A dental implant is a surgically inserted support for a manufactured tooth that is functionally and esthetically the same as a natural tooth! The implant is firmly installed in the bone in a manner very similar to how our own teeth are secured. Where possible, a dental implant is one of the best methods of replacing lost teeth. Because an implant fills the space once occupied by an extracted tooth, it also prevents the chain reaction of repercussions that are caused by a large gap between teeth.
If you now use dentures, an upgrade to implants gives you the opportunity to lose the embarrassment, to regain a confident smile, and to say goodbye to slipping, clicking, and all the other annoying aspects that denture wearers have long contended with. Imagine enjoying a cob of corn, or a fresh crunchy pear, apple, or other fruit with no fear of a denture-related mishap!
Your smile, your confidence, your diction, and your laugh can all return to their pre-denture state! Implants allow you to forget that you are wearing “false teeth”.
The implant that will soon hold the artificial crown, tooth, or denture is a titanium cylinder that we insert surgically into the jawbone. Functionally, the implant replaces the structural functionality of the root of a natural tooth. Over time, as the bone grows, it fuses with the implant. After healing, one or more crowns or artificial teeth is mounted onto the implant. Compared to a dental bridge, implants and crowns accomplish a finer result and without damaging the neighboring teeth. Also, since the implant is inserted directly into the bone, the procedure is not dependent on remaining natural teeth for support (to construct a bridge, for example), so even a person with no remaining natural teeth can enjoy restoration with implants and fixed dentures (these are screwed or clipped over the implants).
With more than 4 decades of monitored clinical studies, documented research, and real-world use, implants enjoy a global reputation for safety. The procedure is now widely adopted throughout North America and Europe. Dr. Berbari adheres to the best-known methods for restoration with implants, using only the highest quality materials. We use Straumann titanium implants that are approved for use by Health and Welfare Canada. The Swiss company Straumann guarantees their implants for 5 years.
We insert the implants right here at the clinic, where we enforce rigid standards of hygiene and sterilization (this is very important, to prevent contamination that can cause the integration of the implant to fail). The pain that you may experience while we prepare the bone for the implant can be compared to moderate pain that you might experience during an extraction.
In most cases in approximately 2 weeks, the bone and implant heal and knit sufficiently for us to mount a temporary crown, bridge, or removable denture (this can be your old denture, modified to fit over the implant). The healing period continues for about 4 months, at which point we can begin the permanent prosthetic work. For a crown, this can take a couple of visits, and for a denture, 5 or 6 visits.
There are risks associated with the surgery, with the insertion of the implant, and with the drilling of the bone. We cannot guarantee the surgery, and conditions can arise during or even after the surgery that can prevent us from placing implant(s). Rejection is also possible, which requires us to remove the implant (which could then possibly be replaced at a future date). The nature of the procedure allows us to guarantee only the quality of our care, our competence in the profession, and our performance of these delicate procedures to the best of our abilities, in the best conditions to favor success.
Risks associated with the surgery include pain, swelling, loss of sensation in the tongue, gingiva, chin, one or both lip(s), and the floor of the mouth. Loss of sensation could be temporary or permanent. Where the bone is thin in the area where we intend to implant, there is a risk of fracturing the jaw. Other risks that are always present are accidental perforation of the inferior alveolar canal(s) and of the floor of the maxillary sinus(es).
Risks associated with the insertion of implant under local anesthesia are swelling, pain, damage to the neighboring teeth, dental and/or bone infection, loss of sensation of the soft tissue of the area.
Alternatives to implants are: