At Village Lane Dental Centre our Okotoks dentists may place a dental implant as part of the process to replace a missing tooth and leave you with a natural-looking smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that functions like a tooth's natural root. Implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
The implant is surgically placed into the jaw bone and bonds with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting, resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain, and restore facial tissues and appearance.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, the teeth surrounding the gap may begin to shift out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to deteriorate, resulting in facial collapse or a negative impact to your ability to eat and talk.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The implant procedure requires a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement.
Your dentist will begin by surgically installing the implant into your jaw bone below the gum tissue. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach itself to the gum.
When the healing is complete, generally 3 to 6 months post-surgery, patients return to our office to complete the process.
At this final appointment, your dentist will attach a tooth replacement, such as a dental crown, bridge or denture, to the implant, creating the look and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Village Lane Dental Centre.
- How long do dental implants last?
If you care for your implant properly, they can last your lifetime. This includes proper brushing and flossing at home, as well as attending regular cleanings and exams at your dental office.
The longevity of a dental implant can also depend on other factors including nutrition, genetics, or the development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implant?
You should care for a dental implant the same way you care for your natural teeth.
Visiting your dentist for regular hygiene cleanings and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can help prevent decay or diseases from developing in the surrounding teeth and gums, which can negatively affect your dental implants.
- Does getting dental implants hurt?
During dental implant procedure, your dentist will administer anesthesia to make you comfortable so you won't feel any pain during the surgery.
Following the procedure, there is often not much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pain medication for the first few days after the procedure.
You will also need to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the procedure to avoid any pain or irritation.
- How long does the entire dental implant process take?
The dental implant procedure usually takes about two to nine months to complete, depending on your treatment plan.
Your dentist can provide you with a more specific timeline based on your particular situation.
- Will my insurance cover a dental implant?
Some insurances companies will cover the full cost of dental implants, while some will only pay for a portion of the cost, and others won't pay for any part of it.
To determine what dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.