If you have missing teeth but do not want to wear removable dentures or a fixed dental bridge, then dental implants might be right for you.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is inserted into the jaw to secure and hold the artificial tooth.  Dental implants can be used to:

  • Replace a tooth with a single implant and a crown.
  • Replace several teeth with individual implants and crowns.
  • Replace several teeth with an implant-supported bridge.
  • Replace all your teeth with an implant-supported full bridge or denture.

What are the advantages of having Dental Implants?

Dental implants provide the best long-term solution to missing teeth. It can restore your smile, enhance your appearance, boost your self-confidence and improve your overall quality of life.

1. They are just like real teeth. Dental implants are designed to look, feel, and function like your natural teeth.

2. They are permanent. Dental implants are permanently fixed and fused to your jawbone. Unlike dentures, you don’t need to take them off.

3. They are very strong. Dental implants are made usually of titanium and zirconia. Both are very strong and durable biocompatible materials.

4. They last a very long time. Dental implants must be cared for just like real teeth. With good oral hygiene, proper care and maintenance, implants can last you a lifetime.

5. They preserve your bone. Dental implants preserve bone, prevent further bone loss and help restore your jawbone structure.

6. They do not damage other teeth. Unlike fixed dental bridges, dental implants do not need anchors or abutments. You don’t need to shave off healthy teeth to support an implant.

7. Very good success rate. Dental implants enjoy the highest success rate among titanium implants.

What is the process for having Dental Implants?

Having a dental implant requires your patience and your time. The biological basis of dental implant success is osseointegration. Osseointegration is the successful fusion of the titanium implant to your bone. It is not instant. Osseointegration is a natural process of your body that takes time.

1. Consultation

The first step to having dental implants is consultation.  During the consultation, our implant specialist will personally examine your teeth, evaluate your case, advise you of your options and provide you with a detailed treatment plan. Photographs, x-rays and a dental impression your teeth will also be taken during your consult. A CBCT Scan may also be required.

The implant specialist will also provide you instructions on what to do before the surgery and on the day of your scheduled surgery.

2. Anesthesia

Depending on what you and the implant surgeon discussed during the consultation, you may either undergo surgery using local anesthesia only or conscious sedation:

  • Local anesthesia – The implant surgeon shall numb your gums with a topical substance before injecting local anesthesia at the site of the implant. You are fully awake and may feel some pressure or movement exerted by the implant specialist during the surgery but will not experience any pain.
  • Sedation anesthesia – An anesthesiologist will administer sedation anesthesia through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm. Sedation anesthesia or conscious sedation will fully relax you, suppress your consciousness and even make you fall asleep during the procedure. You will not experience any pain during the procedure and will have very limited memory of the surgery after.

3. Surgery

Having a dental implant requires your patience and your time. The biological basis of dental implant success is osseointegration. Osseointegration is the successful fusion of the titanium implant to your bone. It is not instant. Osseointegration is a natural process of your body that takes time.

Although the dental implant procedure will only take one day, the final implant crown can only be installed when the implant is secured and successfully integrated to your jawbone. This process may take up to 6 months depending on each patient’s individual condition.

4. Recovery

After the surgery, you will be asked to stay to recover first if you underwent sedation.  Before you are dismissed, the implant specialist will be providing you with post-operative instructions. You might also be prescribed pain relievers and if needed, antibiotics.

You will be asked to visit after a dew days to check the progress of your healing and/or to remove stitches.

5. Temporary Dentures

If needed, the implant specialist can fabricate a temporary partial denture for you to cover the gap where your tooth is missing.

6. Osseointegration

After the implant procedure, the process of osseointegration begins. As the jawbone heals, it will grow and fuse to the titanium implant. The healing process can take 6 to 24 weeks.

Your dentist will ask you to comeback for occasional check ups during this period to check the healing of the implant.

7. Abutment

Once the implant has successfully integrated to the jawbone, your next appointment will be for the attachment of the implant abutment. After administering a local anesthetic, the implant surgeon will make an incision to reopen your gums to expose the dental implant.

Once the abutment is firmly attached to the implant, the surgeon will now stitch the gum tissue around the abutment. Once healed, the abutment will be used to secure and hold the new artificial tooth into place.

8. Fabrication

After the abutment is placed, the next step will be the fabrication of the artificial tooth. A dental impression will be taken of your mouth during the appointment. The cast will then be sent to the laboratory for design and fabrication of the crown.

The type of crown to be fabricated will depend on what you and the implant specialist have agreed on. The crown will be installed two weeks after the placement of the abutment.

9. Crown

Your next and final appointment will be the installation of the final crown.

After the crown is cemented or screwed to the implant abutment, the implant process is finally completed. You are now ready to smile.

Congratulations!