Dental Implants Restore Your Beautiful Smile
Dental implantation is the process of replacing missing teeth (or tooth) that cannot be saved by conventional means and needs to be removed. Dental implants can range from single-tooth replacement to a complete upper and lower arch replacement.
The dental implant procedure can take place in the dental chair under local anaesthetic or in hospital under general anaesthetic. Your dentist will consult with you beforehand to determine your preference of treatment, suitability, the time requirements and a complete costing for the procedure, before you are referred to a prosthodontist or oral & maxillofacial surgeon for all surgical components of the treatment.
Dental implants have been used since the mid-1960s to permanently replace missing teeth. They look and feel like your own teeth. All dental implants have three main components: a titanium screw fixture that goes into the bone, an abutment (a piece of metal attached to the screw which sits above the gumline), and a crown (which is fixed on top of the abutment) that is either all ceramic or porcelain fused to precious metal.
In most cases it is very difficult to see the difference between a new implant and your own natural teeth.
What are Dental Implants made of?
Dental implants are made of titanium, as it is a biocompatible material, which is accepted by the body. It serves as a strong foundation for replacement teeth, with a high success rate and long lifespan.
Zirconia provides an alternative to titanium implants. A type of dental ceramic they have not been around for as long as titanium implants, but so far have proven to be quite durable.
The crowns attached to the implants are usually made of all ceramic or high-grade porcelain fused to precious metals such as gold.
Who is Suitable for Dental Implants?
When it comes to dental implants your specialist will discuss with you if it is the best option, usually they will try to save the tooth first but in cases where this is not possible they might recommend extraction and an implant.
Some of the main factors in determining whether you are a suitable candidate for dental implants include, having adequate bone, in terms of both quality and volume, which is assessed during an examination (though this can be solved with a bone graft), good oral hygiene and you meet the general medical requirements.
What is Bone Grafting and Do I Need It?
When a tooth is removed, the area of jawbone directly beneath it begins to recede. This loss of bone can continue over time, often resulting in changes to the face such as sunken lips or cheeks. If a patient is found to have insufficient jawbone it previously meant that dental implants could not be fitted, but because of advances in medical technology, bone can now be rebuilt with a bone graft.
What is Sinus Grafting?
A sinus lift, also known as sinus augmentation/sinus grafting, is a procedure where bone is added to the upper jaw near the molars and premolars. The sinus membrane is moved upward, or “lifted” to make room. This has become a routine procedure for patients with multiple long-term missing molar teeth in the upper arch over the past eight to 10 years.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants can provide you with a functional and aesthetically pleasing alternative to missing or severely damaged teeth. Losing a tooth can have a detrimental impact on your remaining teeth, often resulting in the remaining teeth shifting to fill in the space left behind. A missing tooth can lead to speech problems, difficulty chewing or even discomfort; all of these can be resolved with the placement of an implant.
An implant is fixed directly into the body and as such is independent of the rest of the teeth, which means that if something goes wrong only the implant itself will be affected, in which case your practitioner will assess the area and attempt to resolve the issue, without any of your other teeth being affected.
Patients with many missing teeth used to have no choice other than dentures, but with the technological advancements over the years –higher quality dental tools and materials, now patients have more options when it comes to replacing teeth, and dental implants offer a long lasting solution.
Before & after
Dental Implant Procedure
The procedure of treatment involves:
- A thorough examination of your medical and dental health, assessment of bone density and the sinuses.
- The area where the tooth is missing is prepared, followed by treatment of the surrounding gums to check that they are healthy.
- The titanium screw will be placed, and the area is generally allowed to heal for approximately two to three months.
- The implant will be surgically exposed and a healing cap placed.
- Impressions taken and then sent to our in-house laboratory, which act as the blueprint for your dental crown, which is created by hand.
- Approximately two weeks later, the healing cap will be removed and replaced with your new dental crown.
Over time, your dental implant will fuse with the surrounding bone, acting much like the root of a natural tooth.
Your specialist will discuss the procedure with you beforehand so you fully understand everything involved, the decision will be made as to whether it will take place in the dental chair or in hospital. If you feel anxious about the procedure discuss it with your practitioner and they will take that into account when making their recommendation, to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
How to Care for Dental Implants
Your dental implants will function just the same as your natural teeth, so you need to make sure you look after them with the same amount of care. At Smile Solutions we are very passionate about good oral hygiene. By properly brushing and flossing your teeth every day, as well as visiting your dentist for a check up every six months, you can help ensure your teeth, both natural and implants, last for years.
Cost of Dental Implants
The costs involved with dental implants, include extraction, replacement denture or bridge while the implant is being prepared and then the cost of the implant. The overall cost of the treatment can vary depending on the type of implant chosen as well as the type of clinician – prosthodontist or oral & maxillofacial surgeon – who performs your implant procedure.
Find Out if Dental Implants Are For You
You can come in for a consultation if you’re unsure whether or not implants are for you. One of our friendly dentists can talk you through different options and assess which might be the most suitable option for you. Contact us today to book your consultation.
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