Dental Implants

Your Options for Replacing Your Missing Teeth!

Photo courtesy of Dr Yong Peng San

1. What is dental implant?

Dental implant is a root replacement or artificial tooth root (fixture) that interfaces with the bone of the jaw which formerly occupied by a tooth or teeth.

2. What makes dental implants so special?

The amazing thing about dental implant is that they actually fuse with, or “integrate” into the bone, a process known as “osseo-integration” (osseo – bone; integrate – to become part of). Implant is made of titanium which is osteophilic (bone loving property). After the implant osseo-integrate with your jawbone, a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge and denture is added.

To have a functioning set of teeth can greatly improve your quality of life!

3. What are the advantages of dental implants over other treatments?

• Next best thing to healthy natural teeth. Strong and stable, a dental implant restores a lost tooth so that it looks, feels, fits and functions like a natural tooth.

• Protect healthy bone. Bone resorption (bone loss) happens when teeth are lost. Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves and stimulates bone growth and prevent bone loss.

• Enjoy life without worrying about your teeth! No need to stay home or feel uncomfortable in public, embarrassed because your smile looks different, or worrying that missing teeth will limit your ability to join in the fun or that removable dentures will loosen or fall out when you talk, eat or laugh.

• Retain your natural face shape, and smile. A face without teeth can sag and appear sunken and sad. Dental implants allow you to maintain the natural shape of your face and smile.

• Built to last. Dental implants are a long-term solution. Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years, and with proper care often more than 10 years, but at some point they may need to be replaced. While dental implants may need periodic adjustments, they can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for over time.

• Eat your favourite foods! Taste and enjoy the foods you love without hesitation. You can bite naturally, eat virtually anything you want and, unlike removable dentures that can feel uncomfortable, you can experience the full taste of the food you eat with dental implants, too.

• Protect your healthy teeth. Placing a tooth-supported bridge requires grinding away the teeth on one or both sides of the missing tooth or teeth – thereby damaging healthy teeth to restore those that are missing. The modified healthy teeth are attached to, and support, the bridge. Dental implants go in the jawbone, in the spot where your missing tooth root was, without impacting healthy teeth. They also help prevent healthy, adjacent teeth from shifting as they would if an empty space were left for an extended period of time.

4. Types of implant restorations:

Single tooth replacement Use one implant and as the name suggests support a single crown.

Multiple teeth replacement Multiple missing teeth can be replaced with multiple implants supporting fixed bridgework as small as 3-unit bridge supported by two implants, or with multiple implants supporting a greater number of teeth. Usually 4-8 implants are needed to replace a full arch of teeth, supported by fixed bridgework or removable denture.

Combinations of fixed and removable prosthesis Where implants are used to support a section of fixed bridgework, to which is attached a removable section.

5. Basic Prerequisites for a Successful Implant and Natural-Looking Cosmetic Result:

• Sufficient quantity and quality of bone to anchor the implant
• Adjacent teeth and gums are healthy and,
• The quality of the adjacent teeth is good.

At SmileBay Dental Surgery, we have a digital X-Ray Imaging, cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) which not only ensures that our patients have enough bone to anchor a successful implant, but also determine with high precision the exact position of the implant to be fixed. This technology enable us to plan cases more effectively and to achieve a high success rate.

6. How do I care for my implant borne teeth?

Implant-borne teeth not only look like natural teeth. They can be cleaned just as easily with a toothbrush — including an electric toothbrush — and tooth paste. When cleaning implants, the spaces between the teeth and the transitions to the gums are particularly important. These areas are colonized by bacteria that attack the gum and over time they can also attack the jawbone around the implant. This can be prevented with dental floss or small interdental brushes.

Your dentist will show you how to handle the oral hygiene kits and will provide professional cleaning at regular intervals — such as every three months. This will remove stubborn plaque and your teeth will look as good as new. You should make regular prophylaxis appointments with your dentist. It's worth it!

It's time for a brand new smile!
Call us at 604-8900 600 to make an appointment or click here to send us an email