At Slave Lake Dental our Slave Lake 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 can be used to replace a single lost tooth or several missing teeth.
After being surgically placed into the jaw bone, the implant will bond with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement such as a dental crown.
Dental implants can help keep surrounding teeth from shifting and causing misalignment, resolve bite issues, restore facial tissues and appearance and relieve pain in your jaw joint.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, teeth surrounding the gap may begin to move out of place and cause misalignment issues. Jaw bone around the area may also begin to break down, resulting in facial collapse or having a negative impact on your ability to speak and chew.
The Dental Implant Procedure
To complete a dental implant procedure, your dentist will need a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement.
To begin, your dentist will surgically place the implant into your jaw bone, underneath the gum tissue. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum.
Once healing has occurred - generally 3 to 6 months post-surgery - a tooth replacement such as a denture, dental bridge or crown will be attached to the implant to create the look and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Slave Lake Dental.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If your implant is cared for properly, it can last a lifetime. This includes maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine at home, in addition to visiting your dentist for regular hygiene cleanings and exams.
A dental implant's longevity may also depend on other factors including genetics, nutrition, or development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Care for a dental implant just as you would your natural teeth.
Visiting your dentist for regular hygiene appointments and sticking to a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can prevent decay or diseases from developing in surrounding teeth and gums, all of which can have a negative impact on your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
Your dentist will provide anesthesia during dental implant surgery to ensure you feel 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 over-the-counter pain medication for a few days following the procedure.
A soft diet will also be required for the first couple of weeks after you receive your implant to avoid any pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
It will take typically between two to nine months to complete the entire dental implant procedure, depending on your treatment plan.
You'll receive a more specific timeline from your dentist, depending on your specific case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
While the cost of dental implants will be covered by some insurance plans or companies, others will only pay part of the cost, and still others won't pay for any portion of it.
To determine which percentage, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by insurance, confirm with your insurance provider.