At Family Dental Care Kitsilano - Dr. Harry Sangha Dentistry our Vancouver 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 works similar to a natural tooth root. They can be used to replace a single lost tooth or several missing teeth.
Your dentist will surgically place the implant into your jaw bone, where it will bond with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to keep surrounding teeth from moving, resolve jaw joint pain or bite issues, and restore facial tissues and appearance.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, teeth surrounding the gap may start to move out of place, which can lead to misalignment issues. The jaw bone surrounding the area may also start to break down, causing facial collapse or negatively impact 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 such as a dental bridge or crown.
To begin, the dentist will surgically place the implant into your jaw bone, below the gum tissue. As healing takes place, the implant and bone will bond, and the implant will attach to the gum.
Once healing has occurred, typically 3 to 6 months post-surgery, you'll return to our office to have the procedure completed.
During this final appointment, your dentist will attach a crown, bridge or denture to the implant to create the look and feel of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Here are the most frequently asked questions we've received about dental implants at Family Dental Care Kitsilano - Dr. Harry Sangha Dentistry.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If a dental implant is cared for properly, it can last a lifetime. This includes following a proper brushing and flossing routine at home, in addition to attending routine hygiene cleanings and exams at your dentist's office.
Other factors such as genetics, nutrition and the development of any dental diseases can also impact the longevity of a dental implant.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Care for your dental implant just as you would care for your natural teeth.
Seeing your dentist for routine hygiene appointments and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine at home helps prevent decay or diseases from developing in surrounding gums and teeth - all of which can have a negative impact your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
Your dentist will administer anesthesia during your dental implant procedure to ensure your comfort, so you won't feel any pain during the surgery.
Following the procedure, patients do not typically experience much discomfort. Most can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pain medication for a few days following the surgery.
We also recommend a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the procedure, to prevent pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
Depending on your treatment plan, the entire dental implant procedure typically takes between two and nine months to complete.
Your dentist can provide you with a more precise timeline, based on your specific case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
While some insurance providers will cover the cost of dental implants, others will only pay part of the cost, and still others won't pay any part of it.
Check with your insurance provider to determine which portion, if any, of your dental implant procedure will be covered by your insurance.