A DENTAL IMPLANT is a stable metal post placed right in your bone that acts as the root of your replacement tooth. No tooth structure is removed from any other teeth in your mouth. You need enough bone to fully house the implant. If you don't have enough bone, a bone graft can usually be done. It takes approximately 6 months for the implant root to integrate with your natural bone before a final tooth can be placed on the implant. Once an implant has integrated with your bone, a tooth can be placed over top. One can floss between the teeth like a natural tooth. In many cases, the dentist can make an inexpensive removeable denture to wear in the meantime to hold your bite and maintain your aesthetics.
Although success rates of implants on average are fairly high, if you are a smoker, the documented evidence suggests that successful integration is lower. Other medical conditions such as diabetes affects the integration of the implant. Your individual case needs to be carefully assessed so you can make an informed decision prior to your investment. Once an implant 'takes', it can last the rest of your life if you are healthy.
Both general dentists and specialists place implants. Dr. Heit is a general dentist that places implants but will be pleased to refer you to a specialist for your implant if you prefer or if your case is difficult.
Since an implant can be used to support one tooth, be part of a bridge or help support a denture, it is important to look at the overall condition of your health and teeth to optimize the position of your implant. For example, the same implant can be used to support 1 tooth today and a denture in the future.
A complete exam and time to discuss your personal options with Dr. Heit will help you make an informed choice regarding your dental treatment.
Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants at Scotia Square Dentistry involve?
You are usually done in 3 or 4 appointments:
- Scan appointment to make a surgical guide (minutes)
Surgery (1/2 hr to 2 hrs) depending on the amount of implants and the complexity of your individual case with a post op appointment p
After 4-6 months of healing, an impression is taken of the integrated implant (this means your own bone has secured the implant). The porcelain teeth are made and securely attached to the implant.