What is a Dental Implant?
This small titanium screw functions similar to a natural tooth root. A dental implant can be used to replace a single missing tooth or many lost teeth.
An oral surgeon will surgically place the implant into the jaw bone, where it will bond with the natural bone to act as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain. They can also help to prevent surrounding teeth from shifting and help restore facial tissues and appearance.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
Teeth surrounding the gap left by a missing tooth can start to shift out of place, causing misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to deteriorate, causing facial collapse or negatively affecting your ability to speak and chew.
The Dental Implant Procedure
To perform the dental implant procedure, your oral surgeon uses a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement to treat a specific oral health issue.
The surgeon will start by placing the implant in your jaw bone, below the gum tissue. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum.
Once healing has occurred - generally 3 to 6 months post-surgery - you'll return to our office to have the procedure completed.
At this last appointment, your oral surgeon will attach a tooth replacement such as a dental bridge, crown or denture, to the implant to mimic the appearance and function of a natural tooth and help to preserve your oral health.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at LightHouse Dental Cobourg.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If you care for your implant properly, it can last a lifetime. This includes proper brushing and flossing at home, as well as attending regular hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
The longevity of a dental implant may also depend on other factors including nutrition, genetics, or the development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
You should care for a dental implant just like you care for your natural teeth.
Visiting your dentist for regular hygiene appointments and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can help prevent decay or diseases from developing in the surrounding teeth and gums, which can negatively affect your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
During dental implant surgery, anesthesia will be administered to help you comfortable so you won't feel pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, there is not usually much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
You will also need to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure to avoid pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant procedure usually takes about two to nine months to complete, depending on your treatment plan.
Your oral surgeon can provide you with a more specific timeline based on your particular case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
Some insurances companies will cover the cost of dental implants, while some will only pay for a portion of the cost, and others won't pay for any part of it.
To determine what part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.