After losing a tooth from a sports related dental injury, Geoff finally got his missing tooth replaced with a dental implant. His journey to replace his missing tooth took five years, but now he says that his new tooth looks and feels as if it had always been there! Here Geoff shares his journey to tooth replacement, as well as why he opted to go with a dental implant.
How did you damage your tooth?
I damaged my tooth at a family 4th of July picnic playing in an all-ages ultimate frisbee game. Never thought that ultimate was a sport that required a mouth guard, but now I’m a firm believer in wearing one for a lot of recreational activities – basketball, skiing, biking, etc., as you never know when your mouth get smacked.
So, what happened?
I avoided running into a kid at full speed, lost my balance, and did a perfect face plant on the field. At the time, I thought that I’d broken my nose, but after a few days I noticed that the gum line around one of my teeth was irritated and that my tooth was loose.
What happened next and why did you decide on a dental implant?
It turned out that my fall caused a fractured tooth root, which couldn’t be repaired. It was recommended that I go to a dental surgeon to have it extracted. And that it was probably better to get it done sooner, rather than later and wind up with other possible dental issues. So, I knew I was going to lose the tooth, I started planning for it. After doing some research on tooth replacement options, I decided to go with a dental implants because it seemed like they would look, feel and function like natural teeth. I didn’t want to deal with a partial denture, and I didn’t want a dental bridge either. I was only missing one tooth and I’d read that dental bridges could stress the health of the supporting teeth.
Why did you wait so long to get your tooth replaced?
The dental surgeon extracted my tooth and also placed the anchor for my dental implant into my jaw bone so that I’d be ready in a few months to finalize the next steps for my dental implant – an abutment (the “screw” that connects the implant base) and a porcelain crown to connect to the abutment. It usually takes about 4 to six months of healing time before the dentist can fully complete a dental implant procedure.
At this time, however, I had let my dental insurance lapse, and was in between dentists. I thought that I’d find a new dentist, but I guess daily life just got in the way – work, family, home improvement projects, etc.
So, what brought you to Dr. Gilbert?
Before I knew it, about 4 years had gone by, and I hadn’t seen a dentist for teeth cleanings or exams. I knew that I was going to need some dental work done, especially since I’d procrastinated so long. On a recommendation, I made my first dental exam appointment with Dr. Gilbert, even though I live in Seattle. And I’ve been making the 15 mile drive (just under 30 minutes) to see him ever since.
What is it about the practice that keeps you coming back?
I really liked his laid-back office environment, and his calm, soothing approach to dentistry. While I know that their practice offers a lot for patients who have dental fears, I don’t have dental fears. But I do appreciate the views from his dental chairs. Each chair faces out onto a nicely wooded private, back yard area. It’s very peaceful, compared to other dental practices I’ve visited. And they also have therapy dog Chance there too, who always stops by to say hi when I’m there.
Why did you decide to have Dr. Gilbert complete your dental implant procedure?
I hadn’t visited a dentist for quite a few years, so I really needed some dental maintenance work, so I had to make several visits back to see Dr. Gilbert in the last 2 years. I was very impressed with how thorough Bill is with the information, and dental education, he conveys, as well with his passion for performing high quality dental care. Regarding his work, he’s a perfectionist. He also takes his time, doesn’t rush, and he listens to you. He’s very gentle, and I’ve never experience any pain – from the nonvaccine administration to drilling out an old cavity. So, after a couple of visits, I knew that if anyone was going to complete my dental implant, it was going to be Bill.
So, how are you liking your new tooth?
I love it. My dental implant blended in perfectly with my other teeth, and it functions just like my real teeth when I’m eating too. I can’t tell that it’s there…until I see my smile in a mirror. And then I’m like, “Oh, I don’t have a missing space there anymore.” I can already tell that I smile more broadly now than I used to.
Anything else you’d like to share?
The dental staff there – Cece, Trish, Beatrice. They are marvelous and definitely play a big role in the friendly, easy-going atmosphere there. You always feel like a friend when you visit, not a patient.
Missing a tooth? Don’t life get in the way of your perfect smile. If you’re looking to replace a missing tooth, we can help you find the right option such as a dental implant. Schedule a consultation with us today – just call (425) 957-4700 or request an appointment online! And if you have any dental related fears or anxiety, please let us know when you schedule your appointment. We’re here to make your dental visits comfortable, positive and pain-free.