If you need to have a tooth pulled, your options for filling the gap are no longer limited to a removable bridge that fastens to the surrounding teeth.
So if you have such a procedure in your future, your doctor may mention the possibility of something called a dental implant.
And in fact, there’s good reason to learn more about what dental implants are, and what’s involved in having one put in place, long before your removal of your natural tooth.
Dental implants — which resemble the crowns you may already have in your mouth, but fasten to a metal peg that’s surgically implanted in the jaw — can do away with the hassle of remembering to take an appliance out before bed.
That said, they’re not for everyone. For instance, you need to have sufficient healthy bone in the area where the tooth is missing. And implants do need extra care, compared to your own teeth.
A big thank-you to the interviewees who so kindly shared their time and expertise:
- Dr, Neena D’Souza a prosthodontist with Mississauga Dental Specialists in Mississauga, Ont., who spoke as a representative of the Ontario Dental Association.
- Dr. Les Kalman, a general dentist and assistant professor of restorative dentistry at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, Ont.
- Dr. Liran Levin, professor and head of the division of periodontology in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.