At Eckhardt Dental Centre our Penticton dentists may recommend a dental implant as part of the process to replace a missing tooth and help you achieve a natural-looking smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small, surgically placed titanium screw that functions like a natural tooth root. They may be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
Once your dentist has placed the implant into the jaw bone it gradually bonds with the natural bone to serve as a base for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to prevent surrounding teeth from shifting out of place, resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain, and help to restore facial appearance and prevent facial collapse.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, the teeth surrounding the gap may begin to shift out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to deteriorate, negatively impacting your ability to eat and talk or resulting in facial collapse.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is often a two-part process that requires a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement.
Your dentist will begin the process by surgically placing the implant into your jaw bone below the gum tissue. As the area gradually heals, the implant will bond with the surrounding bone and attach to the gum.
When healing is complete (approximately 3 to 6 months post-surgery) you will return to our office to complete the process.
At this final appointment, your dentist will attach a tooth replacement, such as a dental crown, bridge or denture, to the implant, giving you an artificial tooth that can look and function like a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read through the answers to our most frequently asked questions to learn more about dental implants at Eckhardt Dental Centre.
- How long does a dental implant last?
When cared for properly, dental implants can last a lifetime. Care includes proper brushing and flossing at home, as well as attending regular hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
How long your dental implant will last may also depend on other factors including nutrition, genetics, or the development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Care for a dental implant just as you would care for your natural teeth.
Regular hygiene appointments at the dentist's office and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can 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 administer anesthesia to make you comfortable so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
After the procedure, there is not usually much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with over-the-counter pain medication for a few days following the procedure.
That said, you will also need to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure to avoid any pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
From start to finish, the entire dental implant procedure usually takes about two to nine months to complete, depending on your treatment plan.
Your dentist will provide you with a more specific timeline based on your particular case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
Every insurance company is different. Some 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 whether dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.