Do you need an implant to replace a missing tooth? Whether it’s due to an accident, tooth decay or denture installation, tooth implants are a common procedure that many people undergo each year. Whether you choose endosteal implants (surgically implanted directly into your jawbone) or subperiosteal implants (attached under your gum tissue but above your jawbone), you will be sure you’re getting the best long-term option to bring back your glowing, healthy smile.

The tooth implant process is a lengthy time commitment involving many steps, from the initial decision to the final outcome. Not sure what to expect during the process? We’ve outlined the various stages you’ll go through on your way to a successful tooth replacement, how long each will take, and some overall expectations you should have.

Consultation

In order to determine the extent of your implant needs and which type of implant you are best suited for, you’ll need to speak with a dentist who is knowledgeable and experienced in the area of implant dentistry. Your consultation will outline the timeframe required for the process, costs and the estimated recovery time. You should leave your consultation feeling confident in your own knowledge of the procedure and in that of the clinic.

Bone Graft

Many patients, when seeking out a tooth implant, have extensive jawbone damage. This can occur due to the progression of gum disease, or erosion of bone structure underneath a missing tooth if there is a long delay in replacing it. A bone graft may be necessary to restore the jaw to a fortified state so that it can support the implant.

A bone graft is a surgical procedure in which your own bone or synthetic bone material is added to your jaw to increase its strength and density. This is an intensive procedure and requires generous healing time so the new material can be accepted by your body and solidify in place. The usual recommended recovery period after a bone grafting procedure is four to six months. After the graft has successfully healed, the area is ready to receive an implant.

Other Treatments

Dental implants cannot be installed in an area where gum disease is present. Your dentist will assess the condition of your gums and, if necessary, determine a treatment plan to first restore your gums’ health before proceeding with the implant. Depending on the stage of periodontal disease, it can take anywhere from weeks to several months to eradicate.

Installing the Implant

Once your dentist deems your mouth to be healthy and ready, the installation can begin. A date is scheduled and you will go into the dental clinic to be sedated and operated on. Your dentist will then place the implant either directly into your jawbone (endosteal implant) or under your gums but above your jawbone (subperiosteal implant).. If you receive a subperiosteal implant, your surgery will happen in stages as a metal frame is first placed on top of your gums, and the implant tooth itself is only added after the frame has healed and is firmly in place.

After your implant is installed, the projected healing time ranges from four to six months. The implant must be accepted by the body and fuse to its location. This process is known as osseointegration. At this point, the root of your tooth is effectively replaced. This is why dental implants are so effective and comprehensive; they replace the entire tooth structure.

Attaching the Tooth

After the implant is completely integrated, it’s time to attach the tooth. First, a titanium rod will be connected to the implant, called an abutment. The abutment is the connector between the implant and your shiny new tooth.

After a few weeks of healing following the attachment of the abutment, the tooth will be installed. A dental lab will create the tooth, and impressions of your own mouth will be used to create the crown to give the tooth natural feel and function in your mouth. The tooth is affixed to the abutment, completing the implant process.

All in all, how long will a tooth implant take? From bone graft to other treatments, installation of the “root”, healing time, placing of the abutment and finally the installation of the tooth itself, a tooth installation could take well over a year. This is because your gums and jaw need to be healthy enough to receive the implant, with adequate time to heal after each step along the way. It may seem like quite a while to wait, but your oral health is worth it. Taking care of yourself and your mouth is a great indicator of your overall well-being. A tooth installation, while a long-term commitment, is your surest long-term solution.

Dawson Dental offers a team of e trusted dental experts across the GTA and Ontario. We have several clinics within the city of Toronto, making it easy to find service wherever you’re located. We are passionate about patient care, education and maintaining relationships that support dental health for a lifetime.

To book your next appointment call Dawson Dental at 1-877-542-2043 or contact us here.

St Patrick’s Day is when the whole world becomes Irish, donning green, celebrating in the streets and partaking in Ireland’s unofficial national drink: beer. In the spirit of the Irish, many people indulge in drink, bonding with friends and strangers alike and taking the chance to be a bit merrier.

We love St. Patrick’s Day as much as anyone else, but since we are dedicated to preserving healthy smiles we want to help you celebrate the day while knowing what beer can do to your teeth. Knowing how the drink can impact your oral health and how you can care for your teeth will help you party-on responsibly.

Your Teeth and Beer

Beer may not taste sweet, but there is a surprising amount of sugar in every pint. The colour of the beer, it’s carbonation and it’s sugar content all lead to undesirable effects on your teeth. A couple beers won’t leave a noticeable residue, but throwing them back indiscriminately will leave you with a sludgy smile.

Enamel Loss

Your teeth are covered in a layer of firm enamel that protects the softer, sensitive underlying structures. The acidity of beer can erode this enamel, permanently weakening your teeth. Once your enamel is worn away there is no getting it back. Beer is an acidic drink, and multiple beers will do a number on your teeth’s protective coating.

Gum Disease

As mentioned above, beer is a sugary drink. Like soda, candy, dried fruit and processed foods, beer in excess wreaks havoc with its sugar content, combining with your mouth’s bacteria to result in plaque. Without proper maintenance, plaque leads to a firmer substance called tartar and can result in gum disease. Gum disease and overall inflammation are risk factors for other serious illnesses within your body, such as heart disease.

Brushing twice daily with a clinically proven toothpaste can alleviate plaque buildup, but chances are that on St Patrick’s Day tooth brushing isn’t the first thing on your mind. Make sure that when you return home (at whatever hour that may be) you brush your teeth thoroughly, rinsing away whatever film remains on your teeth.

Chipped Teeth

Between sugars, plaque and enamel erosion, your teeth are in a weakened state while drinking beer. This means that you probably shouldn’t attempt any beer-related stunts using your teeth, such as opening bottles. Doing so might look cool and demonstrate your amazing resourceful nature to your friends, but it will also likely result in a chipped tooth. Our teeth chip easily when taking on a harder substance than what they’re composed of. Over the course of our lives, our teeth become weakened and sensitive, and less able to take on opponents such as bottle caps and tin cans. Use a bottle opener, the side of a table or your bare hands; just leave your teeth out of it. You’ll save yourself possible pain and a dentist bill that could have been avoided.

Tooth Discoloration

Whatever beautiful colour you admire in your beer, whether it be tarry black, amber or pale blonde, expect it to leave its mark on your teeth. The colour compounds in beer are called chromogens, which attach to tooth enamel and result in unsightly stains. Be sure to clean your teeth thoroughly when you get home from the bar.

Don’t Overindulge

Sometimes things can get out of hand on a day like St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s important to note that stomach acid severely erodes tooth enamel. Don’t drink too many beers to the point that your stomach rebels against you, because it could hurt both your reputation and your smile.

Here are some things you can do to protect your smile during and after a fun St. Patty’s Day celebration:

Drink Water

Counteracting the colour and acidity of beer with water keeps you safe, mitigates hangovers and rinses out your mouth. This is one of the easiest measures to take to preserve your pearly whites while enjoying yourself with friends.

Brush and Floss Often

We don’t expect you to take a toothbrush and floss with you to the bar, but be sure to use both upon returning home. Don’t go to bed with beer-flavoured tooth sweaters.

Visit Your Dentist

Your dentist can tell you with expert detail just what the state of your oral health is, identifying gum disease, cavities or other more severe dental issues. If you feel like St Patty’s Day has done a number on you in more ways than one, a visit to your dentist probably isn’t a bad idea.

St Patrick’s Day is one of our favourite “holidays” of the year. It’s silly, joyous and brings people together for some light-hearted fun. Enjoying a beer or two can be a fun tradition, but the more informed you are about beer and its impact on your dental health, the better decisions you can make in the heat of the moment. Take care of your teeth so you have a beautiful smile for years to come. Not only is a healthy smile beautiful, it’s pain-free and indicative of your overall wellbeing.

For more oral care tips or to book your next dentist appointment, call Dawson Dental at 1-877-542-2043 or contact us here.