FAQ & Glossary of Dental Implant Terms

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you learn about the advantages of dental implants, you will realize that there is no better way to restore missing teeth. Whether it is one tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants are the permanent solution to missing teeth. If you are wearing dentures, they may be uncomfortable or slide around in your mouth. Dental Implants can be used to secure dentures.

Dental Implants are titanium fixtures. That’s right, the same material that is used in hip and knee replacements. Titanium is not only an extremely strong metal but biologically sound for use in the human body. A dental implant actually replaces the root part of a tooth.

Dental Implants have been used for over 60 years, but not until the procedure was perfected by Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Inngvar Branemark. Today dental implants are becoming the standard of care for dental tooth replacement.

Dr. Fraser has been trained as a Periodontist in the placement of dental implants and surgical procedures limited to the oral cavity. Dr. Fraser is a graduate of Temple University and served our country as a Periodontist in the United States Air Force. Dr. Fraser is an internationally acclaimed lecturer and has traveled internationally to teach dentists about Periodontics and Implant Dentistry.

What are Dental Implants?

Quite simply, dental implants are artificial replacements of natural tooth roots. They attach firmly into the gum and jawbone, becoming quite solid. After replacement, your general dentist then places a crown onto this artificial tooth root which looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth. Implants can also be used to anchor partial and full dentures.

Why Dental Implants?

There are many options for replacing missing teeth, but both dentists and patients prefer implants because of their natural look and benefits to oral health. The titanium post that holds the tooth in place acts just like your natural tooth root, maintaining your jaw mass and function. Whenever you lose a tooth, the jaw bone around your gap will begin to deteriorate. This deterioration causes your jaw to physically shrink, altering your appearance and your ability to handle pressure in your jaw. This leads to pain, discomfort, and further tooth decay. Even if you’ve lost a tooth due to an accident, your remaining teeth are vulnerable. That’s why Dental Implants Las Vegas suggests patients opt for this permanent and healthy means of tooth replacement.

When are Dental Implants Appropriate?

Dental Implants are one method of tooth replacement. Other methods are bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures. Your general dentist is the judge of which method is most appropriate.

What are the health risks and possible downsides of getting implant surgery?

  • An article appearing on the Mayo Clinic site suggests that although there are potential risks, they are usually minor.
  • Risks include developing an infection around the implant (Peri-implantitis)
  • Possible damage to surrounding structures
  • Possible nerve damage
  • Sinus problems

What are Some Advantages of Dental Implants?

  1. More attractive appearance.
  2. Speech improvement.
  3. Greater comfort.
  4. Greater ability to chew food naturally.

Why is a Fixed Restoration Better?

Implants look and feel like natural teeth. As dental implants are fixed in the jaw, there are none of the problems that are associated with removable appliances such as dentures and partials, including:

  1. The slipping, irritation, and pain that can accompany dentures.
  2. The tedious removal for overnight soaking and cleaning.
  3. Family members seeing you without teeth.
  4. The reattachment with adhesives.

What is the Success Rate of Implants?

The success rate of Osseointegrated Dental Implants is between 94% and 98%. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene habits, the percentage is even better.

How Long do Implants Last?

Dental implants integrate into the jawbone. Implants have been in patient’s mouths for 25 years. With excellent oral hygiene and regular cleanings, your implant should last a lifetime.

How are Implants Placed?

First, a detailed, clinical examination will be done to ensure you are a good candidate for implants. If so, planning will be done in conjunction with your general dentist to ensure your implant is placed safely and in the right location. Then your dental implant will be placed by us during a routine office visit. The procedure can be done under local anesthetic.

Are Dental Implants Expensive?

Dental implants do cost more than conventional dentures, but they will last longer than dentures.

How Predictable is the Procedure?

The success rate of Dental Implants is between 94% and 98%. If patients practice good oral care and maintenance of their implants and receive periodic periodontal care if needed, dental implants can be their friends for life.

Am I a Candidate for Implants?

Implants begin with an evaluation by your general dentist who will decide if you are good candidate for the procedure. If he feels implants might be possible, he will send you to us for a placement evaluation.

Dental Tourism. Is Canada a good place to get dental implants?

Canadian Dentists and specialists just like in the United States are required to have extensive post-secondary education and then additional licensing at the provincial level. This combined with required ongoing education means that the quality of dental care in Canada is of the highest standard. Costs are comparable to the US and may in certain locations be lower.

The takeaway point here is that patients are protected by our federal and provincial laws as well as the codes published by the participating dental associations.

Before considering a dental holiday, be sure you understand the requirements to practice in that country as well as your legal recourse.

Am I at greater risk if I smoke?

Many research studies have shown a greater rate of failure for implants if the patient is a smoke. There is greater exposure to bacteria, and the healing process is much slower. Nicotine in tobacco has been shown to reduce the blood flow in the mouth, which can impact oral health.

I noticed this site lists many different manufacturers. Isn’t the choice up to the dentist?

That is a really hard question to answer as it well may be true that the specialist feels more comfortable dealing with one manufacturer over another. Simply the dental implant market is very competitive and manufacturers are constantly trying to outdo each other. Hot topics are immediate load and nanotechnology. As always a better-informed consumer/patient will lead to better results. Also, ask your health professional, they are the ones who know.

Glossary

Bone Grafting – rebuilding the bone using either natural or artificial materials, necessary if there has been too much bone loss.

Bruxism -Tooth clenching or grinding

Computed Tomography – X Rays that provide a view of an internal body structure, cross-sectional images

Edentulous – An area without teeth

Endosteal – This kind of implant is placed directly into the bone similar to natural tooth roots.

Gingiva – Connective tissue covered with mucous membrane and surrounds the bases of the teeth.

IAN – Inferior alveolar nerve (what gives you feeling in your lower teeth & gums)

Mandible – Lower jaw

Mandibular Canal – a conduit for the neurovascular bundle carrying the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN)

Mini Implants – miniature titanium implants usually used to hold dentures

MF – Mental foramen, front opening of the mandibular canal

Osteoblasts – Bone forming cell

Osseointegration – Osteoblasts grow onto the surface of the implant and into cavities in the implant

Panoramic X-Ray – picture of the mandible curved to follow a greater area

Peri-implantitis – inflammatory process surrounding dental implants (bacterial colonization)

Periodontists – Specialists who treat diseases of the gum

Porous Titanium Foam Implants –  A new kind of implant being developed at the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Materials Institute.

Prosthodontists – a specialist in implants, esthetic & reconstructive dentistry

Sinus Lifting – augmentation of bone mass in the top jaw (Maxilla)

Subperiosteal – This implant fits over the jaw and is used when the bone has atrophied.

Titanium – Very strong corrosion-resistant metallic element