Understanding Dental Implants: Replacing Missing Teeth
About Dental Implants in Ajax & Area
Missing teeth can compromise your health, eating habits, speech and appearance. Replacing missing teeth maintains the integrity of your facial structure and reduces the risk that the bone surrounding the previous tooth root will deteriorate or melt away.
The preferred treatment method for tooth replacement is dental implants. In Ajax, Whitby and Pickering, Durham Dental Centres offers dental implant treatment because they look, feel and function like your natural teeth.
A dental implant is a small metal screw which is placed in the upper or lower jaw where natural teeth have been lost. They function like a natural tooth root.
Implants are made from titanium because living bone will bond permanently to titanium and your system will not reject your implant, as it will other foreign bodies.
If you get dental implants in Ajax, they can be used to:
Replace a single tooth
Support a bridge to replace several missing teeth
Support a bridge when all teeth are missing
Provide secure fixation for a removable denture
Steps for the Dental Implant Procedure
A careful assessment is made of the jawbone and missing teeth using X-rays. This stage allows your dentist to determine your candidacy for implants and which type of implant would be most beneficial for your specific condition. Dental moulds (models) will be made to determine the ideal position and type of implant.
A minor operation is performed to place the implant into the jawbone. The gum is then stitched around the implant. At this stage, the implant is level with the surface of the gum and cannot be seen. This surgery may be done with either a local or general anesthetic.
A healing period of between 6-12 weeks is generally required prior to proceeding to the third step. You may experience some initial swelling or discolouration of the gums. Your dentist may provide you with medications or instructions for your gum care.
A titanium abutment (extension post) is screwed into each implant. This process can normally be done on an outpatient basis as oral surgery is not required. At this stage, additional impressions may be taken for the final replacement teeth, and a temporary tooth or bridge may be fitted. Your dentist may also have special cleaning or other instructions for you to follow for proper maintenance of your abutments.
The completed teeth are connected to the implants providing a secure, stable and natural looking replacement for the teeth that have been lost. You begin to care for your implants as if they were your natural teeth. Your dentist will probably schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that your implants are fitting properly. If you experience any pain or your bite is loose or weak, let your dentist know immediately.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants in Ajax?
In general, candidacy requires:
Good general health
A healthy jawbone
Good oral habits so that the possibility of post-surgical complications is reduced
Some health conditions can reduce your chances of being a good candidate. These include:
Existing dental problems
Smoking and use of alcohol
Benefits of Dental Implants
The greatest benefit of implants is that they look and feel like natural teeth. Unlike other tooth replacement procedures, implants allow you to eat, talk and laugh with confidence.
Other benefits include:
Healthy teeth are not destroyed or ground down
Implants do not require clasps secured to healthy teeth
Can be used regardless of the quantity and structure of remaining teeth
Denture patients will benefit from dental implants in Ajax with:
Confidence in knowing your dentures are secure
Improved speech and denture comfort
Improved biting pressure, which also improves diet and overall health, and allows you to eat any food with confidence
No need for denture adhesives
Risks of Dental Implants in Ajax & Area
There are very few risks associated with implants. Generally, any complications are rare and correctable. However, implants do require oral surgery, and so there is a risk of infection or complications arising from medications. In addition there is the possibility of damage to nearby muscles, nerves or sinus cavity.
Before deciding on any oral surgery, discuss the risks for your specific condition with your doctor.
Contact Us to Learn More about Dental Implants in Ajax
The experienced staff at Durham Dental Centre has seen many successful cases of patients with dental implants. If you’re interested in learning more about the process and determining if you’re a good candidate, please contact us. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have about dental implants at a consultation in Ajax, Pickering or Whitby.