|Also known as:||tooth implant, fake tooth, replacement tooth, implant tooth, implant, tooth replacement, prosthetic tooth.|
|Desired results:||Dental implants are an effective solution for replacing a missing or damaged tooth or teeth. Dental implants look and feel just like a natural tooth.|
Replace missing teeth with dental implants for whole-tooth replacement
Unlike dentures, dental implant treatment replaces the whole tooth which ensures a natural look and feel. The dental implant replaces your tooth root, and the prosthetic crown or bridge replaces the crown of the tooth. There are a number of health benefits associated with this treatment from benefits for your gums, jaws and remaining teeth.
Can missing teeth be replaced?
Missing teeth can be replaced. However, your oral health can determine which treatment is used. For patients with a healthy amount of jawbone, dental implants are often the best option. Other less-invasive options include dental bridges and dentures. The benefit of implant treatment is it replaces the whole tooth which has greater health benefits than other tooth replacement treatments.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are small titanium artificial tooth roots. Surgically placed at the site of the missing tooth root, dental implants are made from biocompatible material so your body’s less likely to reject the implant. Implant treatment comprises of three parts: the dental implant, the abutment and the prosthetic crown or bridge.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants work by fusing with your jawbone to imitate a tooth root. When you lose a tooth, the jawbone which holds the tooth root starts to atrophy. The longer this is left untreated the more jawbone essentially dissolves. Jawbone does not grow back. Which is why it’s so important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
The process of your jawbone fusing with a dental implant is known as osseointegration. This can take up to three months to happen, and once your jawbone has successfully fused the rest of treatment commences.
The dental implant process
From start to finish it can take between 4 to 6 months to complete dental implant treatment. It takes four appointments to complete this tooth replacement treatment.
1. Initial consultation
At your initial consultation one of our Dream Smiles dentists will assess your oral health. This will include a general check-up and x-rays. The x-rays will tell us if you have adequate jawbone density and ensure you are suitable for treatment. If you do have adequate jawbone density, then your next appointment will be the placement of the dental implant. However, if you don’t have enough jawbone density, we will present with other options.
Other options include dental bridge, denture or a bone graft. A bone graft would allow for an implant to eventually be placed.
The implant is placed by a surgeon or periodontist. It will be surgically placed at the site of the missing tooth root, and the gum stitched closed. A 3 to 6 month healing period is needed before the next appointment.
Once the implant has successfully healed, an abutment is attached to the dental implant and then the gum closed around the abutment. A healing period of one or two weeks will be required before the last appointment. At this appointment a mould of your teeth is taken, and an impression sent to the lab. This will be used for the prosthetic tooth placed at the fourth and final appointment.
4. Prosthetic tooth
The last appointment is where the prosthetic tooth is attached to the abutment and your treatment is complete.
It’s even more important than ever after restorative work to attend regular check-ups. While a prosthetic tooth and metal tooth root can’t suffer from decay they are susceptible to gum disease. Gum disease which affects dental implants is known as peri-implantitis, and is the leading cause of dental implant failure worldwide.
Are dental implants necessary?
When you bite or chew, the bite pressure stimulates jawbone growth. When you lose a tooth you lose this stimulation, which is why the jawbone starts to atrophy. Traditionally placed dental bridges and dentures don’t provide this bite-pressure so you will continue to lose jawbone density. If this is left too long, it can cause other teeth to fall out.
By replacing one missing tooth with a dental implant you are taking care of your gums and jaw. Also when you are missing a tooth, the teeth on either side start to shift in an attempt to close the gap. This causes crooked teeth, which can cause a misaligned bite and that creates more problems still.
While we can’t claim a single dental implant will prevent all these problems, it will go a long way to helping maintain a healthy smile.
Are dental implants worth it?
A dental implant lasts for life—provided you take good care of your teeth. The prosthetic crown will need to be replaced roughly every 10 to 15 years. Replacing one missing tooth can have many benefits, so much so that implant treatment is really an investment in the future of your oral health.
Dental implants for patients in, and around, Sunnybank
If you are looking for a reliable, long-term tooth replacement option, dental implants could be the ideal solution for you. If you would like to know more about dental implants Brisbane and Sunnybank, or to request an appointment, please contact us today.