A guide to dental implants

When it comes to replacing missing or damaged teeth, the best solution might be a dental implant.  Dental implants are a surgical procedure in which a titanium screw is implanted directly into the jawbone, acting as an artificial root for the new prosthetic tooth (crown or bridge).  It usually takes 3-6 months for the titanium root to become osseointegrated with the jawbone (to bond with the bone).  

Implants are an option to replace missing teeth, however it is always better to try to save your existing teeth rather than leap directly to an implant. Implants can be expensive and they generally require more maintenance than regular teeth. You need to brush more, you need to see the dental hygienist more often, and you need to be more careful with maintenance follow-ups.  Implants are also much more susceptible to diseases such as periodontis and peri-implantitis.  Sometimes, the body just rejects the implant: it doesn’t bond to the bone.  Your medical history will also influence whether or not you are a good candidate for implants.  This is something that your dentist will review with you.

Don’t get discouraged, though. Overall, dental implants are very successful. Recent studies have shown that the success rate for implants today are in the high 90s. Because dental implants are rooted directly to the bone, they feel like real teeth when chewing and speaking. Implants also are much more stable than dentures, which can often slip out of place at the most embarrassing times. Dentures or removable bridges create many gaps between your teeth and gum line which are breeding grounds for plaque and bacteria to accumulate.  This can quickly lead to deteriorating oral health.  Implants, on the other hand, will significantly reduce this health hazard.

When teeth fall out, the jawbone area that supported those teeth no longer has a reason to maintain its strength and may begin to deteriorate.  Replacing those teeth with dental implants will preserve the integrity of the jawbone, thereby keeping your facial structure intact.

If you are interested in dental implants, Dr. Goel and Dr. Jost will be happy to discuss the pros and cons and give you the information required to make an informed decision.  

-Bonnie
Braeside Dental Centre

A guide to dental implants

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