What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant replaces a tooth root from a lost tooth and acts as a stable anchor to attach a tooth restoration like a crown, bridge, or denture. Implants are made of biocompatible titanium materials and this titanium post is implanted in the jawbone.
Over 3 to 6 months, this implant fuses with the jawbone to form an artificial tooth root that is sturdy and does not move. Once the restoration is complete, you will have an artificial tooth that looks and feels natural, restoring your ability to chew, speak, and smile with confidence. Implants also prevent bone loss.
Did you know…
Dental implants last for 25 years to life.
How it works: The Dental Implant process
At your consultation, the doctor will take X-rays to determine if you have enough jawbone to support implants or if you will need a bone graft procedure.
We will administer local anesthesia to numb your mouth before making an incision into your gums and drilling into your jawbone to implant the titanium post into the bone.
There will be a waiting period of 3 to 6 months for osseointegration to take place. This is when the jawbone grows around the implant and they fuse.
After osseointegration has been completed successfully, we will perform a second oral surgery. Your gums will be reopened to attach an abutment to your implant.
Impressions are taken of your teeth to create a tooth restoration in the form of a dental crown, bridge, or denture. This will take a few weeks to be fabricated and will then be attached to the implant or implants.
Dental Implant Options
Single Tooth Implants
Traditional dental implants are used to replace a single tooth. The tooth restoration used to complete the artificial tooth is a dental crown, which can be made of various materials like zirconia or porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Implant supported bridges
An implant-supported bridge is similar to a traditional bridge, except for instead of securing the bridge in place with dental crowns, the bridge is anchored by dental implants. The implants act as a sturdy support for the pontic teeth which are suspended in the gap where there are missing teeth. This is a great option to replace a few missing teeth.
Full Arch Implants
Full arch implants involve placing a series of 4 to 6 implants to support an entire arch of teeth. These implants securely hold a denture in place so it doesn’t shift around. This combines the best aspects of both dentures and dental implants. You can choose between a fixed or removable prosthesis.
All On Four implants involve placing four implants into the jaw to support an entire arch of teeth. We can do this with just four implants by placing two implants toward the front of the jaw and placing two at the back at a 45-degree angle. A denture is then attached to these implants.
Did you know…
Dental implants are low maintenance.
Have questions about Dental Implants? Find answers here.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants last, on average, 15 to 20 years, but only with proper care and maintenance. That being said, poorly installed implants only last a few months and barely make it past a year. The same goes if you don’t take good care of your implants with regular cleaning (daily brushing and flossing) and avoiding hard and sticky foods.
Other habits that could compromise your dental implant’s longevity include excessive smoking and alcohol consumption which affects osseointegration. Osseointegration describes the process by which dental implants bond to bone matter. But that’s not all, as teeth grinding can also wear down or fracture the implants and shorten their lifespan.
How do I floss properly?
Daily flossing is the best way to dislodge plaque and bacteria to keep gum disease at bay, and can be easy once you know the proper technique. Begin by gathering about 24 inches of dental floss, wrapping most of it around one index or middle finger. Wind the remaining few inches around the index finger of your other hand, keeping about 1-inch of floss taut between your fingers and thumbs. Gently glide the floss between your teeth. If you’re having trouble getting the floss between your teeth, try not to force it, as it can slip and cause damage to your gums. Instead, use a gentle side-to-side rocking motion to get the floss where it needs to be. Once the floss is between your teeth, slide it into the gum line while following the c-shaped curve of the tooth. Repeat this process for both sides of every tooth. To help prevent the spread of bacteria, be sure to wind a new 1-inch section of floss before moving on to the next tooth.
Will Dental Implants Stop Bone Loss?
Yes, dental implants could prevent bone loss and help preserve bone density and height. The implants replace your tooth’s natural tooth and prevent the deterioration of the jaw bone due to lack of stimulation. Stimulation from the dental implant preserves the integrity of the jaw bone, keeping it strong and healthy.
Dental implants completely fuse with the jawbone after three to four months via osseointegration. It’s worth noting that bone loss in the jaw is incredibly detrimental to your dental health and can lead to tooth loss. Moreover, it can distort your facial features, giving you a pointy chin and wrinkles.
How Are Dental Implants Made?
Dental implants are typically made of biocompatible materials like titanium and its alloys. Manufacturing starts with a large titanium or titanium alloy rod that’s fed into a lathes system. The system uses computerized tools to shape and cut threads on the outside.
The rod is then cut into smaller rods, with a 4-meter rod producing up to 200 implants. A drill hollows out the smaller rods and creates new threads for securing the prosthetic teeth. Next, a vision measuring system checks that all the dimensions are perfect before the implants are sent to a cleaning machine and the prosthetic tooth is attached.
How Are Dental Implants Made?
Yes, dental implants are perfectly safe. All materials used in dental implants are biocompatible, meaning they’re completely harmless to living tissue. Moreover, the procedure for getting dental implants is completely painless since the dentist numbs your mouth throughout the entire process.
It’s worth noting that some complications may arise during and after the dental implant procedure. These complications may include a little bleeding around the implant site, infection, and allergic reaction to medication or implant materials. Your dentists will take necessary precautions to prevent these complications and address them promptly should they arise.
How Do I Care for My Dental Implants?
Proper dental implant care involves flossing daily and brushing your implants twice daily with a soft-bristled brush. While at it, remember to use low-abrasive toothpaste to avoid wearing down the prosthetic tooth surface.
You should also avoid hard, sticky foods, smoking, and alcohol, especially during the first few weeks after the procedure. Additionally, keep up with your dental visits to ensure your implants remain in tip-top shape.