A dental implant is a cylindrical and/or tapered post, usually made of titanium, that serves as a substitute for the tooth root.
When a damaged or decayed tooth is removed, both the visible part of the tooth, called the crown, and the root is lost.
A dental implant is placed in the jawbone so that it can fuse with your natural bone and become a strong and sturdy foundation for replacement teeth. Implants can be used to replace an individual tooth or for an implant-supported bridge or denture containing multiple teeth.
Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They will allow you to confidently eat, smile, laugh, talk, play and enjoy all of your regular activities of everyday life without worrying about your teeth. Ask Dr. Vlahos if dental implants are your best choice.
Dental implants are often the best treatment for missing teeth when you use an experienced implant dentist. Dr. Vlahos has placed hundreds of dental implants in patients from St. Catharines and the Niagara region and has been doing so since 2003.
Dr. Vlahos is a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and furthers his implant training by attending the University at Buffalo Dental Implant Study Club.
Caring for teeth restored with dental implants is just like caring for your natural teeth: brush, floss and maintain regular dental cleanings and check-ups, as scheduled. Additional cleaning aids also may be recommended to help you keep your teeth healthy at home.
As is the case with natural teeth, you and Dr. Vlahos and his team members must work as a team to ensure the longevity of your dental implant. While replacement teeth can’t get cavities, they are subject to the same wear-and-tear as natural teeth. Well-placed and cared for dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime!
You might be surprised how affordable dental implants are compared to other tooth replacement options. While the cost of your dental implants can vary widely according to your particular situation, Dr. Vlahos will spend the time with you discussing your treatment plan so you can understand the total cost involved and the necessary steps needed for your treatment. Dental implants are customized to fit your mouth and blend in naturally with your existing teeth. Typically fees can range from $2500 to 4000 for the surgical placement of the single dental implant and the crown that will go onto the implant once it is integrated. Be very wary of any low-cost quotes that you may hear or receive. Often, these quotes entail the use of cheap dental implants and crowns made in other parts of the world whose standards of quality are often much poorer than those from Canada. Often, a patient who gets cheap dental implants will get what they pay for in terms of quality. These implants are often poorly designed with ill-fitting prosthetics and highly unesthetic crowns. Often, they do not last very long and will need to be redone at a higher cost.
Here are three important things you need to know about dental implants before you make your decision.
Some people do not have enough healthy natural bone to support dental implants. Natural bone insufficiency can be caused by:
Several techniques are used to rebuild bone, restore your natural jaw line and smile, and provide a strong and sturdy foundation for implant-supported teeth. Most patients proceed with everyday life and work often by the next day and continue throughout the months in between dentist appointments.
Dr. Vlahos can tell you if you need bone augmentation.
Below is an overview of some of the more common techniques to augment bone.
After the procedure, you will usually be given antibiotics, pain medication if needed, and an antibacterial mouthwash, and instructed to avoid eating certain foods and putting pressure on the bone graft. You will return home in between dentist appointments while the bone graft heals and should be able to work and go about your everyday life.
Your implants will be placed after the grafted bone has fused or become a strong, integrated part of the existing bone. The amount of time the integration takes varies depending on the location of the graft and the density of the bone. It may take three or more months.
After the bone has been given time to develop, usually for approximately four to 12 months, dental implants can be placed. Sinus augmentation, which many patients say causes only minimal discomfort, is designed to help ensure that your implants are long-lasting, with ample, strong and sturdy bone that will allow your new teeth to fit and function like healthy, natural teeth.