Dental implants can provide you with a long-term solution to aid in the restoration of appearance, function, and speech by replacing missing teeth. They are designed to function like your natural teeth.
At Luxe Dental Care, our dentists can replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth or all of your teeth with implants!
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant comprises of two parts. The first part is a “fixture”, which mimics the tooth’s natural roots and typically is made out of titanium. This is surgically placed into the jaw bone.
After placement, the fixture will take some time to fuse with the jawbone and fully integrate itself as a part of your body.
The second part is the “prosthesis”. This is what attaches to the fixture and it typically consists of a crown, dental bridge or a denture.
The final (long term) prosthesis is inserted once all the appropriate tests are performed to ensure the fixture has integrated with your jawbone.
The Process of a Dental Implant Procedure
1. The first step of the implant process is planning. We will ensure you understand what is involved in the dental implant procedure during your consultation, so you can make an informed decision about the procedure.
2. The next step of the implant process is assessing the situation. During your first appointment, we will examine your mouth and take x-rays and a CT scan to assess the density and exact proportions of your jaw bone. We will then plan for the type and size of implant to be placed, with precise guides in place to ensure correct orientation and angulation at placement.
3. The third step is the placement of your dental implant. This will take place under local anesthetic. The time taken for the procedure varies between cases, depending on how many implants are being placed, whether bone grafting is required, and any other particulars of your case.
4. After your surgery you will be given detailed post-operative instructions for home care, as well as prescriptions for any medications you will need to take.
5. The healing process is an important third step in the dental implant procedure so that the implant can support the load from chewing. During this integration process, your jaw bone will grow into the threads of the implant and secure It firmly in place.
6. Healing and integration usually takes around 3 months but will take longer for patients who smoke or use tobacco.
7. Your dentist will review your implant at this stage to confirm that everything has healed and the bone has integrated with the implant successfully. The implant will be tested to ensure it is ready to move on to the final stage and can take the force of chewing.
8. Once we have confirmed that the implant has successfully integrated with your jaw and the surrounding bone is nice and healthy, we will scan your mouth digitally. This is so we can have your customised implant crown fabricated. Each crown is custom designed to fit and function like a natural tooth. Around 2-3 weeks after the scan, you will return one last time to have your tooth placed. The crown is always tried in first before being secured permanently. That’s it! You can go enjoy a nice meal immediately!
When is the best time to get dental implants?
Ideally, the best time to place an implant is 3 months after a tooth is removed as the bone is still healthy at this stage. The longer it is left the more the bone will reduce, making it trickier to place implants. Our dentist will perform a thorough exam of your bone levels to assess if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.
Am I suitable for dental implants ?
We will let you know if you are a candidate for dental implants after we complete your oral health assessment and CT scan. Before we can begin the implant treatment, your mouth needs to be healthy and free from problems such as tooth decay or gum disease.
There is no age limit for dental implants, as long as there is enough bone in your jaw to support the implant “fixture”. If there isn’t enough bone, we may recommend a bone grafting or bone augmenting procedure. You may not be suitable for bone grafting if you have certain health conditions.
If you are not suitable for dental implants, or you would prefer another option, we can discuss more ways to replace your missing tooth/teeth.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants provide numerous benefits:
- Smile confidently
- Eat and speak normally. Restore chewing ability to reduce the pressure on the remaining teeth. Losing teeth can impact the way you speak.
- Prevent bone loss. When a tooth is lost the bone around the area starts to resorb leaving an indentation in your jaw. This can impact the smile and facial appearance. This also causes gum recession around the adjacent teeth which can cause sensitivity and tooth decay.
- Once a dental implant has fully integrated, it becomes part of the mouth – looking, feeling and, and acting just like your natural teeth.
- Implants are a standalone method of tooth replacement and don’t compromise otherwise healthy teeth as other tooth replacement options might.
- No more ill fitting false teeth that slides or falls out, implants remain securely in the mouth.
- With good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, dental implants can last for a very long time.