For restorative, re-constructive or cosmetic needs, dental implants can give the patient new teeth which look, feel and function just like the natural original. They allow the patient to regain the ability to eat, smile and speak with complete confidence and also improve the appearance.
Implants are very strong and long lasting. They provide permanent fitting and chewing strength. Compared to bridges there is no invasive re-modelling of adjacent healthy tooth structure required.
Implants also help to preserve facial contours by preventing the degenerative bone shrinkage which occurs when the teeth are missing, thus preventing that ‘hollow’ facial look. Full or partial denture wearers are particularly attracted to the restorative results which are possible as a denture can be kept very stable with permanently fitting implants as opposed to the use of denture adhesives.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth by serving as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants are small tissue-compatible surgical grade titanium fixtures. They are inserted into either the upper or lower jaw bone. These new teeth will match the colours and contours of the existing teeth.
How does a dental implant work?
It is an accident of nature that titanium is not rejected by the body’s immune system. IN fact the bone cells actively grow onto the implant surface and lock it into place. This period of natural bonding is referred to as ‘Osseo integration’. The integrated fixtures then become like secure new tooth roots upon which a crown, bridge or denture can be held in place. Implants can replace a single tooth or a whole mouthful of missing teeth.
Am I a suitable candidate for a dental implant?
A few medical conditions prevent the use of implants but these are rare. There is no age limit and elderly patients are often quite suitable. However implants need enough good quality bone to lock into. Certain individuals may not have enough bone in the right place or the bone may be too fragile to support an implant. This can sometimes be overcome by bone grafting procedures.
Are implants safe and long lasting?
No treatment can be guaranteed to work but implants have a high success rate in the right cases. Complications are rare if the planning has been performed carefully. Implant treatment is now a well-established technique with a success rate of more than 95% over a fifteen year period. It is essential to care for implants properly once they are in your mouth or they may fail due to infection.
What if I smoke?
Smoking can inhibit proper healing of an implant. However, this does not prevent smokers from having implants successfully placed and restored. You should speak to your dentist for more specific information relating to your dental needs and the effects of smoking.
Will it hurt?
Not as much as you might expect! The fixtures are placed surgically but the operation has to be done very gently. You should expect mild discomfort equivalent to having a tooth extracted. You will need a second much smaller operation later to uncover the implant also. This rarely causes discomfort.
Planning your treatment
The treatment can be carried out by Alexandra park Dental Practice on a surgery-only basis – where your dentist will be involved in the planning and building of the superstructure crown or bridgework. Alternatively we can execute the whole process, with our surgeon working in close consultation with our restorative specialist.
Once your new tooth is completed you will be given a post-operative care plan to keep the implants in good order. You will need regular gum maintenance visits. These will be the key to maintaining good implant health. The implant is not ‘alive’ but the gum and surrounding bone can get infected and lead to failure if not kept in optimum health. Also implants do not have a shock absorbing system, so if you have a heavy bite the implant can become overloaded and this must be checked regularly by the dentist.
Assessing patient suitability
Each individual clinical situation has to be considered carefully when considering dental implants. Not all patients are suitable for dental implant treatment. An initial clinical examination of your gums, teeth, bite and jaw bones plus x-rays will be required to evaluate suitability and the type of procedure necessary.
Following that a comprehensive cost quotation will be prepared. It should be noted that the treatment stages typically take some six to eight months.
Why choose us for you implant care
1) We have advanced training in implant skills and use implant techniqued recognized for their innovation and reliability.
2) We use the latest and most advanced equipment.
3) We offer comprehensive planning to ensure the most ideal treatment to suit your needs and budget.
Feel the confidence
If you are interested in how implants can improve the confidence of your smile please call us for further details.
You can download more information about Implants from Association of Dental Implantology leaflet patient-information-leaflet-implants
This patient had extensive restorative work carried out on the upper front teeth many years ago. This was now failing, unaesthetic and in need of some remedial work. It was noted that none of the upper front four teeth could be saved. Hence after removal, two implants were placed with a 4 teeth bridge.
This young patient unfortunately had lost his front tooth and presented to me unable to wear his denture. As the other adjacent teeth were sound and without any fillings, and considering the young age, we decided to place a single dental implant as the benefits outweighed other treatment options like a bridge [thus avoiding damaging any sound natural teeth].
This was a challenge. Not only had the patient lost the gum around this rotated upper tooth, but there was little bone. The patient did not want to accept denture or bridge treatment. We had to carefully place graft bone and transplanted gum after removing the tooth and at the time of dental implant insertion. The natural looking rotated crown was cemented after healing. What an outcome!
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