There are several ways to replace a tooth when it is lost. One of the most common and sturdy ways to replace a missing tooth involves taking an artificial tooth root, called a dental implant, and placing it in your jawbone where the natural root used to be. When the implant is in place, a dentist then places an artificial crown on the top of the implant.

Dental implants mimic the look and function of natural teeth and can replace one or more missing teeth. Dental implants allow patients to chew normally and maintain bone health because they are anchored into your jawbone. Patients with dental implants can also smile and laugh without worrying about their teeth shifting or drifting to an undesired location. This tooth replacement solution can restore both health and appearance to your face.

Of course, when it comes to any dental procedure, patients have a few questions and concerns. If you’re looking at dental implants as an option, you’ve come to the right place. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants below.

Who qualifies for dental implants?

You may be a candidate for dental implants if you have healthy gums and adequate jawbone. The more bone that exists in your jaw, the better chance you have for successfully placing an implant.

Are dental implants the best option for replacing missing teeth?

This depends on a few different factors, including your desired goal, budget, and comfort level. Dental implants are usually the best option if you have one or more missing teeth because they are permanent tooth replacements that are securely attached to your jawbone. This provides you with stability, comfort and function.

Another benefit to dental implants is that they protect the integrity of your jawbone because the bone will not begin to resorb when an implant is placed. Teeth typically start sliding around or drifting after a tooth is removed because there isn’t a stable foundation for replacement teeth.

A dental implant costs more than other methods of tooth replacement, but the benefits often outweigh the cost.

How many dental implants are needed?

Implants can be used to replace either a single tooth or several teeth. Typically two to four dental implants are used per arch on top and bottom arches to support a single false tooth. Arches with more missing teeth may require more dental implants to provide sufficient support for replacement teeth.

Some patients need a dental implant that replaces a single tooth, while others with several missing teeth choose to anchor a bridge on crowns supported by dental implants, which helps keep the cost down. A dentist will help you determine how many implants are needed to restore your smile.

What is the dental implant procedure?

In order to place a dental implant, you’ll have a local anesthetic so that the dentist can numb your jaw and gums. After numbing the area, he or she will make small incisions in your gum tissue so it is possible to remove bone with special tools.

Then the dentist will drill a hole in the jawbone. Next, a post is placed surgically into your jawbone and allowed to heal for several weeks. Finally, the artificial crown or bridge is attached once healed.

Does dental implant surgery hurt?

Dental implants are usually very easy to tolerate because the area where they’re placed has been numbed during surgery. Patients may experience some pain, swelling, and tenderness after the surgery, but this type of discomfort doesn’t last long. Most patients feel relief within 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

After your implant surgery, you should be able to resume normal activities that don’t involve chewing. You can go back to work in one to two days, and you may be able to return to your normal diet by following the instructions provided by your dentist.

Keep in mind that no surgical procedure is completely risk-free, so it’s important to listen follow your dentist’s instructions and advice. At Park Meadows Dental, we are experienced in providing dental implants for the community of Medicine Hat. If this procedure is something that you’re interested in, contact us and we will schedule you in for a consultation.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gurshant Grew - D.D.S. on January 20, 2022

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