Anyone who is missing one or more of their teeth due to injury, disease or decay is a candidate for dental implants. If one, a few or all teeth are missing, dental implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth. Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits that dental implants offer. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. A careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history must be made to determine whether you can safely have a tooth removed. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re healthy enough to receive dental implants.
How do dental implants work?
The “root replica” fixture made of titanium is inserted in channel created in the jaw by precision instruments that control heat, speed and any variable that could affect a successful outcome. After osseointegration (when the surrounding bone has bonded to the implant), a replacement tooth is secured to the top of the implant. This new tooth looks, feels and performs similar to your natural teeth.
Is there any pain or discomfort involved?
Most patients report very little discomfort and that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they anticipated. Anesthesia and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort during the procedure.
How will I benefit from dental implants?
The benefits of implant treatment include appearance, the enhanced ability to chew and enjoy your food, and often protection of your remaining teeth and jawbone. Dental implants offer many benefits never before available for the treatment of missing teeth. In short, dental implants will look, feel and function like your real teeth.
How long will the treatment take?
Treatment time will vary depending on your particular situation. Nowadays it is often possible to get well-functioning and esthetic looking teeth within a few days. In some cases it may be necessary to wait longer before finishing the restoration in order to obtain an optimal result.
Pre-treatment consultation: After a careful evaluation of your dental and medical history, your practitioner will determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. If you are, you will then have a thorough consultation before your treatment begins.
Initial implant placement: Your practitioner places the dental implant into your jaw while you are under either local or general anaesthesia. Over the next several months, bone will heal to the surface of the implant, anchoring it into position. Depending on your particular case, an additional minor procedure creates an opening through which your artificial tooth will emerge.
Implant prosthetic attachment: During this phase, your practitioner painlessly attaches a prosthetic “post” to the implant. An impression will be taken, and soon after, an artificial replacement tooth will be created for a natural restoration.
Proper maintenance: Your dental practitioner will guide you on the proper care and maintenance of your new implants before, during and after the procedure. By following a regular routing of careful oral hygiene and regular checkups, your implants will look, function and feel great for many years to come.