What are Dental Implants ?
The Dental Implant is a small titanium screw, placed into the jawbone to create a permanent new root. A natural tooth coloured crown is then placed over the Dental Implant.
Dental Implants are an ideal solution for replacing Missing Teeth, Bridges or Dentures and are the next best thing to natural teeth. They are a safe alternative treatment to the existing bridge or denture.
Missing teeth can often be replaced by Titanium implants which act like roots of teeth. After they have been fitted and have healed in place, dentures or crowns may be attached to them. When dentures are held in place by implants they do not slip around. When crowns are fitted on implants, they act like normal teeth.
Implants can only be placed if there is enough bone present in the jaw. When teeth are lost the bone around the teeth gradually dissolves away. If too much bone has been lost, it is sometimes possible to grow bone in its place.
In principle, as many implants as possible should be used. This allows the stresses of biting to be spread over the maximum amount of implants.
It is often possible to have two or three implants placed, to use them for a while and then sometime later, to add more implants. For example a patient with no teeth can have two or more implants placed. By attaching the denture to the implants, it can be
held firmly in place. Later more implants can be added and eventually crowns placed on the implants eliminating the denture altogether.
Implant Placing Procedure
The implant process normally involves several steps that take place over a time from 3 to 9 months. With Mini Implants, however, the
implant process can take only days.
- Initial Consultation – Treatment PlanningAfter discussing possible alternatives, the dental surgeon will assess the feasibility of providing implant treatment.
- Dental Implant PlacementImplants are placed in the dental surgery under Conscious Intravenous Sedation. If, after assessment, the underlying jawbone is judged to be deficient, a number of options are made available for bone regeneration.
- Healing PeriodWith some dental implants and upon the Implant placement, the patient will have healed sufficiently within days after surgery . In most cases however it is often suggested that a period of three months or more be allowed for the implant to fully integrate and heal.
- The Restorative PhaseOnce integrated (or healed), the implants will be uncovered and a variety or restorations (Crowns, Bridges, Removable Denture) will be considered.
- MaintenanceFollowing the completion of implant treatment,patients need to clean thoroughly around the implants as instructed by the dentist. They should attend their dentist for regular review so that the health of the soft tissue, bone levels and the integrity of the restoration can be checked.
Implants survive best in a healthy environment. Any tooth decay or gum problems need to be sorted out before implants are placed to give them the best chance of success. Gum Health. This may involve the use of a special brushing method, toothpicks and little “bottle” brushes. Some gum treatment may be necessary. Removal of Un savable Teeth. Despite the great advances in modern dentistry some teeth may have reached a stage when no treatment can save them. It is often best to remove them at an early stage Bone Grafting. When teeth are lost the bone holding them in place dissolves way. The more the loss of bone the less bone there is in which to place implants. When there is not enough bone present, bone may be grown to fill in missing bone. This allows implants to be fitted. The procedure is known as bone grafting. The bone used may be specially treated bone from a bone bank.
For people who have no remaining teeth:
- Wearing complete dentures
- Having Implants which secure dentures in place
- Having Implants which support Crowns and Bridges
- Having no replacements for their missing teeth
For people who have some of their own teeth:
- Crowns and Bridges supported by Implants
- Partial Dentures secured by Implants
- Partial Dentures
- No replacements for missing teeth