Have you lost a tooth? If so, you might be wondering how to replace it. These days, you’re no longer limited to just dentures and bridges. Now, you can use dental implants to permanently replace missing teeth.
Advancements in the dental industry are truly remarkable! The technology behind dental implants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie: The implant fuses with your jawbone to create a permanent, secure replacement tooth.
At Affinity Dental, our team has years of experience with implant dentistry. You can trust that at our dental office, you’ll be in good hands.
We’re going to cover everything you need to know about your dental implant surgery, from the procedure itself to the recovery process. Here’s what you can expect with your dental implants:
Which Type of Implant Is Right for You?
Depending on the health and structure of your jawbone, you may be better suited for one type of implant over another. The two main kinds are:
- Endosteal implants, in which a small titanium screw is inserted into the jawbone. This is the most common type of dental implant. In this post, we’ll be covering what to expect from an endosteal implant procedure.
- If you don’t have enough bone to support the titanium screw, your dentist may recommend subperiosteal implants instead. They are inserted under the gums (just above the bone).
Endosteal implants are the most common type of implant due to their high success rate. If you lack sufficient bone mass for this implant, your dentist may recommend bone graft surgery.
Will my dental insurance cover treatment?
You might be concerned about the cost of a dental implant. In total, you’ll need to pay for the implant, abutment, and crown; that can add up to several thousand dollars. But think of it this way: You’re investing in a new tooth that can last a lifetime.
You might be considering dental implants, but you aren’t sure if the cost will be covered. If you’re choosing dental implants for a cosmetic reason, your plan may not reimburse you for those costs. However, it will vary depending on your specific policy; we recommend contacting your insurance provider to find out more about your coverage.
The Dental Implant Process
So, what does a procedure like this entail? Unlike most dental treatments, you can’t complete a dental implant procedure in one or two appointments. It takes months to fully insert the tooth root implant and artificial tooth. Between appointments, you’ll need ample time for your body to heal and integrate with the implant.
Here’s a general outline of what the typical dental implant process looks like:
Extracting the tooth
Before your dental implant can be placed, your dentist must first remove your natural tooth from the socket during a routine dental extraction. If the tooth is broken, there may be shards that remain in your gum line. And if the tooth is infected or cracked, the dentist will need to extract it completely.
Before you can move forward with the dental implant procedure, your mouth will have to heal from the extraction. You may need to wait several weeks to let the gums heal. It’s also common for your dentist to prescribe antibiotics before your appointment (as a preventative measure).
Next, your oral surgeon will begin the surgical phase of your procedure. They’ll begin by administering a general or local anaesthetic (such as IV sedation); this will help you remain calm and prevent you from experiencing pain. If you choose IV sedation, remember not to eat for several hours before your appointment.
To place the implant, the oral surgeon will make an incision in the gums. They’ll drill down to the jawbone underneath, where the titanium screw is inserted. Then, they’ll stitch together your gums to close the area.
The next phase of healing takes several months. It takes time for the titanium screw to fuse with your jawbone and gum tissue, a process known as osseointegration.
This process gives the implant a secure and stable fit, which is why dental implants are so sturdy. When the process is complete, your titanium implant will act as a new artificial tooth root.
Placing the abutment
Now, it’s time to add the next piece of your dental implant: the abutment. This is what connects the titanium screw to your replacement tooth. Your oral surgeon may make a small incision to attach the abutment to the implant. After that, you’ll need to wait several weeks for the gums to heal again.
Adding the crown
After months of appointments and recovering, it’s finally time for the last stage in your dental implant procedure. At our dental office, we’ll create a custom crown that’s designed to blend in with your natural teeth. Your new tooth will be strong, comfortable, and fitted to the dimensions of your mouth.
Once the crown is attached to the abutment, your procedure is complete! Keep in mind that you’ll need to care for your artificial teeth the same way you do with your other teeth.
The Healing Process
What can you do to improve the success of your Winnipeg dental implant? The healing process can take anywhere between a few weeks to a month. But by taking care of your body and mouth during this time, you can speed up the process. We’ve put together these care tips to help you heal from your dental implant placement:
- Don’t drive home afterward. After you receive IV sedation, you’ll still feel groggy once you’re awake. Make sure not to operate any motor vehicles for several hours after your procedure.
- Maintain good oral hygiene. Brush and floss every day! Your implant can get infected just like a regular tooth.
- Eat soft foods. Chewing tough foods can damage your teeth. Stick to softer foods, especially while you’re recovering from your oral surgery.
- Control swelling and pain. If your cheek is swollen, apply an ice pack against your face to bring down the inflammation. You can take an over-the-counter painkiller (such as ibuprofen) to minimize your discomfort.
- Call your dentist if you’re concerned. Are you noticing anything unusual with your new implant? If you are experiencing any bleeding, severe pain, or persistent redness and swelling near the surgical site, contact your dental specialist right away.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implants aren’t right for everyone. Before you can schedule your appointment, your dentist will thoroughly examine your jawbone, gum tissue, and other teeth. They will look for things like:
- Jaw bone mass. To support the titanium screw, you need a healthy and dense jaw bone structure. If you lack sufficient density in the jaw bone, you can undergo a bone graft procedure first. A healthy jawbone is required to support the replacement tooth or teeth.
- Gum health. Healthy gums play a key part in the success of your dental implant procedure. If you have gum disease (or periodontal disease), you will not be eligible for dental implants. Otherwise, the bacteria in your tissues will attack the gums and jawbone, reducing the chances of a successful implant.
- Medical history. Do you have any allergies? Are you currently taking medication? Have you been diagnosed with any medical conditions, including diabetes or heart disease? Do you smoke? Your oral surgeons will ask these types of questions to plan your dental implant procedure and choose an anaesthetic.
- Overall oral health. Excellent oral hygiene plays a key role in the success of your implants. That’s why your dentist will also examine your surrounding teeth.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Even though dental implants are more costly than other replacement teeth options, they remain a popular choice across Canada. That’s due to their natural appearance, secure fit, and long-lasting results.
If you’re looking for a missing tooth solution that lasts a lifetime, a dental implant may be right for you. We’re going to list a few reasons why they’re such a great option for replacing missing teeth:
- Dental implants blend seamlessly with your natural teeth; from the outside, no one will be able to detect your dental implants. The crown is designed to match the shade and shape of your smile.
- They’re just as strong as your existing teeth.
- If you have missing teeth, it can lead to deterioration of your facial structure. Since your jaw bone is no longer stimulated, it begins to break down, leading to changes in your appearance. Dental implants will prevent this from occurring, allowing you to maintain the structure of your face.
- Finally, a dental implant will help you chew, smile, and speak more comfortably. You won’t have to worry about gaps in your smile causing discomfort or even embarrassment. Achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of with permanent replacement teeth.
Schedule Your Dental Implant Surgery Today!
At our Henderson dentist office, we offer all kinds of restorative dentistry solutions. If you have a missing tooth, one of our dentists can meet with you to find the best replacement option.
Let us help you create a smile that’s strong, long-lasting, and beautiful. To schedule your consultation, contact us today!