Implants are surgically placed to replace missing teeth and then crownwork is placed on top of the metal implant to replace the teeth with the new permanent structure. So the implant acts to replace the tooth root.
"What are dental implants?"
Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically inserted into either the upper or lower jawbone. The implant eventually fuses with the living bone.
They serve as the replacement for the root portion of missing natural teeth. In the case of the missing single tooth, the implant is used to be the foundation of the visible crown.
When there are multiple teeth missing, implants can anchor a fixed or removable denture or bridge to the jawbone. The number of implants needed depends entirely upon your individual situation which needs to be carefully assessed.
"What is involved in the procedure?"
An implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone, usually under a local anaesthetic. After the tissue heals, the missing tooth is permanently screwed into it.
"What are the benefits of dental implants?"
Implants stop the process of bone shrinkage. When natrual teeth are lost, bone shrinkage can have a detrimental effect on facial contour.
Dental implants are an alternative to bridge work and eliminates the need to grind down perfectly healthy adjacent teeth for the bridge.
The implants are used to anchor down shifting denture to the jawbone, preventing them from moving. This makes eating and speaking much more comfortable.
"Am I a candidate for dental implants?"
Not everyone is an ideal candiate for implants. Patients must be in good health, have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. If there is insufficient bone, bone can be transplanted from other regions.
Although age in not a factor, certain chronic diseases, heavy smoking or drinking have been shown to reduce the success of the implants.
"How long will treatment take?"
Depending on the type of implant, the total time from start to finish can be as little as a few weeks to six or more months. However, depending upon the situation and using a relatively new procedure, the implants and the attached teeth can sometimes be both inserted in the same day.
The length of time sometimes depends upon your finances. If it is finance dependant, the treatment can be spread over months and years. We will be pleased to discuss the various possibilities.
"How long will it last? Is there a chance that the implant will be rejected?"
Implants are integrated with the surrounding bone in your jaw. They have a long-term potential and can last as long as natural teeth when properly taken care of.
"Will anyone know I have an implant in place?"
No one can see the implants as they are below the gum line. The replacement teeth that are anchored onto the implants are made in porcelain and are as natural looking as your own natural teeth.
"Is there any pain?"
The pain after the procedure is similar to the pain when a tooth has been removed. Strong pain killers are probably needed for a couple of days.
"What is involved in assessing me for implants?"
Firstly, we need a specialised panoramic x-ray (OPG) and in some cases an MRI scan. This is necessary for proper bone assessment. This is followed by a clinical assessment which involves a discussion of the various possibilities that will suit your needs and budget.
The majority of patients who have had implants done here at our surgery are pleasantly surprised as to how little discomfort is involved in this procedure and remark on the speed in which their mouths healed.
If you have any further questions regarding crown or bridge work, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer them.