The Revolutionary Solution: Dental Implants and the Transformation of Dentistry

Iqaluit Dental Clinic image of a dental implant model.
May 17, 2023 0 Comments

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we believe that dental implants have revolutionized the field of dentistry, offering a permanent solution for individuals with missing teeth. They not only restore the aesthetics of a smile but also provide functional benefits that contribute to overall oral health. In this article, we will explore the purpose of dental implants, delve into the associated costs, and set realistic expectations for individuals considering this treatment option.

Purpose of dental implants

One of the primary purposes of dental implants is to restore missing teeth. Whether due to injury, decay, or other dental issues, tooth loss can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. Dental implants provide a long-lasting solution by replacing the root and crown of a tooth. This restoration enables individuals to regain their ability to chew, speak, and smile confidently.

Beyond functional benefits, dental implants also play a crucial role in preserving facial structure. When a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone begins to deteriorate over time. Dental implants mimic the natural tooth root, stimulating the jawbone and preventing bone loss. By maintaining the integrity of the jawbone, implants help to preserve the natural contours of the face, preventing the sunken appearance that can result from tooth loss.

Additionally, dental implants contribute to improved oral health. Gaps left by missing teeth can create spaces where bacteria can accumulate, leading to oral infections and gum disease. By filling these gaps, implants reduce the risk of bacterial buildup, making it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Types of dental implants

There are two primary types of dental implants: endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. Endosteal implants are the most common and involve surgically placing a titanium screw directly into the jawbone. Once the implant integrates with the bone through a process called osseointegration, an abutment is attached to the implant, serving as a connector for the prosthetic tooth or crown.

Subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, are an alternative option for individuals who have insufficient jawbone structure or are unable to undergo traditional implant surgery. Instead of placing the implant within the jawbone, a metal frame is positioned beneath the gum tissue but on top of the jawbone. The frame fuses with the jawbone, and prosthetic teeth are then attached to it.

Dental implant procedure

The dental implant procedure typically involves several stages. Firstly, a comprehensive evaluation and treatment planning phase is conducted, which includes X-rays, impressions, and a thorough examination of the patient’s oral health. This evaluation helps determine the suitability of dental implants for the individual and allows for personalized treatment planning.

Once the treatment plan is established, the implant placement procedure takes place. Under local anaesthesia, an incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the jawbone. A series of drilling is then performed to create a space for the implant. The titanium screw is carefully inserted into the jawbone, and the incision is closed. Over the following weeks or months, osseointegration occurs, during which the implant fuses with the surrounding bone, providing a stable foundation for the prosthetic tooth.

After the healing period, an abutment is placed on the implant, which serves as a connector for the final prosthetic restoration. Finally, a custom-made dental crown or prosthetic tooth is attached to the abutment, completing the dental implant process.

Cost of dental implants

The cost of dental implants can vary depending on several factors. The number of implants required, the complexity of the case, the location of the dental practice, and the expertise of the dentist all play a role in determining the overall cost. Additionally, additional procedures such as bone grafting or sinus lifts, if needed, can increase the total cost.

On average, a single dental implant can range from $3,000 to $6,000. However, it’s important to note that this is a general estimate, and prices may vary. Some dental practices may offer financing options or payment plans to make the cost more manageable for patients. It’s crucial to consult with a qualified dentist who can provide a personalized treatment plan and a detailed breakdown of the associated costs.

Maintenance and longevity

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial for the longevity and success of dental implants. Just like natural teeth, dental implants require regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups. It’s essential to use non-abrasive toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrushes to prevent damage to the implant and surrounding gum tissue.

Professional dental cleanings should be scheduled regularly to ensure the implant and oral tissues remain healthy. During these cleanings, the dental professional will remove any plaque or tartar buildup and assess the implant’s condition.

With proper care and maintenance, dental implants have the potential to last for several decades or even a lifetime. Their durability and longevity make them a worthwhile investment in restoring oral function and aesthetics.

Expectations and potential risks

Setting realistic expectations is vital when considering dental implants. The dental implant procedure is typically performed in multiple stages, and it requires a healing period between each stage. It’s important to understand that the process may take several months from start to finish.

During the healing period, temporary discomforts such as swelling, bruising, or mild pain may occur. These symptoms can be managed with pain medications prescribed by the dentist. It’s crucial to follow post-operative instructions and maintain good oral hygiene to promote proper healing.

Although complications are rare, potential risks associated with dental implant surgery include infection, implant failure, nerve damage, or sinus problems. These risks can be minimized by choosing an experienced and qualified dental professional and following their instructions diligently. You should consult with your dentist today to explore whether dental implants are the right option for you and take the first step toward a confident and functional smile.

At Iqaluit Dental Clinic, we suggest you understand how dental implants serve a vital purpose in restoring missing teeth, preserving the facial structure, and improving oral health. They offer a long-lasting and natural-looking solution that enhances both aesthetics and functionality. While the cost of dental implants can vary, they are often considered a worthwhile investment in one’s oral health and overall well-being.