At Ottawa Downtown Dental, our dentist 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?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw, which functions similar to a natural tooth root. Implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or numerous teeth.
Your dental implant will be surgically placed into your jaw bone, where it will then bond with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to keep surrounding teeth from moving out of alignment, resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain, and restore facial tissues and appearance. They can stabilize and support dentures.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, teeth surrounding the gap may start to shift out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to deteriorate, leading to facial collapse or negatively impacting your ability to speak and chew.
The Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant procedure involves using a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement.
To start, your dentist will surgically place the implant into your jaw bone, underneath the gum tissue. As the tissue heals, the implant bonds with the bone and attaches to the gum.
Once healing is complete (typically 3 to 6 months post-surgery), patients return to our clinic to have the procedure completed.
During your final appointment, your dentist will add a tooth replacement such as a dental bridge, crown or denture to the implant. This creates the look and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Ottawa Downtown Dental.
- How long does a dental implant last?
Provided your implant is cared for properly, it can last a lifetime. Your oral care routine should include proper brushing and flossing at home, in addition to attending regular hygiene exams and cleanings at your dentist's office.
Your dental implant's longevity can also be impacted by other factors including genetics, nutrition or the development of any dental diseases.
- 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 regular hygiene appointments and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing regimen at home can help keep diseases or decay from developing in the surrounding teeth and gums, which can negatively impact your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
Before starting your dental implant surgery, your dentist will provide anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable, so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
After the procedure, patients do not typically experience much discomfort. Most can manage any pain they may feel with an over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
We also recommend a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure to avoid any pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant procedure typically takes between two and nine months to complete, depending on your treatment plan.
Your dentist can provide you with a more precise timeline based on your particular case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
While some insurance companies will cover the cost of dental implants, some will only pay part of the cost, and others won't pay any portion of it.
To find out which percentage, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.
Guided Implant Surgery
Our dentists use 3D imaging technology to help manufacture and place dental implants. Using CT scans and other digital equipment, we can expedite implant surgery.
This means a more precise and efficient treatment, leaving patients with a restored smile, often in a single appointment.
Your dentures can be stabilized with a minimum of two implants per jaw. Implants help create stability for your replacement teeth and help ensure they look as natural as possible.
They are an ideal option for patients with dentures who do not want to deal with the expense of individual tooth implants.