What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are used for a variety of tooth replacement options. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is made of a bio-compatible material such as titanium. It is placed securely in the jaw and allows a replacement tooth or dental prosthesis to be secured over top. A dental implant is the best option to replace one or more missing teeth.
Why choose dental implants?
Dental implants have some advantages that other tooth replacement options cannot match. They are the only tooth replacement option that preserves your existing bone in the mouth. Once the implant is secured into the jaw, it stimulates the jaw bone, which in turn prevents shrinking of the bone. Tooth replacement options such as a dental bridge or partial denture, cannot prevent the bone from shrinking. Over time, this loss of bone will result in changes to the shape of the face and smile.
A dental implant will allow you to eat and speak confidently due to its secure fit and integration into the natural jaw bone. Many of the foods that you could not enjoy or had to avoid can be enjoyed again with dental implants.
Unlike a dental bridge, dental implants do not require that nearby teeth be modified in any way to allow them to fit. A bridge requires that nearby teeth be filed or shaved down, to allow the dental crown portion of the bridge to fit.
With proper care and regular dental visits, a dental implant can last a lifetime. Dental bridges can last up to 10 years but may need to be recemented.
What is the process like?
The first step involves placing the dental implant into the jaw bone. Once the dental implant is placed, the area is covered by the gums and allowed to heal for a few weeks to a few months. This healing process allows the bone in the jaw to fuse with the dental implant for a stable and secure fit.
Your dentist will take x-rays to determine if the dental implant has had enough time to fuse with the jaw bone. Once it has been determined that the bone has fused to the implant, an attachment or connector is placed on top of the implant. This connector or attachment will help to secure the artificial dental crown to the dental implant. Your dentist will attach a dental crown that has been custom-made to match the rest of your natural teeth in colour and size. Once the crown has been permanently secured, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of your new dental implant.
Contact us if you would like to get more information about dental implants or if you would like to discuss dental implant treatment options.