Dental Implants in Lethbridge
If you have missing or severely damaged teeth, dental implants can provide a permanent solution to replace the visible portion of the tooth as well as the non-visible tooth-root. This solution prevents ongoing damage to the underlying structure of the mouth, and leaves you with a full, natural looking smile that is as easy to maintain as your natural teeth. At Rice, Rollingson & Heggie Dentistry in Lethbridge, we offer various dental implants.
What makes dental implants different from traditional tooth replacement options such as dentures or bridges is that dental implants replace the whole tooth, including the root.
This provides several benefits, including:
- Preventing bone loss – When the tooth root is missing, the underlying structure of the jawbone will slowly begin to be reabsorbed into your body, weakening the jaw, permanently affecting the structure of your mouth and your facial appearance, and potentially causing serious problems with your bite.
- Minimizing maintenance – Unlike dentures, a dental implant does not require extensive special care. With a dental implant, you can eat, drink, brush, and floss just as you do with your natural teeth.
- Minimizing structural damage to surrounding teeth – Unlike dental bridges, a dental implant requires no modifications to surrounding teeth. The implanted root portion of your new tooth can fully support the above-gum portion. In the case of dental bridges, the surrounding teeth must be modified.
The dental implant process takes place in two steps: Implanting the root, and attaching the crown portion of the replacement tooth.
During our initial examination, we will do a thorough checkup to ensure that you are a good candidate for dental implants. In some cases, people who have had missing teeth for some time may have suffered from bone loss, and may require bone grafting before they can have a successful dental implant procedure.
Implanting the “root”
The root portion of a dental implant is actually a titanium rod that is surgically placed in the position of the missing tooth root.
For this part of the procedure, a strong titanium rod is surgically implanted into your jawbone. This procedure will be performed in our offices, and may be done under local anesthesia, sedation, general anesthesia, or some combination of these, depending on your unique circumstances. We will make recommendations and discuss your options with you during your initial consultation with us.
Once this procedure is complete, we will allow your new implant time to heal and fuse with your jawbone. This process may take up to a few months to complete, depending on the implant itself and on individual physiological factors such as healing ability. During this period, we may be able to fit you with a temporary crown that will let you eat and drink normally.
Attaching the crown
Once the implanted root has fully healed, we will attach a permanent crown to replace the above-gum portion of the tooth. This process is largely identical to the process for porcelain crowns, except that the crown is attached to your dental implant rather than to an existing natural tooth.
We are excited about the opportunity to offer our patients this new service. Mini-implants are about 1/2 price compared to regular size implants but they do have limited applications. No doubt they will faithfully serve many of our patients for years to come. Read More…
For inquiries on dental implants, call or email our dental office in West Lethbridge today to schedule your personal consultation with us. We’ll answer any questions you have about this and our other dental options.