If your teeth are removed or missing, dental implant surgery may be an option for you. We help patients at our Langley clinic, just like you, restore their smiles and improve their biting with dental implants using a 3D cone beam scan. A dental implant involves posts being inserted into jaw bone to simulate a real tooth.
These metal posts are a technologically advanced post and are a good option when there's not enough of a tooth's root left to use bridges or dentures for tooth replacement. Since your jaw and dental structure are vital to implant success, we'll conduct a thorough dental examination first.
The exam will determine what procedures may be necessary to perform dental implant surgery. You may need multiple procedures, but in the end, a dental implant offers solid support for your new teeth.
Once we've inserted the post into your jawbone, we'll need to wait until the bone heals around the implant. Bone healing is the longest part of the procedure and can take months to occur. But once healed, your dental implants will look almost identical to your natural teeth – or even better.
Why We Recommend Dental Implants at our Langley Office
Restoring your smile and bite is difficult when there's no root for a denture or bridge to attach to in your mouth. So, dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone using titanium posts. Dental implants won't slip and won't need to be removed from your mouth every night.
Compared to bridgework or dentures implant materials won't decay or require fillings. For example, titanium is extremely strong, durable and resistant. However, bridgework can deteriorate over time, causing you to schedule more dental appointments to have the bridge repaired or replaced.
We take many factors into account to determine whether local Langley dental implants are the ideal choice for you. A few of the reasons that dental implants may be a good choice is if you have:
One or multiple missing teeth
A full-grown jawbone
Bone structure able to support the implant, or a bone graft is an option to help create the structure
Don't suffer from conditions that can slow the bone healing process
When you can commit months to the dental implant process, don't want to wear dentures or can't, and want to improve your speech, dental implants are a good option. Dental implants are not a good option for people who smoke or chew tobacco.
Preparing for Implant Surgery
The first step in the implant process is a comprehensive examination at our Langley office. We need to be sure that you're a good candidate for dental implants, and this starts with a thorough dental exam with the dentist. The exam may include:
We'll also take the time to review your medical history. The dentist will need to know if you have any medical conditions and in addition, we'll need to know if you take prescription and over-the-counter medications and/or supplements. There are times when we'll prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. Patients are at higher risk of infection when they have orthopedic implants in their body.
Once we have all of the facts and a good understanding of your medical history and dental needs, we'll develop a treatment plan specifically for you. Our plan will look at your dental situation as a whole and be based on the position of your remaining teeth, your jawbone condition, the shade of your teeth and how many teeth we'll need to replace. Pain is possible, so we'll also develop a strategy to control your pain.
A few of the options to control pain are:
Anesthesia options, including sedation, general or local anesthesia
Pain medication options following the procedure
Our team will instruct you on which option we think is best for you for dental implant treatment. We'll also discuss your responsibilities before the surgery, such as when you need to stop eating or drinking, depending on the anesthetic chosen.
We do ask that you have someone who can drive you home following surgery if taking sedation medication. It would be best if you also planned to have the entire day off because you will need to rest for the day after surgery. However, if possible, try and have two days off for good measure.
What You Can Expect During Surgery
A quick and simple overview of your dental surgery is as follows:
If the tooth where the dental implant is going is still present, we'll remove the damaged tooth
When necessary, we'll prepare the jawbone, which may include a bone graft
Once ready, we'll put the dental implant post in place
When the bone heals around the post, we'll continue with the abutment placement
Finally, the artificial tooth is placed
The entire procedure is done outpatient and in multiple stages. First, we have to allow the healing process to occur naturally, which takes time.
Traditionally, it takes months from the first exam to the final attachment of your dental implants. We must wait for the bone and gums to heal. Then, bone growth must also occur.
We always try to combine as many procedures as possible to speed up your implant process. So, when you're in our office, we'll better understand how long the dental implants will take.
When is Bone Grafting Required?
Grafting dental implants are required if your jawbone is too soft or simply not thick enough to confidently hold the implant post in place. When you chew, the jaw has immense power that puts pressure on the jawbone.
If the jaw does require a graft, this means that your bone is unlikely to support an implant naturally. The surgery may fail if we recommend a bone graft procedure, and you choose not to have it done.
Grafting creates a solid base that enables the dental implant to be successful. We can use multiple materials for a bone graft, including:
Natural bone grafts where the bone is taken from another bone in the body
Artificial bone graft where a material similar to bone is used
The dentist will discuss which bone grafting options are ideal for you and your jaw bone structure. The key most important thing is to be sure that the bone structure can support the dental implants. Bone graft heal times depend on how much bone grafting is necessary.
First, we'll need to examine your jawbone to determine if a minor or significant bone graft is necessary. Major bone grafts require healing time before the dental implant can be placed. But if a minor bone graft is needed, we may be able to perform it simultaneously during your dental implant surgery.
How The Process Works for Tooth Replacement
Dental implant surgery is complicated, but you can expect the process to go as follows:
Cut the gum open to expose the underlying bone
Drill into the bone to create a hole for the dental implant post
Place the metal post in place
Since the post serves as a tooth's root, it must be implanted deep into the bone. As a result, the post will leave a gap in your mouth where the tooth is missing. However, over the course of a few months, the jawbone will heal and grow into the dental implant.
During the healing process, a partial or temporary denture will be placed if necessary. If the missing tooth is visible, these dentures provide a way to restore your smile while waiting for the healing process to complete. Once healed, the dental implant will be as solid and secure as your natural tooth's root.
Placing the Abutment
Once the bone has healed appropriately, the abutment process can begin. Considered a surgical procedure, the abutment will be placed and is where the new crown isattached. Local anesthesia is necessary, and you'll return home the same day as the procedure.
When we place the abutment, it will follow the process below:
We'll cut the gums open to expose the implant
We'll attach the abutment to the implant
Close the gum tissue around the abutment
We may attach the abutment to the dental implant post to help reduce the number of times you need to come into the office. Reducing the number of times surgery is necessary is our primary goal.
The abutment will be visible due to it being placed right past your natural gumline.The good news is that you won't see the abutment unless you open your mouth. Once healed, for the final step of the cosmetic process we'll attach the artificial tooth so that you can smile with confidence once again.
How to Choose Your Artificial Teeth
Once the gum has healed, we can finally get to the most exciting part of the dental implant process: choosing your artificial teeth. First, we'll take the time to make more impressions of your remaining teeth and your mouth. The images allow us to make a crown that looks as natural as possible.
The crown is placed when the jawbone can support the new tooth. You'll have two main types of teeth to choose from:
Removable: A removable denture, either partial or full, can be created and attached to the abutment. The denture snaps into place and can be removed if it needs repairs or must be cleaned.
Fixed: A fixed dental implant attaches to the implant either with cement or screws. Depending on the tooth and our recommendation, we may attach more than one tooth to an implant that is bridged together.
We'll discuss both of these options with you to determine which type of dental implants are ideal for your jaw.
What to Expect After the Dental Procedure
Dental implants do require a surgical procedure, which can result in:
Face or gum swelling
Bruising of your gums or face
Dental implant site pain
We may recommend pain medications and prescribe antibiotics following surgery to ease pain and reduce infection risk. You'll need to eat soft foods while the surgical site heals.
We're likely to use dissolvable stitches so that we don't need to remove them in our Langley office.
Note: Are you still suffering from pain or discomfort several days after dental implant surgery and time isn't helping? Be sure to contact us immediately.
Any time that you have surgery, there are risks involved. We always do our best to minimize the complications involved with dental implant surgery. However, there are still risks, although it's important to call us so we can treat the issue.
You may experience one or a combination of the following risks:
Implant site infection
Damage to the surrounding structure, including blood vessels or teeth
Damage to the nerve, causing numbness or a tingling sensation in your lips, gums or other teeth
Sinus issues, especially when the dental implant is inserted in the upper jaw
We'll discuss all of these risks with you before the procedure. Our team will work to minimize and identify potential risks before the procedure.
Increasing Success after Placement
Approximately 90% to 95% of dental implants last for ten years or longer. However, there are rare cases where the fusing of the bone and dental implant fails.
Smoking is often a reason for dental implants failing. Increasing your chance of implant success requires you to follow good oral hygiene practices. You'll want to brush your teeth with a toothbrush and a special interdental brush that removes debris between the teeth.
It's essential to remove any food from around the metal posts of the implant or gums.We also recommend that you schedule routine dental cleanings and exams at our Langley clinic. Exams allow us to take a look at your implant to ensure stability while also cleaning your teeth.
What Happens If a Dental Implant Fails?
If an implant failure occurs, we'll remove the implant and clean up the bone. Then,we can retry in three to six months.
Current Information: Should I Get Dental Implants or Dentures?
If you're missing teeth, we may recommend either dental implants or dentures. Dentures are removable and replace your missing teeth and gums if necessary.
The denture base is made with pink acrylic to match the color of your natural gums. Partial or complete dentures are an option, and a lightweight metal frame may be used. Completed dentures are recommended when you have no upper or lower teeth. These dentures rest along your gums.
Partial dentures will fill in missing teeth and attach to any remaining teeth you may have.
Advantages of Dentures
Less expensive than dental implants
Don't require bone grafts
Can be used even with gum loss which can be a problem with implants
A quick process requiring four or fewer visits
Disadvantages of Dentures
As your face or gums change, new dentures may be necessary frequently
May experience difficulty chewing or speaking with dentures
Require daily care
Advantages of Dental Implants
Can last up to 20 years or longer
Care similar to regular teeth
Act just like your normal teeth
Allow jaw and facial structure to grow slowing the signs of aging and prevent the need for cosmetic treatments like Botox
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Cost more than dentures
Dental implants require a healthy jaw and gums to work
In terms of paying for dentures, insurance is likely to cover dentures. However, insurance may not cover the cost of dental implant surgery. Implants are more durable and long-lasting. Over the long-term, implants preserve bone and gum tissue, while dentures do not.
Dental implants also require traditional brushing and improve your appearance better than dentures. If you're considering tooth dental implants or dentures, schedule an appointment with us to discuss your options with a dentist.