If you have all of your natural teeth, then congratulations, and do all you can to keep them ! If you are missing teeth as a result of gum disease, decay, a failed root canal, a fracture or injury, then you are one of millions in a similar situation. Dental implants are an exciting option that has changed the lives of many. They are such an effective, natural looking replacement for missing teeth, that no one can tell the difference. Whether you are missing one or all of your teeth, you too may find that dental implants can give you comfort and confidence again.
Dental implants are by far the BEST way to replace missing teeth – especially if the teeth located next to the space are perfectly healthy because an implant does NOT affect them in any way what-so-ever. Traditionally, the only treatment options patients had were bridges, which meant damaging perfectly healthy teeth in order to hold the bridge in place to conceal the gap, or a partial denture with a fake tooth/teeth that is both uncomfortable and loose creating embarrassing situations. Because implants are placed in the bone and are not attached to any other teeth, they fuse safely and securely providing long term stability. Another advantage of implants is that they stimulate bone growth thus prevent future bone loss and facial collapse. If teeth have been missing for quite some time, or they were lost due to severe trauma, then there is already bone loss. If this is the case, then bone grafting techniques must be completed in order to create a stable base for the implant to anchor itself securely to the jaw bone . There are three major steps to implant treatment.
 **All phases of implant dentistry are completed at Whistler Dental** .

1. Surgical placement of the implant into the bone of the upper or lower jaw with local anesthetic. The implant acts as a substitute for the root portion of the lost tooth and serves as an anchor for the replacement tooth without harming healthy adjacent teeth. This treatment prevents the future risk of root canals and decay associated with bridges.

The implant is then allowed to heal for 3 – 6 months.

2. After the healing is complete, the second appointment involves a brief surgical procedure exposing the implant. A smaller post is then attached to the implant post which now protrudes through the gum providing a stable anchor for the replacement tooth.

3. The final appointment involves an artificial tooth (crown, bridge or denture) being attached to the anchor. The total process takes approximately 6 months to a year depending on individual healing time and whether or not bone grafting was required. With an overall success rate of 95% and almost 50 years of clinical research supporting implants; what was once considered experimental treatment is now considered the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. Implants are the treatment of choice because they restore your mouth as close as possible to its original state WITHOUT compromising the health of any other teeth. Implants still require continued care including homecare and professional maintenance. The life of the implant can be well over twenty years, but it does vary with factors of patient’s health (diabetes, HIV, metabolic bone disease), habits (smoking, oral hygiene) and structural overload. It is impossible to predict exactly how long an implant will last, therefore, it is impossible to predict or guarantee success. However, in the event that an implant does fail, it can be replaced. Qualifications: • Dr. McKenzie uses the most advanced implant systems available.