Conventional Dental Implant

 

  Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the jawbone to replace missing natural teeth. Implants and their attached crowns closely mimic the look and function of real teeth. They can make an attractive alternative to bridges or crowns.

Dental implant techniques can replace one or several missing teeth. In some cases, an entire set of artificial teeth can be carried on dental implants.

 

  A dental implant is the metal “root” that is inserted into the jawbone. The artificial tooth is attached to the implant by the use of an abutment. In some cases, instead of an artificial tooth, the implant can be fitted with special clips or attachments to hold a denture. The studs will minimize movement of the denture.

 

  Dental implants:

  • Help to withstand greater bite pressure

  • Prevent bone loss in the jaw

  • Prevent the formation of hollowed or collapsed cheeks that can occur after tooth extraction

  • Are usually surrounded by gum tissue like natural teeth.

  • May prevent gum recession

  • Unlike bridges, to not require cutting or shaping of the natural teeth around it

  • Are firmly secured in the jaws

  • Are usually more comfortable than dentures

  • Usually do not require separate care routines or special cleaning products

  • Like natural teeth, are clean by dental floss and brushing with regular toothpaste

 

   A dental implant is designed to last for many years, but poor oral hygiene can shorten its life span.

Like real teeth, artificial teeth that are not regularly brushed and flossed can develop deposits that eventually lead to further dental problems.

   Properly maintained implants that are anchored by sufficient bone can last for many years, although repairs may be expected like any other dental appliance.

  Your dentist will discuss with you if a dental implant is the right choice for you. They will perform diagnostic tests to confirm you are suitable for the procedure. These tests may include:

 

  • Dental examination

  • Photographs

  • X-rays

  • CT scans of your jaw bones

  • Dental casts of your mouth

 

    Decisions on the size, shape and appearance of your artificial tooth are dependent on the remaining natural teeth in your mouth.

Be sure to inform your dentist if you are pregnant, have a blood disorder, heavy bleeding, rheumatic fever, heart problems, bruxism (teeth grinding), allergies to anesthetics or antibiotics and/or if you are on any medications.

 

   Any other dental health problems must be addressed before going ahead with a dental implant, including decay or gum disease, as they may affect the outcome of the implant.

 

   Dental Implant Procedure

Different types of implants are available. Most implants are made from titanium.

In most cases, the dental implant procedure involves three separate stages:

  • Insertion of implant into the bone

  • Insertion of the abutment on the implant

  • Attachment of the artificial tooth to the abutment

The surgical process can take from 30minutes to several hours. The whole process may take from 3-6months from insertion of implant to fitting of the crown.

 

  1. Preparation of Implant Hole – the dentist prepares a site in the gum to expose the underlying bone. A drill prepares a hole in the jawbone.

  2. Insertion of the Implant – the implant is cylindrical and its surface is either threaded or smooth. It is inserted into position in the hole and the gums are stitched closed. Stitches are removed 7-10 days after. Implant stability improves over the weeks and months as bone tissue grows on the surface of the implant. The dentist may allow up to six months for your bone to integrate with the implant.

  3. Insertion of Abutment – the abutment is fitted after the bone has healed. The abutment is the support post between the implant and the crown. The dentist makes an incision into the gum to access the implant. X-rays are used to ensure the abutment is correctly placed. A dental impression of your mouth may be taken to finalize the design of the crown. The dentist may allow a few weeks for the gum to heal.

  4. Attachment of the artificial tooth – the dentist checks the implant is strong enough to support the forces exerted by the artificial tooth. If so, the tooth is attached either by cement, or by screw. You may choose to have detachable implants. These are known as ‘over-dentures’; they are not as sturdy but are easy to clean. Once the artificial tooth is attached, an x-ray may be taken to ensure correct placement of everything.

  5. Dentures – instead of an artificial tooth, an implant can be fitted with special clips or attachments that firmly hold an existing denture in position. The aim is to improve the stability of the denture.

 

     Recovery

  • Arrange to be driven home by someone

  • Some people take a few days off work

  • Do not operate heavy machine

  • Do not engage in strenuous activity

  • Swelling, bruising, mouth pain and head ache are normal reactions that usually subside within one week

  • Ice packs can help reduce swelling

  • You may be prescribed antibiotics

  • Drink plenty of fluids

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking

  • Eat soft foods

  • Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help with healing

  • Follow up appointments ensure with on going success

  • See your dentist is swelling or pain persists

  • Good oral hygiene is important

 

    Caring For Your Dental Implants

Bacteria in the mouth forms plaque that can adhere to natural and artificial teeth. Your implants may fail if they are not kept clean; this may cause gum disease and infection. General suggestions:

  • Brush teeth after every meal

  • Clean every surface or every tooth

  • Use fluoride toothpaste to reduce risk of decay

  • Use interdental brushes

  • Floss at least once daily

  • Do not smoke

  • Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks

  • See your dentist immediately if you have tooth or gum pain

 

 Possible Complications of Dental Implant Treatment

  • Allergies – people may have allergic reactions to anesthetics or the materials used in the implant, albunator or crown

  • Vomiting – some people vomit during recovery of anesthesia

  • Affected sinus – an implant inserted into the upper jaw may contact or perforate the sinus within the bone and cause infection. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection.

  • Fractured lower jaw – rarely, the lower jaw may break during the procedure

  • Damaged nerve – the inferior dental nerve runs the length of the lower jaw. Placement of an implant may damage this nerve and cause numbness in the gums, lips or skin around the mouth. In most cases, this will resolve within 18months.

  • Inhaling or swallowing equipment parts – the patient may accidently inhale or swallow a piece of equipment. This may cause breathing problems or infection. Surgery maybe needed to remove it.

  • Speech problems – some patients have speech problems following the fitting of an implant. This usually resolves once the patient gets used to the altered feel of the mouth.

  • Gum tissue overgrowth (hyperplasia) – the gum surrounding the implant may enlarge and push above the gum line causing redness and pain. This can be reversed with good oral hygiene or can be surgically removed.

  • Infection – the area around the implant may become infected; this can be resolved with antibiotics. In certain people, implants can lead to infection in other areas other than the implant site. Infectious endocarditis is a potentially life threatening infection of the heart. People who have undergone prior heart surgery are at risk of this rare complication

  • Bone loss – in most cases, the pressure of biting and chewing encourages strong bone tissue to grow around the implant. In rare cases, the implant causes bone loss, and the implant eventually becomes unstable.

  • Loose implant – the implant may fail to integrate with the bone or it may become unstable with time. The implant must be removed and another inserted into the jaw nearby. Alternatively, the bone is allowed to heal and an implant is inserted into the same place.

  • Loose tooth – the artificial tooth may come loose from the abutment, or the abutment may become loose from the implant. Either case requires treatment to tighten or replace screws.

  • Tooth problems – such as chipping or breakage.

 

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Shop 6, 326 Pennant Hills Road, Carlingford, NSW  2118.(Opposite Carlingford train station)

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