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Dental Implants

Bayview Dental Centre in Steveston

Dental implants are one of the most advanced, complex procedures offered by modern dentistry. They are natural looking replacements that are permanently placed in the jaw to act as artificial roots. After 35 years of intensive worldwide research and success rates approaching 95%, implants are considered the "Standard of care." Even if you are wearing a full or partial denture at this time, implants can improve the retention of the denture and preserve the jawbones for better aesthetics. In fact many patients who have received dental implants comment that they have significantly improved the quality of their lives, feel more confident and are comfortable when eating. Implants have eliminated many of the problems associated with denture or missing teeth.

How does it work?

When teeth are lost, it is often difficult to replace their functional and aesthetic features. The bone that surrounds and supports the root of our teeth is called the alveolar bone. When a tooth is removed, the alveolar bone recedes causing bridges or dentures to be unstable. Consequently the bone is lost because there is no anchorage.

Dental implants are metal or ceramic devices that replace the root of the natural tooth. The alveolar bone grows around the implant. This process reduces the recession of the alveolar bone, allowing for natural looking prosthetic tooth to be attached to the implant. The support of the implant allows for proper functioning and beautiful teeth. The process may take from 3-6 months depending of the type of implant.

General Dental Implant Procedure:

1. Placement surgery: implants are placed in the upper or lower jaw bone. They will remain covered underneath the gum while bone tissue grows on and around them and holds them firmly in place.

Wait 2 to 6 months

2. Uncovering implants: implants are uncovered and extensions are attached to complete the foundation.

Wait two weeks

3. Placing tooth ("Crown"): an impression will be taken of the implant fixture and new teeth/crowns are created in the lab. The procedure is very similar to conventional crown preparation. The new tooth will blend naturally with your facial characteristics while providing the support needed for improved function and confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants

Does the dental implant procedure hurt?

It is very similar to having a tooth filled or pulled. Anesthesia and sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort. Muscle fatigue is common but the effects are temporary.

How long will it take?

The procedure time will vary with the area in the mouth. In some cases the prosthetic tooth can be loaded the same day the implant is placed, while for some, it may take several months. That's why it's very important to have your case evaluated by your dentist.

How long will it last?

Implants will last longer than any conventional prosthetic replacement (i.e. dentures and bridges) as long as they are kept clean by brushing and flossing.

Will dental implants work for me?

Anyone with one or more missing tooth can be a candidate for implants. The single most important limiting factor is the amount of bone present.

Am I too old for dental implants?

Patients over 90 years of age have replaced loose dentures with implant-supported restorations. They are enjoying the benefits of easier chewing, speaking and a better quality of life.

What are the benefits of getting dental implants?
  • you will look good and feel great
  • tooth replacement that is as close to natural teeth as possible
  • the only method of tooth replacement that preserves jawbone
  • preserves healthy adjacent teeth
  • improved chewing function
  • you can eat anything you want
  • no loose dentures
What happens if I delay getting dental implants?

The longer you wait, the faster your alveolar bone will migrate, resulting in the need of additional preparation of bone (i.e. bone graft) before implant placement. A common sign of bone resorption is when you notice your dentures are getting loose and requiring realignment at a higher frequency.

How much do they cost?

The cost will vary depending on the number of implants you need, the condition of your teeth and jawbone, and the type of replacement teeth required. Often the cost is not much more than the cost of permanent bridgework.

Will my insurance cover implants?

Some insurance companies do provide some coverage, but it is rare. Check with your benefits provider for full coverage details.