A missing tooth can not only make you want to hide your smile, in some cases it can cause health issues, too.
However, recent dentistry developments offer the option of replacing missing teeth with a strong, fully functional implant. The result looks and feels like a real tooth.
“The sooner you have an implant done after the loss of a tooth, the better,” says Dr. Beshoy Youssef, from SunRiver Dental and Implant Centre in Sooke. “This is because a missing tooth can cause bone loss in the jaw, as well as bite issues.”
Dental implants use a titanium implant as a substitute for your tooth root, with a crown or bridge placed on this foundation to give you a normal bite.
Q. Are implants right for me?
“We have you come in for a consultation visit, where we’ll take x-rays to make sure there’s enough jaw bone,” Dr. Beshoy says. “That’s why it’s recommended to replace a tooth sooner than later – because the jaw needs the implant to maintain the bone.
“If there isn’t enough jaw bone, a special bone-grafting procedure can be done.”
Q. What are implants made of?
Dental implants used at SunRiver Dental are made of commercially and medically pure titanium – the same metal successfully used in hip replacements.
“It’s very important that implants are made of high-quality materials,” Dr. Beshoy says. “We use one of the best brands made in North America, with a very high success rate.”
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Q. What are the benefits?
Implants are extremely strong, and are often used to support dentures. Bridges and dentures take their support from the other teeth, causing stress and requiring modifications to healthy teeth.
“With implants there’s no need to modify or crown healthy teeth as with bridges and dentures, and bone height is kept healthy and doesn’t diminish. As for maintenance, they last forever, so there’s no special attention required beyond regular hygiene – again unlike dentures and bridges that need maintenance and repair.”
Q. What about cost?
“Implants are slightly more expensive than bridges or dentures,” Dr. Beshoy says. “If your insurance plan doesn’t cover implants, we’re happy to offer a payment plan, which you can think of as an investment in your health.”
Q. What about the procedure and recovery?
As long as there is no infection present, implants can be done immediately after tooth loss. The procedure is similar to having a tooth pulled, typically with a few days of recovery.
“Patients who smoke, or have diabetes or osteoporosis are at risk and require special attention,” Dr. Beshoy says. “Quitting smoking and getting these other factors under control make for a higher success rate with implants.”
After implant placement, three months is needed to determine if the proper integration between implant and bone has taken place, after which a special crown can be installed.
Learn more at sunriverdental.ca and follow them on Facebook.