Dental Implants at our Langley Dental Clinic

When you lose a tooth – either through dental extraction or injury – it's important to replace it. Otherwise, the surrounding teeth will start moving and shifting towards the gap left by your missing tooth.

While we offer many options for tooth replacement at our Langley dental clinic, dental implants are a more permanent and effective solution. If you're considering dental implant surgery, it's important to understand how the implant procedure works, why you might need it, and what to expect.

Structure of a dental implant

What is Dental Implant Surgery?

A dental implant is a metal post, made from titanium, which replaces the root of your tooth. The implant post is implanted, and a crown is attached to look and feel like a natural tooth. Once implanted and healed, an implant will function just like your other teeth.

The way the implant dental procedure is performed will depend on a few factors, such as:

Dental implants may require more than one dental procedure.

Because the bone heals tightly around the metal post, there's no need to worry about it slipping, moving, causing bone damage or creating discomfort. In addition, the materials won't decay like other tooth replacement options requiring a filling.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants at our Langley Clinic?

Dental implants aren't right for everyone. However, when we discuss your dental options at our Langley office, we can determine whether you will be a good candidate for dental implants.

Dental implants can help improve your speech and may be a good option if you can't or don't want to use dentures.

Titanium implant bridge
Dental implant
Titanium implant partial denture
All on four implant denture

Risks and Complications of Implant Dental Surgery

Any surgical dental procedure comes with risks, including dental implant surgery. Potential implant risks can include:

Preparing for Dental Implants

The dental implant procedure is complex and may require multiple surgeries. Before the process begins, our Langley dental team will work together to perform a complete dental evaluation, which will include:

What Happens During Teeth Implant Surgery?

Dental implant surgery is an outpatient dental procedure that's performed in multiple stages. In between these implant stages, there will be a healing period. The entire process can take a few months to complete and includes the following steps:

We can combine multiple steps in some cases, but the jaw will still need time to heal before we can continue with the procedure. Let's take a closer look at each stage so that you know what to expect throughout the dental procedure.

Bone Grafting

The ideal candidate for dental implants will have enough bone to support the dental implant. However, if you don't have enough bone, we may suggest bone grafting before the dental surgery. It is crucial to ensure that you have enough bone to support the dental implant. Chewing puts a lot of pressure on your jaw. If there isn't enough bone left, the dental surgery may fail. Bone grafting will ensure that your dental implant has a solid foundation.

We can use a variety of methods to rebuild your jawbone, including:

We can combine multiple steps in some cases, but the jaw will still need time to heal before we can continue with the procedure. Let's take a closer look at each stage so that you know what to expect throughout the dental procedure.

Placing the Implant

To place dental implants, we will start by making an incision in your gums. The incision will leave the bone exposed, which will allow us to drill a hole for the metal post implant. The metal post will replace the root of your tooth, so it must be placed deep into the bone.

Placing the implant is just the first stage, and your jaw will need time to heal before we can move on to the next step. There will still be a gap in your smile, but we can provide a temporary denture to fill the gap until the dental healing is complete.

The Healing Period

After the post has been implanted, the jaw can begin the healing process, which can take several months. The jawbone will start growing into and around the implant post. When the bone fuses with the implant, it helps anchor the post and keep it secure.

The healing process is crucial because the new bone growth will serve as a solid foundation for your artificial tooth.

Placing the Abutment

Once the jaw has fully healed, we can place the dental abutment, and this may require an additional dental surgery. The abutment connects the artificial tooth to the metal post implant. The implant surgery is an outpatient procedure performed with local anesthesia.

Depending on the situation, we may attach the abutment when we implant the post and save a surgical step. However, the abutment will be exposed and visible when you smile during the dental healing process. For aesthetic purposes, some patients prefer to have the abutment placed later on.

Implant healing abutment

Placing the Artificial Tooth

After your jawbone and gums have healed, we can finally place your artificial tooth. But first, we will need to take some more dental impressions of your mouth and teeth. Then, we will use your impressions to create your artificial tooth, or crown. You have a few options when choosing your artificial tooth:

The placement of the artificial tooth is the last step in the cosmetic dental process.

What to Expect After the Dental Procedure

Like any other surgical procedure, you can expect to feel some discomfort after the surgery, such as:

We may prescribe antibiotics or pain relievers. If the pain or swelling gets worse in the days after the surgery, please contact our office right away. We recommend eating soft foods while your mouth heals. We may use self-dissolving stitches (which won't require an additional visit), but you will need to return to our office to have your stitches removed if we don't.

Open sinus lateral window technique for sinus elevation
Graft maxillary sinus
Maxillary sinus implant placement

Dental Implant Surgery Information

Most dental implant procedures are effective and successful in dentistry. However, the implant surgery may fail if the bone doesn't heal properly around the implant. Smoking and other factors can create complications and affect the healing process.

If the bone doesn't fuse properly, we will remove the implant and clean the bone. Then, we can try the procedure again in 3 months, or we may want to try a different solution. We will discuss your options with you to help you find the right solution.

If the surgery is a success, you can take steps to keep your implant and your natural teeth as healthy as possible:

Implants vs. Dentures

Dentures are an alternative option if dental implants aren't the right choice for you. Now that you understand how dental implants work and what to expect, it's essential to understand what dentures are and their potential benefits. Knowing all of your options will help you make an informed decision.

What are Dentures?

These removable dental appliances are designed to look like natural teeth, with pink-colored gums and artificial teeth that are supported by an acrylic base. Some dentures have a metal framework for added support.

There are two types of dentures:

Dentures can last for many years if properly cared for.

The Benefits of Dentures

The Drawbacks of Dentures

The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

The Benefits of Dental Implants

The Drawbacks of Dental Implants

While bone grafts can be done if there isn't enough bone to support the implant, the additional procedure can add to the cost.

Things to Consider When Choosing Implants or Dentures

Understanding the pros and cons of dental implants and dentures is important in dentistry, but the right choice will really depend on your own personal circumstances.

There are several things to consider when deciding between dentures and implants at our Langley clinic.

3D Guided surgery means that we can control the insertion of an implant completely in a 3-dimensional field. Each case is expertly designed using customized software to select the ideal implant size, shape and positioned virtually to create the best possible outcome. The data from a volumetric scan and intraoral impressions allow us to fabricate a 3D printed guide to use a surgical template to place the implant. During the surgical procedure the dental implant insertion can be managed with a high degree of accuracy.

Benefits When You Book a 3D Guided Surgery:

Traumatic nerve implant damage

Ultimately it means less swelling, less bruising and less pain. In very complex cases where patients have compromised amounts of bone the use of a 3D scan could preclude the need for additional bone augmentation because of our ability to plan and execute the implant placement.

How Long Does Consultation and Planning Take?

Initially after a CT consultation and some impressions of the teeth we can have the case ready in a 2-3 week window. The CT is electronically uploaded to software which is overlayed with the impression data to give us a custom tomograph of your teeth and mouth. In addition to these factors, you will also need to consider the time commitment. For example, dentures only require a few visits, whereas dental implants require multiple follow-up visits and several months of healing.

Dental Implants Can Help Preserve Your Smile

When you come into our dental care Langley office, we will discuss all of your treatment options for replacing your missing tooth or teeth. Dental implants may or may not be the best option. The health of your mouth and jaw will be a determining factor in which solution is right for you.

Call us to book an appointment today.