Dental implants are changing the way people live. With dental implants, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and enjoy life. To schedule an appointment for dental implants in Grande Prairie, please give us a call.
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural and that their facial contours will be preserved.
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by our doctors. Your questions and concerns are important to us. Our team at Gateway Dentistry Group will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.
What are dental implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The Surgical Procedure
For some patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, our office, your referring dentist or denturist designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Our doctors will uncover the implants and attach small posts that protrude through the gums and will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. When the artificial teeth are placed, these posts will not be seen. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.
What types of prosthesis are available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball-in-socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Why dental implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.
A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than 35 years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Brånemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Why select dental implants over more traditional types of restorations?
There are several reasons: why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
Are you a candidate for implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, there are ways of improving the outcome, such as bone grafting, which may be recommended.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anesthesia or with IV sedation.
Do implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dentist.
Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is reabsorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for placement of dental implants. In these situations, most patients are not candidates for placement of dental implants.
Today, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. This not only gives us the opportunity to place implants of proper length and width, it also gives us a chance to restore functionality and aesthetic appearance.
Sinus Lift Procedure
The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. Sinuses are like empty rooms that have nothing in them. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone.
There is a solution, and it’s called a sinus graft or sinus lift graft. The dental implant surgeon enters the sinus from where the upper teeth used to be. The sinus membrane is then lifted upward and donor bone is inserted into the floor of the sinus. Keep in mind that the floor of the sinus is the roof of the upper jaw. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone.
The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option than wearing loose dentures.
If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed.
In several cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase ridge height and/or width. This is a technique used to restore the lost bone dimension when the jaw ridge gets too thin to place conventional implants. In this procedure, the bony ridge of the jaw is literally expanded by mechanical means. Bone graft material can be placed and matured for a few months before placing the implant.
The preparation of your mouth before the placement of a prosthesis is referred to as pre-prosthetic surgery.
Some patients require minor oral surgical procedures before receiving a partial or complete denture, in order to ensure the maximum level of comfort. A denture sits on the bone ridge, so it is very important that the bone is the proper shape and size. If a tooth needs to be extracted, the underlying bone might be left sharp and uneven. For the best fit of a denture, the bone might need to be smoothed out or reshaped. Occasionally, excess bone would need to be removed prior to denture insertion.
One or more of the following procedures might need to be performed in order to prepare your mouth for a denture:
We will review your particular needs with you during your appointment.
iCAT® – CT Scans
Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art, full-cranial cone-beam CT (computed tomography) technology that provides highly accurate 3D radiographic images for the diagnosis, planning and treatment of oral surgery. This technology provides full-cranial, highly accurate 3D radiographic images for the diagnosis, planning and treatment of orthodontics, implantology, TMJ analysis, airway assessment, oral and orthognathic surgery and other dental procedures. Undistorted, anatomically correct views of the jaws, teeth and facial bones along with cross-sectional (bucco-lingual), axial, coronal, sagittal, cephalometric and panoramic views are easily generated. Three-dimensional images enable a level of anatomical accuracy and patient care not possible with 2D technologies.
With the addition of cone-beam CT technology in our office, our practice is committed to providing innovative, high-quality, patient care.
Dental Implant Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
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