- What is a dental implant?
- What types of tooth replacement can be placed on implants?
- What is the success rate of dental implants?
- How can I benefit from implants?
- Will I ever be without teeth?
- Why have implants become so popular?
- Will I need an implant for each tooth?
- How long will my implants last?
- How do implants compare with dentures?
- What is the best way to improve my lower denture?
- What is the best way to improve my upper denture?
- I currently have dentures. Can implants provide me with permanent teeth?
- What can I do about my partial denture?
- How long have implants been available?
- Am I too old to have implants?
- Will I have enough bone?
- Can I have bone added?
- Will implants reduce jawbone loss?
- Do you do “immediate” teeth?
- Will I be hospitalized?
- Will I experience much discomfort?
- How long will the entire process take?
- How long do I have to wait before resuming normal activity?
- Can I get implants if I am fearful?
- Will my implants require special care?
- What kind of foods can I eat with implants?
- What do Dental implants cost?
- Does dental insurance cover the cost?
- Do you provide financing for dental implants?
- What if I have an allergy to metals?
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is anchored in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth, bridge or denture in place. Implants are made from titanium alloys and bone-like ceramic materials that are biocompatible with body tissue. They act as an anchor to provide a solid base for artificial tooth replacement. Here’s a video overview of dental implants.
What types of tooth replacement can be placed on implants?
- secure a crown for one tooth,
- secure a bridge for several missing teeth or an entire arch
- replace a removable partial denture
- secure as well as fully support a complete upper or lower denture
- be used during orthodontic treatment.
What is the success rate of dental implants?
Ten year success rates are in excess of 98%. To put this in perspective, traditional crowns and bridges and root canals only have a ten year success rate of 85%. Many medical procedures have ten year success rates of only 75%.
With ideal and proper treatment planning, performing surgery following accepted rules of practice, having the prosthesis fabricated correctly, and finally proper patient maintenance, you can expect success rates in excess of 98%.
How can I benefit from implants?
Patients have stated that they eat better, enjoying foods once denied them with dentures. They are more comfortable when they eat and don’t have to use adhesives to retain their dentures. They also say they can talk and laugh without feeling self-conscious and without fear of their dentures slipping out. In short, they feel better about themselves, showing self-confidence and improved social and business lives. Apart from being able to smile, eat, sing, and speak better; dental implants prevent the onset of a poor facial profile due to loss of bone mass in the jaw bone when teeth are missing. Implants are well known in their ability to stop bone loss and maintain facial skeletal structure. More benefits. Here’s a video explanation of the benefits of dental implants.
Will I ever be without teeth?
No. We can always make provisions to have temporary teeth made. In some cases where dentures are worn, we ask patients to wear their dentures part time if possible during the initial healing period (3-14 days).
Why have implants become so popular?
The tremendous popularity of implants has largely been the result of people living longer and their desire to fulfill a lifestyle with the greatest possible pleasure. Implants give us the ability to restore something that is fundamental: the ability to eat confidently and comfortably.
With the wonderful success achieved over the last 40 years, and with the placement of hundreds of thousands of implants every year in North America alone, word of mouth has spread the good news and benefits of implants. More and more people with missing teeth are beginning realize they do not have to suffer.
Almost everyone wants to smile more frequently and feel secure when they talk and laugh. Dental implants allow you to do everything you want with total self-assurance. Your friends won’t know you have them, but more than likely you’ll tell everyone.
Will I need an implant for each tooth?
No! You normally do not need an implant for each missing tooth. It is very important, however, that the number of implants is adequate to support the type of teeth and the biting forces being placed on them. In some situations, only 1 or 2 implants may be required, others may require up to 8 implants for an entire arch.
How long will my implants last?
There are few things in life that last a lifetime and dental implants are no different. The experienced implant dentist expects success rates in excess of 98%. Should a problem arise, it normally does during the first six months to a year following surgery, during the period of bone healing. After this period, problems are less frequent. In the long term, the implant may be fine but the teeth on top may need maintenance or repair. Here’s information on the long-term success of dental implants.
How do implants compare with dentures?
There is no comparison. Comparing a denture to implants is like comparing a prosthetic arm to a real one. The improvement in comfort, function, health and self-confidence is incomparable.
Dental implants enhance quality of life in a way that dentures can’t. A survey conducted in Sweden of patients who had their teeth extracted and fitted with dentures, then eventually had their dentures replaced with implants rated their natural teeth highest at 10, dentures rated lowest at 2 and implants were rated 9.
What is the best way to improve my lower denture?
Dentures rely on suction to hold them in place. Lower dentures tend to float due to little suction, allowing food and seeds to get under them while eating and causing sore spots. In addition, the floor of the mouth, as well as the tongue moves whenever we eat, speak or simply swallow. By placing as few as two implants in the lower jaw, implants can secure the denture by reducing its movement and preventing it from “falling out,” By placing four or more implants, the denture and all the chewing pressure can be transferred to the implants. This is one of the most ideal treatments for a lower denture in that it will eliminate all the problems usually associated with lower dentures.
What is the best way to improve my upper denture?
Unlike the lower denture, suction is not usually a problem with the upper denture. However, upper dentures can interfere with tasting food as well as causing gagging. Implants can allow you to eliminate the palate to increase your sense of taste and eliminate gagging. Implants will also secure your upper denture in the same way that they do a lower denture.
I currently have dentures. Can implants provide me with permanent teeth?
Yes. Many people with dentures who proceed with implants prefer to have permanent non-removable teeth. In other cases, a person might choose to have an overdenture which is removable but “snaps” into place. Both are excellent choices. We would be very happy to review the benefits and differences of each and help you decide which is best for you.
What can I do about my partial denture?
As many as 50% of partial denture wearers are unable to comfortably wear a removable partial denture. Patients complain of the metal bar across the palate or behind the lower teeth. In some cases, the retaining clasps can decay the neighbouring teeth. Implants can eliminate the clasps and the connecting bar and even allow you to have a fixed bridge instead of a removable denture.
How long have implants been available?
Although the first recorded dental implant is over 2000 years old, implants became a viable alternative to lost teeth 50 years ago when a major breakthrough occurred with the use of titanium and its alloys. A further advancement 15 years ago – the use of synthetic bone coatings on titanium implants – has produced a stronger, quicker attachment to the bone.
Am I too old to have implants?
The oldest patient Dr. Balogh has treated was 85 years young and the youngest 17. Patients healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction are healthy enough to have dental implants placed. The most common disease to contra-indicate the placement of implants is uncontrolled diabetes, however, Dr. Balogh has placed many successful implants in diabetic patients. The important factor is to have your diabetes under reasonable control so that healing is not impaired.
Will I have enough bone?
Although an exam, radiograph, or CT scan may be necessary to evaluate the amount of bone present, most patients have enough bone for the placement of implants. The longer a person has been missing teeth, the greater the amount of bone loss or atrophy that will have occurred. Sometimes insufficient bone will require the placement of a bone graft before implants are placed.
Can I have bone added?
If you have insufficient bone, we can add new bone. At one time, the only bone available to us was from the patient’s hip or ribs. Today we have a choice of over 30 different types of bone from a number of sources. As well, most bone augmentation procedures are simple, atraumatic and successful.
Will implants reduce jawbone loss?
Yes, jaw bone will atrophy as soon as a tooth is removed. By placing an implant the bone is stimulated to be maintained. The bone will not atrophy anywhere that an implant is placed.
Do you do “immediate” teeth?
Yes. In some cases, we can remove a tooth, place an implant as well as place a crown or bridge the very same day. We can discuss your situation to see if you would be a good candidate for this type of procedure.
Will I be hospitalized?
No. Most dental implant procedures are equivalent to a tooth extraction and are performed in the dental chair under local anesthetic (freezing).
Will I experience much discomfort?
The discomfort experienced after the placement of implants is generally equivalent to that experienced from the extraction of a tooth. Most implants are placed using local anesthetic only with typical outpatient procedures. Sedation is available, however, and is often recommended for extensive procedures or for anyone anxious about dental procedures. The techniques, medications, and procedures used in the placement of implants are designed to help you avoid pain and discomfort. A simple implant placement usually only requires the use of Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) for discomfort. Here’s more information on whether getting dental implants are painful or not.
How long will the entire process take?
The entire process typically involves 2 or 3 trips to the dentist over a 4 to 5 month period. During that time period, the patient is only in the dental chair for about 45 minutes each visit. Please note that each patient heals differently, so time may vary. Here’s more information on what’s involved in getting dental implants.
How long do I have to wait before resuming normal activity?
In most cases, you can resume normal activities the day following the placement of your implant. In those cases where extensive surgery is performed, you may require 3 or 4 days to resume normal activity.
Can I get implants if I am fearful?
Yes, it is normal to have some level of anxiety towards dentists. Most dental fears are related to an early experience during our childhood. Today’s dental practices are capable of assisting you in dealing with those fears to enable you to have the opportunity to improve your overall physical health and appearance.
Will my implants require special care?
Dental implants do not suffer from normal teeth problems such as decay and hot/cold sensitivity. All that is needed is normal brushing and flossing along with your periodic check-ups.
What kind of foods can I eat with implants?
Implants will allow you to enjoy foods like corn and apples – food that you may have avoided for years. Implant supported dentures and bridges can increase your biting force more than 10 times (compared to dentures) allowing you to eat any hard food that you were once able to with your original teeth.
What do implants cost?
The fee for placement and fabrication of the overlying prosthesis (crown, bridge, denture) varies. The more implants that are required the greater the cost. Another factor in cost is the type of replacement that is required to bring you the best esthetic and functional result. In many cases involving dentures, the patient’s existing denture can be used. You will be informed of the total treatment fee at your initial consultation. All dental implants are tax deductible.
Does dental insurance cover the cost?
Coverage of each dental plan varies from plan to plan. As a general rule, all plans cover the initial consultation, radiographs and any other planning costs. In Canada, only a few plans pay for the placement of implants although in the USA, many plans now provide coverage. Most insurance plans cover a percentage of the crowns, bridges and dentures over implants.
Do you provide financing for dental implants?
What if I have an allergy to metals?
There are many people who have sensitivities to certain metals. Nickel is a fairly common allergy affecting ~5% of the population. Others have some sensitivities which may not be a true antibody antigen type allergy. These people cannot wear any jewellery with less than 18 karat gold.
Sensitivity to titanium is even more rare, but it does exist. Very little is known about it. Titanium is in a lot of cosmetics, toothpastes and certain foods, so you also need to be aware that even if you don’t have titanium implants, you have probably already been exposed to it.
Some titanium implants are made from pure titanium, while most are an alloy (to make them stronger). This sensitivity to titanium is very rare, especially when we consider all the exposure we get from the sources mentioned above.
Nevertheless, it is wise to be cautious. So if you have any concerns you can get a test done to determine if you have any sensitivities to titanium. Two available tests are a Melisa test or a Clifford’s test. They both test for sensitivities and most any naturopath and some dentists can arrange this test for you.
Alternatively, or if you do have a sensitivity you may be a candidate for a zirconia implant. These are considered non metallic, ceramic type implants. Although not as well known, they have been in clinical use for ~15+ years and they are also excellent choices for tooth replacements.
Still Have Questions?
If you’d like to know more about implant dentistry and how it can benefit you, simply let us know — we would be pleased to assist you!