Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. It is a permanent solution for missing teeth that have been lost due to periodontitis, tooth decay or injury. Dr. Bull at Westwood and Starwood Dental wants to help you restore your smile with beautiful new dental implants. Guelph patients find that dental implants resemble and function just like natural teeth. Significantly stronger than bridges or dentures, dental implants offer a single and permanent solution to lost teeth with fewer downsides.
Dental implants actually are what we call the titanium screw that is surgically placed within the jaw to hold the artificial tooth. The dental implant procedure begins with X-rays of your jaw and head. If Dr. Bull, one of our dentists in Guelph, determines that dental implants would be appropriate for your situation, he will proceed with the surgery, placing the titanium screw into your jawbone. The titanium fuses with the bone tissue and attaches to the gum, which has been stitched closed.
After the tissue has healed (which takes a few months), we will attach an abutment – or a post – perpendicular to the implant, forming a T shape. The doctor connects the prosthetic crown to this abutment, and your smile is restored.
There are several reasons why patients with missing teeth are particularly pleased with dental implants in Guelph:
You can bite into a crisp apple or chew a juicy steak without care, unlike people with dentures.
You’ll experience no embarrassing slipping or sliding, as with dentures – just a solid bite, like you had when you were 10.
You’ll be able to throw away your adhesive powders, gels and pads, which collect bacteria and foster smelly breath.
Dental implants look and act just like natural teeth!
Dental implant installation is a very safe type of oral surgery. Most people will be eligible currently or with small changes to their lifestyle. There are several reasons why you would need dental implants:
In addition to the above, you may qualify as a good candidate for implants if:
Conversely, some attributes in your lifestyle may absolutely preclude placing implants. Patients suffering from systemic diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's disease are at greater risk of implant complications. Osteoporosis and other bone deterioration diseases contribute greatly to implant complications too. Poor oral hygiene and some other health conditions and habits could be other risk factors. Tobacco and alcohol use can both inhibit healing in gum and bone tissue.
Although there is no upper age limit regarding dental implant installation, it is recommended that the procedure be done after the age of 18, in consideration of the jaw growth pattern.
When a tooth cannot be saved, the best option is to extract it and replace it with a dental implant. Here are some reasons why you would need to get a tooth extracted:
This varies from person to person. If there is enough healthy jawbone, it may be possible to place a dental implant the same day a tooth is extracted. However, in most cases, dentists recommend waiting 2 to 6 months after a tooth extraction, in order to let the gums fully heal.
Because bone loss naturally occurs after a tooth is removed, if the wait time is longer than 6 months, there may be more bone loss in the jaw, and so the jaw may become too thin or weak to support an implant. In such cases, a bone graft may be recommended to restore the strength of the jaw and prepare it for an implant.
There are three different approaches that your dentist can use. The deciding factor is how much bone mass your jaw has after the time of the extraction. The amount of bone mass is determined by taking a detailed 3D scan of the jaw. Depending on the scan results, your dentist may choose one of the following approaches:
Immediate post-extraction implant placement
Delayed post-extraction implant placement
The procedure consists of 3 or 4 steps, given that sometimes the two stages of implant surgery can be combined, and usually lasts 2 weeks to 6 months.
Your dentist or dental specialist performs a complete examination of your mouth. X-rays of your head, jaw and teeth are taken to find out if dental implants are right for you. If you are a good candidate, you move on to the next step.
Your dentist or dental specialist performs surgery: a small incision in the jawbone is made, the implant is inserted into your jawbone, and then the gum tissue is secured with sutures.
The healing process can take a few months. During this time, the gum tissues heal, and the implant integrates with the bone and attaches to the gum. Your replacement tooth is made by specialists during this time.
Before proceeding with the second surgery, the gum tissues must be in good condition. During surgery, your dentist attaches an abutment to the implant. The crown, or replacement tooth, is then attached to the abutment.
You should be aware of medications that may interfere with anesthesia used during dental implant surgery. For the week before the procedure, avoid aspirin and Advil pain relievers. If you need a pain reliever in the week leading up to your surgery, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is recommended. Moreover, remember to disclose to your dentist any prescription medications you are taking.
The perfect fit of the crown may require several visits to your dentist or dental specialist. During the year following the placement of the implants, a follow-up will be planned. Also, you will need to take great care of your implants. Like natural teeth, implants should be cleaned with a toothbrush and floss. Your dentist will tell you the correct technique to follow to clean your implants. Thereafter, it will be important for you to consult your dentist regularly to check the condition of the implants.
Getting dental implants is a multi-step process that takes time, but the benefits are well worth it. You’ll have a healthy smile that looks and feels natural and may even last a lifetime.
Are dental implants safe?
Can I get implants if I have existing teeth?
Do implants hurt?
How long does the treatment take?
If you are interested in exploring the benefits of dental implants in Guelph, call Westwood and Starwood Dental for a consultation. Our knowledgeable dentists will be pleased to explain whether or not dental implants are right for your situation. We’re happy to provide all the necessary appointments from start to finish right here in a warm and caring environment — Call 519-836-4650 to book your consultation today with Dr. Bull.