Missing teeth come with a long list of aesthetic and functional consequences. Aside from the obvious affect it has on your appearance, which is often the root of debilitating self-consciousness, it also has an impact on the functionality of your mouth and its ability to perform the necessary tasks it was designed for, such as chewing and speaking. Luckily, there are several options available for replacing one or several missing teeth at a time, such as removable partial dentures, fixed bridges and dental implants. As the most recent addition to dentistry, making their first appearance in the 1950s and propelled by continuous advances in current dental research and technology, dental implants have established themselves as the common, predictable and permanent solutions for replacing missing teeth. Thankfully for residents of Hamilton and surrounding areas, the dentists at Eastgate Dental Centre have been providing patients with comprehensive dental implant solutions since the opening of our clinic in 1993.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a permanent prosthetic that, compared to other tooth replacement options, most closely resembles a natural tooth in both appearance and functionality. The permanence of this prosthetic must be emphasized because it is precisely this fact that contributes most to this procedure’s popularity.
The procedure itself consists of two parts: implant insertion and crown placement. First and foremost, a screw is surgically implanted directly into the jaw bone. Once fully fused, or “osseointegrated” to the bone structure of your jaw, this screw acts as a permanent “root”, providing the utmost in stability and durability.
The second part of this procedure deals with the placement of a crown atop the screw. These crowns are carefully manufactured in a specialized lab, and take into account the space available for the prosthetic tooth, as well as the colour of surrounding teeth. By recording exact dimensions of space available, as well as matching the colour of surrounding teeth, your dentist ensures the seamless blending of your implants. The best part is that, once the implant is fully fused (which should take approximately 3 months), it will function exactly like a natural tooth, and can be maintained with regular brushing and flossing.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
In truth, any patient with missing teeth is a candidate for dental implants. Some cases, however, simply require a little extra work to ensure success. One thing is for sure though – the placement of dental implants requires meticulous planning by your dentist and, before beginning any implant procedure, our staff will examine the following criteria:
Is there enough bone in your jaw to support the implant? Sometimes, missing teeth cause bone structure deterioration which needs to be re-built in order for the implant to fuse solidly.
Is your medical and dental health in good enough condition to allow the implants to be successful?
Do you have teeth that are tipped into the space left by the missing tooth? Gaps between teeth cause surrounding teeth to shift awkwardly if not immediately treated, resulting in diminished space for the implant.
Are there problems with your bite that need to be corrected first? Loss of jaw bone structure, as well as shifted teeth, can affect your bite’s effectiveness. Before a dental implant procedure can be carried out, your bite must be corrected to ensure comfort when chewing.
In order to assess these concerns, our dentists will carry out a sequence of tests, including taking impressions and X-rays of your teeth, in order to determine what treatment would be best for your unique situation. In some cases, additional procedures, such as to increase the amount of bone in your jaw or to create adequate space for the implant, will need to be carried out before your implant can be inserted.
The good news is that once a careful examination has been performed and your mouth is ready for your dental implant, the entire procedure can be carried out in a single appointment, with the help of sedation or anaesthesia to keep you as comfortable as possible.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Implants, due to their resemblance in look and structure to natural teeth, come with a wide range of aesthetic and functional benefits, including:
Improved appearance: You will no longer feel the need to hide your smile. The uniformity of teeth, as well as the absence of gaps, has the effect of heightening self-esteem in the majority of our patients.
Improved durability: The implants are generally made with titanium, and the ceramic crowns are manufactured professionally in a lab, and designed to last. In most cases, your dental implants will actually be stronger than your natural teeth once were.
Increased chewing efficiency: Missing teeth can make chewing a nightmare. Dental implants allow you to regain proper and painless chewing abilities.
Improved ability to speak: Our teeth play a crucial role in pronouncing words. Missing teeth often result in awkward pronunciations, which can lead to a personal reluctance to speak. Implants restore your ability to effectively communicate and allow you to re-establish your confidence while speaking.
Comprehensive Dental Implant Services in One Convenient Hamilton Clinic
To find out if our dental implant services would be the best option for you or to schedule a consultation with one of our general dentists, contact Eastgate Dental Centre today!