TOOTH REPLACEMENT - DENTAL CARE
Patients can benefit from dental crown procedures by having a permanently restored, functional and aesthetically pleasing tooth. Crowns look and feel like the rest of your natural teeth!
A dental crown (sometimes referred to as a dental cap) is a type of dental restoration that can be used to cover a significantly damaged tooth where there is very little of the tooth structure left to restore. Dental crowns may be used if:
- You have had a root canal
- You have a large tooth filling
- Your tooth is broken
- Your tooth is badly stained, crooked or misshapen
A dental crown is permanently cemented onto the prepared tooth structure and fully covers the portion of tooth that lies above the gum line. Essentially, once prepared, a dental crown becomes the tooth's new outer surface. Dental crowns are often a dentist's treatment of choice because of the excellent clinical results achieved in creating a strong, permanent dental restoration. In addition, the aesthetic qualities of dental crowns enhance the overall appearance of your smile.
The two types of dental crowns commonly used are:
- Porcelain fused to metal dental crown - This type of dental crown is often used on posterior (back) teeth due to the strength that the semi-precious metal can provide during chewing. The veneer or facing of the tooth consists of porcelain that gives the dental restoration a natural looking quality.
- Porcelain dental crown - This type of crown consists of a very thin metal shell covered by layers of porcelain to resemble the shading and translucency of a natural tooth. This dental restoration is often recommended for anterior (front) teeth.
A dental bridge, also called a "fixed dental bridge", is a dental prosthesis that is used to replace one or more missing teeth within the same arch. Typically, a dental bridge is made up of an artificial tooth attached between 2 dental crowns. A dental bridge is permanently cemented in place and is held in place by your surrounding, healthy, natural teeth. Thus, it is permanent and non-removable.
Benefits of a dental bridge
- Provides support, structure and function to the jaw, preventing adjacent teeth from drifting into the position of the missing tooth or teeth
- Does not cause jaw bone loss
- Protects the integrity of underlying gum tissue
- Lasts up to 10 years or more
- Patients benefit from toot replacement bridges by enjoying a permanently restored, functional and aesthetically pleasing bridge that replaces the missing tooth or teeth within the dental arch
- With a dental bridge you will never have to be concerned with ill-fitting, uncomfortable partial dentures again!
Caring for your dental bridge
Taking good care of your dental bridge will ensure it lasts for many years. Dental bridges must be properly brushed and flossed every day like natural teeth. A floss-threader should be used to properly clean around and under the artificial tooth located in the middle of the dental bridge. As well, attending regular preventative care dental appointments is important for the maintenance and care of your dental bridge.
Dental implants are changing the way people live.
You can rediscover comfort & confidence while eating, speaking, laughing and smiling!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth loss. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.
A dental implant is a tooth restorative procedure that attaches a prosthetic tooth to a tiny titanium post that is surgically placed into the jaw bone where teeth are missing.
Dental implants can:
- Replace one or more missing teeth
- Provide support for a partial denture
- Increase support and stability for a full lower denture, making it more comfortable
Benefits of dental implants
It is important to replace missing or broken teeth. Failing to replace broken or missing teeth can have serious, adverse consequences to your general health, chewing and appearance.
- Dental implants look, feel and function like natural teeth. This gives you the confidence to enjoy eating, speaking, laughing and smiling without having to worry about "slipping" dentures or partials.
- Dental implants can help preserve your facial structure by preventing jaw bone deterioration caused by missing teeth.
- Dental implants do not affect the quality of your neighbouring teeth, since implants do not rely on neighbouring teeth for support.
- Dental implants have a very high success rate of up to 90% and last for many years.
Teeth in one day implant option*
Teeth in one day, also known as dentures on implants, allow you to receive a full arch of permanent, non-removable teeth in as little as one visit to the dentist!*
Teeth in one day replace your uncomfortable removable dentures with an arch of fixed, non-removable new teeth on permanent implants. The new teeth look and act like your natural teeth; you can smile, eat and speak naturally without having to worry about the burden of uncomfortable, ill-fitting dentures again!
*Results may vary by patient
Mini dental implants*
Mini implants are a smaller sized version of a conventional dental implant. Because the mini implant procedure is minimally invasive, generally without requiring bone grafting surgery or opening of the gums, mini implants can be inserted in as little as one day.
Mini implants can be used for permanently securing loose dentures, bridges or crowns and can be a viable solution for patients who have excessive jaw bone loss. As well, because mini implants are nearly half the size of conventional implants and take less time to insert, they can be more affordable.
Limitations of mini dental implants
Mini dental implants have many advantages; however, conventional dental implants are still the preferred solution for longer-term tooth replacement as they are more stable. Because mini implants are less stable, they tend to have a lower success rate than conventional dental implants.
*Please note that this specialized form of dentistry is limited to select Altima Dental Centres. Please call for availability.
How is a conventional dental implant procedure performed?
Dental implants are metal anchors that act as tooth root substitutes, surgically placed into the jawbone. For many patients, the placement of conventional dental implants involves two surgical phases:
First, implant posts are surgically placed within the jawbone by your dentist or oral surgeon. The surgical implant posts provide stable anchors for prosthetic replacement teeth. For the first three to six months following surgery, the dental implant posts lie beneath the surface of the gums and gradually bond with the jawbone. During this time, you should be able to wear temporary dentures or crowns while eating a softer food diet.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The implant posts placed in your jaw bone are uncovered and a small healing collar is attached. Once this has been completed, the dentist can then begin making your new prosthetic teeth.
To begin the process of making a prosthetic tooth or teeth, the dentist takes an impression of your mouth. This is to ensure a custom fit for the manufacture of your prosthetic teeth. Once your new teeth are made, attachments are connected to the implant and your prosthetic teeth are attached onto the implant post(s).
The entire procedure from start to finish usually takes six to eight months. However, most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life. The end result is a natural looking smile that will look and feel just right for you!
Dentures / Partials
Losing all or some of your teeth does not mean losing your self-esteem or confidence.
Whether you have lost teeth due to disease or because of an accident, there are many options to enhancing or creating the smile that is right for you.
Why do I have to replace missing teeth?
If you are missing one or more teeth, it is important to fill those spaces with prosthetic teeth as soon as possible:
- Every tooth requires an opposing tooth to give you a full and balanced bite. Without a full complement of teeth, you may be over-traumatizing some or all of your remaining teeth, making it difficult to chew and speak
- Neighbouring teeth may drift out of position towards where teeth are missing, causing jaw problems
- The absence of several teeth can compromise the integrity of the jaw bone and the contour of your face
Today's technology allows dentists to create a smile that is natural and confident. A denture doesn't have to look like a denture any more. High quality teeth in today's dentures are made with layers of different acrylics and are as close to your natural teeth as can be. It is nearly impossible to tell the dentures of today from the real thing, allowing you to smile with complete confidence.
Fortunately, there are many treatment options available to alter or adjust existing dentures if you are not ready to have new dentures made. Your dentist will evaluate whether you require a complete denture replacement or a minor to major denture adjustment on your existing dentures.
A full denture is a removable dental appliance prescribed by a dentist when all the natural teeth in one or both of your dental arches are missing.
When being fitted for dentures, the dentist first takes an accurate measurement of your face and mouth. Next, the shape and the shade of each tooth are carefully selected creating a customized smile for you.
A partial denture is a removable dental appliance made with one or more prosthetic teeth supported by your natural teeth. Partial dentures may be prescribed by your dentist where there are one or more missing teeth or your neighbouring teeth are not strong enough to support a dental bridge.
How to properly care for your dentures
Taking proper care of your dentures will ensure they last for many years. You must care for your dentures as you would your natural teeth, making sure you brush them properly twice daily using a professional denture cleaner. To maintain your dentures you should:
- Have your dentist polish your dentures every 6 months
- Have your dentist check your dentures at least once per year
- Reline your dentures every 2 to 3 years
- Replace your dentures every 5 to 7 years
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*10-minute complimentary consultation is with a general dentist, & excludes x-rays or new patient exam. Fees may apply with a specialist.