A dental implant is a surgical fixture that is used specifically for replacing roots and supporting what will eventually become an “artificial replacement” tooth. Simply put, the surgical implant inter-connects the “replacement” tooth with the jawbone. This procedure has become a viable alternative to some of the traditional methods, like bridges, dentures, and partials. Dental implants offer numerous benefits for the patient – they provide a comfortable fit; they look and feel just like natural teeth; and except for your dentist (and hygienist), it’s virtually impossible to see a difference.
Beyond the aesthetics, there are additional benefits when dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. To begin with, an implant will help maintain the integrity of the surrounding bone structure when tooth loss is experienced. As well, because there’s no need for any bridgework, the implant helps to preserve the dental health of the neighboring teeth. Finally, a dental implant helps to distribute “bite forces” in a more balanced way – it means that the patient can experience the function and feel of natural teeth. Best of all, dental implants have very high long-term success rates.
From a technical standpoint, a dental implant is the small “post” that is surgically rooted into the jawbone (upper or lower). The “post” itself is designed to act as the root portion of the lost tooth, and when the implant is complete, it will behave like an anchor for the “replacement” tooth. In more simple terms, a dental implant is actually an artificial root. The procedure is a step-by-step process, and eventually, a custom-designed artificial tooth will be attached to the “post”. At the end of the process, the dental implant will look and feel (and behave) like a natural tooth.
Patients who are in good health, whose gums are healthy, and who have sufficient bone mass in the jaw area, are the ideal candidates for dental implants. Regardless of the reason for tooth loss, its critical to act quickly, and to ensure that the patient’s bone structure is preserved. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform a bone graft, but this is a discussion and decision that patient and doctor will undertake. Most importantly, with today’s modern surgical methods and high-tech equipment, dental surgeons can operate effectively, successfully, and sometimes painlessly.
When it comes to the actual procedure, it’s important for a patient to appreciate that dental implant surgery is a process. Once the implant is inserted into the jaw (and under the gum), the tissue is stitched and the healing commences. During this time, the implanted “post” will bond with the jawbone, which could well take a number of months. With the gum tissue healed, stage two of the procedure can begin, and an “abutment” is attached directly to the implant. The “abutment” is a fixture designed to connect the “post” with the new “replacement” tooth.
The patient’s “new” tooth is custom-designed and fabricated by the dental surgeon. When it’s ready, the “new” tooth is fitted into position – a procedure that requires skill and precision. At the Accolade Dental Centre, our dental team provides that skill and precision, with every patient receiving the highest level of dental care. We combine state-of-the-art tools and technology with experience and expertise – and it all translates into a professional approach, with patient health and wellbeing as a priority. Rest assured that you’re in good hands at the Accolade Dental Centre.