When you’re considering a dental implant, you might have some questions. After all, this service has not been widely available for decades. You can’t just ask a friend or colleague, because it’s more likely that they’ve used bridges or dentures to conceal tooth gaps. Understanding dental implants is a whole other beast…
At Morrison Dental, we regularly explain these options to our patients. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants in Fort McMurray.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are an alternative to bridges and dentures, but it is an invasive procedure by comparison. A dental implant is made to function like a normal tooth, and in order to do that, it has to be anchored to the jawbone in the socket. To accomplish this, an incision is made in the gum at the site of the missing tooth. A titanium rod (the false root) is screwed into the bone and left to heal for several months.
This false root is made of titanium because the small pores in the titanium bond with bone and form a strong setting for the false tooth that will be installed on top. Once the implant is fully healed and your dentist determines that it was successful, your custom-made false tooth will be attached to the root with something called an abutment.
Are there dentists near me who can perform this service?
If you are a resident of Alberta, there is a good chance that a dentist near you would offer implants as a service, particularly if you are near a major center. In the past it was necessary to see a cosmetic dentist in Fort McMurray to have dental implants installed, but more generalists have acquired the skill and training to perform implant surgery now.
Why are dental implants desirable?
Many people hear what is involved in getting a dental implant and they wonder why this would be chosen over a bridge or denture. There many be several reasons, the most likely being that the patient getting the implant is trying to prevent bone tissue loss. When a tooth is removed from the socket, the bone begins to degenerate due to lack of stimulation. Stimulation occurs each time we chew and our natural root puts pressure on the bone that surrounds it.
Dentures and bridges do not have features that allow them to adequately stimulate the bone around them, so bone density drops. In cases where patients have had all of their teeth removed, or if there is an area with several teeth missing, this bone loss can be dramatic. As the jawbone deteriorates, facial features change as the chin profile shortens.
How long do dental implants last?
Although it’s too early to say definitively, dental implants are thought to last 30 years or more, making them an attractive option for young people who have lost their teeth due to genetic disorders or accidents.
How much do dental implants cost in Fort McMurray?
Dental implants are considered a long-term investment in your oral health, and can cost approximately $3000 per tooth in Canada, or up to $100 000 for a full set of implants. A full set would imply what’s known as all-on-four implants which use an implant in each quadrant of the upper and lower dental arches. A full set of dentures are mounted to these implants to offer maximum stimulation and maintenance of the bones in the upper and lower jaw.
Why no dairy after a dental implant?
Your dentist in Fort McMurray will provide detailed instructions about how to care for your dental implants in the days following your procedure. Throughout the healing period, there will be some food restrictions to ensure the best and fastest healing. Among these are crunchy foods, spicy or acidic foods, and dairy products. Since dairy products cause inflammation of the healing tissues, they should be avoided throughout the healing process.
What should I eat following the implant procedure?
Only your dental clinic in Fort McMurray can tell you for sure, but patients are commonly advised to eat only tepid or cool, soft foods for several days after surgery. This may include cold drinks, puddings and smoothies or slushes. It can be helpful to eat lots of protein in the days following your procedure, since protein may accelerate the healing process. In the early days after your implant procedure, you can get additional protein into your diet by eating soft eggs and nut milks with a protein powder of your choosing (a dairy free protein powder). As you heal, more variety and texture can be reintroduced into your diet and once your implant is fully healed your dentist will give you the ‘okay’ to start eating dairy once again.