At Atlantic Dental Centre, our Halifax dentists may insert 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 that is surgically inserted into the jawbone to act as an anchor for an artificial tooth. They can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
Dental implants can help resolve bite issues and jaw pain, prevent the surrounding teeth from shifting and restore the natural appearance of your smile.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, the surrounding teeth may begin to shift out of place to fill the gap. This can cause misalignment issues and could cause the jaw bone around the area deteriorate. This could negatively impact your ability to eat and talk and could cause facial collapse.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is done in phases.
During the first phase, your dentist will surgically place the titanium screw implant into your jawbone below the gum tissue. As the tissue heals the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum.
Once the healing is complete, generally 3 to 6 months post-surgery, patients return to our office to complete the procedure. At this time your dentist will attach a tooth replacement to the implant that will act and look like a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Atlantic Dental Centre.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If cared for properly, dental implants can be a lifelong solution to missing teeth. Proper care includes brushing and flossing at home as well as routine dental hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
Other factors such as nutrition, genetics, or the development of any dental diseases could also affect the longevity of a dental implant.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Dental implants should be cared for the same way as natural teeth.
Visiting your dentist regularly for hygiene cleanings and maintaining a proper at-home brushing and flossing schedule is important. This can help prevent decay or disease in the surrounding teeth and gums which can negatively affect your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
During the initial implant surgery, your dentist will administer anesthesia so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, you may experience mild discomfort, but most patients can manage any pain with over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the surgery.
You should eat soft foods for the first few weeks after the procedure to avoid causing pain or irritation at the implant site.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant procedure usually takes about two to nine months to complete, depending on your treatment plan.
Your dentist can provide you with a more specific timeline based on your particular case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
Some insurances companies will cover the cost of dental implants, while some will only pay for a portion of the cost, and others won't pay for any part of it.
To determine what part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.