Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dental Implants But Were Afraid to Ask

Dental implants all aren‘t new, but they remain a mystery to people until the time comes to replace failing or missing teeth. In fact, the entire idea of implants is fascinating once you begin to learn more about them. Whether you or someone you know is facing the prospect of replacing teeth, it pays to know more about this solution. Once you understand the basics of implants, it will be easier to decide if they are really the right answer.

What are Dental Implants?

Implants are devices designed to fill in the space left when your natural teeth are removed. The basic implant is a small post that’s shaped quite a bit like a screw. While the post may be composed of different materials, titanium is one of the more popular choices. Along with the post, most implants are fitted with crowns or caps that are shaped like a perfectly proportioned tooth.

The basic implant is inserted directly into the socket formerly occupied by a tooth root. Once it’s in place, the dental professional covers it with a temporary crown. Later, the patient returns to be fitted with permanent crowns. Once the dental implants are in place, they function and look just like the real thing.

Is There More Than One Type of Implant?

Individual implants work fine for people who need to replace several teeth. They can even be used as part of reconstructive surgery after an accident to replace an entire set of teeth. While this solution is workable, there is another implant solution that may be better in certain situations.

Along with basic Toronto dental implants, patients are often offered the opportunity to get what’s known as All on Four dental implants. The basic idea remains the same, although the process is slightly different. Instead of individual implants to replace each tooth, the All on Four approach involves sinking four implants into the upper and lower jaws. Once in place, it’s possible to create a dental plate that looks like a full set of upper and lower teeth. Those plates are secured to the implants, resulting in what appears to be a perfectly natural smile.

Can Anyone Get Implants?

While many people are candidates for implants without any advance preparation, others may require some additional work first. This is true for patients with weaker bone structure. Before any attempt at dental implants takes place, the dental professional will attempt to reinforce the bone.  This may be accomplished using grafts or by inserting a metal framework directly into the gums to support the implants.

Patients who are not candidates for individual implants are sometimes able to receive All on Four dental implants without having to undergo any preparatory work. This is because the implants can be space out so each one is embedded in sturdy areas of the bone. A cosmetic dentist can test the bone density and determine if the patient is a candidate for one or both types of Toronto dental implants.

How Long Does It Take?

The time involved to install dental implants depends on which approach you choose. If the patient opts for individual implants, the process can become quite involved. A single implant can be installed within a few hours, but successfully installing a larger number will take the better part of a day.

In some cases, the installation may have to occur in stages. This means the patient will need to return for several appointments over a period of weeks. Once the individual implants are in place, it’s still necessary to return for the permanent crowns or caps. It’s not out of the question for the entire process to take months.

Choosing to go with All on Four dental implants is different. This procedure is sometimes referred to as Teeth in a Day. That’s because only four upper and four lower implants are required for a full set of teeth. After inserting the implants and making sure they’re stable, the dental surgeon attached temporary dental plates. Impressions are taken for a set of permanent plates that can be installed in a few days. The shorter time frame is one of the several reasons why more patients are choosing the All on Four solution over individual dental implants.

Is There Pain During and After the Procedure?

Installing Toronto dental implants of any kind is an invasive procedure. During the surgery, the patient is kept sedated. Deadening the gums is also common. Between the two measures, patients are unlikely to feel any type of discomfort while the work is underway.

The greater potential for pain comes after the work is finished and the feeling begins to return. There is some swelling as the result of the surgery, and the tissue around the implant is sensitive for at least a few days. Most people find that the pain is bearable if they use a combination of ice packs and some sort of pain reliever. The surgeon may provide a prescription for something to ease the discomfort and also minimize the swelling and potential infection. At other times, the professional may recommend the use of an over the counter anti-inflammatory product that will not thin the blood.

If the pain cannot be controlled and the swelling does not begin to subside after a day or two, the patient should contact the dental team. There may be the need to administer a stronger medication or to undergo an exam and determine why the healing is not proceeding as it should.

How Long Do Implants Last?

One of the major advantages of implants is that they last much longer than dentures. If you are lucky, a set of dentures will last somewhere between five to seven years. At that point, the shifting of the bone structure may require that you be fitted for a new pair.

By contrast, individual as well as All on Four dental implants minimize shrinkage and help the jaw to maintain a natural contour. The materials used are almost as sturdy as real teeth. Thanks to the durable nature, you could easily get two or three decades of use from those implants.  Many people keep their original implants for longer periods.

At best, there may be the need to replace a damaged crown at some point. The implants proper are likely to last the rest of your life.

Will My Insurance Cover the Cost?

The only way to know if your private insurance will cover the cost of Toronto dental implants is to check the terms and conditions found in the policy. In years past, dental insurance plans did not always cover implants unless they were needed to recover from some sort of catastrophic accident. More recently, one or both types of implants are being covered by contemporary dental insurance plans. While you may still need to pay a portion of the cost out of pocket, insurance that covers the bulk of the expense makes them affordable for more people.

Are dental implants right for you? The only way to know for sure is to schedule an examination  with your dental surgeon. After the exam results are back, the two of you can discuss which option would be best, what type of preparation you should make, and what to expect once the implants are in place. Call today and schedule your appointment. The results will be worth it.