Dental implants are a great way of replacing missing teeth. Medical grade, artificial roots are placed into the jaw and are anchored in place, before an artificial tooth is made and positioned to replace the missing tooth. Implants can also replace a number of missing teeth in an area (implant retained bridge), or used to help hold dentures in place where they might otherwise be unstable (implant retained dentures).
The result is a long term, aesthetic and functional addition to your natural smile. Unlike dentures, implant retained teeth do not need to be removed with special instructions for cleaning, but can be brushed and flossed like your normal teeth. In addition, they are different from bridges in that they do not result in modifications to adjacent teeth to support an artificial tooth.
What can I expect?
Generally, the final result requires a number of steps, including:
- Planning: a number of tests and x-rays are taken to ensure that all the necessary requirements are fulfilled for the best outcome.
- Insertion of implant: the site of the missing tooth is prepared, and the titanium root selected and placed into the correct position.
- Healing: a time frame of three months is usually required for your bone to sufficiently encompass the implant and lock it into place. The gums also take some time to heal.
- Moulds and tooth insertion: a mould of your teeth is taken and then the artificial tooth is inserted into the titanium root.
Once complete, the dental implant can be treated like any other tooth. As with normal teeth, brushing and flossing are imperative to long term implant health. You may also notice a woody feeling when tapped, as there are no nerve fibres in the implant for sensation.
There is a trend towards cost cutting by some dental practices by having their components manufactured overseas. However, you can rest assured that all implant work used in Dr Virginia Williams’s Dental Practice are sourced from either local Ballarat providers or those in Melbourne where necessary. We appreciate the peace of mind, accountability and quality assurance that comes with Australian standards as much as our patients do.
Of course, not every situation is best treated with an implant. Indeed, there are certain situations that preclude dental implants, and others that will require multi-disciplinary teamwork for the best result.
At Dr. Virginia Williams’s Dental Practice, we will advise you of the best options for your particular situation, and you can schedule an appointment on (03) 5331 9285.