At Alta Vista Laser Dental Centre our Ottawa dentist may place a dental implant as part of the process to replace a missing tooth and leave you with a natural-looking smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are small titanium screws, which function like natural tooth roots. They can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
After being surgically placed into the jaw bone, the implant will bond with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to prevent surrounding teeth from moving, resolve jaw joint pain or bite issues, and restore appearance and facial tissues.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, the teeth surrounding the gap may begin to move out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to break down, leading to facial collapse or negatively impacting your ability to eat and talk.
The Dental Implant Procedure
To complete a dental implant procedure, your dentist will need a dental implant (titanium screw), in addition to a tooth replacement.
To begin, your dentist will surgically place the implant into your jaw bone, underneath the gum tissues. As the tissue heals, the the implant will bond with the bone and connect with the gum.
Once healing has taken place, typically 3 to 6 months post-surgery, patients return to our office to have the procedure completed.
At this final appointment, your dentist will attach a tooth replacement such as a dental crown, bridge or denture, to the implant to create the look and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Alta Vista Laser Dental Centre.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If cared for properly, an implant can last a lifetime. Just like with regular teeth, you'll need to properly brush and floss at home, and attend regular hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
The longevity of your dental implant may also depend on other factors including genetics, nutrition or development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Care for a dental implant just like you would care for your natural teeth.
Seeing your dentist for regular hygiene appointments and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing regimen at home can help prevent diseases or decay from growing in the surrounding teeth and gums - these can negatively impact your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
Your dentist will provide anesthesia during dental implant surgery to help keep you comfortable, so you won't experience any pain during the procedure.
After the procedure, there is not usually much discomfort. Most patients can manage pain with an over-the-counter medication for a few days following the procedure.
To avoid pain or irritation, you will also need to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
Depending on your treatment plan, the entire dental implant procedure typically takes about two to nine months to complete.
Your dentist will be able to provide you with a more specific timeline based on your specific case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
While some insurance companies will cover the cost of dental implants, some will only pay part of the cost, and others won't pay for any percentage of it.
To determine which part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.