Dental implants were developed as a means of replacing the root of a missing tooth. If you have lost a tooth or teeth, a dental implant will replace any missing teeth from a single molar to an entire row of teeth for the upper or lower jaw.
Dental implants are made from a material called titanium, which is not only incredibly strong but also fuses to the bone of your jaw over a period. Dentists call this fusing ‘osseointegration’, which makes the implant very strong and durable…
The Implant Procedure
When you attend a consultation for implants, the dentist will take CT scans, which are three-dimensional images of your jaw. This is to find out whether the existing bone is deep enough to place the implant and where the locations of your nerves and sinuses are. This helps the dentist make sure that the implant can be properly placed without causing any problems. This modern technology allows for the exact positioning of the implant ensuring that it is placed safely and correctly.
If your dentist discovers through the CT scan that your jaw line does not contain enough bone to hold the implant, they may need to do a bone graft. Bone loss can occur as the result of ageing, previous dental work or other types of conditions.
The total healing time really depends on the condition of the bone. Typically, a dental implant takes around 3-4 months to fuse to the bone. The dentist will build you a temporary bridge or crown until the healing is complete.
Once the implant has healed and is showing signs of the titanium growing into the bone or ‘osseointegration’ the dentist will attach what is called an ‘abutment’. This is the connector built into the implant and it provides the means by which the crown or bridge can attach to your jaw.
Depending on the tooth being replaced, some implants can be done in a day. Both the abutment and the crown can be made ready to go in a very short space of time. You would be advised by your dentist to take care of the new placement, as it would not be able to take strong chewing for many weeks.
Bone Loss Prevention
There are several factors that influence bone loss, from poor circulation to specific diseases or osteoporosis. In addition, bone loss occurs when there has been a history of poor dental hygiene and lack of dental care. The most common one for jawbone loss is the loss of a tooth or several teeth. If you have some missing teeth you probably already have some bone loss. In most cases this can be dealt with by the dentist, but do not wait too long as an implant may not be viable to replace your missing teeth.
Implant Success Rate
The reason titanium is used for implants is that it has a 95% success rate for bone fusing and allowing for a healthy implant to last around 10 years.
In order to ensure a lifetime success with an implant, you must take care of your teeth and mouth. Regular checkups are just as important with implants as with real teeth. The dentist and their oral health team will check for fit and adjust of the crown as needed, and make sure that there is no shifting of the implant or problems caused by the strength of your jaw.
Benefits of Dental Implants
The biggest and most obvious benefit of implants is replacing missing teeth without using other teeth as abutments. An implant can also make sure that the shape of your face and mouth don’t become sunken looking and give you a happier outlook on life when you are not constantly hiding your mouth.
The alternative to an implant is usually a bridge or even a full denture plate. Not nearly as comfortable as implant, dentures are often the source of many complaints about lack of comfort, inability to eat certain foods and they can make it more difficult to smile or even speak naturally.
Cost of Dental Implants
With modern technology, the cost of implants has been dramatically reduced in the past few years. In many cases though if multiple teeth have to be replaced the cost can be much lower for each tooth. You should always check with your insurance company if you have dental benefits to see if the implant can be covered by the benefits, in many cases your insurer will cover a certain percentage of the cost.
Fort York Dentist provides a free consultation for dental implants, give us a call at (647) 346-8888 or (647) 343-8300 and check it out!