Dental implants are a brilliant option when replacing missing or damaged teeth. They resemble your own teeth more than any other restorative option and don’t need to be removed to be cleaned, unlike dentures.
Need to see a dentist? Call the team at Fernvale Dental today on 07 5427 0880 or book online.
What are dental implants?
A metal anchor that looks like a screw, a dental implant is used to replace natural tooth roots, inserted into the jaw where the missing roots were. With time, gum tissue and bone grow over the implant, helping to hold it in place.
A dental implant provides a secure, stable base for artificial replacement teeth, such as dental crowns, which are constructed to resemble the shape, size and tone of your natural teeth.
Implants are often used to replace single teeth, but there are some cases where a full mouth rehabilitation is called for, wherein the implant is used to replace any remaining teeth and fill in gaps left by missing teeth. They are also used as anchors for dentures and dental bridges.
How does a dental implant procedure work?
- First, we get a CT scan of the jaw to help us determine if there is enough bone to support an implant, and to plan its optimum position.
- The titanium implant will then be fitted into the jawbone. In this procedure, the area around the implant is numbed so no pain is felt.
- The implant is given three months to become properly secure within the gum tissue and bone.
- Your dentist then exposes the implant at the gumline so a healing cap can be affixed to make room for the porcelain crown.
- Around three weeks later, a bridge or porcelain crown is made and attached to the implant, restoring aesthetics and function.
A complete dental implant procedure can take around three to six months and require several trips to the dentist.
After you lose a tooth, the bone and gum tissue that once supported it gradually shrinks away, making a full denture difficult to keep in place. Ill-fitting or loose dentures make it hard to enjoy the foods you love, and can make you feel self-conscious in social situations.
Dentures anchored with implants are far more secure, their function is greater, and the bone and gum height around the implant is better maintained.
Implants used as anchors for dentures are the same as those used to replace a single tooth. However, instead of being topped with a tooth-shaped crown, they are topped with a small metal ball that protrudes from the gum and corresponds with a socket in the denture, enabling them to be ‘clipped’ in place.
What’s the recovery time for a dental implant procedure?
The length of recovery depends on several factors:
- Your medical and dental history
- The condition of your jawbone prior to the procedure
- The number of teeth to be replaced
Recovery can span from several days to a couple of weeks, depending on individual circumstances. In most cases, patients feel back to normal within a couple of days. The jawbone and gum tissue, though, can take between three and six months to completely heal.
You may experience discomfort or pain for up to a week after the procedure, but nothing that over-the-counter painkillers can’t manage.
What are the risks with a dental implant procedure?
Dental implants have been a safe and effective solution for replacing missing teeth for over 30 years. However, with any procedure that involves exposed tissue comes the risk of infection. That’s why it’s very important that your dental implant procedure is performed by a qualified and knowledgeable dentist, like ours at Fernvale Dental.
Because the cost of dental implants is dear when compared to other treatments, some consider having the procedure performed overseas where prices can be cheaper. We strongly urge against this, as inadequately trained dentists or inappropriate equipment and poor sanitation can greatly increase the risk of infection.
How long do implants last?
If cared for appropriately, dental implants are a lifetime solution. What’s anchored to them, though – such as crowns, bridge and dentures – have shorter lifespans and will need replacing over time, with the current dentures still serving as the base.
The lifespan of dental implants relies upon good oral hygiene and regular check-ups with your dentist. If you’d like to discuss implants in greater detail with your dentist, please call our friendly team on 07 5427 0880.
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:
At Fernvale Dental, we accept all major private health funds and can facilitate on the spot claiming with HICAPS! We are also proud to be part of the Members’ Choice network for Medibank Private, First Choice for NIB, the More for Teeth program with HCF and the Choice Network for CBHS! FIND OUT MORE