If one or more of your teeth are missing, an alternative to bridges, partials or complete dentures may be dental implants. Implants are used to replace missing roots and support artificial replacement teeth. They are comfortable and look like natural teeth.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.
Who can get dental implants?
If you are in good general health, have healthy gums and have enough bone in the jaw to hold an implant, dental implants might be right for you. If your jawbone has shrunk or if it has not developed normally, you may be able to have a bone graft to build up the bone. A bone graft is a way of adding new bone to your jawbone. We can determine before starting treatment if bone grafting is required and can be done.
The main factor in determining whether or not you are able to have implants is your health, not your age. Dr. Seminara has been involved with patients who have successfully undergone implant therapy from as early as 20 years old right up to patients in their mid-80s. Please never assume that a treatment option is not possible until after a thorough examination and assessment.
How dental implants are done
Dr. Seminara will carefully examine your mouth and take x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to find out if dental implants are right for you. During the first stage of treatment, the implant is inserted into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. It can take several months to heal. For the first stage of treatment, Dr. Seminara works with some of the best oral and gum surgeons in Montreal to ensure that our patients have an exceptional experience.
During the second stage of treatment and once the tissue is healed, we will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the implant. In some cases, the first and second stage of implant surgery may be done in one single stage. An artificial replacement tooth is then made and attached to the abutment. When replacing several teeth or all of your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored to your dental implants. A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by spanning an area that has no teeth. The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Caring for my dental implant(s)
Because dental implants are placed in the jawbone, artificial replacement teeth attached to implants look and act much like natural teeth. Like natural teeth, implants need to be kept clean using a toothbrush and floss. We will show you the proper cleaning procedure for implants. Regular dental checkups are important so we can make sure that you are maintaining good care of your implant, as well as your natural teeth.