Dental implants are commonly used to replace one or several missing teeth.
“They’re the Cadillac procedure of dental treatment,” says Dr. Darcy Murphy of Queen’s Park Dental in New Westminster. “Implants can replace one tooth or several teeth and patients often prefer them to partial dentures.”
Implants are screw-like titanium devices that replace the root of a tooth. They are placed into the jaw to support artificial teeth or dentures. Once in place, the patient finds that the new tooth or teeth restore their bite and help prevent bone loss.
The procedure involves surgery to place the implant’s titanium anchor into the jaw. After surgery, it can take up to five months for the jaw to heal around the anchor and hold it in place. After the implant is stable and the patient’s gums have healed, Dr. Murphy and his team at Queen’s Park Dental fit the artificial teeth to the post portion of the implant.
“We work with the patient to create an implant that fits well and is comfortable and attractive,” says Dr. Murphy.
Dental implants are often used to replace traditional partial dentures due to bone shrinkage.
“As we get older,” Dr. Murphy explains, “the bone in the gum shrinks and so there’s less gum for the denture to grab on to, particularly for lower partials or complete dentures. Sometimes we’ll recommend placing two to four dental implants there so the denture can snap into place so they don’t pop out when the patient eats or talks.”
While dental implants aren’t an option for all patients due to the requirement for surgery, Dr. Murphy notes that the biggest disadvantage is the lack of insurance coverage under many dental health plans.
“Implants are expensive even for us to buy,” he says, “and very often an insurance plan won’t cover the cost.”
Queen’s Park Dental, however, can usually find a payment plan to help defray the costs and prospective dental implant patients are encouraged to chat with the helpful and knowledgeable personnel in the office.
For more information on the dental implant procedures at Queen’s Park Dental or to make an appointment, check out their website, call 604.552.5242, email, or visit the practice at 215-624 Sixth Street, New Westminster. Queen’s Park Dental can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.