Illustration of jawbone preservation with dental implants

Are you considering a permanent solution for missing teeth? Dental implants are a sophisticated option that blend seamlessly with natural teeth, offering a durable alternative to dentures and bridges. In this article, we’ll explore how dental implants work, their benefits, and what you can expect from the dental implant procedure. We’ll also look into the factors that make a good candidate for dental implants and provide you with the cost considerations for this life-changing dental solution.

Key Takeaways

  • Dental implants are a modern, long-term solution for missing teeth, offering a natural look and feel, preserving jawbone health, and preventing bone loss.

  • The dental implant procedure is a multi-step process involving a titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone, followed by a period of osseo-integration for secure implant-bone fusion.

  • Suitable candidates for dental implants should have healthy gums and adequate jawbone; success is influenced by factors such as oral hygiene and avoidance of detrimental habits like smoking.

Understanding Dental Implants: A Modern Solution for Missing Teeth

Illustration of a dental implant procedure

Dental implants revolutionize the field of oral health, offering a superior alternative to conventional tooth replacements like dentures or bridges. Surgeons place these mouth dental implants into the jawbone, thus creating a stable foundation for artificial teeth – be it crowns, bridges, or dentures. This not only makes them secure and comfortable but also allows them to function like your natural teeth, restoring your ability to eat and speak with ease.

Dental implants, primarily made of durable and sturdy titanium, embody the advancements in dental technology. These implants are designed for lifetime use. Unlike dentures and bridges, which can feel unnatural and unstable, dental implants provide a solution that feels and looks like your natural teeth.

Whether you’re missing one or more teeth, dental implants present a contemporary solution for replacing missing teeth, restoring your smile and confidence. For those seeking dental implants in Calgary, you can trust our experienced team to provide the best care and treatment options available.

The Components of a Dental Implant

A dental implant is more than just an artificial tooth. It’s a complex structure made up of several components, each playing a critical role in replicating the function of a natural tooth. At the heart of every dental implant is a titanium post. This post is surgically inserted into the jawbone and serves as the “root” for the artificial tooth. It provides stability and support, ensuring that your replacement tooth stays firmly in place.

The components of a dental implant include:

  1. The implant post, which is surgically placed into the jawbone

  2. The abutment, a small connector that links the artificial tooth to the implant post

  3. The crown, the part of the implant that you see in your mouth – the artificial tooth

The crown is made of materials like titanium or ceramic (zirconia) and is custom-made to mimic the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth, providing a seamless and natural-looking solution for a missing tooth.

The Dental Implant Procedure: Step-by-Step Guide

While the concept of having a metal post surgically inserted into your jawbone might sound daunting, the dental implant procedure, also known as implant surgery, is a well-established and routine process that has been perfected over years of practice. In fact, most dental implants are placed by highly trained specialists, such as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, ensuring that you’re in safe hands throughout the procedure.

The dental implant process, including dental implant surgery, initiates with a comprehensive dental exam to assess your oral health and determine the feasibility of the implant procedure. Once the planning stage is complete, the dental implant placement is performed. The titanium post is carefully placed into the jawbone beneath the gum tissue, providing a stable foundation for the replacement tooth.

Osseointegration, a pivotal phase after surgery, involves the fusion of the jawbone with the implant. This process secures the implant in position and gives it the strength to support the replacement tooth.

Initial Evaluation and Planning

The journey towards a confident smile begins with an initial evaluation. During this stage, your oral health is assessed, including any potential risk factors that could impact the success of the implant procedure. This involves a comprehensive dental exam, where your oral hygiene practices are evaluated, and issues such as gum disease and bone loss are addressed.

A vital factor assessed is your jawbone density, using a panoramic radiograph to provide a clear image of your bone’s capacity to support an implant. This evaluation is critical in determining the feasibility of the implant procedure and planning the placement of the implant accurately and safely.

Surgical Placement of the Implant

The implant’s surgical placement is essential in the dental implant procedure. At this stage, the titanium post is implanted meticulously and accurately into the jawbone, acting as the artificial root for the missing tooth. This surgery is typically performed under local or general anesthesia to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.

While the thought of undergoing surgery can be intimidating, rest assured that the entire procedure is meticulously planned and executed by an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The surgical placement of a dental implant typically takes between 30 to 60 minutes for a single implant and 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants, making it a relatively quick procedure with a significant impact on your oral health.

Osseointegration and Healing Process

Photo of osseointegration and healing process

After the implant’s surgical placement, osseointegration follows. During this vital phase, the jawbone and the implant fuse, securing the implant effectively in position. This process typically spans a period of 3 to 6 months, during which the implant gains the necessary strength to support the replacement tooth.

During osseointegration, various factors can influence the success of the process, such as the type of implant material used, surgical procedure, and the quality and quantity of bone. Regular dental follow-ups during this period are essential to monitor the progress of osseointegration and address any potential issues promptly.

Successful osseointegration is indicated by the absence of bone tissue irritation or gaps between the implant and the bone on dental x-rays, as well as a clear ringing sound when tapping on the implant.

Advantages of Choosing Dental Implants Over Other Options

When comparing to other tooth replacement options like dentures and bridges, dental implants provide several advantages:

  • They maintain jawbone health and prevent bone loss, a common problem with dentures and bridges.

  • They offer a stable and permanent solution.

  • They enhance your smile.

  • They contribute to your overall oral health.

Dental implants also offer the significant advantage of durability. Contrary to other tooth replacements that may need adjustments or replacements over time, dental implants are crafted for long-term use. With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can potentially last a lifetime.

Not only do dental implants restore the function of missing teeth, but they also provide a natural look and feel, making them a preferred choice for numerous patients.

Preserving Jaw Bone and Preventing Bone Loss

Illustration of jawbone preservation with dental implants

One of the key advantages of dental implants is their ability to:

  • Preserve jawbone health

  • Prevent bone loss

  • Provide the necessary stimulation to the jawbone

  • Maintain existing bone mass

When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation causes bone loss in the jaw, which can lead to further dental complications. Dental implants, however, provide the necessary stimulation to the jawbone, preventing bone resorption and maintaining existing bone mass.

Dental implants serve as artificial roots to your replacement teeth, providing the necessary stimulation that your natural tooth roots would typically provide. This stimulation is essential in maintaining the volume and density of your jawbone. Without it, the jawbone starts to resorb or shrink, leading to changes in facial structure and appearance. Therefore, by choosing dental implants, you’re not only replacing your missing teeth but also preserving your jawbone health and your facial aesthetics.

Longevity and Durability: How Many Teeth Can Last a Lifetime?

When it comes to tooth replacement options, you want a solution that not only looks good but also stands the test of time. Dental implants are renowned for their durability, with the potential to last a lifetime with proper care. This longevity sets dental implants apart from other tooth replacement options like dentures and bridges, which may require regular adjustment or replacement.

The durability of dental implants can be attributed to the materials used in their construction. Titanium, a material known for its strength and longevity, is commonly used in dental implants. In addition, porcelain, known for its durability and aesthetic qualities, is used in crafting the crown of the implant, further enhancing its overall durability. Therefore, with dental implants, you’re investing in a solution designed to last, providing you with a confident smile for years to come.

Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

While dental implants can significantly improve many people’s lives, not all are suitable candidates. An ideal candidate for dental implants is someone with healthy gums, who has achieved skeletal maturity and has ample jaw bone to accommodate the implant. Therefore, before considering dental implants, it’s important to have a thorough evaluation by a dental specialist to assess your eligibility for the procedure.

Despite the many benefits of dental implants, certain factors can impact their success. For instance, periodontal disease can significantly affect the success of dental implants, particularly in the period following the first six months post-implantation. It’s also important to note that smoking and poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of implant failure. However, with effective management of periodontal disease and commitment to good oral hygiene, the success of dental implants can be achieved.

The Impact of Periodontal Disease and Oral Health on Implant Success

Periodontal or gum disease can greatly affect the success of dental implants. This disease can lead to gum tissue and jawbone erosion, disrupting the essential osseointegration process required for implant success. Therefore, maintaining optimal oral hygiene is imperative for the long-term success of dental implants.

In addition to periodontal disease, poor oral health can also lead to complications with dental implants. Effective oral hygiene practices, such as correct brushing techniques and regular flossing, are vital for preventing gum disease and safeguarding dental implants. Therefore, if you’re considering dental implants, it’s crucial to not only assess your eligibility but also commit to maintaining excellent oral health.

Considerations for Specific Cases: Sinus Cavities and Upper Jaw Implants

While dental implants suit many people, specific cases may necessitate further considerations. For example, individuals with sinus cavities or those requiring implants in the upper jaw may require additional procedures or considerations.

For patients with sinus cavities, a procedure known as a sinus lift may be necessary. This procedure involves elevating the sinus floor and creating bone to accommodate the placement of dental implants. Additionally, when placing dental implants in the upper jaw, certain factors such as sufficient bone for implant stability and potential need for a bone graft must be considered. Therefore, a thorough evaluation and proper planning are crucial to ensure the success of dental implants in these specific cases.

Customizing Your Dental Implants: Aesthetics and Functionality

One key advantage of dental implants is that they can be tailored for aesthetics and functionality. Hence, your replacement teeth can be designed to match the color and shape of your natural teeth, resulting in a seamless and natural-looking smile. Furthermore, the type of replacement tooth can be chosen based on your specific needs and preferences, ensuring optimal functionality.

Whether you’re looking to replace a single tooth or require a full mouth restoration, dental implants offer a solution that’s customized to fit your needs. This means that not only will your new teeth look natural, but they’ll also function just like your regular teeth, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.

Choosing the Right Type of Replacement Tooth

With dental implants, you can choose the type of replacement tooth that fits your needs best, be it single dental implants, fixed bridges, or removable options. The type of replacement tooth you choose can impact not only the look and feel of your implants but also their functionality.

Fixed replacement teeth are permanently affixed to the implants, providing a stable and secure solution. On the other hand, removable replacement teeth offer the flexibility of being able to be removed for cleaning or comfort. The choice of the type of replacement tooth is influenced by various factors, including treatment cost, impact on neighboring teeth, and key determinants of implant success, making it crucial to discuss these factors with your dental specialist.

Color Matching and Designing for a Natural Smile

To ensure your dental implants blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, dental professionals use a process called color matching. This involves selecting a shade that complements your existing teeth, ensuring your implants look as natural as possible. This careful selection process ensures that the final result is a natural-looking smile that enhances your confidence and appearance.

In addition to color matching, designing the implant crown to resemble a natural tooth is an integral part of the dental implant process. From the shape and size of the crown to its position in the mouth, every detail is meticulously planned and executed to create a replacement tooth that not only looks natural but also functions just like a natural tooth.

Dental Implant Care and Maintenance: Ensuring Long-Term Success

Proper care and maintenance of your dental implants are as important as the implant procedure itself, being crucial for the implants’ long-term success. This includes regular brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups, and professional cleanings to ensure the health of your implants.

Just like natural teeth, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. However, they are not immune to gum disease and other oral health issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene habits and schedule regular dental check-ups to monitor the health of your implants and treat any potential issues early.

Addressing Potential Complications: Gum Tissue Health and Implant Site Integrity

Like any surgical procedure, dental implants come with potential risks and complications despite their many benefits. One concern is the maintenance of the gum tissue health surrounding the implant site. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, which can compromise the success of the implant.

Effective oral hygiene practices, such as proper brushing and flossing, can help prevent gum disease and ensure the longevity of your dental implants. In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene, it’s also important to avoid habits that can harm your gums, such as smoking or using abrasive toothpaste. By taking these preventive measures, you can maintain the health of your gum tissue and ensure the long-term success of your dental implants.

The Role of Professional Dental Follow-Up

After your dental implant procedure, it is vital to have ongoing professional dental follow-ups to ensure your implants’ health and success. Regular dental check-ups allow your dental specialist to monitor the progress of your implants, assess your oral hygiene, and address any potential issues early.

Professional dental cleanings also play a crucial role in maintaining the health of your dental implants. During these cleanings, the following steps are taken:

  1. Excess cement that could potentially lead to peri-implantitis, a condition that can compromise the stability of your implants, is removed.

  2. The area around your implants is thoroughly cleaned to remove any plaque or bacteria buildup.

  3. Your dentist will check the condition of your implants and make sure they are secure and functioning properly.

Therefore, by scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings, you’re taking a proactive step towards ensuring the long-term success of your dental implants.

Cost and Insurance Considerations for Dental Implants

The cost of dental implants can significantly vary based on factors like the number of implants required, the specific type of implant procedure, and the geographical location. While dental implants can be a significant investment, it’s important to consider their long-term benefits. Unlike other tooth replacement options that may require regular adjustments or replacements, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime with proper care.

While many dental insurance plans offer coverage for dental implant procedures, the extent and frequency of coverage can vary significantly. It’s crucial to understand the specifics of your dental insurance plan and discuss potential out-of-pocket costs with your dental specialist before proceeding with the implant procedure. By understanding the financial aspects of dental implants, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and budget.


In conclusion, dental implants offer a revolutionary solution for those suffering from missing teeth. With their ability to mimic natural teeth, preserve jawbone health, and provide long-lasting durability, they offer significant benefits over traditional dentures and bridges. Whether you’re looking to replace a single tooth or restore a full mouth of teeth, dental implants provide a customized solution that can enhance your smile, boost your confidence, and improve your oral health. Remember, while the journey towards a confident smile with dental implants requires careful planning and consideration, the result is a long-lasting, natural-looking replacement that can transform your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do implants cost in Calgary?

Dental implant costs in Calgary range from $3000 to $6000 for the implant placement, but the treatment is tailored to each patient.

What are the negatives of dental implants?

The negatives of dental implants include risks of infection, damage to other teeth, delayed bone healing, nerve damage, and prolonged bleeding. Consider these factors carefully before deciding on dental implants and be sure to discuss your concerns with our experienced dentists.

What are the 3 types of dental implants?

The three most common types of dental implants are endosteal, subperiosteal, and zygomatic. Endosteal implants are the most common and considered safe, while zygomatic implants are the most complex.

How long does a dental implant last?

Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care, while the crown typically lasts 10 to 15 years before needing replacement due to wear and tear. However, the success rate of dental implants over a 10-year period is reported to be 90 to 95%, but getting better every day.

How painful is getting a tooth implant?

During the dental implant process, you will be under local anesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel pain. However, some discomfort may occur once the anesthesia wears off, which can be managed with medication. You will feel back to normal in 2-5 days’ time.