Dental implants are a fantastic option to replace missing or damaged teeth. They look like your own teeth more than any other restoration option and, unlike dentures, they don’t have to be removed for cleaning.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a metal anchor that resembles a screw, and it’s used to replace your natural tooth roots. It’s put into the jaw where the missing roots were and, over time, bone and gum tissue grow over it and help to hold it in place.
Dental implants provide a stable base for artificial replacement teeth, like dental crowns, which are made to resemble your natural teeth in shape, size and tone.
Commonly used to replace single teeth, there are cases where implants are appropriate for a full mouth rehabilitation, wherein they can be used to replace any teeth that remain and fil gaps left by missing teeth. They can also be used as anchor points for dental bridges and dentures.
How does a dental implant procedure work?
- A CT scan is the first step, which allows us to see where there is enough bone to support an implant, and to plan its ideal position.
- Our dentist will then fit the titanium implant into the jawbone. The area around the implant is numbed during this procedure, so no pain is felt.
- Three months is needed for the implant to become properly secured within the bone and surrounding gum tissue.
- The implant is then exposed at the gumline and topped with a healing cap to make room for a porcelain crown.
- A porcelain crown or bridge is made and attached to the implant around three weeks later, restoring both function and aesthetics.
The whole process can take anywhere from three to six months and requires several trips to the dentist.
Bone and gum tissue that once supported your teeth gradually shrinks away after tooth loss, making a full denture harder to keep in place. It’s difficult to enjoy the foods you love with ill-fitting or loose dentures, and they can make you feel self-conscious in social situations.
Dental implants are a great anchor point for dentures, helping to increase their function and maintain bone and gum height where they are placed.
The implants used to replace a single tooth are the same as those used to retain dentures. However, the tooth-shaped crown is replaced with a small metal ball that sticks out from your gum and corresponds with a socket embedded in your denture, enabling you to ‘clip’ them in place.
What is the recovery time for a dental implant procedure?
The recovery time after a dental implant procedure depends on several things:
- Your medical and dental history
- The condition of your jawbone prior to the procedure
- The number of teeth to be replaced
Depending on your circumstance, recovery could take between several days to a couple of weeks. In most cases, you’ll be back to your old self in a couple of days. It can take around three to six months, though, for your jawbone and gum tissue to completely heal.
Over-the-counter painkillers can manage any discomfort you might feel for around a week after the procedure.
Are there any risks with a dental implant procedure?
For over 30 years, dental implants have proven to be a safe and effective solution for missing teeth. All procedures that involve exposed tissue, though, do come with a risk of infection. That’s why it’s so important that you have dental implants inserted by an experienced and skilled dentist, like the ones at Polished Dental.
Some people consider having the procedure done overseas, due to the price of dental implants when compared to other treatments. We always urge against this, as dentists without proper training or the use of inadequate equipment can make the small risk of infection much higher.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are a long-term solution which can last a lifetime, if cared for correctly. What’s anchored to them, though – bridges, dentures or crowns – don’t last as long and may need to be replaced, with your current implants serving as the base.
Regular check-ups with one of our dentists and good oral hygiene will ensure the longevity of your dental implants. If you’d like to discuss your dental implant needs, please make an appointment by calling our friendly team on 07 3878 8300.
Easy payment options
Even though it’s the weekend, our amazingly flexible payment options are still available. You can pay for your Saturday dental treatment with Zip Money as if it’s a regular weekday. Dental treatments are important to your overall health, and it’s best to get that toothache sorted as soon as possible. With Zip Money, the benefits include:
Health Fund Friendly
At Polished Dental, we accept all major private health funds and can facilitate on the spot claiming with HICAPS! We are also proud to be classified as Preferred Providers for several major funds, meaning our patients will usually have access to the highest rebates possible…