What are dental implants?
Dental implants are unique restorative structures that replicate the natural tooth root. They are essentially small screws or posts made from titanium, a naturally allergy-resistant material, and fitted with a restoration such as a crown or bridge.
Losing a tooth is not uncommon and can result from injuries, accidents, wear and tear, or infection. And while it’s not pleasing to the eye, it’s even more detrimental to your oral health. A missing tooth or teeth can change the structure of the jawbone and cause the remaining teeth to move, leading to misalignment and further complications.
Whether you’re missing one or all of your teeth, dental implants, along with cosmetic restorations, can help restore your smile.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants have three stages in which we piece together your new false tooth. The first stage involves surgically inserting the implant into the jawbone. After fully healing, we will prepare the metal screw with an abutment that acts as the base for the final restoration. The final stage is permanently attaching the crown to the abutment. If you are receiving a bridge, there may be a few extra steps involved.
The entire process can seem complicated, but our dedicated team will guide you through each stage and procedure. Once your implant is complete, it will only require the same maintenance as your natural teeth.
Who should get dental implants?
Typically when someone loses teeth, they have the option between dental implants and dentures. Determining what is best for you will come down to your existing oral health, needs and budget. Dentures are much more affordable but require more upkeep than dental implants.
Other significant differences to note include:
- Dental implants are permanent, whereas dentures can warm and break over time.
- Dental implants require less maintenance, while dentures need to be cleaned separately with special solutions.
- Dental implants are more expensive but can last for decades with proper care.
If you have a missing tooth or teeth and are looking for a long-term solution to filling your smile, then dental implants are ideal.
What is the procedure for receiving dental implants?
We split the dental implant process into three phases.
The initial phase will be about assessing your current oral health and examining the teeth and gap that needs to be filled. Our team will perform x-rays and scans to check your bone density. Once we have established that you are a candidate for a dental implant and have determined if you will need a bone graft or extraction, we can arrange the surgery.
Your next appointment with us will include the implant surgery. This is a fairly invasive procedure, but we incorporate sedation techniques to ensure that you are comfortable throughout. We numb the area and then cut into the gum to expose the jawbone. The implant is then inserted into the jawbone, and any necessary stitches are made. The process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, depending on how complicated the case is.
The final appointment will only take place after the implant has fully healed, which is about two to three months. We will check that the implant is healed and fully fused to the jawbone before placing the abutment. If you are receiving a single crown, we will fit it during this appointment too. In more complex cases with multiple implants or bridges, we will need to take impressions and scans to prepare the final restorations.
How long does recovery take?
The entire dental implant process can take a few months to a year to complete. This is because not every case is straightforward, and there are several factors that influence your healing time and the number of appointments.
After the implant is placed, healing can take up to six months, with the jaw fully healing after a year. Other factors that can impact your recovery time include the number of implants, needing a bone graft, smoking and diabetes.
What do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants varies depending on your case and needs. Factors such as needing a bone graft or extraction and the number of implants impact the overall treatment quote. Generally, dental implant procedures can range from $17 000 to over $30 000. However, we provide a full quotation along with your comprehensive treatment plan so that you are aware of the full cost of the procedures prior to beginning treatment.