With dental implants, you have a permanent solution to restore appearance, function and speech, as well as eliminate all the discomforts associated with wearing dentures.
An implant-supported restoration looks, feels and functions virtually like a real tooth, improving your quality of life and allowing you to enjoy food better.
What Is A Dental Implant?
Dental implants are small titanium screws placed in bone to replace the root of a missing tooth. The implant will then integrate with the bone in a process known as osseointegration. (Refer to the next image)
The abutment and a crown or bridge are used to restore the missing part of the tooth/teeth above the gum.
When You Should Consider Dental Implants
- When a tooth is beyond repair and requires an extraction
- When you have missing teeth
- When the number of teeth you have are insufficient for a tooth-supported bridge
- When your upper and lower jaws are edentulous
- When dentures are loose or uncomfortable
Missing A Tooth?
You might think that leaving the missing tooth space empty is not a big deal, but the consequences of not filling in the space in the long run can cause:
- Adjacent teeth changing position
- Shrinking of the jawbone, making the face appear prematurely older
- A less appealing smile
Are You Suitable For Dental Implants?
If you are healthy enough to have a tooth taken out, you are probably healthy enough to have a dental implant placed. There is no maximum age limit to who can receive a dental implant, as long as you are past puberty.
Patients with the following medical conditions must be carefully evaluated to determine his or her suitability for dental implants:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Steroid therapy
- Connective tissue disorders
- Bisphosphonate therapy
What Types of Dental Implant Restorations Are There?
There are 4 types of dental implant restorations: implant-supported crown, implant-supported bridge, implant-supported hybrid bridge and implant-retained denture. Refer to the images below.
These restorations restore or reconstruct our set of teeth dentition to allow normal chewing function. They are used to reinstate chewing function, aesthetics and appearance, as well as speaking function.
What Is The Process Of Getting A Dental Implant?
STEP 1: EXAMINATION – PREPARATION PHASE
Your dentist will perform a thorough examination to assess your suitability for dental implants during your first appointment. During the examination, the quality and quantity of your dental bone would be evaluated.
Models and diagnostic wax-up, X-ray and CT-scans or Cone beam CT-scans examinations will also be carried out.
STEP 2: IMPLANT PLACEMENT – SURGICAL PHASE
The dental implant is placed in the bone in a simple surgery and is left to heal for 2 to 4 months. There are many painless techniques, such as painkillers, anaesthesia administered with painless injections, or intravenous (IV) sedation for those with dental phobia. The implant may be completely covered (2-stage implant) or left uncovered (1-stage implant) depending on your bone quality. An assessment made prior to the surgery will determine if you are suitable for immediate placement of permanent teeth.
After the healing phase, if the dental implant was left covered, the dental surgeon would now uncover it.
STEP 3: RESTORATIVE PHASE
The dentist will then complete this phase by fixing a prosthetic restoration (either a crown or a bridge) to the osseointegrated dental implant.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer scientifically-proven benefits:
- With tooth loss and dental use, your jawbone will start shrinking. Your jawbone can be preserved with dental implants
- A permanent option for teeth replacement
- Highly reliable with a good long-term success rate
- Dental implant never decays
- Regain proper chewing function
- Restore appearance, self-confidence and self-esteem
- Reduce visible ageing