What to consider when considering dental implants

If you are missing a tooth there is no better treatment than implant dentistry. No other restorative treatment replaces the whole tooth. No other restorative treatment has the health benefits of implant dentistry.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium screw that is surgically placed at the site of the missing tooth root. The titanium is biocompatible to reduce the chance of your body rejecting the foreign material.

After a period of months—generally 2 to 3 months— it will fuse with your jaw bone (a process known as osseointegration) and act as a strong, sturdy tooth root. When it has finished fusing the second and third part of treatment can commence.

What to keep in mind

In order for implant dentistry to work, in order for the treatment to be a viable option, you must have adequate jawbone density: as well as good oral health.

If you are suffering from gum disease this will need to be treated prior to implant dentistry. If you have inadequate jawbone density this will need to be treated prior to implant dentistry.

Health benefits of implant dentistry

Implant dentistry is the best way to replace a missing tooth. It’s a treatment that replaces the whole tooth which means it provides support for your jaw and gums as well as your natural teeth and bite.

When you lose a tooth the jawbone which holds the tooth in place starts to atrophy. This happens as soon as you lose a tooth. Which has a knock-on effect. That is, it can—over time—cause further tooth loss and bad bite.

Six months for treatment

Treatment takes six months.

That’s from placement of the dental implant to the last treatment. Osseointegration takes between 3 and 4 months and then the placement of the abutment takes a week for your gums to heal and then there’s the time it takes for the placement of an implant crown.

Dental implants can last forever

The dental implant itself can last a lifetime, provided you maintain good oral health. The restoration, whether it’s an implant crown, bridge or denture will need to be replaced every 7 to 8 years: but this also depends on how well you look after the restoration.

Gum disease for dental implants

One of the biggest causes of implant failure is perioimplantitis. While the dental implant and implant crown are impervious to dental decay they are not impervious to disease.

Perioimplantitis is one of the highest causes of implant failure. The smallest risk of implant failure is that your body might reject the implant. However, this is very rare.

After any restorative treatment, it is important you attend regular six-monthly check-ups to ensure the continued health of the restoration and your natural teeth.

Why you should visit a prosthodontist for your implant dentistry needs

A prosthodontist is a dentist qualified in the placement of prosthetics.

Dr Ironside is a prosthodontist with over 25 years of experience who has helped many patients restore the appearance of their smile.

If you would like to know more about how Dr Ironside can help you or to make an appointment at his Sydney dental practice, please call us today.