Dental implants are an ideal solution for patients who have lost teeth due to dental disease, fractured roots, tooth decay or trauma. They are man-made replacements for tooth roots made of titanium. They serve as the anchor for replacement teeth. They are often referred to as artificial roots as they are placed in the jawbone and can anchor either teeth (crowns) or dentures.
In most cases, dental implants are as comfortable and solid as your natural teeth. Other advantages include:
- Secure alternative to dentures and bridges
- Ability to speak, chew, and smile like normal
- Prevents additional bone loss
- Will not effect the health of surrounding teeth
- Look, perform and feel just like natural teeth
Local anesthesia is used for most cases and many patients tell us that it is similar to having a tooth removed. Patients usually take pain killers the day of the surgery and may not even need it the next day. In most cases, you do not have to take time off work. We provide sedation options for patients who are anxious about the dental implant procedure.
In most cases, dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone and allowed to heal for 3-6 months before the tooth alternative can be placed. In certain cases (such as the front teeth), the dental implant can be placed at the same time as the extraction. However, this depends on a variety of factors and will require prior consultation with Dr. Frederick Li.
If the dental implants are not loaded immediately with a temporary, then whatever the patient is wearing prior to the implant placement will be modified to be worn while the implants are healing. For front teeth, you never will be without teeth. For back teeth, its sometimes better not to have a temporary during the healing period, as it saves cost and there is no worry of the temporary affecting the healing of the surgical site.
Dental Implants are extremely durable and typically do not require specialized care. Of course, it is important to visit your regular dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and checkups. If you have any problems or concerns with the dental implants installed by Dr. Li, you are welcome to return to our office for a follow-up appointments.
Dental implants are extremely durable and will likely last for the long-term. With proper oral health care (flossing, brushing, etc), your dental implants can remain functional for many years to come. The first patient who received dental implants in 1965 still has his original implants functioning today.
Dental patients over 90 years of age have replaced loose partial and full dentures with implant-supported restorations and their main comment is: “I wish I had done this sooner.” With dental implants, they are enjoying a better quality of life with easier chewing, laughing and speaking.
Dentures can cause your jawbone to slowly break down. Eventually, no denture will be able to comfortably fit in your mouth. Dental implants are secure, comfortable and do not lead to any bone loss.
With dental implants, our patients are experiencing tremendous improvements in their ability to chew foods and eat what they could never handle before.
Patients may consider keeping their partial tooth alternative rather than continuing with the dental implant procedure. If you wait, you will have to continue to get your partial adjusted, or perhaps have a new one made. The hooks on the partial can keep tugging at the adjacent teeth and your chewing ability will not be improved. In addition, there will be costs for denture adhesives and cleaners. Your denture will continue to cause you soreness and pain, which will increase with time.
Dr. Frederick Li has limited his practice to implant dentistry and teaches the discipline to other dentists. There are over 30 dentists in the lower mainland attending his programs. He speaks at and attends multiple dental implant conventions each year and stays at the forefront of implant dentistry.
In addition, Dr. Frederick Li is experienced in both the surgical and prosthetic (crown/denture) aspects of implant dentistry. This is opposed to surgeons who only do the surgical aspect of implant dentistry.
Tooth loss leads to bone loss. The longer you have been missing your teeth, the more bone you would have lost. Dental implants require a certain amount of bone and if you don’t have enough, bone can be added. This procedure is called bone grafting.
Bone can be supplied from four sources: your own bone, cow bone, another human source, and synthetic. Each type of bone has its own unique properties and is chosen based on the treatment scenario. There has been no case of disease transmission from use of bone graft material. The concept behind bone grafting is for the body to resorb the foreign material that is placed into the site and for its own bone to fill in the defect.
The back part of the upper jaw is an area where there is often inadequate bone for dental implants. The reason for this is the existence of a large air cavity called the sinus. There are different techniques to graft bone in this region. Sinus lifting can refer to expanding some of your own bone in to the sinus cavity or adding bone in to the sinus. Often, dental implants can be placed at the same time. This procedure, though not as routine as just placing dental implants, is not a big deal and has very few possible complications.