Throughout the years, there have been a number of advances in dentistry that have proven beneficial. The development of dental implants has brought about life changing experiences for millions of people. Even in this area of dentistry, improvements have been made, including advanced materials and innovative techniques that allow precise placement. Today, dental implants boast a very high success rate of approximately 95 per cent.
Dental implants are the new and improved solution for missing teeth. Alternatives are still available, such as traditional dentures or dental bridges. Dentures and bridgework can have limitations of damage to the surrounding dentition- risk of decay and gum disease around where the denture fits. For bridgework, there are similar risks of decay or gum disease affecting the supporting teeth, along with the risk of nerves dying and then requiring root canal treatments on the supporting teeth. If a 3 unit bridge fails which replaced one missing tooth, this may ultimately lead to the loss of 3 teeth. Compare this to an implant where the surrounding teeth are relatively unaffected by the presence of an implant crown. In fact there is a retrievability option with an implant where if other teeth are lost in the region, other implants can be added and the screwed on components can be changed e.g. bridgework can be placed between implants.
Implants are fixed prosthetics fabricated out of medical grade Titanium or Zirconium. These tiny posts are inserted into the jawbone, become fused to healthy bone tissue over the course of a few months. The significance of this is that the implant becomes a replacement root. In the absence of a root, the jawbone is not stimulated, and shrinks down gradually. This occurs even with standard tooth replacement such as dentures. Placing a dental implant into the jawbone restores function, a beautiful smile, and preserves facial structure by retaining the jawbone in optimal condition.
Placing dental implants takes time and a great deal of planning. We incorporate the latest technology into our dental implant process, allowing us to visualise the location of nerve bundles, blood vessels, and to determine the density of bone tissue for optimal results. We create a surgical guide from which we work during oral surgery, so that your implants are placed perfectly to support chewing and speaking function. Going in to surgery with the extensive knowledge gained during the planning phase shortens the procedure time, minimizes complications, and leads to a high success rate.
Following the placement of dental implants, a temporary crown or denture may be placed. Typically, this will be done if a front tooth is receiving an implant. For back teeth, however, it is appropriate to simply leave the implant uncovered throughout the healing process. During your treatment plan, you and your dentist will discuss the various options and determine which is best for you.
During and after your procedure, you should feel little if any discomfort, as we make sure the treatment area is adequately numb throughout the procedure. In the instance that discomfort sets in after the local anaesthetic has worn off; contact our office for advice on pain relief. It is important to follow the precise dosage advice provided on medication labels.
The second phase of dental implants takes place after the Titanium or Zirconium post has integrated into the jawbone, after about three or four months. At this time, the permanent crown or crowns will be atop the implant post. Crowns for dental implants are made from high quality porcelain material that will look and function like natural teeth.
Dental implants are comprised of corrosion resistant materials that will not develop cavities. However, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene routine at home. The success of dental implants is dependent on the health of gum tissue. If oral hygiene is lacking, gum disease a real threat to the longevity of dental implants. In addition to brushing and flossing as recommended, regular dental check-ups enable you to enjoy your dental implants for a lifetime.
Living with missing teeth impacts the health and attractiveness of your smile. Replace teeth with dental implants for lifetime function and beauty! Contact us to learn more about dental implants in a personalised consultation.