At Ivory Dental, we provide dental implants in West Lethbridge for patients who want to fill gaps in their smile or replace damaged teeth.
Book a Consultation
Contact us to schedule your consultation with one of our dentists to see if dental implants or mini-implants are right for you.
What are dental implants?
Dentists have been using dental implants to replace missing teeth for more than 40 years. When a damaged or decayed tooth is removed, both the visible part of the tooth, called the crown, and the root are lost. Dental implant surgery involves placing a metal post in your jawbone to fuse with your natural bone, and attaching an artificial tooth to it. Dental implants are used to replace damaged or missing teeth.
Single dental implants can replace one tooth, and multiple implants allow your dentist to replace a section of teeth, to replace all upper and lower teeth, or to help dentures stay in place. Dental implants allow you to eat, laugh, talk, and enjoy all the activities of everyday life without thinking about damaged or missing teeth.
Dental implants are a viable, reproducible, and durable replacement option, and are the closest thing you can get to healthy, natural teeth.
Are dental implants right for you?
Our Lethbridge dentists at Ivory Dental can help you determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.
If you answer "yes" to one or more of the questions below, dental implants may be an option for you:
- Do you have one or more missing teeth?
- Do you have a bridge that needs to be replaced?
- Do your dentures affect your quality of life by slipping, clicking or keeping you from eating what you want?
- Do you have bite problems or pain because of a missing tooth?
- Do you want a treatment option for missing teeth that provides a more permanent, long-term solution?
NOTE: Patients with a history of bone disease, extensive bisphosphonates treatments, head and neck radiation, liver disease, periodontal disease, smoking or tobacco use, or heavy clenching and grinding are at a high risk for dental implant failure. Individuals who are still growing cannot have implants placed until growth is complete.
What makes dental implants different from traditional tooth replacement options such as dentures or bridges?
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. 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. In the case of dentures, regular maintenance is required.
- Minimizing structural damage to surrounding teeth. 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.
What is the dental implant process?
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 perform 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 office 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.
What are mini-implants?
Mini-implants are a new service offering at Ivory Dental. Mini-implants are smaller than regular-size implants, and may be a more cost-effective option in comparison. For more information about mini-implants, contact us.