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Do You Need Dental Implants?

Do You Need Dental Implants?

Dr. Michael Layton
November 13, 2014

If you have missing teeth or no teeth, you know how devastating this can be to your self esteem. Maybe you're tired of wearing dentures and experiencing the inconvenience of not being able to eat whatever you want. Perhaps you're ready for a more natural looking permanent solution to your dental problems. Having dental implants is the closest thing to having the look and feel of your original teeth.

The whole idea behind getting dental implants is to provide the patient with the self esteem they had before losing their natural teeth.

What Are Dental Implants?

Endosseous implant or fixture is the clinical name for dental implants. Osseointegration is the process of bonding titanium to bone in the dental implant process.

Dental implants have become increasingly popular. According to research conducted by iData Research Inc. 90,000 dental implant surgeries were performed in Canada in 2005. Further research stated the number of dental implants would increase to more than 200,000 by 2012.

A dental implant replaces the tooth with an artificial root made of titanium metal. The root is inserted into the jawbone to replace the natural tooth. An abutment is attached to the implant, next an artificial tooth is then attached to the abutment where it is anchored in place. Fitting an artificial tooth to the abutment may require several dental implants image

Implants are placed in the upper or lower jaw of a patient where they serve as an anchor for artificial replacement teeth.

Procedural Process for Dental Implants

Thinking of getting implants? Your first step is to set up a consultation with a dental practitioner. A qualified dentist will be able to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for this surgery. Your dentist will take detailed x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth before proceeding further.

The Best Candidates for Dental Implants

If you have adequate bone and gum tissue you have a better chance of success for this type of surgery. Future patients considering dental implants should also be free of periodontal disease.

Who Performs Dental Implant Surgery

Doctors of Dental Surgery (DDS) specialize in dental implant surgery. Oral surgery is very specialized, possible complications can result in excessive bleeding, nerve damage, rampant infection or severe traumatic injuries. The complexity of this type of surgery requires a future patient to consult with an experienced and accredited DDS.

Consequences of Missing Teeth

Having missing teeth is more than just an aesthetic issue it has major health implications. Missing teeth places unnecessary pressure and strain on a persons natural teeth. The result is healthy teeth end up shifting position to enable people to chew food properly. The healthy teeth in the mouth end up becoming weaker in response to compensating for the missing tooth or teeth.

Additional problems:

  • Unattractive appearance
  • Self esteem issues
  • Less nutrient absorption
  • Additional healthy tooth loss

Different Types of Dental Implants

Dental implants are usually made of titanium this forms a stable anchor for the replacement of missing teeth. There are two main types of dental implants, the first is an Endosteal implant placed in and around the jawbone. This is the most common type of implant used in dental procedures. Subperiosteal implant is the second type of dental implant that is placed under or above the jawbone. This type of implant is most often used on patients who have a shallow jawbone, to be determined by your dental physician.

Why Choose a Dental Implant instead of a Fixed Bridge?

A fixed dental bridge is a non removable dental prosthesis attached on either side by a persons natural teeth. Fixed dental bridges used to be the best alternative for people who lost teeth until dental implants came along. For a fixed dental bridge to be successful, a person’s natural teeth must be filed down and part of the enamel must be removed. Impressions of your existing teeth are than made and sent to a dental lab. A temporary bridge will be made available for you to wear until your permanent bridge is ready.

Disadvantages of getting a fixed bridge places extra pressure on the other healthy surrounding teeth. There is also a risk of possible tooth decay developing under the bridge. Dental implants are more popular simply because they do not have any of the drawbacks of a fixed bridge. With a proper implant your healthy teeth are not subjected to extra pressure as a support mechanism.

Dental Implant Procedure

  1. The first stage of surgery requires your D.D.S. making an incision in the gum tissue. Next a dental implant is placed in your jawbone below the gum tissue before it is stitched back up. While the tissue is healing the implant bonds with the jawbone, this takes several months to heal depending on the individual.
  2. The second stage of surgery entails the attachment of an abutment to the implant. The abutment is the anchor that connects the artificial tooth to the implant. It usually takes several appointments to properly configure artificial teeth to the abutment.
  3. For people missing several teeth, a fixed bridge can be anchored to the dental implant. The bridge can be held firmly in place by the dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.

Dental Implant Advantages

Dental implants preserve the bone integrity of the upper and lower jaw bones. Have you ever noticed that long term denture wearers have that sunken jawbone look? The clinical term for this is called alveolar bone loss, this happens when there is a lack of direct stimulation of the jawbone which leads to bone degradation. A persons jaw bone must be regularly stimulated to maintain integrity and bone strength.

Implants work so well because they bond with the actual bone and gums of the patient.


After your dental surgery what can you expect? Dental implants require the same oral care regimen and regularly scheduled dental visits. You will have to continue your due diligence in brushing and flossing to remain plaque and disease free.

For a natural look and feel speak with a dental specialist who can advise you of the correct cause of action for you. These are just some of the reasons why dental implants are popular, besides looking natural they simultaneously preserve your oral health.

About Dr. Michael Layton

Dr. Michael Layton - South Surrey DentistDr. Michael Layton (DDS) is the dentist for Peace Arch Dental, a dental office in the South Surrey/White Rock, B.C. area. He has been in the dental industry for the last decade and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington. He takes pride in providing positive and caring dental solutions (including dental implants) for people in the South Surrey/White Rock area. You can follow him on Google+.

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