Are you embarrassed by a gap in your smile when laugh out loud? A dental implant can be the solution: it looks natural, it helps maintain jawbone health, and gets you feeling confident again.
An alternative to bridges, partials or dentures can be dental implants. The practice of implant dentistry is as much about art and experience as it is about science: it requires expertise in planning, surgery and tooth restoration.
What it’s about
What is a dental implant anyway? Lets get a good understanding by looking at a tooth structure. As an iceberg, a tooth is composed of a visible portion (the crown) and an invisible portion (the root), which allows to secure it in the gums and the jawbone.
The dental implant comprises an artificial root made of titanium that replaces the root of a missing tooth and to which is fixed a custom-made crown or artificial tooth.
Losing a tooth can no doubt cause much anxiety. Sometimes, it is only the visible part of the tooth which is affected. In such case, it’s possible to rely on the existing tooth root to reconstruct the tooth. In many cases, the tooth root is also lost.
What are the benefits?
1. Aesthetically close to natural teeth
With the use of all-ceramic crowns on implants, the dentist can select the shade that most closely match the color of the neighboring teeth. Once healed, dental implants take on the role of natural roots and you do not feel them.
2. Prevents bone loss
When losing a tooth, your jawbone tends to deteriorate. This can create complications for the other teeth, such as adjacent teeth sagging or opposing teeth extrusion. Dental implants stimulate the jawbone and prevent its degradation.
3. Preservation of adjacent teeth
Unlike when using a dental bridge, an implant does not rest on the adjacent teeth. A bridge anchors on adjacent teeth which may be necessary to shave on either side of the missing tooth, thus making them more vulnerable to bacteria.
4. High success rate
The success rate for dental implants is as high as 98%, with a higher rate when performed by an experienced dental surgeon. Today, implants have an indefinite lifespan, but if properly maintained, they can last for life.
Dental implant procedure
- The dentist practicing implantology will carefully examine your mouth, take X-rays of your head, jaws and teeth to find out if dental implants are right for you. He will then consider patient age, body size, preferences and smile width.
- The dentist then inserts a dental implant where a tooth is missing to bond to the jawbone and attach to the gum tissues. This process is called osseointegration. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place.
- The next step consists of attaching an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the implant.
- A custom-made replacement tooth or crown is then attached to the pillar. It will be held securely in place by a screw prosthesis and the natural teeth located on each side of the implant.
Not necessarily. If consecutive teeth are missing, it may be possible to anchor a bridge over several implants. A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by spanning an area that has no teeth. The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Typical timetable treatment and healing
Four appointments (varies depending on the case) should be considered and scheduled for a dental implant treatment. Tissue healing may take 3 to 6 months; a checkup for control is set every six months.
(1) Preceding consultation: making contact, problem analysis, health condition evaluation, oral assessment, x-rays, treatment plan.
(2) Embed the dental implant: incision of the gingiva, inserting a dental implant in the jawbone, fasten healing screw on the implant.
(3) Affix the pillar, and imprints: replacement of the healing screw with a prosthetic pillar, taking imprints for the production of a crown or bridge.
(4) Secure the dental crown: attaching crown on prosthetic abutments, overseeing aesthetics, adjustments for patient comfort.
Thanks to technological progress in the field of cosmetic dentistry today, more patients are opting for this treatment solution. Simply put, implant crowns and other prosthetic tooth replacements have superior reliability and are made to be remarkably fail-safe systems.
To regain a fully confident smile, consult our cosmetic dentistry specialists at David Côté Dental Clinic and do away with a tooth gap. Call Vanessa for an appointment at (819) 770-3636.