What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small metal rod (usually made of Titanium) that is placed into your jaw. The implant acts like a tooth root and is used to support an artificial tooth, which is called a crown. If a number of teeth are missing, implants can be used to support dental bridges and also to secure dentures in place so they are firmly retained and do not wobble. Dental implants can be placed as either a one or two stage procedure depending on the clinical need for more or less healing.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants are a conservative way of replacing teeth. If a tooth is replaced with a conventional dental bridge, the teeth either side of the space have to be trimmed down by a third of their original size. With implants, teeth on either side do not usually need to be touched. Dental implants supporting individual crowns or bridges are made to look like real teeth and they also feel like natural teeth when chewing. Dental implants can also be used to make full dentures feel more secure.
Can I have a dental implant?
The best candidates for dental implants are those who have a healthy mouth with no gum disease and good oral hygiene. However, there needs to be enough jaw bone to anchor an implant securely. Your Periodontist will be able to assess this for you at your consultation appointment. Often special x-rays (scans) are required to determine the condition of bone at the potential implant site.
What if I don't have enough bone to place a dental implant?
In most situations, bone can be rebuilt by adding bone or bone substitutes (bone grafts) to increase the amount of bone available for implants to be placed. Your Periodontist will be able to advise you of the most appropriate way to rebuild bone at the implant site.
What is the cost of a dental implant?
The treatment and costs of dental implants varies from one person to the next.The costs are calculated according to the number of implants to be inserted and whether or not a bone graft (build more bone) is needed. At your consultation, your Periodontist will provide you with a personalised itemised treatment plan and associated fees.
Looking after your dental implant
Just like your natural teeth, dental implants require the thorough removal of plaque and tartar to contribute to their long-term success. You will be instructed in specific techniques for cleaning and maintaining your implants. Ongoing regular checks of your implants are important to maintain the health of the surrounding tissues. Our Periodontists will work in conjunction with your Dentist to maintain and maximize the success of your implant.