A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw bone to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.
While high-tech in nature, dental implants are actually far more tooth-saving than traditional bridgework, since implants do not rely on neighbouring teeth for support. Modern materials and techniques make this form of treatment possible for almost anyone, and even where the conditions appear highly unfavourable.
Dental implants look and feel so natural, you may forget you ever lost a tooth. You know that your confidence about your teeth affects how you feel about yourself, both personally and professionally.
Implants can be colour matched to surrounding teeth very effectively. Teeth at the front of the mouth can be made translucent, matching them very effectively to surrounding teeth. Molar teeth at the back of the mouth, which need not be translucent, can benefit from metal reinforcing inside the tooth structure. Patients who wish to whiten their teeth should consult with their dentist. The colour of any new implant should be the same shade as the other teeth after whitening.
Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own!
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When a tooth is lost, it is important that it be replaced as quickly as possible. If this is not done, teeth next to the space begin to drift and teeth above or below the space move. The result is a “collapsing” of the bite and an unstable bite relationship.
Today’s advanced dental technology brings us the newest and permanent way to replace missing teeth. A dental implant is a small titanium fixture that is surgically placed into the jawbone. Titanium is used because it is the most biocompatible metal with our human body. Once in place, this artificial “root” can be used to attach different types of dental prosthesis including crowns, bridges, and dentures depending on the number of missing teeth.
Before performing implant surgery, an implantologist checks if there is an adequate amount of healthy bone to support a dental implant. It is not unusual to find out that some critical supporting bone is missing due to previous dental extractions, trauma, periodontal disease, infections, along with any other causes. Now that sufficient bone in the jaw is essential to the success of a dental implant, bone grafting should be done prior to or at the same time of the implant surgery if necessary. Through the surgical procedure, the implantologist increases the height land the width of the bone using artificial bone for repair or additions. If there is insufficient amount of bone found in a patient’s upper jaw, Sinus Lift may be required depending on the current size and shape of the maxillary sinus. A healing period lasts from three to six months based on the types of surgeries.
Step 1. Pre-surgical Evaluation
The implantologist takes a through examination with X-rays and 3-D CT scan, assesses the bone density and volume, and makes a detailed treatment plan for each patient.
Step 2. 1st Surgery
With a local anesthetic, the implant is placed into the jaw. During the next three to four months, the implant and the bone are allowed to bond together to form an anchor for artificial tooth on top. After this surgery, a temporary tooth replacement option can be worn over the implant site.
Step 3. 2nd Surgery
This procedure is to expose the top of the implant and attach a small metal post, called an abutment. The function of the post is to become the support for a replacement tooth. The gums will be allowed to heal for a couple of weeks following this procedure.
Step 4. Restoration
The prosthodotist takes impressions and makes a replacement crown that will attach to the implant. Once completed, the patient will experience restored confidence in their smile and ability to chew and speak.
Step 5. Follow Up Care
After treatment is complete, brushing, flossing and regular dental care are essential to the success of the dental implant. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor the implant, teeth and gums to make sure that they are healthy.