West Wind Dental’s Dr. Drew Hamilton is a top dentist for dental implants in Portage, MI, Kalamazoo, MI, and throughout Michigan.
We are proud to offer implant dentistry as part of our dental services, with our goal always to create healthy, beautiful, functional smiles.
Many of our patients come to us with questions about tooth implants. Below you’ll find information about our implants and process directly from Dr. Hamilton.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are uniquely designed titanium posts that are used to replace lost tooth roots and to support crowns that replace missing teeth.
Dental implants come in all shapes and sizes in order to adequately fit and support crowns in the areas where teeth are missing.
Dental Implant patient review
“Big Thank You to Dr Hamilton for the great job on fixing my teeth. I broke out a 30 year old bridge and Dr Hamilton repaired it with new implants. I was impressed with his explanation of the process and his caring nature. I would highly recommend Dr Hamilton to all of my friends and family” – David Rice, Schoolcraft, MI
Why are dental implants the best solution for tooth replacement?
Implant solutions are now considered the standard of care for tooth replacement in modern dentistry. Although we strive to save teeth in our patients’ mouths, unfortunate circumstances can lead to the need for tooth removal.
In many circumstances, the teeth in front and behind the missing tooth space have nothing wrong with them. Before dental implants became the standard of care, healthy teeth were used to support dental bridges and span the gap to replace missing teeth.
This forced dentists and patients to work on teeth with nothing wrong with them. Essentially, we utilized a three-tooth solution for a single tooth problem.
With the emergence of dental implantogy, we can now predictably replace single or multiple missing teeth, without touching the other healthy, strong ones.
Unlike natural teeth, dental implants do not get decay and rarely have gum tissue problems surrounding them once they have healed in a patient’s mouth. The research also shows that the long term success rate of dental implants is much higher the natural tooth supported bridges.
It must also be noted that if a dental bridge fails, there are possibly three teeth that may be missing and a larger bridge or removable denture would be needed to fix the problem.
What is the process for dental implants?
Typically, when a tooth is diagnosed as “non-salvageable” for several reasons, it is removed very cautiously.
To enhance healing, final bone density, and soft-tissue appearance, a small graft can be placed in the area where the tooth is removed. There are several procedures for this involving varied situations. These would be discussed with you at the time of your surgery.
Resorbable stitches are placed once the surgery is done and the patient is seen back in approximately two weeks for follow-up. If the stitches are not out at this point, typically they can be trimmed away.
Approximately 6-8 weeks later, a dental implant is placed in the healed area. This takes less than an hour in most cases and is surprisingly pain free.
Another follow-up is completed 2 weeks later to check for proper healing.
After 6-10 weeks of further healing, the patient undergoes a quick procedure to trim the gum tissue away from the implant surface. A computerized scan or traditional dental impression will be taken for the fabrication of the connecting implant abutment and final crown restoration. An implant abutment is the part if the implant system that connects the crown on top to the implant underneath.
1-3 weeks following the uncovering appointment, the final touches are completed on the implant restoration. The bite is adjusted and the patient is instructed on care for the newly finished tooth.
It should be noted that this timeline is cut in half if the patient already has had the tooth removed. Also, it is noteworthy that placement of the dental implant can happen at the time the tooth is removed if the situation allows.
An immediate prosthetic is always placed at time of extraction in order for the patient to smile and talk without gaps or visible space, until the final crown is done.
The whole process can take as little as 2 months and as long as 7 months, but typically patients can assume that dental implants are a six-month process.
What is Dr. Hamilton’s training in implant dentistry?
Dr. Hamilton has dedicated his life to dentistry and has a passion for dental implants.
He completed an implant continuum with Dr. Arun Garg and completed a fellowship in the IDIA in 2014.
Since then, he has devoted extensive time and effort with the Kois Center in Seattle, Washington and The American Academy of Implant Dentistry to refine his skills in both implant placement and implant restoration. He hopes to complete another fellowship with this organization in the near future.
How to get started with dental implants in Portage, MI at West Wind Dental
Do you have missing or problem teeth? Dr. Hamilton can help determine if dental implants are right for you.
Want to learn more? Contact us below or call 269-381-7770 to schedule a consultation in our Portage dental office.
We will examine your unique situation and recommend a treatment plan (or no plan at all if we determine no action is needed).
We truly want to help members of our community—There is no obligation.