What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a small metal screw that is surgically implanted into your jaw bone to act as your tooth’s natural root. The implant is used to fill the space left by a missing tooth and holds in place a dental crown, bridge or other restoration.
How long will my dental implant last?
Dental implants are permanently fastened to your jaw bone. The lifetime of your implant will vary for each patient; however, some have remained in place for more than 40 years. With good oral hygiene and regular oral checkups, your dental implant should last your entire lifetime as opposed to a traditional fixed bridge that lasts between 10 and 15 years.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
If you are in good health and want to replace one or more missing teeth, you may be a candidate for a dental implant. In order for your jaw bone to hold the implant in place, you must have sufficient bone mass in the area to anchor the metal screw. If you do not have sufficient bone mass, you may still be a candidate if you undergo bone grafting.
How long will placement healing and restoration take?
The entire dental implant process takes between three and nine months. There are two steps to the process: the implantation of the metal screw, and the fastening of the restoration to the screw. Originally, implant dentists were required to wait at least three months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw for the implant to integrate into the jaw bone. In recent years, however, more dental professionals have begun to expedite this process, waiting about four months for the upper jaw and three months for the lower jaw.
If bone grafting is required for your dental implant, it may take more than nine months for the entire process and recovery time. Each person’s dental situation is unique, and the quality of bone in which your implant is placed will play a large role in the time the entire process will take.
Is it painful to have dental implants placed?
The implant procedure is performed under a local anesthesia, so you will feel no pain during the process. Once your anesthesia wears off three to four hours later, you may experience mild discomfort, which can be controlled with medication. Levels of discomfort vary depending on each patient, and can last for several days. You may also experience swelling and bruising, this is normal and should subside within a week. Any prolonged pain or bruising should be examined by your implant dentist and may indicate implant failure.
To learn more about tooth replacement with dental implants, please contact the Aesthetic Dental Studio in Calgary by calling 403-543-4600 or completing our online form. Dr. Chee is pleased to welcome patients from Cochrane and other communities in Alberta.