Dental Implants in Richmond Hill
Is your dentist recommending a dental implant for you? Dental implants have grown in popularity in Canada over the past decade; it’s estimated that dental professionals now perform approximately 200,000 of these procedures each year. If you’re considering dental implants, you may have questions about their advantages and disadvantages, and about which professionals in Richmond Hill can perform the procedure.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, designed to provide a foundation for a replacement tooth that can function like a natural tooth. A titanium metal post is inserted into the jawbone where a tooth has been lost, and it eventually bonds with the jawbone. After a period of time, an artificial replacement tooth is attached to the implant. The patient regains the ability to eat almost any food, and the confidence that their teeth and facial contours look natural. Implants also help to slow or halt the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Before dental implants were available, most dentists recommended dental bridges as a solution to missing teeth. While these devices were helpful at the time, they did not stop the shrinkage of the jawbone that happens when a tooth is lost. In addition, healthy teeth are usually ground down in order to make anchors for a dental bridge, something that does not happen with implants. Dental implants are stable and comfortable. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
First, you’ll need x-rays to ascertain whether dental implants are right for you. If your dental professional decides to go ahead, the titanium post will be placed into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is stitched back into place, and you will be sent home. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond to the jawbone and attach to the gum. This may take several months.
In some cases, an "abutment” is attached to the post in the initial surgery. In others, the abutment is put into place after healing. The abutment is a post that will connect the replacement tooth to the implant.
Next, an artificial tooth will be made and fitted. This is an exacting process, and may take several visits to perfect.
Some dentists perform this procedure, but many times, patients are referred to a periodontist. Periodontists are certified specialists who deal with the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of periodontal and peri-implant diseases. They receive extensive training beyond dental school and must constantly upgrade their training to remain current with advancing technologies. A periodontist is very knowledgeable with regard to implants.
Your dentist may have a periodontist for your dental implants in mind, or you may want to explore options in the Richmond Hill area. Some professionals include reviews from former patients on their websites; this can tell you a lot about what others have experienced their practice. You can also see what the professional emphasizes on their site. Does the site give you the sense that the doctor cares about patient comfort? Does it contain useful information about the procedure and the recovery process? Finding a periodontist who is a good fit for you will make sure that you’ll be smiling for years to come!