Dental Implants are perhaps the healthiest and most long-lasting tooth replacement option available today. Patients tend to prefer a dental implant over the other options because it is the option that most resembles and acts like a natural tooth.
A dental implant is essentially a titanium screw that fuses with your jaw in a process called osseointegration. The majority of dental implants are made of commercially pure titanium. The primary use of dental implants is to support dental prosthetics. A missing tooth can severely weaken your facial muscles and lead to a drooping look which can increase the appearance of ageing. A dental implant will replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth restoring your natural look. Dental implants are fixed in place with no need to remove them.
The first step towards a dental implant is to organise a consultation appointment with Dental Care St Kilda dentist, where we will discuss all your options and check if you are a suitable candidate. The process from having a missing tooth/teeth to having a full set of teeth again can be a long journey. However, at the end of that journey, we find that patients are extremely satisfied and grateful that they can speak and eat with confidence. We are your first choice for dental implants in St Kilda, Balaclava, Elsternwick, Caulfield, Elwood and surrounds.
The primary use of dental implants is to support dental prosthetics (i.e., false teeth). Modern dental implants make use of osseointegration, the biologic process where bone fuses tightly to the surface of specific materials such as titanium and some ceramics. The integration of implant and bone can support physical loads for decades without failure.
Implants are used to replace missing individual teeth (single tooth restorations), multiple teeth, or to restore full mouth. Do note that alternative treatments to tooth loss are also available – see our blog Missing tooth replacement.
SINGLE TOOTH IMPLANT RESTORATION
Single tooth restorations are individual freestanding teeth not connected to other teeth, used to replace missing individual teeth. For individual tooth replacement, Dental Care St Kilda dentist will insert an implant into the jaw bone. A crown is then connected to the implant via special abutment. Dental implants, in the same way, can also be used to retain a multiple tooth dental prosthesis either in the form of a fixed bridge or removable dentures.
Taking into account the favourable cost-benefit ratio and the high implant survival rate, dental implant therapy is the first-line strategy for single-tooth replacement. Implants preserve the integrity of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, and it has been shown that dental implant therapy is less costly and more efficient over time than tooth-supported bridges for the replacement of one missing tooth.
MULTIPLE TEETH IMPLANT RESTORATION.
To restore multiple missing teeth the Dental Care St Kilda dentist can make you an implant supported bridge. An implant supported bridge is a group of teeth secured to dental implants so they stay in place permanently. They are similar to conventional bridges, except that the prosthesis is supported and retained by one or more implants instead of natural teeth. Bridges typically connect to more than one implant and may also connect to teeth as anchor points. Typically, the number of teeth will outnumber the anchor points with the teeth that are directly over the implants referred to as abutments and those between abutments referred to as pontics. Implant supported bridges attach to implant abutments in the same way as a single tooth implant replacement.
When all teeth are missing on the jaw, our dentist at Dental Care St Kilda can make a removable full denture supported by implants. It will improve support, retention and stability of dentures. This method most commonly used to support the complete dentures (as opposed to partial), used to restore loss of all teeth. The implant-supported dentures can be disconnected from the implant abutments with finger pressure by the wearer. To enable this, the abutment is shaped as a small connector, which can be connected to analogue adapters in the underside of the dentures.
Before deciding on the treatment with dental implants our Dental Care St Kilda’ dentist will examine the CT scan of the area and consider the general health condition of the patient, the local health condition of the mucous membranes and the jaws and the shape, size, and position of the bones of the jaws, adjacent and opposing teeth. Most people are good candidates for the treatment with dental implants and the results achieved after implant placement by Dental Care St Kilda dentists are excellent. However, there are certain health conditions that can increase the risk of failure. Those with poor oral hygiene, heavy smokers and diabetics are all at greater risk for a variant of gum disease that affects implants called peri-implantitis, increasing the chance of long-term failures. Long-term steroid use, osteoporosis and other diseases that affect the bones can increase the risk of early failure of implants.
TIMING OF IMPLANTS AFTER EXTRACTION OF TEETH
There are several approaches to placement of dental implants after tooth extraction. The approaches are:
– Immediate post-extraction implant placement.
– Delayed immediate post-extraction implant placement (two weeks to three months after extraction).
– Late implantation (three months or more after tooth extraction).
Dentist at Dental Care St Kilda will determine the best strategy for the timing of implant placement, depending on the patient’s conditions.
ADDITIONAL SURGICAL PROCEDURES
If bone width or density is inadequate our Dental Care St Kilda’s dentist can regrow patients’ bone using special bone grafting technique, by placing artificial bone pieces to act as a scaffold for natural bone to grow around.
For an implant to integrate, it needs to be surrounded by a healthy quantity of bone. In order for it to survive long-term, it needs to have a thick healthy soft tissue (gingiva) envelope around it. If either the bone or soft tissue is deficient our Dental Care St Kilda dentist can reconstruct it either before or during the implant placement.
RESTORING THE DENTAL IMPLANTS WITH CROWNS OR DENTURES
There are various options for when to attach teeth to dental implants:
– Immediate loading procedure.
– Early loading (one week to twelve weeks).
– Delayed loading (over three months)
For an implant to become permanently stable, the body must grow bone to the surface of the implant (osseointegration). Based on this biologic process, it was thought that loading an implant during the osseointegration period would result in movement that would prevent osseointegration, and thus increase implant failure rates. As a result, three to six months of integrating time is usually allowed before placing the teeth on implants (restoring them).
DENTAL IMPLANT MAINTENANCE
After placement, implants need to be brushed twice a day (similar to natural teeth) with a soft tooth brush and professionally cleaned twice a year at Dental Care St Kilda dentist with periodontal scaler to remove any plaque.