What is an implant?

An implant is a man-made replacement for the natural tooth root which allows a person to return to non-removable teeth or a more secure dental restoration.  It is not a transplant which would be taken from another individual.  There are several types of dental implants of which the doctor will select the most suited for your needs and general dental condition.

How is an implant inserted?

Although there are many types of implants, the types can be divided into two basic groups.

1.      Those that are inserted INTO the bone.

2.      Those that are placed OVER the bone.

In both instances, the implants are placed UNDER the gum tissue and extend into the mouth.

How do implants affect your chewing efficiency?

For purposes of comparison, let us assume that the patient with all of their own natural teeth in a healthy, well-maintained, functionally accurate condition can chew at 100 percent efficiency.  However, with every tooth lost, efficiency decreases.   How much decrease there will be is dependent upon whether or not the teeth are replaced and in what manner.  Ultimately, if a person reaches the point where they have no teeth, and are using properly fitted dentures on an adequate bony ridge, a chewing efficiency of perhaps 15 to 18 percent may be achieved.  If the ridges are not adequate, the percentage decreases to as low as 5 percent.  With implants and non-removable bridgework, or well supported tooth replacement methods, a person may get back to as high as 85 percent compared with what they had with their natural teeth, depending on the number of natural teeth present and their condition.

Can implants be rejected?

Implants are made of biologically compatible materials which have undergone extensive testing over a period of 4 decades.  Since these materials are largely metals, such as titanium, and Vitallium alloy, and have never been living tissue, there is no likelihood of causing an antigen-antibody response which could cause rejection similar to that which sometimes occurs with heart and kidney transplants.

Will insurance pay for implants?

Some dental procedures and portions of implant surgeries are covered by dental insurance policies.  The majority of the cost for implant treatment, however, is not covered by most insurances.   Our office personnel will assist you in obtaining these benefits.

Is it expensive?

Implant procedures, which vary in complexity and extent depending on the patientís dental condition and requirements, can involve a significant investment.  A survey of 350 patients after completion of their implant treatment revealed that no only was it worth the investment, but that they would happily do it again.

Will there be any discomfort?

Just as with any surgery, there can be some pain (discomfort).  However, anesthetics and sedation virtually eliminate pain (discomfort) during the actual surgery.  Post-operative pain (discomfort) will be similar to that of having teeth removed.  Patients will be provided with medication to alleviate this pain (discomfort).

How much time does it take?

It depends on your condition and needs, and extent of the work involved.  Individual operations may take from one half-hour to several hours.  There may be as few as one operation, or a series of operations and follow-up visits, which would be scheduled over a period of months to insure proper healing.

How long will I be off work?

Generally, we recommend the day of surgery, plus the following day or two off for recovery.  You can expect to have some swelling, pain (discomfort), possibly some bruising, but at no time will you be without teeth.  The time taken off from work is really an individual decision.

Are all implants successfull?

No.  There are many variables to be considered in placing the implant(s).  First, the patient must be healthy.  There must be adequate healing powers present to the patient.  For example, if the patient is an uncontrolled diabetic, inconsistent healing could complicate the procedure.  If such a condition develops at a later date after the implant(s) has been done, this too may complicate the future of the implant(s).  Second, a proper diagnosis must be made and the proper implant placement and procedure must be selected for the individual patient.  Third, the implant(s) must be treated properly by the patient and the dentist.  If either person is neglectful, there could be complications.  Fourth, if the patient is a heavy smoker or an excessive alcoholic beverage consumer, the success of the implant(s) will be affected.

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Vancouver Dental Implants
Burnaby, BC V5H 0A3