More than half of the Canadian population has at least one missing tooth. Although this may seem like a minor inconvenience, it is actually a problem that could affect a person’s general health and wellbeing.
A single missing tooth can lead to changes in the geometry of the oral cavity, which can cause infection in the gums and the roots of the other teeth. Also, adjacent teeth will migrate, and we can have problems chewing, speaking, and even breathing. It could also lead to migraines. Because teeth play a key role in shaping the face, the lack of one or more can affect facial aesthetics, leading to the appearance of premature aging.
In addition to physical ailments, people suffering from missing teeth- known as edentulousness- are also often prone to psychological problems, some therapists say. The appearance of one’s smile is extremely important today, and its imperfections give rise to frustrations and complexes. Patients with dental problems sometimes avoid laughing or even smiling, and we already know that these are the best medicines for our body and brain. At the psycho-emotional level, such behavior can lead to depression, due to decreased self-confidence, avoidance of social engagement and the deterioration of professional and personal relationships.
Fortunately, treatment methods have evolved and we can now replace lost teeth in a short period of time and with minimal discomfort, with the help of dental implants.
For those of you interested in this procedure, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about dental implants:
When should one consider to implants?
Implants are recommended as soon as possible after losing a natural tooth. After losing a tooth, the area around it begins to lose its function. When the tooth is not being stimulated, the bone volume in the area diminishes and the jawbone actually becomes smaller in size. Although it previously supported the roots of the teeth, the area around the tooth – known as the periodontium – shrinks due to the lack of purpose for which it was created. This phenomenon is called resorption or bone atrophy.
What are implants made of?
A dental implant is a piece of pure titanium (99.95%) in the shape of a screw. It is meant to create an artificial root in the jawbone, where the natural root missing.
Reconstruction consists of two stages:
- the implant is surgically placed in the bone and
- a prosthetic abutment is placed into the implant. Above the prosthetic abutment is anchored a crown, a bridge or a prosthesis. The materials used are biocompatible and aesthetic: composites, polymers, porcelain on metal structure, porcelain on zirconium structure or integral ceramics, meaning porcelain without metal.
What are the contraindications of this procedure?
Patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, uremia, heart conditions, hypertension, acute rheumatoid arthritis and those undergoing radiation therapy are not candidates for dental implants.
Also, the procedure is contraindicated for pregnant or lactating women.
Is there a maximum age restriction for implants?
There is no age restriction. It is the general health of the patient that is important. As per above, implant treatment may be contraindicated in certain chronic diseases.
What are the costs of implants?
An implant will cost an average of 4,300 CAD.
What are the success factors?
The dental implant imitates the structure of the natural tooth. Therefore, the conditions in the mouth can affect the success of the procedure.
Like a natural tooth, the implant penetrates the jawbone. A healthy bone can support a dental implant.
The bone must be high and thick enough for the implant to fit. The jaw must have solid bone on the outside around softer bone on the inside in order to keep the implant safe. A healthy gum helps protect the jaw from infection by tightening around the implant.
If your oral cavity is healthy and you are in overall good health, you are a possible candidate for dental implants.
What is the success rate?
At Pacifica Dental, the success rate of a dental implant procedure is 98%.
How long does an implant treatment last?
Depending on the type of implant, its location, and the type of work selected, the total time period can be between 4 and 6 months. There are special dental implants, which due to their composition and surface, can be loaded prosthetically immediately.
If bone augmentation is necessary, then the healing period is longer. Pacifica Dental doctors discuss all aspects of any treatment with each patient and will also advise them on the recovery process.
What does the surgical procedure consist of?
The dental implant is placed into the bone through a painless and minimally invasive surgical procedure. With vast experience in the field of dental implantology, specializations and endowment technology, Pacifica Dental specialists can perform any type of dental implant – from the simple to the complex.
Is the procedure painful?
Many patients say that implant surgery is less painful than extracting a wisdom tooth. With state-of-the-art equipment, safe and effective local anaesthetics, specialized medical staff and years of experience, Pacifica Dental strives to provide treatment with minimal discomfort.
What is the lifecycle of a dental implant?
Many dental implants perform their functions successfully for 25-30 years. The prognosis for patients who have had periodontal problems in the past, especially those with bone damage around the roots of natural teeth, is less optimistic than for healthy patients. Diligently following the dentist’s recommendations for post-surgical care is also a factor in determining the success of the implant. Like any artificial body replacement, there are no promises or guarantees regarding the implant’s longevity.
What are the precautions to take after the procedure?
The long-term success of the treatment is dependent on impeccable oral hygiene, done daily by the patient at home, but also, periodically, professionally with special instruments and equipment in the dentist’s office.
Pacifica Dental specialists will help teach you correct brushing techniques, and will recommend the most effective oral hygiene products, including those products developed for taking care of dental implants in Victoria BC. Periodic professional sanitizations will be performed by trained hygienists, with specific tools and equipment, designed to protect both the implant and the tissues around it.
Pacifica Dental patients benefit from such a periodic monitoring program. In addition to oral hygiene, the occlusion (bite) will be checked every time, especially in the area of the implants, so that there will be no mechanical changes (overloads) that would lead to compromise and loss of the implant.
If you still don’t know if you are a candidate for dental implants or still want to find out more about this procedure, give us a call and schedule your appointment @ Pacifica Dental. Our specialists will explain the entire process to you and we’ll decide together what type of treatment suits you best.