Services / Dental Implants
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is the gold standard treatment option for replacing a missing tooth. A titanium implant screw is inserted into the jaw bone which grows around the implant, integrating it into the body. A crown is then connected, and that completes the tooth replacement treatment.
How long does it take before I can start using my new dental implant?
The whole process takes on average three months from start to finish. It can be variable because every person differs in genetic and biological make-up. Factors like the amount and quality of bone available, lifestyle habits like cigarette smoking, health conditions like diabetes can all affect implant healing. Our dentist will guide you through a thorough assessment and fully informed decisions so as to achieve the best possible treatment outcomes.
Are there options other than implants?
There are three options for replacing missing teeth 1. Implant. 2. Fixed bridge. 3. Removable denture. A removable denture is an option which can suit some patients especially for those who do not want or are not able to have surgery done. Removable dentures however trap food with every meal, patients need to remove them for cleaning otherwise decay of the natural remaining teeth will set in. Dentures also do not prevent bone loss. Over time, the bone in the area where the missing tooth was will resorb and shrink.
Full conventional fixed bridge is an option that we are moving away from, because it involves cutting down two good teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. When the fixed bridge is cemented on, two teeth will now have to perform the work of three teeth. This can cause excessive stress to the adjacent teeth and eventually result in permanent loss of the adjacent teeth. Nevertheless, this can also be an option for patients who prefer something fixed while avoiding a surgical option. There is also an option called acid-etched bridge which is very conservative and consists of a small wing that is bonded onto the tooth adjacent to the missing tooth, it is not very strong but it is much more reversible and results in less damage to the remaining teeth.
Dental implants are now accepted as the gold standard for replacement of missing teeth with extensive research and track record. Not everyone can be suitable candidates for implants however, removable dentures and fixed bridges remain part of the treatment repertoire for missing teeth.
Can I get implants to help support my loose denture so that I can eat properly?
For a patient who is fully edentulous (all teeth missing), a multi-unit bridge can be placed over just four implants. This can be made fixed or removable, with removable having the advantage of easy access for cleaning while combining the superior support and stability of implants for optimum function. They have excellent function and many of our patients express great satisfaction in being able to enjoy their food again.