What Are Dental Implants?

What are dental implants?

Single Dental ImplantA dental implant is a small man-made titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth which is often topped with a crown as a replacement for the visible portion of a missing natural tooth.

Dental implants are placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw where they permanently bond with the bone and serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth (referred to as a Crown). Since dental implants can be used to replace multiple teeth, the implant can also serve to anchor a bridge or, in tandem with additional implants, it can even support a full denture.

Dental implants look, feel and function like natural teeth, and with proper care can last a lifetime.

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Are Dental Implants The Right Option For Me?

Dental implants are a proven restorative option with a long clinical history of many successful cases and happy implant recipients. In addition to allowing you to recover the joy of eating and chewing the foods you love, dental implants can also preserve the integrity of the facial structure (protecting your remaining teeth and preventing bone loss). Learn why dental implants are the most popular method for replacing missing teeth.

Are Dental Implants the right choice for me?Dental implants are appropriate for practically any individual who is missing teeth or at risk of losing teeth. Often, older clients express concerns that their age might avoid them from delighting in the advantages that dental implants offer. However, health is more of an identifying factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth removed, you’re most likely healthy enough to get dental implants. There are very few medical reasons why you may not be a candidate to get a dental implant. Our dentists will certainly discuss these with you if required.

The major limiting factor in determining whether you can have an implant to replace a missing tooth is whether there is sufficient bone remaining to accept the implant. This can be determined with an x-ray and a comprehensive examination of your oral tissues and supporting bone (jaw).

At Apple Dental Implant Centre our trained team includes certified specialists with a wide variety of implant capabilities and versatile expertise. We offer a large selection of implant options from single tooth replacement dental implants and multiple tooth replacement dental implants, to full mouth tooth replacement which ensures that your procedure is the most appropriate implant option for you. Additionally, when you get your dental implant at one of our Apple Dental Implant Centres across BC you can feel confident that you are not only getting some of the lowest priced dental implants in BC, but that you are getting dental implants backed by a team with a long history in dentistry that includes certified specialists.

Single Tooth Replacement

A single implant can be used to support a single crown for a single missing tooth.

An implant may be used to replace almost any missing tooth, provided there is adequate bone at the site. If not, modern procedures can usually be performed to regenerate enough bone to safely place an implant. The implant is placed in the bone below the gum tissue. A temporary abutment may be placed on the implant until the healing phase is complete. A cosmetic temporary crown can often be made to fill the missing space.

Examples of dental implants for different types of teeth

An implant may be used to replace almost any missing tooth [click to enlarge]

A dental implant provides numerous advantages over other tooth replacement choices. In addition to looking and operating like a natural tooth, a dental implant replaces a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighbouring teeth. The other common treatment for the loss of a single tooth, a tooth-supported fixed bridge, requires that adjacent teeth be ground to support the bridge.

Since a dental implant will essentially replace your tooth root, the surrounding bone is better maintained. With a bridge, some of the bone that previously surrounded the tooth starts to weaken. Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.

As for the process, your Vancouver dental practitioner will thoroughly examine your mouth and take x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to find out if dental implants correct for you.

During the first stage of surgery, your Apple Dental Implant Centre professional will put a dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back into location. As the tissue heals, the implant will eventually bond with the bone and connect to the gum. The binding process may take a few months to fully complete.

During the second phase of surgical treatment and as soon as the tissue is healed, your Vancouver Apple dental practitioner will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that links the replacement tooth to the implant. Sometimes, the first and second phase of implant surgical treatment might be done in one single visit!

  • A synthetic replacement tooth is made by our lab experts and is fused to the abutment. It might take several consultations to correctly fit the replacement tooth to the abutment.
  • When changing numerous teeth or all of your teeth, a bridge is anchored to your dental implants. A bridge is a dental remediation that two or more missing teeth by covering a location that has no teeth. The bridge is held securely in place by dental implants on each side of the missing teeth.
  • After healing, the abutment is attached to the implant. It will hold a custom-made crown that the dental laboratory will mould and match to your existing teeth.

In the final step, the custom crown is fastened onto the abutment. The tooth has been replaced without disturbing the healthy teeth next to it and bone loss has been eliminated.

Multiple Tooth Replacement

Implants can also be used to replace several teeth, eliminating the need to grind down healthy adjacent teeth to serve as posts for traditional Crown & Bridge therapy.

Changing several teeth can be achieved with a numerous single-tooth implant remediation, with implant fixed partial dentures (implant bridges), with a removable partial denture (RPD), or with a conventional set partial denture (FPD).

Dental Implant Supported Bridge

Example of two dental implants supporting a 3-tooth bridge [click to enlarge]

Implants are positioned in strategic positions to replace the missing teeth. When the implants are stable and all set for loading, abutments can be connected to the implants that will link the last bridge (prosthesis) to the implants. An impression is made taping the contours of the abutments or the position of the implant tops. The implant bridge is then fabricated and kept in place utilizing cement or screws.

The implants are placed in the bone below the gum tissue. Like single tooth replacement, temporary abutments may be placed on the implants until the healing phase is complete.

After healing, the abutments are attached to the implants. They will hold a custom-made bridge that the dental laboratory will mould and match to your existing teeth.

In the final step, the custom bridge is cemented onto the abutments. The teeth have been replaced without disturbing the healthy teeth next to them, and bone loss has been halted.

Full-Mouth Replacement (also known as all-on-four)

If you are missing most or all of your teeth in an arch (top or bottom), or have teeth that are too damaged to be saved, a full-mouth replacement implant may be a suitable option. Also known as a fixed implant-supported prosthesis, All-On-4® treatment, or All-On-Four Implant these options all involve a permanent bridge containing a full arch of new teeth being attached directly to a small number of anchor implants (often four implant roots as the names suggest).

All-on-four Dental Implant Supported DentureThe implants are positioned just below the gum tissue and given time to fuse with the bone. Temporary abutments may be placed on the implants until the healing phase is complete. Your existing denture may be modified so that it can be worn without disturbing the implants during the healing process.

Other treatments for the loss of natural teeth in an arch are fully detachable dentures. Dental implant-supported fixed bridges permit the replacement of the natural teeth with a fixed (non-removable) re-mediation.

When the standard method of implant installation is used, the shortest full-recovery time-frame is about 5 months in the lower jaw and 7 months in the upper jaw. More recently, however, our team have been positioning an implant and crown in a single visit, making it possible to drastically shorten and expedite the healing process.

At Apple Dental Implant Centres two surgical treatments are generally needed to place and prepare the implant. During the first surgery, the implant is placed in the jaw and covered with gum tissue. The team then waits three to six months for healing, and at the end of the recovery period, a second surgical treatment is performed to expose the implant so that the bridge or denture can be placed. You will be fitted for a custom bridge that screws directly into the implants and the screw holes will be covered after insertion.

Implant-supported bridges and dentures can greatly enhance your oral health. After teeth fall out or are extracted, the underlying bone structure can begin to deteriorate because it is no longer getting stimulation from the tooth’s roots. Dental implants are created to change the natural tooth’s roots and supply this stimulation to the jawbone, thereby avoiding future bone loss and defending against the loosening of surrounding teeth.