A dental implant is a small screw that acts as an artificial tooth root when placed in the jaw bone. The implant can be used to anchor different types of restorations, such as crowns, bridges or dentures.
- The ability to chew and enjoy your food in a similar way to that achieved prior to tooth loss.
- No dentures to remove.
- Confidence that the fixed bridge or tooth replacement feels as secure as a natural tooth.
- The protection of your remaining teeth and jaw bone.
By acting as a tooth root, a dental implant provides a stable foundation for replacement teeth. This allows improved function, speech and aesthetics.
An implant can be used to:
- Replace a single tooth
Dental implants are an ideal solution for replacing a single missing tooth and eliminating the need to grind down healthy adjacent teeth.
- Replace several teeth
Implants can be used to replace and support individual crowns or bridges. Support from adjacent healthy teeth is not necessary, because implants act as replacement tooth roots.
- Or Replace all teeth
In addition to looking and functioning like natural teeth, implant supported
dentures and full bridges are designed to be a stable and effective long term solution. Implants eliminate the need for adhesives to keep dentures in place.
The implant process normally involves several steps
that take place over a period of time from 3 to 9 months. Although there are
various implant treatment methods, a typical process often includes:
Step 1 Assessment and planning
The periodontist will assess the feasibility of providing implant treatment. X-rays may be taken and preliminary models may be prepared. A written plan is usually then formulated detailing the sequence of treatment and associated cost.
Step 2 Implant placement
A relatively simple minor surgical procedure is performed under sterile conditions in the dental surgery under local anaesthesia and, if indicated, supplemented by conscious sedation.
Step 3 Integration period
Although some implants can be put into function immediately, or soon after surgery, it is often suggested that a period of three months or more be allowed for the implant to fully integrate before loading.
Step 4 The restorative phase
Once integrated, the implants may need to be uncovered and can be brought into function with a variety of restorations, ranging from a single crown, small or large bridge, or if preferred, a removable overdenture clipped to the implants.
Step 5 Maintenance
Following the completion of implant treatment, patients need to clean thoroughly around the implants, as instructed by the periodontist. 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.
We also carry out complex implant treatment, including sinus lifting and different types of bone grafting. Including teeth-in-a-day!