Considering Getting a Dental Implant?
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium-based fixture used in dentistry to restore a site previously occupied by a tooth. Today, dental implants are considered the standard of care to replace missing teeth, with success rates in healthy patients of over 98%. Dental implants function just like natural teeth making them an ideal replacement option.
Dental Implant Options
- Single tooth replacement
- Multiple teeth replacement
- Full arch replacement
What Happens if I Don’t Replace my Missing Tooth with a Dental Implant?
From the day a tooth is lost, the surrounding gums and bone begin to shrink. Thus, the longer you wait to have your dental implant placed, the more tissue is lost and the greater the chance that the implant site may need to be rebuilt prior to implant placement. We are here to guide you through options to replace your missing tooth (or teeth).
Replacing a single tooth with a dental implant allows for desirable long-term functional and aesthetic results. Additionally, by electing to replace your missing tooth with an implant vs. a bridge or partial denture, you have chosen to help preserve the condition of healthy adjacent teeth by eliminating the need to grind down healthy adjacent teeth or use clasps for support. Additionally, your dental implant will continue to stimulate bone and gum tissue while in function, which helps prevent future bone loss over time.
What is the Process Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?
Replacing a single missing tooth with a dental implant typically requires 4 – 5 appointments over a period of 4 – 6 months.
A comprehensive consultation with your dental surgeon. At this appointment, required diagnostic radiographs ‘X-rays’ will be taken and you will be provided with a detailed treatment plan including expected duration and cost of the procedures.
- Phase I Surgery: Implant Placement
At this appointment your dental implant will be surgically placed under local anaesthetic (various levels of sedation are also available and can be discussed with your dental surgeon during the consultation). Your surgeon will review all post-operative care instructions with you, however, it is normal to have mild to moderate discomfort for 3 – 5 days after surgery which can often be relieved by taking simple analgesics.
If necessary, this brief appointment (typically 30 minutes) involves making a small incision to expose the top of your implant. This allows the placement of a healing abutment, which allows the gums to heal and expand in preparation for your new crown. (In certain cases, Stage II Surgery can be avoided and will be discussed at your initial consultation)
After the implant has fully healed within your jawbone (typically 2 – 3 weeks after the healing abutment is placed) impressions are taken of your implant and the surrounding gums. This is the first step required to begin making your new crown.
- Delivery of Implant-Supported Crown
- Screwing it into place
- Cementing it into place
The pros and cons of each approach will be discussed with you at your initial consultation appointment by your dental surgeon. Your implant-supported crown is placed and you now are able to function just like you have your natural tooth!
Therefore, you can see that typically, it takes 4-6 months from initiation of treatment to the day your implant-supported crown is delivered.
***Larger cases with multiple missing teeth may require more appointments
Quick Facts: Dental Implants is designed to give you a brief overview of the dental implant process. However, there are other relevant facts that you should know about before making the decision to move forward with dental implant therapy. We strongly encourage you to talk to Dr. Weiner and her team to determine if rehabilitation with dental implants is the right treatment option for you.
For more information see the “Dental Implants” section at www.thesmilesurgeon.com