Secure Your Ideal Smile With Dental Implants
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support, and they are a permanent and stable solution to missing teeth.
Implants Look and Feel Like Natural Teeth
Implants are a good solution to tooth loss because they can be made to look and feel like your natural teeth. There are different types of dental implants: some are placed directly into the jaw bone like natural tooth roots, and others feature a custom-made metal framework that fits directly on the existing bone.
You must be in good health and have the proper bone structure and healthy gums for the implant to stay in place. People who are unable to wear dentures may also be good candidates for dental implants. If you suffer from chronic problems such as clenching or bruxism (grinding), or systemic diseases such as diabetes, the success rate for implants decreases dramatically. Additionally, people who smoke or drink alcohol may not be good candidates.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Initially, your dentist will perform surgery to anchor the “artificial root” into or on your jaw bone. The procedure is done in our dental office with local anesthesia. Your gum is then secured over the implant, which will remain covered until it fuses with the bone. At subsequent visits, the dentist uncovers the implant and attaches an extension, or post, to the implant. (With some implants, the implant and post are a single unit placed in the mouth during the initial surgery.) Finally, the dentist makes an artificial tooth, or crown, called an abutment, that is attached to the implant post.
The entire process can take several visits to complete. Each patient heals differently, so times will vary. After the implant and posts are placed surgically, the healing process can take up to six months and the fitting of replacement teeth shouldn’t be more than two months.
The success rate for implants depends on the tooth’s purpose and location in the mouth, as well as a patient’s overall health. Your dentist can give you more specific details based on your individual assessment as a dental implant candidate. Strategically placed implants can now be used to support permanently cemented bridges, in some cases eliminating the need for a denture. Implants and bridges more closely resemble real teeth.
How To Care For Your Implants
Good oral hygiene is key to your implants success. As with your natural teeth, it is important to floss and brush around the fixtures at least twice a day. We can give you more specific instructions on how to care for your new implants. Additional cleanings, up to four times per year, may be necessary to ensure that you retain healthy gums.
If you have missing teeth or poorly supported bridges, come see us at Clearwater Dental Centre in Edmonton and we’ll help you determine whether you are a potential candidate for dental implants.