Our dentists at South Granville Dentistry in Vancouver can use dental implants to restore the appearance and function of patients' smiles. Here's a little more about what dental implants are and the process for getting implants surgically placed.
Are you considering dental implants?
For many of our patients dental implants can be an ideal way to replace missing teeth and restore function to their smile. If you are considering dental implants to replace your missing teeth it's important to understand exactly what dental implants are, and how the implant process works.
Parts of The Dental Implant
The ImplantWhile we often refer to all 3 parts of the dental implant collectively as 'a dental implant', the actual implant portion is a tiny titanium screw which your dentist will surgically place in your jaw in the spot where the root of the missing tooth once was. The screw portion of the dental implant forms a 'root' or stable base to which an artificial tooth can be attached. As the implant site heals, the screw will become integrated with your jaw bone and form a strong permanent base to your artificial tooth (restoration). Healing after the implant surgery usually takes about 4-6 months. When your mouth has completely healed the next step in the dental implant process can begin.
The AbutmentThe next step in the dental implant process is having an abutment attached to the implant. The abutment is a connector which secures the restoration to the dental implant. An abutment is generally made from titanium or a ceramic material.
The RestorationOnce your mouth has had sufficient time to heal, your restoration can be attached to the abutment. A restoration can be a single artificial tooth, or multiple artificial teeth in the form of a bridge or an implant supported denture.
- For patient's replacing a single tooth a dental crown can be used. The dental crown will be screwed or cemented to the abutment to create an artificial tooth which will look and function almost exactly like a natural tooth. Dental crowns can be made from a mixture of metal and porcelain, or ceramic.
- A dental bridge can be used to replace a number of missing teeth in a row. A bridge can be attached to just two implants which hold it securely in place. A dental bridge is typically made from porcelain.
- Implant supported dentures can be used if you are replacing a full jaw of teeth. Implant supported dentures are typically made with either acrylic resin or porcelain teeth. Unlike conventional dentures, implant supported dentures are permanently secured to dental implants to create a secure and natural looking tooth replacement.