If your dentist has recommended dental implant surgery, your next question is probably ‘what is a dental implant?’. With a success rate of 95 to 98%, dental implants are the closest replacement you can get to a natural tooth. In this post, we explain what tooth implants are, what you can expect from the procedure and how long you can expect them to last.
What Is A Dental Implant?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, usually made from titanium. They are embedded into your jaw during dental implant surgery. Over a few months, the dental implants will integrate with your jaw bone in a process called osseointegration. This makes them strong and durable enough to support a dental crown, denture, or bridge so you can eat with comfort and smile with confidence.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are considered the gold standard of tooth replacements for a number of important reasons:
- Tooth implants replace missing tooth roots. This minimises bone resorption or bone loss in your jaw, which is likely to happen if you opt for dentures or a dental bridge.
- Tooth implants stop your other teeth from shifting out of place.
- Tooth implants have a high success rate and are suitable for most patients who have healthy gums.
Understanding Dental Implant Surgery
Before you can move forward with dental implant surgery, you will need to have a dental evaluation. This is to ensure that dental implants are appropriate for you and that you have a suitable amount of strong, healthy jaw bone to support them. After the consultation, your dentist will create a treatment plan and cost estimate outlining what you can expect during each stage of your dental implant surgery.
The Stages Of Dental Implant Surgery
Some patients may not have enough jaw bone to support tooth implants. If this has happened, you may need a bone graft procedure to stimulate bone growth before you can have dental implant surgery.
If your damaged or decayed tooth is still in your mouth, it will need to be extracted first. You may need to wait a few months for the inflammation to subside before your implants can be placed.
Placing the dental implant
At Beyond 32 Dental, we make use of keyhole implants. Digital technology aids us in finding the ideal placement for your implants. Dental implants are placed under anaesthetic to keep you comfortable. After administering an anaesthetic, your dentist will drill holes into the underlying jaw bone. Keyhole implants enable you to enjoy a much faster recovery period with minimal downtime.
Placing the abutment
A few months later, after your dentist is satisfied that the implants have integrated with your jaw, you will return for the placement of the abutment. This is an extension piece that connects the artificial tooth roots with your dental crown. After the abutment has been placed, the surgical site must heal again.
Placing your dental crown
While you wait for your gum tissue to heal, your dentist will start working on your dental crown. You will choose the shade of porcelain, and 3D technology ensures that your replacement crown is a perfect match that blends in well with your remaining natural teeth.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are the longest-lasting tooth replacement currently available. They can be expected to last for at least ten years, with some implants lasting up to 20 years with good dental care. Fortunately, they do not require any special maintenance, and you can care for them in the same way as your natural teeth.
Good dental hygiene practices include twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. You must also visit your dentist at least twice a year so he or she can inspect the dental implant and the health of your gums and natural teeth. Your dentist will give your teeth a professional clean to remove any traces of plaque and tartar, which can lead to tooth decay and, ultimately, tooth loss.
While it is not possible for a dental implant to decay, it is possible for accumulated plaque to cause inflammation and infection at the implant site. Even if you have a full mouth of tooth implants, or have replaced your natural teeth with implant-supported dentures, you must still visit your dentist regularly for a check-up and cleaning.
If you would like to learn more about ‘what is a dental implant’ or find out if you are a candidate for surgery, it’s best to speak to a professional about a consultation. Please contact us for an appointment: (02) 9158 6334.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Dental implant surgery
What Are Dental Implants?
What to know about dental implants