Wondering if dental implants are right for you? In this post, our Edmonton dentists share the basics of these tooth replacements, how the implant procedure is done, who candidates are, cost factors and more.
What are dental implants?
People often come to us to ask. "What are dental implants and why are they used?"
Disease, injury or an accident can sometimes cause tooth loss, which can develop into a much larger problem for your oral health in the future if it is not rectified as soon as possible. Without the tooth in its rightful place in the root, patients can experience shrinkage and weakening of the jaw, and their cheeks and lips will sag.
When tooth loss occurs, dental implants are often used to replace missing teeth because they help create the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
Having a dental implant placed is considered routine oral surgery that can be performed by your dentist. This typically takes two visits to the dentist.
There are two components to an implant: a titanium rod shaped like a screw that's placed into the jaw bone and functions similar to how a tooth root would, and an abutment that screws into the rod.
Once the dental implant is placed, a crown, bridge or other tooth replacement will be attached to the abutment.
Like other dental restorations, you'll need to practice diligent oral hygiene and take proper care of your dental implants to help them last a long time. With proper care, implants can last for a lifetime.
Who needs dental implants?
While it's true that we often consider dental implants for patients with disease, infection or injury, or those who have had an accident, there are also some other circumstances that may make you a candidate for a dental implant. Your dentist might recommend this tooth replacement if you have:
- Missing teeth or chipped teeth but you do not want to get bridges, crowns or dentures
- Dentures that aren't fitting properly
- A deteriorating jawbone
- Sunken facial muscles ("caved-in" appearance)
While a dental implant may be a tooth replacement option for many patients, they are not always the best choice and do come with some requirements. Patients should be generally healthy to have the implant procedure. They'll also need enough jawbone density, an excellent at-home oral hygiene routine, healthy gums
Your dentist will perform a comprehensive exam of your teeth and gums to determine whether you need dental implants. This includes taking a complete medical history, X-rays and dental impressions. After careful assessment, the dentist will let you know whether dental implants are the right option for your specific case.
Why would I get dental implants?
Now you understand what dental plants are and who might need them, but what are some reasons to choose these tooth replacements specifically?
While the prospect of having an implant procedure may have you feeling nervous, implants can be worth the time and effort to have placed as they can help create the appearance and function of a natural tooth. We may recommend implants to:
- Support speaking and chewing
- Help restore and preserve facial structure
- Provide a permanent solution to missing teeth while keeping remaining teeth in place
- Stop progression of gum recession and bone loss
- Act as a secure base for bridgework
- Secure dentures without adhesives
What's involved in the dental implants procedure?
To start, the dentist will surgically place the titanium rod in your jawbone, underneath the gum tissue. Once placement is complete, gum tissue will be stitched back together. The implant will bond with the jawbone and attach to the gum as the tissue heals.
The abutment is attached to the rod once the gums have fully healed. A tooth replacement such as a crown, bridge or dentures will be attached to abutment, creating the function and appearance of a natural tooth.
What are cost factors surrounding dental implants?
The quality of materials that go into making a dental implant, along with the implant fabrication process, surgeries required for implantation, and your dentist's background and skill will al factor into the price of your dental implant.
Some people may also need additional treatments at our Edmonton dental clinic before having surgery so the mouth can be adequately prepared for a successful surgery, and the risk of complications can be reduced. This may include several hygiene treatments and potentially a bone graft procedure to ensure the implant can be successfully anchored to the jawbone.
At Azarko Dental Clinics, our primary goal is to make sure patients who come in to have dental implants placed get their money's worth. Our dentists perform dental implant procedures to help make chewing, biting, smiling and speaking easier.