Dental Implants

  • Standard Recovery Time:
    30 days
  • Average Cost:
    $900-$6,000 (per tooth)
  • Anesthesia Required:
    Potentially

About Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implant surgery involves replacing a tooth’s root with metal, screw-like posts and replacing damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function like natural teeth. Dental implant surgery offers an alternative to dentures or bridgework that don’t fit well, or when your natural teeth roots don’t allow for denture building or bridgework. In addition, dental implant surgery provides a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.   

Commonly asked questions about Dental Implant Surgery

Before undertaking any procedure, you will want to be confident in your knowledge. Find the details on Dental Implant Surgery here.

1. What are dental implants?

Dental implant surgery involves replacing a tooth’s root with metal, screwlike posts and replacing damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function like natural teeth. Dental implant surgery offers an alternative to dentures or bridgework that doesn’t fit well, or natural teeth roots don’t allow building dentures or bridgework tooth replacements. In addition, dental implant surgery provides a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.   

Dental implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace lost dental roots. Because the titanium in the implant fuses with the jawbone, it won’t slip, create noise, or cause bone damage as fixed bridgework or dentures can. Additionally, the materials in the implant do not decay like natural teeth that support regular bridgework.  

2. Why is dental implant surgery done?

  • To improve speech – Poor-fitting dentures can cause the teeth to slip in the mouth, causing slurred speech or mumbling. The teeth are tightly secured with dental implants, and speech can go unaffected.   
  • To improve overall appearance – As dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and are fused with your jawbone, they are permanent.   
  • To assist with eating – Dentures can cause the teeth to slip, making it difficult to chew. As implants function exactly like natural teeth, chewing foods is much easier and pain-free.   
  • To improve comfort – As dental implants are permanent, they eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.   
  • To improve oral health – Dental implants don’t reduce any other teeth in order to be fitted, such as a tooth-supported bridge. Because the neighbouring teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your natural teeth are preserved, resulting in better long-term oral health. Individual implants also make it easier to clean between teeth, resulting in improved oral health. 
  • To improve self-esteem– Dental implants give you back your smile and help improve self-esteem.   

3. Who is a good candidate for dental implant surgery?

You may be a right fit for dental implant surgery if you have the following:   

  • One or more missing teeth   
  • Enough bone to secure implants   
  • Healthy oral tissues   
  • Unable to wear dentures   
  • You don’t have any health conditions that would affect bone healing   
  • Want to improve your speech   
  • Willing to commit to a several month process   
  • Don’t smoke  

4. How is dental implant surgery performed?

Step one: Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure. Your mouth with be numbed with a local anesthetic, or you will be given IV sedation.   

Step two: When your mouth is numb or you are sedated, the oral surgeon will make an incision in your gum to expose the bone.   

Step three: When the incision is made, a drill is used to create spaces in the bone for the implant screw. From there, the implant goes into place.   

Step four: Your incision will be closed, and you made need stitches depending on the size of the incision.   

Step five: Dental implants are a lengthy process, so you will be sent home to recover and probably return for the second phase of the procedure in a few months. This gives the bone time to grow around the implant, making it strong enough to stay in place. This process is called Osseointegration, which means the titanium from the implant combines with the bone.  

Step six: You will return to the dental office, and the dentist will determine if the implant is secure enough to hold the new tooth. Then, your dentist will make another incision, re-exposing the implant and placing an abutment piece on the implant (this keeps the new tooth in place).   

Step seven: When your gums heal, you will be brought back to the dental office to make an impression of your teeth, and from there, a custom replacement tooth will be created (this is called a crown). The crown is then attached to the abutment.   

 

5. How long does dental implant surgery take? 

Depending on the dentist or oral surgeon, the implant usually takes about an hour per tooth. After the implant is placed, the next appointment will be around four to six months later but could take up to eight months.   

6. What is the recovery after dental implants like?

Each patient is unique, and recovery times differ from person to person, making it difficult to anticipate how long it will take to recover. Some circumstances, however, can have an impact on the healing process. These include: 

  • The number of teeth extracted and implanted  
  • The placement of the implants – lower jawbone implants heal faster than upper jawbone implants 
  • If bone grafting is required   
  • Your general dental hygiene, as well as the health of your bone structure 
  • The time it takes for your body to heal 
  • Smoking and hygiene habits   

After surgery, you can expect a bit of pain in the first two days. You may experience some symptoms, which could include:  

  • Bleeding of the gums  
  • Swelling around your cheeks, mouth, and eyes  
  • Pain or discomfort   

Your stitches should dissolve in a few days, but they could take up to two weeks to fully dissolve. After one week, the pain and inflammation should start to subside, and your mouth should begin to feel normal again.   

Following dental implant surgery, your dentist will recommend that you eat soft foods for up to 30 days after receiving your implant. For more complex procedures, a soft food diet may be required for up to six weeks. 

7. Are there things I should avoid after dental implant surgery?

Post-op care is critical after dental implant surgery. Here are some of the top things to avoid:   

  • Drinking with a straw, rinsing your mouth, and spitting – May cause more bleeding.   
  • Do not poke the incision with your tongue, fingers, or any other instrument – this may loosen the stitches and re-open your incision.  
  • Smoking   
  • Crunchy, sticky, chewy, acidic, and spicy foods – stick to a soft food diet, e.g., smoothies, cool soups, applesauce, fruit juice, pudding, etc.   
  • Excessive exercise   
  • Electric toothbrushes   
  • Alcohol  

8. What are the risks of dental implant surgery?

Dental implant surgery, like any other procedure, carries certain risks. Problems are usually rare, and if they do occur, they are typically minor and are easily treated. Some of the dangers of dental implant surgery include:   

  • Infection at the implant site   
  • Damage to surrounding teeth and blood vessels   
  • Nerve damage – can cause pain, numbness, and tingling   
  • Sinus problems   

9. How much do dental implants cost in Canada?

The price of dental implant surgery will vary from patient to patient as the complexity of the procedure is different for everyone. However, Canada’s average cost is approximately $900-$6000 per tooth.   

  

10. Is dental implant surgery worth it?

41/43 people who have undergone dental implant surgery have rated the procedure “Worth It” (95%) – Source: realself.com