Dental Implants are an option you may wish to consider to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A dental implant can be likened to having a full replacement tooth, both the visible crown and the root, placed directly back into your jaw. They are secure, durable, functional and beautiful.
What Is A Dental Implant?
The term “Dental Implant” refers to a type of dental prosthesis (false tooth or teeth) that can be surgically implanted into the upper or lower jaw bone to replace one or more missing teeth.
A dental implant replacing one tooth will typically have three components:
- An “Abutment”, which is connected to the top of the fixture and forms the foundation for the final restoration
- The “Crown” or “Prosthesis”, which may be either cemented to the fixture or held into place with a small gold screw.
How Do Tooth Implants Work?
Implants work by recreating a natural tooth as closely as possible. In the case of a single tooth implant:
- The fixture is implanted directly into the jaw and fuses to the bone. It becomes a replacement tooth root.
- The abutment replaces the dentine or core of the natural tooth’s crown
- A crown made of a precious metal alloy covered with tooth-coloured porcelain becomes a replacement for enamel layer of the natural tooth crown.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
The placement of the dental fixture is a surgical procedure, while the placement of the overlying abutment and crown, bridge or denture is very similar to the placement of the same types of restorations that are not supported by fixtures.
Both procedures are explained on this page.
How Long Does It Take To Get Teeth Implants?
Every case is different. An uncomplicated case might be completed within six months. Complex treatments can take several years to complete.
Why Are Dental Implants Used?
Implants are used to replace missing teeth. They are an alternative to dental bridges or dentures, and have significant advantages over both. However, there are also potential disadvantages that need to be considered.
Dental Implants Vs Dentures
Why People Might Choose Dental Implants:
- A denture is generally less stable and retentive than an implant. This can make it uncomfortable to wear and more difficult to eat. Dentures can affect the clarity of speech and the ability to taste foods. It is potentially embarrassing if a denture is easily displaced while speaking or during a meal.
- A denture can feel bulky to the tongue: not everyone can easily adapt to this extra bulk in their mouths
- Acrylic denture teeth are softer than natural teeth and can wear down much faster. Dentures may require more maintenance than implants, which are usually restored with porcelain crowns
- Acrylic denture teeth may not be as aesthetically pleasing as porcelain crowns
Why People Might Choose Dentures:
- The placement of a dental implant is a surgical procedure, requiring significant healing time and some discomfort
- The cost of having a dental implant placed is significantly greater than having a denture made
- Dentures can be made quickly and delivered within weeks, rather than the months required to place a dental implant
- An implant cannot be removed for daily cleaning
Dental Implants Vs Dental Bridges
Why People Might Choose Dental Implants:
- The placement of Dental Implants does not require the removal of enamel and dentine from adjacent teeth: implants are far more tooth-friendly than bridges.
- It’s easier to clean around a single tooth implant than it is to clean around a bridge that replaces a single tooth, which puts the natural teeth supporting bridge at greater risk of having a persistent layer of plaque present, which may, in turn, lead to an increased risk of developing tooth decay
Why People Might Choose A Dental Bridge:
- Surgery (usually) isn’t required to place a dental bridge
- Placement of a bridge takes far less time than placing a dental implant (2-4 weeks, compared to >6 months)
- A single-tooth implant costs 2-3x more than a single-tooth bridge
Dental Implants At Corinna Dental
If you require dental implants, you will most likely be treated by Dr. Disha Kamath Naik, one of our Corinna Dental dentists.
“Our duty of care is to make sure our patients’ mouths are healthy and that they can enjoy their meals and enjoy smiling. It’s important to know that we don’t just treat for the short-term: we plan for the individual to enjoy a lifetime of good dental health. Many times, the placement of a dental implant will fit these criteria.”
– Dr. Disha Kamath Naik, Dentist
Dr. Disha is skilled at managing dental implant cases, including:
- The surgical placement of implant fixtures
- The placement and management of small bone grafts (which are sometimes needed to ensure the new dental implant is surrounded by bone on all sides) and
- The placement of an implant crown, bridge or denture
Many implant cases can be completed within our practice rooms under local anaesthesia. You can also request to have your dental implant surgery completed under Intravenous Sedation.
Complicated cases will be referred to a specialist periodontist or oral surgeon, who will be responsible for placing the titanium fixture/s into the jaw. In most cases, the overlying crown, bridge or denture can still be designed and placed by Dr. Disha in our rooms.
Are All Dental Implant Cases Straightforward?
Unfortunately no. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, every one of which can potentially be less than ideal. This is why the dentist will spend time taking a detailed medical history, do a comprehensive examination and use several diagnostic tools to plan each implant case.
Every patient who receives a Dental Implant will need to have a customised treatment plan: there is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to replacing a natural tooth with an implant.
Can Anyone Have Dental Implants?
Unfortunately no. Not everyone is a candidate for this type of treatment, and not everyone selects this option when presented with the alternatives.
The following people may find that they are not suited to dental implants:
- People who are active smokers
- People who have active gum disease
- People who have lost significant amounts of bone structure
- People who are medically-compromised
People under the age of 30 years can have dental implants, but there may be some special considerations for their treatment.
Dental Implant Safety
Because the placement of an implant fixture requires surgery, there are inherent risks that you need to be aware of before you agree to treatment. Your dentist will explain all potential risks to you in detail during the planning phase of your treatment. You are encouraged to ask questions, and are welcome to seek a second opinion if you wish.
Naturally, all practitioners and staff at Corinna Dental take your safety very seriously and follow strict protocols and standards to minimise all potential complications related to the placement of dental implants.
Is It Difficult To Take Care Of Dental Implants?
Dental Implants cannot be removed for cleaning, but are designed to be similar in shape and size to natural teeth. In most cases, brushing and flossing are all that is needed to keep a single tooth Implant free of plaque.
Sometimes the design of the crown or bridge creates spaces that are more difficult to clean: in this case, our dentists and hygienists will show you the best way to keep these spaces properly clean.
We explain post-operative care for dental implants here.
Would You Like To Know More About The Suitability Of Dental Implants For You?
Please call the Corinna Dental practice location of your choice and request a consultation appointment with Dr. Disha Kamath Naik.
You can also read the following related pages on our site: