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Dental Implants

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In the past, people had to accept their dental health condition. Today, thanks to cosmetic dentistry and dental implant solutions, those with concerns about their appearance and dental health no longer have to live without a beautiful smile.

Loss of teeth can be due to a number of causes including poor dental health, gum disease or trauma. Leaving the missing tooth space empty may not sound too serious, but the consequences of not filling in the space from the missing tooth can include:

  • The teeth adjacent to your missing tooth can change position to fill the gap;
  • The loss of your missing tooth’s root can cause your jawbone to shrink, making your face appear prematurely older; and,
  • A missing tooth in the front of your mouth can affect your smile and your self-confidence.

In many situations, a dental implant is the most pleasingly esthetic solution for replacing the missing tooth. An all-ceramic dental crown or dental bridge, secured to a dental implant, provides a complete and beautiful solution for improving your smile.

A dental implant takes the place of the missing tooth’s root and helps prevent the above consequences. If you have only one missing tooth, a dental crown on a dental implant is probably your best choice.

Like the natural root, a dental implant provides the foundation for a dental crown, in this case a new all-ceramic dental crown. An all-ceramic dental crown on a dental implant looks and functions very much like the missing tooth did.

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Dental Implants vs other Dental Treatments

The effect of tooth loss varies from person to person and depends on what exactly has been lost.

It may appear that a dental implant initially is more expensive than other dental treatment methods, however, from a long term perspective it often turns out to be the best investment.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are small screws designed to replace the root of a tooth and restore the physical appearance and the chewing function of patients with partial or full tooth loss. Dental implants are intended for use in either the upper and/or the lower jaw to support prosthetic devices, such as artificial teeth.

By integrating with the jaw, they enable restorations that range from replacement of one single tooth to an entire arch of bridgework, or as stabilizing elements for overdenture applications. Dental implants are manufactured from titanium, which is both biocompatible and strong. At GB Dental we use high quality Nobel Biocare implants.

Are you a good candidate for dental implants?

Patients must undergo an evaluation to determine whether the implant placement procedure poses any health risks, and whether any factors exist that may affect the healing capacity of either their bones or their associated soft tissues.

Who can receive dental implants?

Patients who are medically fit to participate in a general oral surgical procedure.

Who should carefully consider dental implants?

Patients who have medical or other conditions that may interfere with the healing process of either their bones or soft tissues (e.g., connective tissue disorders, steroid therapy, bone infections, cigarette smoking) must carefully evaluate, with their dentists, the potential risks and benefits of using dental implants.

Precautions for implant treatment

Dental implants should not be used in patients that have inadequate amounts of bone to permit placement of implants in sufficient size and numbers to support their biomechanical loads. Mechanical failures, including fatigue fracture of implants, prosthetic screws, and/or abutment screws, may occur if dental implants are insufficient in size or number to support their biomechanical loads, or are not properly positioned. To reduce the risk of overload or fatigue failure, dentists must place the implants and design prosthetics to accommodate the physical or medical conditions of their patients, such as bruxism (i.e., grinding or clenching of teeth) or unfavourable jaw relationships.

Dental Implant Procedure

For the most esthetically pleasing solution to a missing tooth, there is no better option than an all-ceramic dental crown on a dental implant.

The following steps explain how you can get a new beautiful smile with a dental implant. If you have specific questions, we recommend you discuss them with your dentist.

Step 1: Examination

The first step is an examination of your current situation with your dentist. X-rays will be taken in the surgery. An impression (mould) of your teeth may be taken, you will be given a treatment plan with the fees and item codes for your private health fund, and you will also be referred to a radiographer.

Step 2: X-Rays and CT Scans

Following your initial examination, you will need to have a series of further x-rays and CT scans to determine if you have adequate bone to support the implant. These scans will be assessed for measurements etc (there is no need for a further appointment, the dentist will review the scans and you will be contacted by phone if necessary)

If you are a suitable candidate for a dental implant and you have decided to proceed with treatment, an appointment for the implant procedure will be arranged and you will be prescribed a course of antibiotics to be taken.

Step 3: Dental Implant Surgery

Having an implant placed is a surgical procedure, so there will be surgical drapes placed over you during the procedure (the dentist and assistants will also be dressed in surgical attire). At the implant appointment you will be asked to rinse with an antibacterial mouthrinse for 1 minute, and then local anaesthetic will be placed.

From your CT scan, the dentist will have planned your entire procedure before it begins. Keyhole surgery is used to place the dental implant. This minimally invasive technique reduces healing time and swelling as well as the need for stitches.

Once the implant is completed, a temporary tooth will be placed. To minimise any risk of infection, you will be reminded to continue taking your antibiotics until the end of the course. A follow up appointment will be arranged for 4 weeks to check the healing of you dental implant.

Step 4: Final Suspension

Final suspension or placement of the crown or bridge work occurs 3-6 months after implant placement of the implant. This appointment will be arranged when you attend your healing check appointment.