Dental Implants At Your Vancouver Dentist
If you’re missing one or more of your natural teeth, you’re well aware of the issues this causes. Not only can it make you self-conscious about your smile, but it can also make it difficult to eat certain foods and talk properly. Fortunately, you do have options for replacing missing teeth. One such option is a dental implant. Learn more about what a dental implant is, how it works, and whether you might be an ideal candidate for this procedure.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is like an artificial tooth root that looks similar to a screw. While it sounds like a modern invention, dental implants have actually been around for thousands of years. In fact, archaeologists discovered dental implants made of pieces of shell that were pounded into the jaw of an ancient Mayan woman from around 600 A.D.
Today’s dental implants are typically made using titanium for its durability and strength. Additionally, titanium will eventually fuse to the bone in your jaw, which makes the implant even stronger. Once the titanium post is secured into the jawbone, it’s topped with a realistic replacement tooth that blends in with your natural teeth.
Who Makes a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants can replace a signal tooth, multiple missing teeth, or even the entire lower or upper jawline of teeth. For the most part, if you’re healthy enough to handle routine oral surgery or a dental extraction, you’re a good candidate for dental implants. The most important concern for your eligibility is that your gums and jawbone are healthy enough to hold the implant in place.
As a result, those who have had radiation therapy around the head or neck, heavy smokers, and people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders, such as heart disease or diabetes, must first undergo an evaluation. If you’re thinking about implants, talk to the dental professionals at West Broadway Dentist to see if they’ll work for you.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer several advantages over other options to replace missing teeth. If you have poor-fitting dentures that slip while in your mouth, you might have problems with speech or chewing certain foods. However, dental implants are permanent, so you never have to worry about skipping your favourite foods or slurring your words. Additionally, dental implants look and feel like your own teeth, which can improve the appearance of your smile.
Since dental implants are made of titanium, they’re incredibly durable. In fact, with the right oral care, your implants can last a lifetime. Unlike a tooth-supported bridge, a dentist doesn’t have to alter the nearby teeth to support an implant, which improves your long-term oral health. Plus, implants give you easier access between teeth, which also leads to better oral hygiene. Finally, you never have to worry about the inconvenience of removing dentures and dealing with messy adhesives because dental implants become part of your jaw.
What to Expect
The first step in getting dental implants is having a CT scan of your jaw to see the depth of your bone and location of your nerves and sinuses. This will help your dentist install the implant without any unnecessary complications or pain. If your jaw doesn’t have enough bone to support the implant, your dentist may need to add bone-grafting material.
Once you’re ready for the actual implant, a small titanium post is inserted into the bone socket of your missing tooth. As your bone heals around the metal post, it anchors the post to your jaw. This process can take anywhere from three to 12 weeks, depending on any underlying medical conditions.
Once the implant has healed, your dentist will attach a small connector post called an abutment. The abutment is where the new tooth will go. During this time, your dentist will also make impressions of your teeth. Your dentist will use these impressions to create the new tooth, which is called a crown. The crown will match the colour, shape, and size of your natural teeth.
Advancements in technology have also led to what some dentists call Teeth-in-a-Day implants. As the name suggests, you can get the implant and crown installed in a single sitting. While this option does have some constraints, such as not being able to use strong chewing force for a few weeks, it’s still an ideal option for many people.
How to Care for Dental Implants
Once you have your dental implant, you’ll be pleased to know that caring for it is exactly the same as caring for your real teeth. This includes daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash and regular checkups with your dentist.
If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants and seeing if you’re a good candidate for the procedure, make an appointment with the dental professionals at West Broadway Dentist to discuss your options today.