condition can be arrested and cured. That is why regular dentist visits are important. Not all patients with implants have the same degree of inflammation, besides an existing medical condition such as diabetes or pregnancy. If a patient is more prone to caries, it would be a good preventive measure to have regular plaque removal. Depending on the severity, treatment for peri-implantitis can range from non-surgical to surgical. So do not delay keeping your dentist appointments.


Helping Prevent Peri-implantitis in Federal Way

When you decide to have your dental implants at West Campus Dental, here in Federal Way, we will be your partners in prevention of peri-implantitis. See us for more helpful information.

Dentist’s Advice: How To Care For Your Dental Implants

Keys To Implant Treatment Success

Now that you have new dental implants – you have covered the cost, made aware of the after effects, immediate post-care, and are just about ready to flash your new smile, the work is only half accomplished. Knowing how to care for your implants is the other crucial part of this wonderful experience. Anticipating that you would want to know about implant care, here are the most common questions you might ask and your dentist’s expert advice.

How can I keep my dental implants healthy?

Your dentist will provide you advice and instructions. It is essential that you stay faithful to the recommendations because this is a critical stage in the healing. The practice of proper oral hygiene – brushing and flossing – hastens the healing and prevents gum infection. Use a soft bristle nylon toothbrush and a mild, low-abrasive toothpaste with care under and around the implant crown. Floss with an implant-specific floss. Do not use products with intense flavors or scents as they can cause some discomfort. Do not use tobacco products or consume alcohol; these will impede the healing process remarkably.

While dental implants have a high rate of success, a small number of cases may develop peri-implantitis. It’s an infection of the soft tissues surrounding the implant. It arises from inadequate oral hygiene that leads to a build-up of plaque.

Are there appropriate cleaning aids to care for implants?

Your dentist and hygienist will personalize their recommendations. They will tell you about specific types of cleaning aids, such as, soft, tapered bristle toothbrush to use under the gumline, and interdental brushes to clean effectively between teeth, besides dental floss. The metal part of the implant can easily be scratched and that can attract bacteria that may infect the gums. So avoid cleaning aids that have metal in them, or are sharp and hard.

How can I be sure I am taking care of my implants adequately?

The procedure can take 6 – 12 weeks to completely heal for a single tooth. Others may take longer. Hence, it is necessary to meet your dental appointments after the procedure, like every 2 to 3 months or so, depending on your circumstances, to ensure you are doing their recommendations correctly. If there’s any oral issue concerning your implants – like bleeding, sensitivity, or implant movement – inform your dentist right away.

You play an important role in the success of your own restoration. Do stay motivated in the care of your implant. Following your dentist’s instructions is part of the treatment success and can ensure longevity of your implant.


More Helpful Implant Care Tips in Federal Way

Here at West Campus Dental Center, rest assured that we are with our dental implant patients in their journey to healing and success. See your Federal Way dentist now for more information.

The Amazing Benefits of Dental Implants

A Better Alternative for Missing Teeth

Dental implants are popular alternatives today to replace missing teeth. Before implants became technologically advanced, dentists and patients used to opt for a removable denture or a fixed bridge. Though these may have their own minor drawbacks, such as removing them for cleaning, potential to come loose, and the requirement for an adjacent and trimmed down anchor, they are still favored under certain circumstances. Dental implants proved to have no such impediments.

Aside from not needing removal every time you have to clean your appliance, dental implants also do not need neighboring teeth support, hence, there is no need to cut down adjacent teeth. A dental implant is firmly anchored into the jaw bone and can stand and function on its own.

Here are some of the amazing benefits of dental implants:

Dental implants improve appearance.

They look like your natural teeth in color and in shape, and are not noticeable as not your real teeth. Implants maintain the shape of your face by preventing facial sagging and premature aging such as will happen with a person with missing teeth. Furthermore, wearing implants prevents bone loss and, in fact, encourages bone growth as the implant integrates with the jaw bone.

Dental implants are comfortable to wear and are convenient.

As they are securely integrated into the jaw bone, implants do not just come loose. You can enjoy your food choices without worry. They are convenient too, because you do not need to take them off while sleeping or for cleaning. They are easy to care for, just like the rest of your natural teeth.

Dental implants enhance self-esteem.

Your speech is natural and not impeded, unlike if you wear dentures. Also, while eating, you don’t have to worry about food getting trapped as can happen with dentures. Furthermore, you will feel more confident and your smile more natural.

Dental implants are more cost-effective than other missing tooth treatments.

Compared to dentures and fixed bridges, implants may cost more. However, in the long run, they are so strong and sturdy, they can last longer than the other two. In fact, if well-cared for, implants may last a lifetime, and may never have to be repaired or replaced periodically.

Dental implants enhance mouth health.

Implants do not decay so there is no worry about cavities forming. They also support adjacent teeth, preventing shifting. They preserve and stimulate natural bone, hence, prevents bone deterioration. Lastly, implants maintain gum health.


Enhancing Oral Health with Dental Implants in Federal Way

Ready to replace your missing teeth with implants? See us at West Campus Dental Center for a more engaging experience with dental implants. See your Federal Way dentist.

Questions Patients Ask About Root Canal Treatment

Understanding The Basics of Root Canal Procedure

Root canal treatment, or simply root canal, is a common service offered in many dental clinics. If you have not experienced it, and you may one day find yourself needing it, you will undoubtedly have many questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked queries about root canal.

What is root canal treatment?

It is a procedure by which infection at the pulp of a tooth is removed and treated, restoring that tooth’s normal health and function without entirely extracting it. It is also known as an endodontic treatment. Many are done everyday by both endodontists and general dentists as the means of treating infected teeth.

Why do dentists resort to root canal?

This is one procedure to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. It relieves pain, eliminates the infection so that it does not have to spread to the neighboring teeth. It saves the tooth so that normal function returns without losing the affected, natural tooth, hence, your mouth’s normal appearance is maintained. Root canal treatment enables the tooth to survive even without a deceased pulp.

What situations qualify me as a candidate for a root canal?

You might have these signs and symptoms: severe pain in the tooth and the gums that support it, especially while biting on it, swollen, tender, or darkened gums, deep tooth decay with or without a dental filling, a tooth that has a crack or a chip, and tooth sensitivity even if the stimulus is removed.

How is the root canal done?

Generally, your dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp, and will carefully clean the inside of the pulp chamber, disinfect it, then fill it up with a filling material, and seal it.

Does root canal treatment hurt?

No. It is generally painless because anesthesia will be administered. However, the area may feel a bit sore or numb after the procedure. There can also be some mild discomfort in the area that may last a few hours. However, you can go back to your usual routine even after the procedure, but it is better not to eat yet or bite into the area until the numbness subsides.

What determines the cost of a root canal?

It depends on the complexity of the problem, where the tooth is located (back teeth are more difficult), and the number of teeth involved. Most dental insurance policies provide coverage.


Safe and Painless Root Canal Treatments in Federal Way

Come to West Campus Dental for your root canal treatment in Federal Way Rest assured we provide safe, effective, and painless procedures for your peace of mind and improved oral health.

Understanding The Amazing Benefits of Teeth Bonding

Useful Applications

Tooth bonding is a popular and simple cosmetic procedure that makes use of a bonding material the dentist directly fuses to the natural but defective tooth, improving its color and shape. It has several applications, but overall enhances the beauty and confidence of a smile. Learn more about it.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth bonding is most beneficial for the repair of chipped teeth. That is because the natural tooth color of the bonding materials used blend well with the natural neighboring teeth. The materials used for bonding are composite resin and porcelain, which are fused to the defective tooth or teeth, molded and sculpted and attached over an adhesive gel. It is afterwards hardened by ultraviolet light and then polished. It makes for a strong structure that can last over 10 years.

Aside from correcting cracks and chipped areas, tooth bonding has other useful applications. It is also used to close gaps in teeth, as a filling material after a cavity has been removed, to cover up stains or discolored teeth, and also for improving silver amalgam fillings that have become unsightly. And then, tooth bonding can also improve the tooth size, such as a shorter tooth can be made longer to improve its alignment with the rest of the teeth.

The procedure is safe.

It doesn’t usually require anesthesia, unless cavity filling is involved. It is cost-effective, an affordable option considered less expensive than other cosmetic procedures, like crowns and veneers. It is typically an easy and fast procedure, taking between 30 minutes to an hour. However, some sittings may take longer depending on the extent of the procedure. There is no need for multiple visits to the dentist as well.

Are there risks associated with tooth bonding?

Yes, though the risks are not major ones and can also happen to other cosmetic procedures. Though durable, composite resin is not as strong as your natural teeth. It can also chip or break, though not as often compared to crowns or veneers. So take care not to bite on ice or your nails, do not chew on hard objects like pencils, or on foods like candy. Likewise, be careful about discoloration, as resin is not as stain-resistant as other materials. Avoid drinking too much coffee and avoid smoking, too.

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Enhancing Smiles with Tooth Bonding in Federal Way

Experience one of our popular services at West Campus Dental – teeth bonding. Let us bring those smiles back with our affordable and safe teeth bonding procedure in Federal Way.

Conventional Replacements for Missing Teeth

Different Types and Benefits 

If you have missing teeth, you might consider opting for dentures or implants, both of which have their own benefits. This article explains dentures and why they are still a preferable mode of treatment for missing teeth.  


Dentures are among the oldest treatments for missing teeth. Sometimes they are also referred to as false teeth, but they also have a natural look to them. They can be permanent or removable, though most dentures are of the removable type.

Dentures are composed of the crown or crowns which resemble the missing teeth, and they are usually made of acrylic. The crowns sit on a plate or a base which, in turn, resembles your natural gums. The denture should fit exactly in the mouth; they stick to your gums via natural suction or via adhesive. You should wear them during the day, and remove them for cleaning at night and during sleep. 

There are several types of dentures. Complete or full dentures are those that replace all of your teeth; they may be for both upper and lower jaws, or one of them. Partial dentures are those that replace the missing teeth and yet are attached to the existing teeth. Flexible dentures are composed of a softer and flexible base, unlike the traditional ones. They are also the most comfortable to wear. 

What are the benefits of dentures? 

Dentures may not require surgery unless it is necessary to extract for a more stable appliance and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Flexible dentures are stain and odor-resistant, and do not require adhesives to stick to the gums.  They are cost effective and comparatively more affordable than dental implants. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile, restoring your smile and confidence. 

Dentures may make your gums sore and uncomfortable when they are just new. Over time your mouth will adjust to the appliance. It is still essential to practise good oral hygiene and keep your dental appointments.


Learn More 

When you have issues about missing teeth, be sure to consult with us at West Campus Dental Center. We are your friendly, state-of-the-art dental facility in Federal Way.

How Do Missing Teeth Affect Oral Health?

The Consequences

Some people with missing teeth do not mind at all the lack of one or two teeth in their mouth, especially if the gap or gaps are not noticeable at all. Such is the case if the vacancies are towards the back of the mouth. Nonetheless, wherever there are missing teeth potential problems may arise.

Your teeth work together to support daily routines like speaking, eating, chewing, and even smiling. Gaps in between teeth can impact these functions in mild, moderate, or severe degrees. Mild cases, over time, can have severe consequences. It can affect the quality of life and overall health.


The first issue you deal with when you have missing teeth is aesthetics. Gaps do not look becoming on your smile, which you may tend to minimize or hide. It may affect your self-confidence and how you deal with others. These can be the emotional consequences.

Chewing Food

You might find it difficult or uncomfortable chewing your food. If there’s a missing tooth or two on one side of your arch, you tend to favor biting or chewing food on the other side. This puts an unbalanced pressure on the side most used and can lead to premature wear and tear of the teeth, gums, including the jaw and facial muscles. You might also eat at a slower pace than before. Also, you may find yourself avoiding certain foods that you used to enjoy as eating them gives you discomfort.

Possible Issues Long-term

Missing teeth can alter your bite over time. Did you know that a tooth can drift, gradually shifting towards the gap nearest to it? Due to the chewing forces you daily apply on your teeth, the drifting tooth wants to compensate for the loss. Later, a gap will slowly develop on its other side, followed by other teeth. The situation can affect bite, cause crooked teeth, sensitivity, grinding, and difficulty chewing.

Missing teeth can also change the shape of your face, causing you to appear much older than you really are. This is due to the bone underneath the missing tooth to eventually shrink and weaken. This may lead to your mouth appearing to shift as the part of the bone in that area is no longer stimulated.

Consider replacement options available for missing teeth which are effective and lasting for years.


Considering Your Options In Federal Way

When you are missing a tooth or two, consider your options with us at West Campus Dental. Talk to your Federal Way dentist and have the replacement right away to avoid the ill effects of missing teeth on oral health.