Dental implants are an alternative to bridges, partial dentures, and complete dentures that can be used if one or more of your teeth are missing. Implants are used to replace the missing roots of your teeth and support artificial teeth. Dental implants are comfortable and look like natural teeth.
Dental implants consist of an artificial root, made of titanium, that is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of your natural tooth. This implant is topped with an artificial replacement tooth, and the implant acts as an anchor to hold the tooth in place.
In order to be considered a good candidate for dental implants you should be in good general health, have healthy gums, and have enough bone in your jaw to support the implants.
If your jaw is not robust enough to support the implant, either because it has shrunk or it didn’t develop normally, you may be able to undergo a bone graft to sufficiently build up your jaw. A bone graft allows your dentist to add new bone to your jawline, but is not a good option for everyone.
If you are considering dental implants, your dentist will start by carefully examining your mouth and taking x-rays of your jaw, head, and teeth. This will allow your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. If you are then your dentist will schedule your surgery.
During the first part of your surgery, your dentist will place the dental implant in your jawbone, beneath your gum line before stitching the gum tissue back into place. As the tissue heals, your implant will bond to your jawbone and attach to the gum. This healing stage can take several months. However, in some cases, your dentist may be able to perform both parts of the surgery in a single stage.
Once your tissue has healed your dentist can perform the second half of your surgery. During this phase, your dentist will attach an abutment to your implant. An abutment is a small post that connects your artificial tooth to your implant. Your new artificial tooth is then attached to the abutment, though it may take several visits for your dentist to ensure that your replacement tooth is fitting to your abutment correctly.
If you are having several or all of your teeth replaced your dentist will use your dental implants to support a fixed bridge. A fixed bridge consists of several artificial teeth cemented together to span an area with no teeth and can be held in place using dental implants.
Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, and just like natural teeth they need to be kept clean by flossing daily and brushing twice per day. Your dentist will walk you through the proper way to clean your new dental implants.
You should also continue to see your dentist for regular checkups. Regular checkups let your dentist ensure that your bite is correct and that your implants remain firmly seated.
We would love for you to join our dental family! We are conveniently located in Calgary’s East Village. Street parking is available out front, and there is an Impark parking lot across the street.
For your added convenience we are pleased to offer service in both English and Spanish. We also offer Saturday appointments and are open late on Tuesdays until 8:30 pm.