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!