At Dr. Farid Shodjaee our Ottawa, 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?
A dental implant is a tiny titanium screw that functions like a natural tooth root. They can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
The implant is surgically placed into the jaw bone. It then bonds with the natural bone and serves as an anchor for a tooth replacement such as a crown or bridge.
Dental implants can help to resolve issues with your bite, alleviate jaw joint pain, or prevent surrounding teeth from moving out of place. They can also restore facial tissues and appearance.
Why replace missing teeth?
Replacing missing teeth is critical to your oral health. If a tooth is missing, teeth surrounding the gap can start to move out of place and cause misalignment issues. Your jaw bone may also begin to deteriorate, which can cause facial collapse or negatively impact your ability to eat and talk.
The Dental Implant Procedure
To place a dental implant, your dentist will use a titanium screw and a tooth replacement such as a dental bridge or crown.
Your dentist will start by surgically placing the implant into your jaw bone, underneath the gum tissue. The implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum as this tissue heals.
Once the area has healed (typically 3 to 6 months post-surgery), you will return to our office so your dentist can complete the procedure.
During this last appointment, your dentist will top the implant with a tooth replacement such as a dental bridge, denture or crown. This creates the appearance and function of a natural tooth and returns capacity to speak and eat if you were previously having issues.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Dr. Farid Shodjaee.
- How long does a dental implant last?
Your implant can very well last a lifetime - if you care for it properly. This includes using proper brushing and flossing techniques at home, in addition to attending regular hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
How long your dental implant lasts may also depend on other factors such as nutrition, genetics, or the development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Just like your natural teeth, your dental implant needs the same care and attention.
Visit your dentist for routine hygiene appointments and keep up a proper brushing and flossing routine at home to help prevent decay or diseases from developing in the surrounding teeth and gums, which can negatively affect your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
During dental implant surgery, your dentist will give you anesthesia to make you comfortable so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, patients do not usually feel much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
To avoid any pain or irritation, you will also need to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
It usually takes about two to nine months to complete the entire dental implant procedure, depending on your treatment plan.
You can get a more accurate timeline from your dentist based on your specific case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
Dental implants will be covered by some insurance companies, while some companies will only pay part of the cost, and others won't pay for any part of it.
To learn whether your dental implant will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.