At Vic West Dentistry our Victoria dentists 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 that function like natural tooth roots. They may be used to replace a single lost tooth or numerous missing teeth.
After being surgically placed in the jaw bone, the implant bonds with the natural bone to provide an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain, restore facial tissues and appearance or keep surrounding teeth from moving out of alignment.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, teeth surrounding the gap may start to shift out of place, which can lead to misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also start to deteriorate, causing facial collapse or negatively impacting your ability to speak and chew.
The Dental Implant Procedure
For this procedure, your dentist will need a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement such as a crown, bridge or denture.
The dentist will start by surgically placing the implant into your jaw bone, underneath the gum tissue. As this tissue heals, the implant and bone will bond, and the implant will attach to the gum.
Once healing is complete (generally 3 to 6 months post-surgery) patients return to our office to have the procedure completed.
At your final appointment, your dentist will attach a tooth replacement to the implant, creating the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Vic West Dentistry.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If cared for properly, a dental implant can last a lifetime. This requires proper brushing and flossing at home, along with attending routine hygiene cleanings and exams at your dentist's office.
A dental implant's longevity can also be impacted by other factors, including development of any dental diseases, nutrition or genetics.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Care for your dental implant just like you care for your natural teeth.
Seeing your dentist for routine hygiene appointments and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing regimen at home can help keep disease or decay from developing in the surrounding teeth and gums, which can have a negative impact your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
Your dentist will administer anesthesia during your dental implant surgery to ensure you are comfortable so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
After the procedure, patients do not usually feel much discomfort. Most can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pan medication for a few days following the procedure.
A soft diet will also be needed for the first couple of weeks after the procedure to help avoid any pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant procedure can take anywhere from two to nine months to complete, depending on your treatment plan.
Your timeline will be based on your specific case, and your dentist can give you a better idea of timing regarding procedure and recovery time.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
While some insurance providers will cover the cost of dental implants, others will only pay for part of the cost, and still others won't pay for any percentage of it.
Check with your insurance provider to find out which part, if any of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance plan.