Dental Implants in Fort McMurray
Historically, if you lost a tooth due to disease or trauma there was no means of replacing it. Later, bridges were used to anchor a prosthetic tooth between two healthy teeth. Today, bridges remain available to patients who are interested in closing the gap formed by a missing tooth – but they’re not the only option.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are the first long-term solution for missing teeth that ‘behave’ like real teeth. A dental implant is comprised of a titanium rod, an abutment (joiner) and a pontic (false tooth). The titanium rod serves as a false root and is screwed into the jaw bone before being left to heal for up to six months. While healing occurs, titanium in the rod begins to bond with bone tissue in the jaw in a process known as osseointegration. This bonding of titanium and bone ensure that the root is stable in its socket. Once the root is sufficiently healed, the pontic can be attached.
Who is it For?
Dental implants are best suited to those who are prepared to make the commitment in time, finances and recovery. The cost of a dental implant will vary based upon how many are being implanted and in what configuration, as well as materials cost. In some cases, a lack of bone tissue prevents the implant until a bone graft can be performed.
When considering whether implants are right for you, it is important to consider their benefit over the long-term (30+ years) and how this fits with your oral health goals. If you are considering implants, it is important to speak to your dentist who will take 3D images of your teeth to determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure.
Not only are implants an esthetically pleasing solution to tooth loss, they are also a factor in the maintenance of a healthy jaw. To understand why, we need to know a bit about teeth and their relationship with bone.
Did you know that the bite force of a human being outweighs that of even a gorilla? Sound strange? This is because, while gorilla jaws are made to perform long periods of chewing plant matter, human beings do not require this kind of long-term chewing stamina. Instead, human jaws are best used in short, powerful bursts to crunch, mash and tear.
With such a powerful jaw, it’s no wonder patients wake with pain and headaches when they’ve been unconsciously clenching or grinding through the night. Without our ability to grind and chew, however, our jawbones would not be able to maintain their form, strength or structure.
Your teeth have an important relationship with the bone they anchor to. The roots of your teeth extend into the jawbone where sockets and soft tissue hold them in place. Every time you bite down on natural teeth, the force of that bite is distributed throughout the mouth along the dental arches, and down the socket into the jawbone. As the forces travel from the crown of the tooth and down into the root, your jaw is stimulated to reinforce itself with important minerals that keep the jaw strong. Without this, your jaw ‘thinks’ that more minerals aren’t needed, and they are sent away to other areas of the body. The result is something called bone resorption.
Examples of bone resorption can be seen in the elderly population where years of denture wearing results in a shortening of the lower portion of the face due to loss of bone matter. This process begins in as few as six months following the loss of a tooth, and where multiple teeth are lost the impact can be greater.
The solution to this problem is to reintroduce the ability for the jaw to be stimulated deeply by a titanium root. Once healed, implants can provide over 80% of the biteforce stimulation of natural teeth, allowing bone matter to remain strong and healthy. Where dentures are concerned, they are only able to transfer approximately 10% of the biteforce required for a healthy jaw.
What are the other benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants act just like natural teeth, allowing you to speak and eat comfortably. With a false root in place, there is no need to worry about denture adhesive, clicking or slipping. No dentures means no hot spots on the gums or other irritations that can make denture-wearing cumbersome.
Since a jaw that is in resorption is continuously changing, denture wearers struggle to get a consistently good fit. Dental implants eliminate this problem completely, allowing you to use your teeth care-free. Dental implants represent leap forward in jaw health and daily comfort.
If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today.
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