Dental implant

Why should I replace missing teeth?

  • People who have missing teeth have a reduced speech and chewing capacity.
  • When a tooth is missing, the lack of stimulation causes a loss of alveolar bone (the bone that supports and surrounds teeth). In addition, the adjacent teeth eventually shift towards the missing tooth’s space.
  • Over time, the bone loss contributes to facial collapse and premature aging (hollow cheeks and wrinkles).

What is an implant?

The implant is simply a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone to act as an artificial root that can hold a replacement tooth or a bridge in place.

Titanium is a biocompatible material, which means that it causes no reaction or allergy and is not rejected by the human body.

5 reasons to choose dental implants

1. For aesthetics, durability and comfort of natural teeth.

2. To regain normal chewing and digestion.

3. To prevent the jawbone loss and premature aging (dental implants fuse to the jawbone and stabilize it).

4. For a permanent solution to missing teeth (with proper care, implants can last many decades).

5. To regain confidence and self-esteem.

Who can benefit from dental implants?

As a general rule, if you have lost one or more teeth and are 18 years of age or older, you are a candidate for dental implants.

However, it is important to be in good health because certain medical conditions may contraindicate implants. It is important to discuss your health status (past and present) with your dentist and to mention all medicines that you are taking.

Is it painful?

The implant procedure is not painful and is performed under local anesthesia.

Before placing the implants, bone grafting is sometimes required

Over time, the jawbone resorbs where teeth are missing.

When the amount of bone is insufficient to receive implants and provide them with a good anchorage, a bone graft is necessary.

To do this, a small piece of bone removed from another part of the body or some synthetic bone is grafted to the desired location.

Following bone grafting, 4 to 6 months of healing are necessary before putting implants into place.

Stages of dental implant process

1. Insertion of the implant in the jawbone (under local anesthesia).

2. Osseointegration (healing): the implants fuse with the jawbone. Within 3 to 6 months, the bone will completely cover the implant surface. It is possible to wear a temporary prosthesis during this period.

3. Installation of the permanent restoration on the implant (crown, bridge or other prostheses).

Preoperative instructions

Before receiving dental implants, the patient must plan…

  • A dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar (less than a month before the surgery).
  • Taking antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the risk of infection (according to your surgeon’s recommendations);
  • Quit smoking during the treatment (and ideally at all times).

Post-surgical instructions

Here are a few tips to follow after receiving implants:

  • Take the medication as prescribed by the surgeon (it is essential to finish taking a prescribed course of antibiotics);
  • Plan some rest and a soft diet;
  • Gargle with salt water during the first day;
  • Use ice to minimize swelling and use sterile gauzes to control bleeding;
  • From the second day after surgery, start using a mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine (not to be used the first day because it could interfere with the clot formation);
  • Do not drink with a straw, make physical effort or brush the site of surgery for at least a week;
  • Quit smoking.

Risk of complications

  • Failed osseointegration: Happens in only 3% of cases. It is most of the time attributed to the failure of the jawbone to fuse together properly with the implant. This is often related to smoking, poor oral hygiene, and/or diabetes. The procedure must then be repeated and the implant replaced.
  • Infection (rare because usually prevented by antibiotics).
  • Bleeding (most of the time without gravity).
  • Nerve damage (can cause numbness of the lip and chin).

Smokers beware:

According to a recent study, it was shown that smoking doubles the risk of dental implant loss (implant becoming loose or falling out).

Smokers have higher chances of developing swelling of the gums and bone loss around implants.

Do implants require special care?

Crowns and other false teeth on implants are remarkably reliable. They are removable and replaceable (only by your dentist), so that if damage or wear justify replacing them, this can be accomplished without affecting the implant (artificial root attached to the bone).

Like natural teeth, implants require good maintenance (tooth brushing and flossing) to limit the accumulation of bacteria. It is also important to consult your dentist and dental hygienist on a regular basis. Special instruments are required to clean dental implants and to avoid damaging their metal surface under the gum tissues. Your dentist will need to monitor your implants to ensure that they properly fuse to the jawbone and to make sure that the dental prosthesis mounted on the implant is functional.