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Ask the Dentist: Ins and outs of Implants


People often question what the advantages of implants are.

The advantage is that they are a permanent fix to replacing your missing teeth, they look real and don’t come out. Maybe it’s just a single tooth you are missing and you want to replace or maybe you want to restore your full smile with an implant-supported bridge.

What is an implant? Implants are titanium screws that if you are a candidate with enough bone, get screwed into the bone making for a solid solution to your missing teeth. Implants start with a CT X-ray to know exactly how much bone there is to work with and then to measure for the proper size of implant to fit the socket.

Implants are done in stages; the screw gets put in first followed by the permanent restoration which goes on after 3-6 months of healing. This depends on bone density and depending on your bone levels you may require a bone graft to ensure that the implant stays stable. Generally, you get a temporary denture-type tooth or teeth to cover the area during the healing period.

While Implants can be pricey, the general consensus is that people really dislike dentures. Over time, dentures become loose and try to fall out while people are talking or trying to eat. Implants are a permanent fix and won’t fall out of your mouth, they will remain looking natural and in place.

Implants leave you with many options for final restoration, whether it is one tooth that needs to be replaced or whole mouth restoration. You can get a single implant to fill the space of that 1 molar you are missing or maybe you have 3 teeth that are missing and you’d like to get 2 implants with a connecting bridge. Maybe you have no teeth and you are sick of your denture, you can get 4-5 implants that will support a complete full arch bridge or an implant-supported denture. It might start as one single implant and eventually you lose more teeth, implants leave you with options to add to your current implant restorations.

Pain-wise, implants are very low on the pain scale. Most people don’t experience any pain as far as the implant goes and the worst pain they have is from the freezing. Swelling is also very minimal. Your dentist will most likely give you a course of antibiotics after sinking an implant which will prevent any infection which could potentially cause pain.

While I say that implants are permanent, like anything in the mouth, they need to be taken care of. Bacteria is always lingering. This means brushing and flossing is still very important in preventing gum disease, thus causing peri-implantitis which will cause bone loss and over time much like you experience from periodontitis and your natural teeth, your implant will fail and fall out. Recently, there has been a study on peri-implantitis and how string floss can become wrapped around the screw which can potentially cause bone loss and failure of your implant. Water flossers are highly recommended, not just for implants but for any oral hygiene.

Are implants right for you? See your dentist to find out for sure. With proper hygiene and regular visits to your hygienist and dentist, you won’t regret your decision to take the plunge.

Dr. Michael Dolynchuk is a General Dentist practicing in Caroline and Red Deer.

Byron Hackett

About the Author: Byron Hackett

I have been apart of the Red Deer Advocate Black Press Media team since 2017, starting as a sports reporter.
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