Dental implants are a great option to replace missing or damaged teeth. They resemble your own teeth more than any other restoration option and, unlike dentures, they don’t have to be removed for cleaning.
If you want the convenience and peace of mind dental implants can provide, contact Dental on Beams on 07 3862 8300 or book online (available 24/7).
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a metal anchor that looks like a screw. It is used to replace natural tooth roots, and it’s put into the jaw where the missing roots were. Over time, bone and gum tissue grows over the implant, which helps to hold it in place.
A dental implant provides a very stable base for artificial replacement teeth, such as dental crowns, which are made to resemble your natural teeth in shape, size and tone.
Implants are commonly used to replace single teeth, but there are some cases where a full mouth rehabilitation is appropriate, wherein they can be used to replace any remaining teeth and fill 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?
- The first step is a CT scan, which allows us to determine whether or not there is enough bone to support an implant, and to plan its ideal position.
- The dentist will then fit the titanium implant into your jawbone. During this procedure the area around the implant is numbed, so no pain is felt.
- We give the implant around three months to become properly secured within the bone and the surrounding gum tissue.
- The dentist will then expose the implant at the gumline and top it with a healing cap to make room for the porcelain crown.
- A few weeks later, a porcelain crown or bridge is made and attached to the implant, restoring function and aesthetics.
The entire process can take around three to six months from start to finish, requiring several trips to the dentist.
After tooth loss, the bone and gum tissue that once supported your teeth gradually shrinks away, making a full denture harder to keep in place. Loose or ill-fitting dentures can make it difficult to enjoy the foods you love and make you self-conscious in social situations.
Dental implants are a fantastic anchor point for dentures, increasing their function and helping to maintain bone and gum height where they are placed.
The implants used to retain dentures are exactly the same as those used to replace a single tooth. However, instead of restoring with a tooth-shaped crown, they are topped with a small metal ball that protrudes from your gum and corresponds with a socket embedded in your denture, enabling you to ‘clip’ them in place.
What is the recovering time for a dental implant procedure?
How long it takes to recover from a dental implant procedure depends on several things:
- Your dental and medical history
- What condition your jawbone was in prior to the procedure
- The number of teeth replaced
Depending on individual circumstances, recovery can span from several days to a couple of weeks. Usually, it takes only a couple of days to feel back to your old self. Your jawbone and gum tissue can take around three to six months to completely heal.
For around a week after the procedure, you may experience discomfort or mild pain, but nothing that over-the-counter painkillers can’t manage.
Are there any risks with a dental implant procedure?
Dental implants have proven to be a safe and effective solution for replacing missing teeth for over 30 years. Any procedure that involves exposing tissue, however, comes with the risk of infection. This is why it’s vitally important that you have your dental implants placed by an experienced and skilled dentist, like the ones at Dental on Beams.
The cost of dental implants can be high compared to other treatments, which is why some people consider having the procedure performed overseas where it’s cheaper. We strongly urge against this, as the small risk of infection can become more likely when inadequate equipment is used or the person performing the procedure doesn’t have the appropriate training.
How long do dental implants last?
If cared for correctly, dental implants are a long-term solution which should last a lifetime. What’s anchored to them, however – crowns, bridges or dentures do have smaller lifespans and may need to be replaced over time, still using your current implant as a base.
The longevity of your dental implant depends on good oral hygiene and regular check-ups with one of our dentists. If you require an appointment to discuss your dental implant needs, please call our friendly team on 07 3862 8300.