Dental Implants

Dental Implants Replace One Or ALL Of Your Teeth

WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots inserted into the jaw to replace missing teeth.  Today, implants with attached crowns are the preferred method for treating tooth loss because they function the same as natural teeth and help preserve the jaw structure by preventing atrophy from bone loss. Bridgework and dentures address the cosmetic problem of missing teeth but do not prevent bone loss.  Permanent implants maintain proper chewing function and exert appropriate, natural forces on the jawbone to keep it functional and healthy.

Implants are titanium screws a dentist inserts into the jawbone and affixes a prosthetic tooth or crown.  Titanium implants over time fuse naturally with bone, a process known as osseointegration.  Implant surgery can replace one or more teeth provided there is sufficient bone to support the implants.  Would-be implant patients should have the procedure done as soon as possible after losing a tooth to prevent bone loss at the site.

3D IMAGES AND IMPLANT PLANNING SOFTWARE

Many implant dentists now use 3D images and implant surgical planning software to construct a vivid map of the patient’s mouth, pinpoint potential problems, and plan the implant procedure in advance.  During the initial visit, a 3D image is taken to enable the dentist to assess bone structure and nerve locations, plan the surgery, and mold replacement teeth before the next visit.
From beginning to end, the entire process could take three-to-nine months, but with 3D imaging, it’s possible to do single and full-mouth implants in far less time.

Implant dentists are concerned about both oral health and cosmetic outcomes.   Replacing missing teeth helps regain a confident smile as well stay fit and healthy by maintaining good nutritional habits and eating health foods they previously were unable to chew.

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TOOTH LOSS IS A MAJOR HEALTH PROBLEM BUT DENTURES AND BRIDGES AREN’T THE ANSWER

An estimated two in three Canadians have one or more missing teeth, mainly due to the rise in periodontal disease as the population grows older.  Tooth loss and other oral health problems in older Americans recently prompted AARP to declare the “Over 50 Dental Crisis; In 2006, Dental Economics reported that more than 3 million Canadians are missing all their teeth in one or both jaws.
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The AARP Bulletin warned that dental disease has become a silent epidemic among older Americans.  Older adults with missing teeth often have underlying periodontal disease from which bacteria from a chronic gum infection can migrate through the bloodstream to vital organs.  Adults with missing teeth are unable to eat properly and often develop nutritional deficiencies from an inadequate or unhealthy diet.

In addition to the dental and nutritional problems associated with missing teeth, there are social and personal self-esteem concerns as well.  Missing teeth have a negative influence on personal self-confidence and social activities.  Many family and social functions revolve around meals, and these situations can be difficult if not embarrassing for anyone who can’t chew properly.  Also, spaces between missing teeth degenerate and can lead to significant bone loss that causes atrophy in the jawbone.

Some older adults with missing teeth rely on bridgework or dentures to preserve their dental function.  Bridges require grinding down healthy teeth to function as abutments to anchor the side of the bridge without the crown.  Over time, worn-out bridgework can be harmful for preserving dental function and preventing bone loss in the jaw.  Bridges generally fail after 5-10 years as patients have difficulty flossing them.  Therefore, root surfaces below and around bridgework become highly susceptible to decay and are not reparable.  As a result, teeth supporting the old bridge often are lost, requiring insertion of longer bridges that further compromise dentition.  For most patients, implants are a much better treatment alternative because they preserve the bone of the jaw, do not decay, and function just like natural teeth.

Removable dentures often are ill-fitting and usually too loose.  In some cases, they don’t allow their wearers to eat and even talk properly. Many feel stigmatized, avoid social functions and feel inhibited from leading an active, healthy lifestyle.  Scientific evidence supports that for patients who are edentulous in the lower jaw, implant-supported fixed prostheses are superior to removable dentures.

BONE AUGMENTATION

Implant dentists have become proficient at restoring or regenerating bone in tooth sockets that would not be able to support implant placements without augmentation.  Sufficient bone mass is critical for implant surgery success.  Digital imaging allows implant dentists to measure exact bone deficiency.  Once the deficiency is determined from the image, the dentist can decide how much bone material will be needed for a successful implant.

The weight of several clinical studies has steered many implant dentists away from synthetic bone grafting material.  Dental school research has generated strong evidence that using bone additives and growth factors achieve the best outcomes compared to synthetic bone, donor bone or harvesting outside the jaw.

Bone augmentation studies have provided solid evidence offering clinicians greater confidence for successful outcomes in bone-fortification procedures, which significantly impact the long-term success of dental implant treatment.

FOCUS ON EVIDENCE-BASED DENTISTRY

Today, implant dentists apply the principles of evidence-based dentistry in their practices.  As implant dentistry grows in popularity, greater numbers of general dentists will add the specialty to their clinical services.  Their success will depend on receiving high-quality training, such as the AAID credentialing program. Training focused on rigorous science from researchers and clinicians who have published widely enables new implant practitioners to adopt techniques and procedures that have been validated over time. Evidence-based research also holds great promise for developing streamlined protocols that will make implants affordable for greater numbers of prospective patients. To do this, implant dentists are adopting stricter controls and performance standards, especially when evaluating new products and technologies, to generate robust data in clinical studies to help find ways to further standardize dental implant protocols.

Dental Implants Before & After

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Covid-19 (Corona) Virus

                                                                     

                   

Our team at Williams Lake Smiles is excited to have the opportunity to welcome you back soon! Dr. Wassenaar, Dr. Dahia and the whole Williams Lake Smiles team appreciate your continued support and understanding as we continue to move through this difficult time

We are gradually reopening in the safest way to ensure that we take all precautions to keep both our patients and our staff healthy.

At this time, we are focusing on addressing emergency needs for our patients. Full dental services, including hygiene care, will be introduced gradually with priority booking to the patients that were delayed treatment during our time of closure. We will be contacting our patients to reschedule these procedures in the coming weeks.

Our office has always utilized personal protective equipment (PPE) that has exceeded all the recommended guidelines. We consciously designed our office with well-spaced, separate treatment rooms that allow minimization of aerosol transfer throughout the office. We have also added a brand new HEPA air management system to allow continuous air filtration in all treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air. This puts us in a good position moving forward. However, in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have instituted additional guidelines and protocols to ensure your safety and that of our team.

Upon returning to Williams Lake Smiles you will notice our new enhanced precautions:

-When you are scheduling an appointment, our staff will ask you a set of health-related questions.

-You will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via email and asked a set of pre-appointment instructions and health-related questions. It is required that you complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. We will have to reschedule your appointment if we are unable to complete this step. Please also give our administrative staff all the necessary personal contact information to expedite our communications with you and your family.

-We have implemented new protocol for scheduling your appointments and managing your insurance and financial transactions virtually to allow for a contactless exit from your appointment.

-There will be new arrival procedures to guide you from your car directly to treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces and other patients.

-You will be asked the above screening questions again on your arrival to your appointment.

-Your temperature will be taken on arrival. Again, we will have to reschedule your appointment if your temperature is elevated.

-You will be asked to put on the provided shoe covers and disinfect your hands upon arrival.

-All non-essential companions will be asked to remain outside of the clinic during the appointment. This includes friends, spouses, drivers, parents, and other children.

-We will maintain social distancing in the reception area for essential caregivers and parents of minors if they absolutely cannot wait in a vehicle or outside the clinic.

-We have removed magazines and other items that can harbor or transfer germs of any kind

-Glass barriers have been added in our reception area

-We have enhanced clinic disinfection procedures before and after all appointments.

-You will see new personal protection equipment like visors, gowns, and different masks for our doctors and team to provide barriers against the smallest of germs.

-We have protocols to reduce or eliminate airborne aerosols during all dental procedures.

-We have enhanced continuous disinfection procedures of equipment and office fixtures like computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs, and buttons that may be touched unconsciously.

-We will be disinfecting all outside mail and packages that enter the building.

-We will have longer appointment times for you to prepare and complete all appointment tasks and duties in the safest and most comprehensive manner.

-Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean fewer options will be available for scheduling your appointment.

We ask that, as we have so many patients to see, you treat your reserved dental appointment with the highest level of respect. Answer the screening questions honestly. Please arrive on time for your appointment. We may not be able to see you if you are late. If you miss your appointment it may be quite some time before we can get you back in.

We are committed to maintaining our high standard of dental health and safety under these new circumstances and appreciate your confidence in us.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

We are all excited to get back to work. Thank you for being our patients. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbours, and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rudy Wassenaar

Dr. Sophia Dahia

And the entire Williams Lake Smiles Team


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