You have just had a tooth removed or you are about to get one removed. Your dentist has recommended dental implant surgery. Traditional dental implants continue to be excellent choices for replacing missing teeth; however, there are many options for implants. It is important to talk to your dentist about all the options so you can make an informed choice.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are the most secure, fully functional and permanent way to replace a tooth. They are mechanical devices designed to be a substitute for a missing tooth. They function as an artificial tooth root which a dental crown, bridge or denture can then be inserted.
What does dental implant surgery entail?
- Thorough oral examination: An important factor in ensuring the long-term success of a dental implant is the bone in which it’s placed. The dental specialist will examine your jaw to determine whether the quantity and quality of bone in the region of the implant is sufficient. The location for the implant will be examined to make sure it is far enough from neighbouring anatomical structures. Finally, the soft tissue and bone tissue will be evaluated to make sure they are pathology free.
- X-Rays: Your dental professional will take photos or 3D images of your jaws and teeth to determine whether there is sufficient healthy jaw bone. Any deficiencies within your mouth will be identified.
- Anesthetics: Having an implant placed is a surgical procedure. For that reason, a local anesthetic (and possibly also sedation or a general anesthetic) is used.
- Identifying the position and placing the implant: Once the bone has been accessed, the dentist will use a series of drills, each of increasing diameter, to prepare a hole into which the dental implant will be placed. At this point, you will have a gap where your tooth is missing. Crowns, bridges or dentures will then be placed in this gap.
What are the different types of dental implant surgeries?
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, there are two main types of implants:
- Endosteal Implants: These are made from titanium and shaped like small screws. They are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. Once the surrounding gum tissue has healed, a second surgery is needed to connect a post to the original implant. Lastly, an artificial tooth (or teeth) are mounted to the posts.
- Subperiosteal implants: Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum, on or above the jawbone. They consist of a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. As gums heal, the frame attaches itself to the jawbone. The posts (which are attached to the frame) will eventually protrude through the gums.
If you are missing more than one tooth, speak to one of our dentists at any of our locations, or schedule a dental implant consultation with our dentist and team. We will examine your teeth and help you make the best choice to care for your smile.