Who does implant dentistry?
What exactly are dental implants and what can they do for me?
Are implants successful?
What is the procedure like?
Are they expensive?
How much do they cost?
Does it hurt?
What benefits can I really expect?
How long will it take?
Will I be without teeth?
Am I too old?
Is one implant system better than the others?
What will it feel like when it is done?
How do I take care of my implants?
Are there alternatives?
Can any registered dentist legally perform implant surgery or restoration?
Is it safe to have dental implant surgery performed outside the hospital, in a general practice facility?
How do I know if a dentist is qualified to perform implant treatment?
How can I find a dentist in my area?
Many dentists now offer implant treatment within their practice. Implants involve two phases of treatment, placement of the implant(s) and placement of the crown(s) or restoration(s). Some dentists feel they can offer better solutions for you by using the different expertise of other team members, e.g. performing the surgery or the restoration. Other practitioners feel that performing both the surgery and the restoration within one Practice is optimal for many patients. More and more dentists are obtaining postgraduate qualifications specifically in implant dentistry, obviously this is a good indication that they are appropriately trained in this demanding field. You may use the database of dentists on this site to check what services a particular Practice has to offer.
Implants are substitutes for teeth and they are today's best alternative to your natural teeth. They offer you a secure solution for replacing one or more teeth. They are made of biocompatible material, usually titanium, just the same as hip implants or similar orthopedic devices, and function as anchors or support for traditional forms of dentistry, such as crowns, bridges or dentures. Many of our patients will tell you that implants have changed not only their smiles, their overall appearance but also even their lives! There are numerous other reasons to choose dental implants:
- Aesthetically, they support teeth that look like real teeth. Functionally, dental implants feel and act like real teeth.
- With implants, you can eat and chew again without pain or irritation. Foods that were forbidden are now back in the diet.
- Implants eliminate the need for distasteful adhesives. There is no longer a need to use "glue" when your prosthesis is anchored to implants.
- Implants can actually improve the taste of food. With less plastic covering the roof of your mouth, you can enjoy natural flavours and sensations again.
- Lastly, implants can help maintain your bone structure and support your facial tissues. They can reduce or eliminate bone atrophy, which causes "shrinkage" or facial cosmetic changes.
Implants, as we know them today, have been in existence for at least twenty-five years. For the last ten years, however, success rates at many treatment centres are consistently over 95°Io with proper personal and professional care. Few forms of medical, orthopaedic or dental treatment have such high success rates.
There are actually two phases to implant dentistry:
An incision is made in the gum tissues and implants are placed into the jawbone. The gum tissues are then closed and the healing phase begins. This may take anywhere from 3-6 months to ensure a strong base.
Creating and fixing the new tooth or teeth to the implant structure constitutes the second and final phase. Implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth or your dentures.
Initially, you might feel dental implants are expensive. However, they represent a more permanent and natural solution than dentures and partials. Thus, there is a greater initial investment. They should last for years, particularly if you have an "ideal" case. Independent surveys of implant patients show that they felt the investment was worth every penny and would do it again.
Each case is different. Cost is a function of your particular needs. After a complete examination, your dentist will more specifically determine your dental needs and the best treatment alternative(s) for you. At that point, you can specifically address the question of cost.
Usually, discomfort is not a problem. In fact, many have said that having a tooth pulled was more painful! For the placement of an implant(s), your dentist will use one of many anaesthetic regimens so there won’t be any discomfort. When you leave the office, you will be given appropriate medications. We urge you to ask other patients how they felt after Implant therapy.
- Eat whatever you like! Implants improve your health with the ability to chew a wider variety of foods.
- Smile with confidence. Discoloured or missing teeth ruin your appearance. Implant supported restorations help increase your self-esteem. People will approach you more readily.
- Express yourself clearly or simply be understood. Implants increase the retention and stability of your teeth.
- Improve your external facial structure and decrease the likelihood of continued bone loss. Your jaw and teeth will smile together.
Recent advances by implant manufacturers are reducing the time for initial implant procedures. Treatment for the simple cases could take anywhere from 4-8 months, based on where the implants are placed and the type of restoration you desire. Do not compromise because your implants and the new teeth that they support should last for years.
You will never be without teeth. Your dentist will make sure that during your treatment period you look and feel as natural ass possible.
Implant patients can be in their early teens or be mature adults in their seventies and eighties. Good health and adequate bone are the most critical factors in evaluating implant candidates.
No. There is no independent research available to indicate that one implant system is any better than the next.
Once the entire procedure is complete and the final restorations placed, they will actually feel or function like your natural teeth!
Normal routine home care and professional cleaning visits are required. It is important to know that every 3-4 months, you will need to have a routine cleaning and re-care treatment and evaluation. An individualized program will be designed for you to optimally care for your new teeth.
Your dentist should describe all reasonable alternatives. Then you will make a decision together as to what is best for you.
Yes. However, education and experience are critical! Ask your dentist or dental specialist questions about his or her training in implant therapy and in-office implant experience. Additionally, we believe that a recommendation from your own dentist (if he or she is not involved in implant therapy) is an important criterion.
Most cases are. Safety refers to the nature of the procedure and the medical and\or anaesthetic needs of the patient.
We recommend you talk to treated patients of record and to referring dentists.
The BSOI on-line membership directory is a good place to start. Click here to access our member database.