If you’re looking to replace one or more missing teeth and dislike the thought of wearing a bridge or a denture you might want to consider asking your dentist if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. A dental implant is the closest thing to a natural tooth and restores both the function and functionality of your smile. But how do dental implants work? Read on to learn more …
What exactly is a dental implant?
A dental implant has the appearance of a screw or cylinder and is secured into the jawbone to support a false tooth or teeth. Dental implants are usually made from biocompatible titanium which means there are no adverse effects on the body when they are attached to the jaw bone and gums.
Dental implants consist of 3 elements:
- The titanium post which is inserted into the jaw bone.
- The abutment which connects under the jaw to the implant post and extends above the gum line.
- The restoration which may be a dental crown, bridge, or denture.
The abutment is a small component which connects the restoration to the implant post hence the reason that one end sits below the gum with the implant and the other end sits above the gum line with the restoration.
In some cases, each of these three components requires a separate procedure and in other cases, more than one of the components is placed during dental implant surgery.
While dental implants are extremely popular, the one thing that puts some people off is the need to undergo dental implant surgery. That said, with advances in technology and techniques, dental implant surgery is considered a relatively minor oral surgery and is often shorter than some other dental procedures.
Who is Eligible For a Dental Implant?
In most cases, anyone who is sufficiently healthy to undergo a routine tooth extraction and dental implant surgery can be considered for a dental implant.
Patients need to have healthy dense bone to support the implant and be committed to regular dental visits and maintaining good oral hygiene.
If your bone is thinning then often, a bone graft is recommended to give it more density and width. Unfortunately, this is an additional cost and adds time to the treatment length.
People suffering from diabetes, heart disease, who have had radiation to their head or neck area, or who smoke heavily will be assessed on an individual basis.
How Do Dental Implants Work? – The Procedure
Having attended an implant consultation and been found suitable, patients should know that it takes several months to complete the treatment and includes the following stages:
- Dental implant surgery – A local anaesthetic and sometimes sedation is administered by the dentist. Dental implant surgery is carried out chairside at the dental clinic and depending on the technique used and the location in the mouth, treatment will typically take around an hour per implant. Once in place, the dental implant is left for several weeks for the titanium post to integrate with the surrounding bone.
- Attaching the abutment – Another short bout of dental implant surgery is required to connect the abutment to the dental implant post (sometimes the post and abutment are placed simultaneously). It then takes a few weeks for the abutment to settle.
- Final restoration – Finally, the dental crown is attached to the abutment.
The best things in life are worth waiting for
Although it takes several months to receive dental implants much of the time is spent waiting for your body to heal and meanwhile you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown or denture so that you can go about your business as usual.
Many of our patients tell us that dental implants have transformed their lives for the better and restored their confidence. More specific benefits include:
- Dental implants stimulate the bone and prevent bone loss and a change in the shape of the jaw. They are the only method of tooth replacement to do this
- Implants support the facial structure giving a more rounded youthful appearance
- A dental implant is easy to maintain with brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups
- Implants are more convenient than dentures since they don’t have to be removed at night
- They feel natural and comfortable just like real teeth
- Patients find they can speak more clearly with implants
Want to know more?
Now we’ve answered your question “how do dental implants work” why not book an appointment with the friendly experienced team at Beyond 32 Dental” to discuss how they could benefit you.
We provide digital keyhole dental implants utilising cutting edge techniques. For patients, this equates to shorter chair time, faster recovery, and minimal discomfort following dental implant surgery. Book an appointment online and take the first step to a more confident beautiful smile.
Call us at (02) 9158 6334 today.