SEATTLE — "There is more to [dental implants] than just placing a titanium or ceramic--which I prefer--screw," said Dr. Tigran Khachatrya from Redmond's A Smiling Heart Dentistry "There is extensive planning...an implant is like a substitute for your root. Then on top of it, you restore it with a crown, a bridge or a full-mouth restoration." 

His process of making a model of what the teeth will look like after the procedure involves a number of people, "It involves our team, our world-renowned lab, and a lot of education." 

Dr. Tigran told us there are intricacies to the process that people might not expect, "If we make a smile that is beautiful, but it disrupts your airway, you can end up with sleep apnea."

One of Dr. Tigrans Patients
One of Dr. Tigran's Patients displays the final result
Dr. Tigran

There are several types of dental restorations performed by A Smiling Heart Dentistry.

  • Zirconia Bridge: "The advantage of {zirconia] is that over time it doesn't stain, It is a very hard material, so it doesn't break easily. And it doesn't wear out." 
  • Hybrid Bridge: Made of a titanium framework that is essentially covered with denture teeth.  "The advantage of that restoration is that it's easy to repair if something chips," he said. "The disadvantages are that over time, it can stain and wear out." 
  • Zirconia with Individual Crowns: "This is like the Cadillac of restorations It combines both advantages to be easily repaired...durability and beauty. If a crown chips, you don't have to replace the entire bridge, you can just replace a single tooth." 

Dr. Tigran explained the science behind ceramic implants, which have become increasingly more popular and why he, as a Biological Dentist, prefers to use them.

"One is aesthetics. It looks better because if you have thin gums, the darkness [from the titanium screws] can sometimes show through. But more importantly, you can have allergic reactions to titanium screws. It's only one to four percent [of people], but if you do, the implant can fail or you could have autoimmune diseases that you don't even know about." 

Dr. Tigran said there are no known allergies to ceramic, so ceramic implants minimize the possibility of side effects as well as last just as long as their titanium counterparts, "It's the most bio-compatible material currently available for dental implants."  

As for what sets A Smiling Heart Dentistry apart from their competition, Dr. Tigran said it's about taking care of each of their clients as a whole person. 

"Implants can evolve from titanium to zirconia to better designs, but the best design is what you already have," he said. "Which is your own teeth, so I hope people take good care of their teeth. If you have an accident and something happens, we can try to restore it. So over time, we have put a lot of money and time into educating ourselves. 10 to 20 times more than what's required. We invested in a lot of technology and we're blessed with such a great team." 

This story is sponsored by A Smiling Heart Dentistry. Watch New Day Northwest 11:00 weekdays on KING-TV Ch.5 or streaming live on KING5.com. Connect with New Day via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram