what is it?
Implants are small titanium screws which are fixed to the jawbone and act in place of the root of a tooth. A designed tooth is then permanently affixed to the titanium screw allowing the client to treat the tooth as if it were an original tooth. These implants appear very similar to the actual root of the teeth.
Why is it done?
Dental implants are used for several purposes, for example to support dental crowns, dentures and support bridges. They are also helpful for increasing the stability of complete upper and lower dentures. They can also be used to replace one or more teeth or to fill the gaps due to missing teeth.
How am I assessed for dental implants?
We would check the health of the whole mouth: teeth, gums, bite and aesthetics. We would check the amount of bone with x-rays or a CT scan. An accurate diagnosis must be made and the proper implant placement and procedure must be selected for the individual patient.
Is age a deterrent?
No! Health is the determining factor. Many seventy and eighty year olds are a better surgical risk than someone years younger with poor general health. Older individuals are more likely to need implants because they have lost more teeth, and have lost more supporting ridges.
Can I replace dentures with implants?
Yes, if you have loose dentures; having dental implants will be a particularly life changing course of treatment. My clients often comment that they can now eat whatever they want with confidence.
What does the actual process involve?
At our clinic, you will be evaluated first for an assessment of your problem. If it is decided that you need a dental implant, you will then be checked for your overall health. If you are in poor health and/or have any ailments that will cause slow recovery, then dental implants may not be the best solution. Our expert team, along with your input, will come up with an individually tailored plan for your treatment.The first phase is to place the implant into the bone. The implant made of titanium is placed into the socket of the bone of the tooth missing. Once the implant has osseointegrated (gelled) in with the jawbone, a connector is attached to the implant which helps in securely holding the new tooth. This connector is called the abutment.The implant is then exposed after 3-6 months and checked to see whether it has formed a union with bone. If it has then procedures are undertaken to construct the new tooth. The new tooth (called the crown) is then attached to the abutment.
Will implants last a lifetime?
Some implants have been in the mouth for over thirty years. The average expectancy is based upon numerous variables, such as the patient’s health and proper maintenance.
Does the body reject implants?
Implants are made of biologically compatible materials that have undergone extensive testing over a period of many years. Since these materials are metals, such as titanium, which have never been living tissue, there is no likelihood of causing an antigen-antibody response, which could cause rejection similar to that, which sometimes occurs with heart and kidney transplants. Rarely, however implants can fail to integrate into the bone and the body’s immune response is to loosen the implant.
Is there a guarantee?
There is no way that we can guarantee anything which goes in the mouth and which is under the control of the individual patient. Similarly doctors do not tell their patients that the transplanted heart, kidney, or coronary bypass will keep them alive for any specified period of time. We can only tell you that we will strive to help you care for your implant(s) at home, and will be available for regular periodic follow-up appointments to evaluate your continued dental health.
Is it expensive?
Implant procedures, which vary in complexity and extent depending on the patient’s dental condition and requirements, can involve a significant investment. In the long term it is actually more cost effective to have implant treatment rather than bridge work. I often have comments from my clients that it is the best dental investment that they have ever made.
Will there be discomfort?
Just as with any surgery, there can be some pain. However, anaesthetics and sedation virtually eliminate discomfort during the surgery. Post-operative pain will be similar to that of having teeth removed. Patients will be provided with medication to alleviate this discomfort.
How much time does it take?
It depends on your condition and needs, and the extent of the work involved. Individual operations may take from one half-hour to several hours. There may be as few one operation, or a series of operations and follow-up visits, which would be scheduled over a period of months to ensure proper healing.
Are implant teeth difficult to clean?
No. You will be shown how to keep them clean; this would ensure the best long term success.
Can I take the teeth out if attached to implants?
Only with certain types of dentures. If the denture is attached to magnets or bars on the implants then they may be removed.
Do I have one implant per missing tooth?
No, unless replacing one tooth of course. In general one implant can replace 2 missing teeth. So, to replace all of missing upper or lower teeth would require 5 or 6 implants.Our practice is open for all your questions and we will help you through the whole process from the first consultation to the follow ups after the dental implant treatment. From tips on how to manage and care for the implant as well as the crown, we will guide you through the procedure and the process. So sit back and enjoy your new found confidence