Dental implants are one of several options available to replace missing teeth. In this blog, we explain a little more about the tooth implant procedure and how they can be used.
What is a tooth implant procedure?
If you need to have a tooth removed due to decay or extensive damage, a biocompatible post can be placed in the jaw to support an individual artificial tooth or several teeth.
What is a tooth implant?
For single tooth replacements, dental implants are comprised of three components.
- The implant – a cylindrically shaped post, typically made of titanium that is surgically placed into the jawbone.
- The abutment – also usually made of titanium but can also be made from a ceramic material. The abutment is attached to the implant and sits above the gum level. The abutment connects the dental implant to the prosthesis.
- The artificial tooth/teeth – this is the part that looks like a tooth and usually screwed or glued onto the abutment. Alternatively, other components can be used to support multiple teeth.
Dental implants can support multiple missing teeth in a variety of ways. A single implant can support two replacement teeth. Multiple dental implants can hold together a bridge that covers a gap made by two or more adjacent missing teeth. A tooth implant procedure can also secure unstable dentures.
Benefits of tooth implants
Tooth implants are typically considered to be the most stable replacement option for missing teeth where suitable. They are generally considered to be more comfortable than dentures and often easier to clean when compared to a bridge.
Implants can have exceptional longevity if you maintain a high standard of oral hygiene as recommended by your dentist.
Unlike bridges, they do not require any trimming or gluing to adjacent teeth to hold them in place, so they do not adversely impact your healthy teeth.
What does the implant process entail?
Your dentist will meet with you for an initial consultation to determine whether a tooth implant procedure is right for you. This involves a thorough assessment and can typically require x-rays or scans.
Tooth implants are accessible to most patients; however, certain factors may make the process more challenging or reduce the success rate. These include smoking and advanced gum disease. Treatment can still be possible in these cases, but a consultation is always necessary to determine your suitability.
It is sometimes necessary to use bone grafts to provide a sufficient foundation for the implant. This situation occurs mostly if the tooth to be replaced has been missing for a while, or there has been a history of infection.
Your dentist will review the procedure with you beforehand to ensure you are familiar and comfortable with the surgery. Your dental surgeon will also educate you on the potential risks of the tooth implant procedure. At CP Dental, you will be in safe and professional hands and will know what to expect from the process.
A local anaesthetic will be applied by your dentist to ensure your utmost comfort.
A small incision will be made to open up your gums and access the bone. A precise amount of bone is then removed to make room for the dental implant post. The gum is then placed back over the implant, and it is left to heal.
It is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling in the days following surgery which can be managed by analgesics. In most cases, the dental implant is left to completely heal or integrate into the bone for 3-6 months before it is ready to have the artificial tooth placed on top.
Contact your dentist immediately if the pain intensifies. You may also want to avoid eating tough or hard foods during your recovery until you feel they will not hurt the agitated area. At CP Dental, we typically recommend that our patients stick to foods they can cut easily with a fork until the site heals.
After about six months and once your dental implant has stablised, your permanent prosthesis is fitted, resulting in a beautiful, natural smile.
A tooth implant can make a difference in restoring your natural smile and self-confidence. At CP Dental, we are committed to ensuring you get the care and attention your teeth deserve. If you feel like a tooth implant procedure is right for you, contact us today at one of our three locations. (07) 3345 1099 for Cooper Plains, (07) 3050 3033 for Mater Hill, and (07) 4987 6183 for Emerald.