Dental implants are titanium inserts that are surgically placed in the jaw bone to act as artificial roots to replace missing natural teeth. Implant supported crowns appears quite natural and are strong, making them an attractive alternative to dentures/ bridges. With good planning, dental implants can replace one or more teeth and in some cases, a full denture set can be carried on dental implants.
Dental implants help to withstand heavy biting forces, protects the alveolar bone and reduces bone loss after loss of natural tooth, prevents gum recession, prevents facial changes due to missing teeth – like collapse of face height/sinking in of cheeks. Implants emerge from within the gums making the artificial tooth appear natural. Unlike dentures/ bridges, dental implants do not need any grinding of adjacent teeth. Implants are firmly secured in the bone, making the prosthesis stable in the mouth. They are known to be more comfortable compared to dentures and bridges. Dental implants do not require any special hygiene products as with dentures or bridges and are cleaned with regular brushing and flossing.
Dental implants are designed to last for life. Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. However, poor oral hygiene can shorten life of implants. Immaculate hygiene and regular professional maintenance is critical for implants. Like natural teeth, implants can develop plaque/ calculus deposits if not maintained properly, making oral hygiene maintenance critical. Properly maintained implants anchor to bone like natural teeth and lasts for a long time, although repairs may be expected like any other dental work.
IS IMPLANT A RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU?
Please feel free to have an obligation free consultation with our dentist to discuss Dental Implants as a treatment option for your missing teeth. If you decide to opt for implants, we will make sure you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. While most people can have dental implants, there are a few exceptions.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?
In general, dental implants are covered by dental insurance at this time. Dental Implants come under Dental Extras and usually have a gap for the amount of cover. Health Precinct has affiliated with Denticare that offers an interest free credit for Implant treatments. There is also an option to choose MACCredit for immediate financial needs and longer repayment options. Detailed questions about your individual needs, how they relate to insurance cover and gap should be discussed with us and your insurance provider.
What happens next?
The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by our team of professionals who are specially trained and experienced in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. We take a thorough medical and dental history as preparation for your implant procedure. We expect you to disclose your complete medical history and drug list at the planning stage. We need to perform a few diagnostic tests to confirm that you are eligible for the procedure. These tests might include:
Decision on the type, size and length of implant will be determined based on the investigations. All other dental problems needs to be treated before implant placement. Dental implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bony socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbones heals, the implant gets integrated with bone, anchoring securely in the jaws. This healing process takes 4-6 months. Once the implant has bonded with the jawbone, a small connector post called ‘Abutment’, is attached to the post to hold your custom made new crown/ prosthesis. To make false teeth, we might take impression of implant or even scan it. Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a removable denture.
Dental implants and crowns may get damaged by excessive grinding of teeth. If you have flattened teeth, chipped enamel and broken fillings, you probably are grinding your teeth to cause them to wear. In such cases, we might recommend you some modifications in your treatment plan, which might include: more number of implants to distribute load, crowns with stronger material or even a night guard or a splint to protect implants while you sleep.
How painful are Dental Implants?
Most patients that have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anaesthesia will be used during the procedure and patients report that implants are less painful than a tooth extraction. However, all patients that undergo implant procedure in Health Precinct are advised to take over-the-counter pain medication. Mostly patients do get a script for pain relief after their procedure.
What can you expect?
Not all dental procedures produce ‘life-like’ results. Some cases are challenging and results may be less satisfying than expected. Discuss your expectations with us before initiating the procedure. False teeth may not feel exactly like your natural teeth. Usually you will get used to the feel and chewing with new teeth. Regular check-ups and maintenance is critical for making dental implants last a life time. Though Implants have a very high success rate, no dentist can guarantee implant surgery to be successful.
What are the possible complications of Dental Implants?
Dental implants, like all other surgical procedures carry some degree of risk. If you have particular concerns, we recommend you write a list of questions to discuss with us. Following are the list of a few complications that the enumerated to inform you, not to alarm you. There may be other risks that are not listed.
General Complications include allergies to anaesthetics, bleeding from the surgical area and infection of the wound that may require antibiotics.
Specific risks of implant surgery are:
Implant complications include: