Dental Implants – What you need to know
Our previous columns have focused on some of the challenges that patients face when going to the dentist. Fear and financial concerns are at the top of that list.
For this column, I would like to focus on a specific aspect of dentistry that patients often have questions about. Dental implants have actually been around for several decades and have a great track record. The technology continues to improve and contributes to a significantly easier process than ever before.
So what are dental implants?
Implants are metal posts (usually titanium) that are placed into the bone to take the place of teeth that have been lost. Once placed, they heal for a period of a few months, and then a new tooth is placed on top. They feel like teeth and look like teeth.
There are still several other viable options to replace missing teeth. Some people choose not to replace the missing teeth at all, and in some cases they manage very well. There is the potential for the teeth on either side to drift into the space, and there can be some loss of chewing function, but this is certainly the least expensive option.
Some people will choose partial dentures, especially if more than one tooth is missing. It is very important to know ahead of time that these appliances will take some getting used to, and may require several adjustments. This is completely normal as there are clasps on teeth, and plastic that may cause sore spots in the beginning. They can also sometimes move a little bit when chewing depending on how much support they have.
Bridges are where the teeth on either side of a space are prepared for crowns, and then three or more crowns are joined together and cemented into place. Bridges do feel more like natural teeth and for that reason are well received by most patients. However, there are times where some may not wish to drill down healthy teeth to close the space.
Implants are a stand alone tooth replacement that do not require attachments to surrounding teeth for support. It does take a little extra time for the implant to integrate with the bone, but once this occurs, a typical result will last for many, many years.
Another excellent use for dental implants is to support loose fitting dentures. Especially on the lower jaw, it can make a big difference in those cases where someone is concerned that their plate will fall out when talking or eating.
As with any procedure, not everyone is suitable for implants. However, it is a well established procedure that can help provide stability in a wide variety of cases where teeth are missing. As always, if you would like to ask me a question, please contact me at email@example.com, or visit www.drdrew.ca for more information on a variety of dental procedures.
Should you have any questions that we might help with, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at (705) 788-3067. And for more information on our practice, please visit www.drdrew.ca.
You may also be interested in these articles by Dr. Drew:
Dr. Drew earned an Honours Bachelor Degree in Physiology from the University of Toronto in 1993, and his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Michigan in 1998.
He has undertaken extensive post-graduate training in cosmetic and neuromuscular rehabilitation, which led to further training in orthodontics, sleep dentistry, and dental implants. Dr. Markham has fellowships from the Las Vegas Institute (LVI) and the International Association of Physiologic Aesthetics (IAPA). He has served as one of three Canadian clinical instructors, and also as a regional director for the Las Vegas Institute since 2008. Most recently he served as president of the International Association of Physiologic Aesthetics – a 500 member organization dedicated to the comprehensive care of their patients.
Dr. Drew along with his wife, Janet, and their 2 sons, came to Huntsville in 2005.