At Hometown Dental in Okotoks, we offer Dental Implants
When there are missing teeth in the jaw, dental implants are a great option for replacing them. The titanium implant mimics the root structure of a tooth and is bio-compatible so that the bone actually grows and attaches to it (osseointegration).
At Hometown Dental, we take a 3D x-ray (Cone Beam CT) to evaluate the amount of bone present in the area of the missing tooth. Using the 3D x-ray software, the implant placement can be accurately planned to ensure proper angulation and distance from adjacent structures. Combining a digital scan of the mouth by the CEREC camera with the 3D x-ray data, a surgical guide can be milled in the CEREC milling chamber in the office. This surgical guide is a tool to transfer the planned implant location and alignment from the x-ray to the mouth. That way, the implant can be placed in the ideal location as determined in the planning phase.
Placing the implant is a surgical procedure where the bone is prepared with specific drills to make the space to secure the implant into. Once the implant is placed in the bone, a healing cap is placed and the gums and bone are given time to heal. After an appropriate period of time, the implant is checked for stability and at that time, the procedure to make the crown for the top of the implant is started. We have the ability to make the implant crowns in the office on the CEREC machine (using a digital scan) or we can also work with a dental laboratory (using a traditional putty impression).
The crowns are made to look like an ideal tooth and are custom fit to your mouth. Crowns can be porcelain which are white or gold. They are attached to the titanium implant in the jaw by a screw. If the screw hole is not in a visible location, then the crown can be all one piece and screwed into place with a filling in the screw channel/hole. If the screw channel will be seen (ie the front surface of an anterior tooth) then the crown can be made in two pieces. The first piece is shaped like a crown prepared tooth and is called an abutment. This is screwed down to the implant and then the crown is cemented to this abutment. The crown and abutment are custom fit to each other and fit together like a puzzle piece.
Implants are an excellent treatment option as they can replace one tooth or even multiple teeth by placing a bridge or denture over top. If they are well maintained they can last decades in a patient`s mouth. Over time, the restoration over the implant made need replacement due to wear or fracturing, but often it can be removed and new restoration placed on the original implant screw. They can provide improvements to function, esthetics and comfort for a patient. If you are interested in dental implants, do not hesitate to ask at your check-up!