For restorative, reconstructive 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.
How Long Will My Treatment Take?
Generally this can take between six weeks to six months. Most cases take about 3-4 months. The time span for your treatment will depend on several factors such as the number of implants required, what type of implant treatment is planned and the quality of your bone.
How Long Will My Implants Last?
Generally, well cared for implants in healthy mouths should last as long as your natural teeth. However, this depends on how you look after them and by following correct hygiene procedures. We always demonstrate this to you at the end of your treatment so that you look after your implants effectively.
Over the years, there will be a need to maintain the implants with correct hygiene and check-up appointments. Occasionally, crowns, bridges or dentures on the implants may need repairing or replacement.
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 our dentist 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.
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 Your Dental Implant Care?
- We have advanced training in implant skills and use implant techniques recognized for their innovation and reliability.
- We use the latest and most advanced equipment.
- 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 contact us for further details.
How Many Dental Implants Will I Need?
This will depend on how many teeth we should be replacing.
Usually, for one or two missing teeth, one implant is needed per tooth. For three adjacent missing teeth, we may place two implants and make a three unit bridge to replace the three missing teeth.
If all the teeth are missing in the lower jaw, two implants with a removable denture or four implants with a fixed bridge is required. For the upper jaw, four implants with a removable denture or six implants with a fixed bridge would be the preferred method.