What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are used to replace damaged or missing teeth. Implants include artificial tooth roots, as well as crowns or replacement teeth. The implants are installed into the jawbone and look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
Dental implantation is an option for people who have lost one or more teeth. The dental implant procedure is done on an outpatient basis over several appointments.
Placing the implant and attaching teeth to the implant are done in two separate visits. Sometimes a bone graft is needed to correct bone loss before the implant is placed.
Implants are made of titanium and other materials that imitate the natural tooth root. This imitation root secures replacement teeth to be stable and blend in with your remaining teeth.
Dental implants are used for people who have lost teeth due to:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
Dental implants are a safe, natural option for people who have lost teeth, but they aren’t suitable for everyone. For example, children, people with leukemia, and anyone with a chronic disease such as diabetes usually aren’t good candidates for implants.
You and your dentist will discuss whether you have enough space and bone for the procedure to be effective. If not, your dentist will likely recommend a bridge or dentures instead of an implant.
Types of Tooth Replacement
Dental implants are one of several options for people who are missing teeth.
One of the oldest options for replacing missing teeth is dentures. For a long time, dentures were the only option to fill gaps in someone’s smile.
Dentures are an affordable option for replacing missing teeth. They allow people to eat a variety of foods and look relatively natural.
The downside of dentures is that you usually need to remove them one or more times a day. Despite their fairly natural look, they aren’t as natural as implants.
They can also be uncomfortable and irritate the soft tissue in the mouth. You’ll also need to avoid certain types of food, especially sticky or chewy ones, when wearing dentures.
A more recent option for tooth replacement is the dental bridge. Many people still opt to replace missing teeth with a bridge.
Bridges use the healthy teeth on either side of the artificial teeth for support. Dental bridges usually cost less than implants and ensure that the healthy teeth on either side of the problem tooth or teeth don’t shift out of place. They also prevent you from having gaps.
Unfortunately, bridges are less permanent than dental implants. They also don’t prevent bone loss and tend to put pressure on other teeth.
Types of Implants
People who choose permanent tooth replacement can opt for a full or partial implant. The choice is based on the extent of someone’s tooth loss.
Full implants are recommended for people who have lost all or most of their teeth. Implants are usually best for those with few teeth because there’s a high risk of continued tooth loss as the jawbone weakens.
It can be cheaper and less of a health risk to remove the few remaining teeth and install a complete implant instead of doing a partial implant and taking a “wait and see” approach.
Partial implants are usually recommended for people who have only lost a single tooth or a couple of adjacent teeth. Sometimes, only a single implant is needed to replace multiple teeth if they are next to each other.
Regardless of whether you get full or partial implants, you’ll enjoy a natural-feeling replacement that allows you to do everything you would with your original teeth.
What Is the Cost of Dental Implants in Ontario?
The cost of dental implants varies based on the location of the dentist, the extent of damage, and the type of implant. In Canada, the dental implant cost tends to range from $1000 to $7000, with Ontario on the higher side at between $6000 and $7000 for a full implant.
The cost can increase if additional procedures like bone grafting are needed. Different brands of implants affect the price.
Canada has a comprehensive public healthcare system, but the cost of dental implants, at least in full, is rarely covered. There might also be a longer wait time to have the procedure completed.
Many people opt to use alternative financing to pay for their dental implants. Payment programs such as iFinance or dental loans are an option. Dental insurance plans also cover the cost of a portion or all of the procedure.
What Are the Risks of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are almost always entirely safe if recommended by your dentist. However, not everyone is a good candidate for implants. There is also a minimally slight risk of the following for people with dental implants:
- Oral surgery complications, including damage to your other teeth, injury to the tissue or bone in your mouth or sinus cavity, or nerve damage
- Failure to set correctly might lead to a loose implant that doesn’t function properly and affects chewing or speech
- Extensive healing time
- Tooth sensitivity
- Difficulty cleaning the implant
Additionally, people over 60 years of age might want to consider whether or not implants are the right option for them. Seniors have an increased risk of:
- Slower healing time from all surgical procedures
- Affecting other pre-existing conditions
- Compromising bone health
In general, most adults in otherwise good health will succeed with dental implants. It’s advised that people give up smoking if they are smokers to reduce their risk of complications from dental implants.
Dental implants are a safe, natural-looking option for anyone who has lost one or more teeth. Although more expensive, implants look and feel better than other replacement options, including dental bridges and dentures. Implants also don’t restrict your diet.
Contact our office today to book a consultation, and together we will create the smile you deserve! Because when you smile… we all smile!