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Dental Implants

More than 940,000 Australians are missing all their teeth. Of all adults aged 65 and over 21% are without any natural teeth. 16 % of adults aged 45-64 are missing at least one permanent tooth.

Although you have a number of restorative options for the treatment of missing teeth, none have proven to be as functionally effective and durable as dental implants. In many cases, dental implants may be the only logical choice for the restoration of all necessary teeth and supporting structures.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are precision devices that are used to replace the root of a missing tooth. These titanium screws or cylinders are anchored into the jawbone where it can support a single tooth crown, a multi-tooth bridge, or stabilize a removable partial or full denture.

What Causes Tooth Loss?

Teeth are lost because of:

  • Tooth decay
  • Root canal failure
  • Gum Disease
  • Trauma to the mouth
  • Excessive wear and tear
  • Inherited defects
What Happens if I Don’t Pursue Treatment?

You may feel self-conscious when you smile or talk. Tooth loss will have a negative effect on your eating habits, which could lead to health problems like malnutrition.

You will also experience bone loss if you have missing teeth. The bone may erode and weaken since there is no tooth supporting it possibly leaving insufficient bone to place an implant later on.

Your teeth will naturally try to close the gap of your missing tooth which will cause spacing between your teeth and increase oral hygiene difficulty

Why Should I get Dental Implants?

In most cases, dental implants are stronger and more durable than bridges and dentures. Single implants can serve to support your crown replacing a single missing tooth. Implants can also support a dental bridge for replacement of multiple missing teeth. Patients with full dentures often struggle with instability and discomfort which limits their function. Implants placed to help stabilize a denture can decrease pain and allow you to chew without difficulty.

How Do I get Dental Implants?

The importance of this procedure is to create a functional and structural connection between your bone and the dental implant. This process is done through what is called Osseointegration, which anchors the actual dental implant to your jaw bone.

Step 1:

The doctor will prepare the area where your tooth is missing. You may need excess bone or gum tissue removed, you may need your bone reshaped or the bone ridge reduced (these are all consequences of missing teeth). See Figure 1.

Step 2:

The implant (a small metal post) will be placed in your mouth and allowed to anchor and heal to the jaw bone, which takes about 3 – 6 months (See Figure 2). A temporary tooth will be placed in your mouth while your implant heals.

Step 3:

Once the implant has anchored to your jaw bone, the permanent false tooth can be placed over the implant (See Figures 3 & 4).*Osseointegration must take place or the implant will fail.

Are Dental Implants Successful?

Dental implants have been utilized for over 30 years. Studies have consistently shown success rates above 95%.

How do I Care for My Dental Implant

Because dental implants bond to your bone, crowns attached to your dental implants look and act similar to natural teeth. When brushing and flossing your dental implants you must use the proper techniques. Your dentist will be able to instruct you with this. In some cases, the doctors may prescribe a special daily mouth rinse for you. If you do not keep your mouth in good shape, your implants can fail.