Dental implants are changing the way people live! They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth, which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The patient who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved.
Dental implants themselves are titanium posts that are surgically inserted into the jawbone where the teeth are missing. These metal anchors are substitutes for tooth roots. The bone bonds with the titanium creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implants that protrude through the gums. The artificial teeth are then anchored to these posts.
Implants help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that can occur when teeth are missing. Dental implants can eliminate the need for removable dentures or bridgework as well as concern about slipping dentures or gaps that show missing teeth.
Anyone who wants to replace individual missing teeth or has problems with retention of full or partial dentures are candidates for implants.
Dental implants are performed frequently at Harbourside Oral & Facial Surgical Centre with excellent results. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, please discuss this with your family dentist or call our office and we would be glad to provide you with additional information.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves between one and two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first 4-6 months following this surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums and are gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures during this time. Some patients however may require bone grafting prior to placement of implants. This is often required if you have been missing teeth for a long time or if there was a prior traumatic injury to the area.
The second phase begins when the implant is uncovered and a small post is attached which will act like an anchor for the final restoration (artificial tooth/crown). When the final crowns are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes 3-6 months and most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
When considering dental implants for the reconstruction of the dental complex there are times when the underlying bone is insufficient to support the titanium structure. Typically, this occurs secondary to the loss of the tooth in the distant past with progressive atrophy (bone loss) or loss of bone at the time of the extraction. The solution to this issue is the grafting of bone to augment the area. Bone grafts come in two different types; bone from you, the patient, or bone from alternative sources. The need for bone grafting will be reviewed during your evaluation along with the type of bone grafting required.