Restore your missing teeth with dental implants
If you have lost a tooth to tooth decay or have several missing teeth,it is a good idea to seek out a tooth replacement procedure as soon as possible. Even if the missing teeth are in the back of your mouth, other teeth may be impacted by the missing tooth and the bone under the area will start to break down because of lack of stimulation. Dental implants are a viable solution for replacing missing teeth and are a permanent way to restore your smile.
Dental Implants & Bone grafting
A dental implant is a “root” device, usually made of titanium to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth. Dental implants appear similar to an actual tooth root and are carefully placed within the bone.
During the healing phase (usually 4-6 months), your bone is growing right up to the implant surface in order to lock it in place. Once the bone attaches firmly to the implant , a crown is placed onto the top of the implant. This is what makes the implant resemble the look and feel of a natural tooth.
Dental implants can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures.
- They look and feel just like your own teeth.
- Restore your confidence to talk, laugh, and chew with comfort and without worries.
- Preserve the integrity of facial structures.
- Prevent the hard and soft tissue collapse that can occur under conventional bridges and removable partial dentures. In patients who have lost all of their teeth, the lower one-third of the face is prone to collapse if implants are not placed to preserve the bone and the facial profile.
- Implants form a strong bond to the surrounding bone to provide support and anchorage for biting and chewing as well as stimulation for the bone to hold it in place.
Most people are suitable for an implant but there are a few exceptions. These include smokers, people who suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding), people with periodontal gum disease and anyone who drinks alcohol to excess.
- Examination: Your dentist or specialist will carefully examine your mouth and take x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to find out if dental implants are right for you.
- First Stage: Your dentist will put a dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. It can take several months to heal.
- Second Stage: once the tissue is healed, your dentist will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the implant. In some cases, the first and second stage of implant surgery may be done in one single stage.
- Cementing the Crown: An artificial replacement tooth (crown) is made and your dentist attaches it to the abutment.
When replacing several teeth or all of your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored to your dental implants. A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by spanning an area that has no teeth. The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.
Most patients report that the sensation of having an implant fitted is more tolerable than having a tooth removed, and because the procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic you will feel no pain.
There are several implant systems available to suit all needs and budgets, and these will be discussed with you at your initial implant consultation.
In our clinic, we use two types of high quality implant device brands, Nobel-Biocare and Cortex.
Nobel Biocare is a leading company from Switzerland in dental prosthetic solutions within dental implants and abutments. Cortex also manufactures very high quality and durable implants for a more affordable cost. Our so-called implant drill motor is new innovative Nobel Biocare equipment and we use both brands in terms of implant devices.
Dental implants are designed to be permanent but there are many factors that contribute to their longevity. Home care and regular visits to the dentist or specialist are probably the most critical aspects. However, smoking, grinding of the teeth, or too much pressure on the implants can alter their success.
For dental implants to be successful, the jawbone must have enough bone to support them. If the bone under your gum is not tall enough, not wide enough or both, you will need a procedure to rebuild the bone and enable implants to be placed.
In our clinic we use a mineral bone substitute and after the procedure the bone graft will take about 4 to 6 months to heal before dental implants can be placed.
Because dental implants are placed in the jawbone, artificial replacement teeth attached to implants look and act much like natural teeth. Like natural teeth, implants need to be kept clean using a toothbrush and floss. Your dentist will show you the proper cleaning procedure for implants. Regular dental checkups are important so your dentist can make sure that your bite is right and that your implants are not loose.
After all, implant restorations are a long-term investment in your smile, your health and your well-being, so let’s do our best to protect your investment.