Placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth is one of the fastest growing cosmetic dentistry treatments and widely acknowledged as a modern alternative to traditional dentures. With a success rate in excess of 97%, dental implantology is now well proven and can provide life altering improvements for those who have lost teeth. Implants can be placed singly or in multiples as part of larger “smile make overs” or full mouth rehabilitation procedures.
A dental implant is a short titanium rod that is placed into the jaw bone to act as a firm foundation for fixing a crown or in some cases to retain or stabilise a denture. The titanium implant effectively replaces the missing root of the natural tooth. Titanium is used as it naturally bonds with the jaw bone, a process known as ‘osseointegration’.
How does the dental implant process work?
The implant process begins with a small surgical procedure carried out under local anaesthetic. Next, a small hole is drilled into the jaw-bone in the area where the tooth replacement is required and the titanium implant placed. The implant is then allowed to fuse with the surrounding bone to ensure a good foundation for the abutment (support collar) and crown.
The integration phase can take up to 6 months and during this time you may be fitted with a temporary crown. On the follow-up visit, the crown is fitted and you are equipped with a new tooth that not only functions like a healthy natural tooth but is also extremely pleasing to the eye.
In some cases, a patient may have insufficient jaw bone for the placement of an implant. This can occur when a tooth has been missing for some time and the bone in the area of the loss gradually deteriorates. This can be rectified by bone grafting or in some cases a sinus lift. We will advise if this is necessary during our detailed consultation process.
Modern implant techniques:
Traditional implant procedures are typically two-stage i.e. the placement of the titanium rod and integration followed by placement of the crown. However, in some cases it may be possible to place implants on the first visit, a technique known as ‘immediate loading’. Another technique called ‘all on 4’ uses four implants per arch to support a fixed bridge and can provide a full set of new teeth in a single day.
It should be remembered that these relatively new techniques are only suitable in some cases – our experienced dentist,
Dr. Rita Rostami in Richmond Hill , will advise you about all of your treatment options.