Dental Implant Therapy
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a titanium post that's attached directly to the jawbone and acts as an anchor for a permanent artificial tooth, bridge or plate. That might seem drastic, but in reality the process is simple, clean and not nearly as painful as it sounds.
A dental implant has two main components. A titanium anchor is placed directly into your bone and allowed time to heal. Once ready to restore, a custom-made core and tooth can be attached to that titanium base. Once these parts all come together, you've got a healthy strong tooth.
Dental Implants are permanent, stable, and they look and feel like natural teeth. You treat an implant just like any of your other teeth and can chew your food on that side when it has healed. Implant dentistry has advanced to the point that implants can be placed with a high degree of confidence, skill and predictability. In fact, Dental Implants have a higher long-term success rate than most other dental restorations like Crowns or Bridges.
Implants aren't just for missing teeth. Sometimes those missing-tooth sites don't have much bone to support an implant. Weak or failing teeth can be better candidates for implant replacement because they still have bone left. So if you have a tooth that requires extensive treatment to save it, and the prognosis is at best sketchy, then you might consider removal and implant placement instead.
A Dental Implant will add support. Whenn you lose a tooth the others are forced to carry a heavier load. That means they'll tend to wear out faster. Adding a dental implant means you gain back that support you lost, lessening stress on the remaining teeth.
Placing a Dental Implant has become the best standard of care for a missing tooth. Over the last ten years the number of North Americans receiving implant dentistry has more than tripled.
How long does the process take?
The process usually takes around 6 months to complete. If bone grafting is necessary, further time may be required. Each patient has different bone quality and each heals differently, and so treatment times will vary. After the surgical placement of the implants, the healing process can take up to six months. The fitting and adjustment of replacement teeth typically take no more than two months.