A dental implant is a metal screw that is inserted surgically in to the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth. This screw then acts as an anchor for a crown, bridge or denture to be permanently attached. Single or multiple missing teeth can be replaced using this method.
Once the implant has been inserted in to the jaw, the bone integrates around it, making the implant a very strong support for the chosen restoration.
Implants last much longer than options such as a bridge or denture. They also prevent bone loss that is normally associated with missing teeth.
Implant placement is a surgical procedure performed either by a general dentist with specific training, or by a specialist. It is performed under a local anaesthetic in the dental chair.
The bone health is assessed by taking a special x-ray to ensure the best chances of successful bone integration around the implant.
How is it done?
After the area has been numbed with local anaesthetic, the gum is cut to gain access to the bone. The implant screw is inserted and the gum sutured back in place. A period of 3-9 months passes for healing and bone integration to take place. Bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth is also a symptom.
After healing, the second process of constructing the fake tooth/teeth begins. This involves two appointments. The first is to uncover the tip of the implant and take dental impressions. These impressions are sent to our dental laboratory for the construction of the crown or bridge. The second appointment is when the crown or bridge is fitted permanently to the implant/s.
How can gingivitis be prevented?
Thorough and regular oral hygiene is essential. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist for professional cleaning every 6 months.
Occasionally the bone fails to integrate around the implant. If this occurs another implant with slightly different dimensions is placed. In rare cases the bone will never integrate and a different tooth replacement option is required that does not involve an implant.
A well-placed implant will last a lifetime.
Conscientious home care including brushing every morning and night, flossing once a day and regular six monthly check-ups to review the implant/s and surrounding teeth.