How Do Dental Implants Work? Your Questions Answered
by Apple Dental Implant Centre on (March 08, 2023)
Dental implants are the leaders of the pack when it comes to tooth replacement solutions. But because they involve a far more complex procedure than something like a crown, bridge or dentures, patients considering them often get overwhelmed trying to figure out how they work. To put an end to the mystery, we answer all your questions and beyond to help you understand not only how they work but why dental implants are the ultimate tooth replacement solution. Book a consultation today to speak with our dentists if you’re ready to get the process started.
How do Dental Implants Work?
To understand how dental implants work, you first need to understand what dental implants are. Dental implants get their name because, unlike other artificial teeth, they include an all-important post inserted into the jawbone. These posts act like your teeth’s natural root, providing a permanent solution that looks, acts, and feels like the real thing. But the most exciting aspect about dental implants, at least to us tooth nerds, is that the post itself is made of commercially pure titanium screws. Why is this a big deal? Because titanium is “biocompatible” with human bone.
And this is where we get into how dental implants work. When the posts are “implanted” into the jawbone, the body actually fuses the post with the surrounding bone. This process is called “osteointegration.” The result is a sturdy root that helps stimulate bone health, providing a sturdy support for the “abutment” to affix the tooth and allowing the tooth to be affixed permanently for a natural look and feel. Just like your natural teeth, proper care will maintain your new teeth for life.
Dental Implant Facts and FAQs
So, let’s get right into answering your questions:
What provides the artificial tooth?
The artificial tooth or “prosthesis” is basically the same as a crown for a single tooth. However, you can also have multiple implants with dental crown bridges or full mouth replacement with upper and lower dentures (also known as all-on-four).
While implants can be very expensive, with some clinics charging as much as $6000 per tooth, at Apple Dental Implant Centre, we provide transparent pricing starting at just $999 per implant or $2,299 for an implant and crown.
Are dental implants safe?
Absolutely, in fact, they are one of the most reliable types of tooth replacement solutions, with an implant survival rate placed over a 10-year period of 99.7%.
How long do dental implant procedures take?
There are four steps in the dental implant process, with four healing stages in between each step. All told, you are looking at anywhere from six to nine months to complete all four steps and for your implants to be completely fused to the jawbone. Some factors impacting recovery time include
- Your dental health
- Whether you need pre-implant treatments such as tooth extraction, bone grafts or periodontal treatments
- The type of implant -- single, multi or full replacement
- If you’ll require a tooth extraction before the implant placement
Is there such a thing as implant rejection?
Yes, but it’s very rare. Examples of what might cause rejection include:
- A titanium alloy allergy
- Improper post-operative care
- Severe gum disease or bone loss
What if I am unhappy with my dental implants? Can they be removed?
Yes, they can be removed, but unless you suffer from rejection or infection, it is not advisable. It is also highly unlikely you would be dissatisfied as there is an almost 100% satisfaction rate for dental implant patients. We would advise you to speak to your dentist to discuss less invasive options. You really don’t want to undergo surgery if it isn’t necessary.
What are the benefits of implants?
There are several:
- Improved appearance and confidence
- They can last a lifetime
- You can eat a healthier diet and the foods you love
- They stimulate bone growth
- They don’t decay
Dental Implant Myths
We hate to think you are avoiding dental implants because you found unreliable sources about the treatment. Therefore, we are here to dispel some common dental implant myths:
Dental implant surgery is painful and invasive
Dental implant surgery is performed as outpatient surgery, using modern technology to minimize discomfort. The surgery itself is never painful as it is performed using both general and local anesthesia. The combination of sedation and numbing injections also reduces pain as you recover from your surgery on the first day. Full disclosure: Where you will experience pain is the night following the surgery and for about three days after as your body heals. This pain is very manageable with a safe pain medication prescription provided by your dentist.
Dental implants feel uncomfortable
Dental implants are the most comfortable, natural-feeling tooth replacement option available. The titanium posts act like natural tooth roots, so you speak, bite and chew as you would with your natural teeth. Especially compared to removable dentures.
Dental implants look fake
Dental implants are designed to mirror the look of your natural teeth. If you have a single or multi-tooth replacement, we match your tooth tone and colour to the right shade of crown so they blend in beautifully. For full mouth replacements, your dentist works with you to ensure your teeth are suited to your face as well as providing proper function and “occlude” for a comfortable bite.
Dental implants are too high maintenance
This myth can be a little ironic in that if someone lost teeth due to poor dental care and hygiene, then they will find dental implants are high maintenance. The reason? Because implants require the exact same care as natural teeth. As long as you brush and floss and go to regular dental checkups, your implants will last a lifetime.
Dental implants are likely to fail
Nope. Dental implants have an implant survival rate over a 10-year period of 99.7%.
Dental implants are expensive
While this can be true, our dental implant center offers a consistent cost of just $999 per implant or $2,299 for an implant and crown.
How Does the Dental Implant Process Work?
There are four steps to the dental implant procedure:
- Step 1: During the first stage of surgery, your dental surgeon makes an incision in your gums, drills holes in your jawbone, and inserts your dental implant. They then stitch up the site so your gums cover the post.
- Step 2: Over several months, the posts fuse to the bone so you can undergo the second minor surgical treatment. At this step, the dentist attaches an “abutment” to the implant, which is used to link the replacement tooth.
- Step 3: A synthetic replacement tooth is made by our lab experts.
- Step 4: The replacement tooth is fused to the abutment once the gum tissue has healed following your abutment insertion.
It can take from three to nine months for the entire process, depending on whether you need treatment prior to the implants and how long the bone fusion and healing take between steps.
How Do I Prepare for Dental Implant Surgery?
Generally speaking, a healthy patient focused on the results of their implants requires very little preparation for their surgery. However, if your jawbone is inadequate, your dentist will include a bone graft or jaw reshaping in your treatment plan to ensure the bone can support the implant. Other possible steps to prepare would be addressing gum disease with periodontal treatments such as deep scaling, antibiotic therapy, surgery, or tooth extraction.
How Do I Tell If Dental Implants Are Right for Me?
Although most people are well-suited for dental implants, if you have an inadequate jawbone and/or suffer from periodontal disease, you may need additional procedures prior to starting your implant placement. Your dentist can refer you for a bone graft and provide periodontal treatment so you are able to undergo the dental implant procedure. A few other things that you might want to consider include:
- Your willingness to commit to almost a year to the procedure
- Your commitment level to following all of the post-care instructions, i.e. maintaining a solid oral hygiene regime and quitting smoking
- Your financial commitment
Your dentist at Apple Dental Implant Centre can help you decide if implants are right for you.
If you still have questions about implants or are ready to take the next step, Apple Dental Implants Center in B.C. offers no-obligation consultations. Reach out to us today.