Dental implants are a fantastic option if you’re missing one tooth or many. They look and feel incredibly natural, improving both your smile and daily life. With dental implants, you can eat, talk, and laugh with confidence, knowing your teeth are secure.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants, typically made of titanium, are surgically placed into the jawbone to provide a sturdy base for replacement teeth or dental bridges. This option is favoured by individuals who have lost teeth due to reasons such as decay, injury, or periodontal disease. These small, screw-like posts integrate with the jawbone over time, resulting in a stable and robust base for replacement teeth. Dental implants offer a natural look and feel, functioning just like real teeth. Unlike removable dentures, they don’t require adhesives or removal for cleaning, making them a convenient and aesthetically pleasing option.
Types of Dental Implants
There are several types of dental implants available, and the choice depends on your specific needs and oral health condition.
- Endosteal Implants: These are common and go into your jawbone. They consist of a screw-like post, an abutment to connect to the new tooth, and the artificial tooth itself. Good bone density and oral health are usually needed for these.
- Subperiosteal Implants: Placed on top of the jawbone but beneath your gum tissue, these come with a metal frame fitted onto your jawbone and artificial teeth attached. If you have a shallow jawbone or prefer to avoid bone procedures, these are suitable.
- Zygomatic Implants: Used when you lack upper jawbone, these go into your cheekbone instead. They’re a good choice if extensive bone grafting would otherwise be required.
- All-on-4 or All-on-6 Implants: Ideal for full-arch restorations, they involve a fixed dental prosthesis attaching to four or six strategically positioned implants in your jaw. They provide stability, particularly for those who’ve lost many or all of their teeth.
- Mini Dental Implants (MDIs): Smaller than standard implants, these are suitable for cases with less bone or complexity. They’re quicker to insert and can stabilize lower dentures or serve as temporary solutions.
Process of Getting Dental Implants
- Assessment: A dentist or oral surgeon will assess your oral health. They may use X-rays or CT scans to evaluate your jawbone and create a tailored treatment plan.
- Planning: Using the assessment, a personalized plan is created. It specifies the number and type of implants required, and any additional procedures like bone grafts or tooth removal, if necessary.
- Surgery: Next comes the implant surgery, typically done with local anaesthesia. If needed, sedation options are available. The surgeon makes a small gum incision, drills into the jawbone to insert the implant, and stitches the gum tissue. Sometimes, a temporary crown or bridge is added during this phase.
- Healing: After implant placement, a healing period begins. It takes several months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone, known as osseointegration. It’s crucial to follow your dentist’s care instructions and avoid habits like smoking or eating hard foods during this time.
- Abutment Addition: When osseointegration is successful, a minor procedure attaches an abutment to the implant. The abutment extends above the gumline and provides support for the replacement tooth or teeth. The gum needs a few weeks to heal before proceeding to the final step.
- Tooth Placement: The last stage involves attaching the replacement tooth or teeth to the abutment. This could be a single crown, a dental bridge, or a denture, depending on your specific needs. These replacement teeth are custom-made to match your natural ones, ensuring a seamless and natural-looking smile.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants offer a long-term tooth loss solution and can last a lifetime with proper care. Factors like oral hygiene, overall health, and habits like smoking or teeth grinding can affect their lifespan. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are crucial for maintenance, ensuring healthy gums and implant longevity. While replacement teeth may require occasional repair due to wear and tear, the implants themselves should remain durable with proper care.
Are Dental Implants Painful?
Many people are concerned about pain during dental implant procedures, but modern techniques and anaesthesia ensure a comfortable experience. Local anaesthesia is used to numb the area during implant placement, preventing pain. Sedation options are available for those with anxiety or low pain tolerance. After surgery, some discomfort, swelling, or bruising may occur, but your dentist provides pain relief guidance and medication. Following post-operative care, maintaining oral hygiene, avoiding hard foods, and attending follow-up appointments are crucial for smooth recovery.
Richmond Dental Centre Accepting New Patients
Are you looking for a local dentist in the city of Richmond? The Dental Professionals at Richmond Dental Centre welcomes walk-ins, emergencies & new patients! Give us a call at (604) 273-3368 to schedule a dental appointment.