Missing teeth can have a significant negative effect on your oral health, with the possibility of jawbone and tooth loss occurring. Missing teeth can also affect your lifestyle as they may restrict you from eating certain foods or even showing your smile. Advancements in modern dentistry have led to a long-term, fixed solution for missing teeth. These are dental implants.
Dental implants act as an artificial root that is placed in the jawbone where the missing tooth used to be. The implant is usually made from titanium, it is biocompatible which means that’s non-toxic and bonds to your existing jawbone. This integration creates a strong implant with the ability to support an artificial tooth (known as a crown). The result is a naturally aesthetic look that enhances your smile.
Am I a suitable candidate for dental implants?
If you have lost one or more teeth due to injury, decay, disease or defects, you may be a suitable candidate for dental implants.
It's important that you have healthy gums and enough jawbone to support the dental implant and that you maintain a proper oral hygiene routine, before and after a dental implant procedure. This includes brushing and flossing daily and attending regular dental check-ups.
If you are a smoker or suffer from a chronic disease, you may not be eligible for dental implants. The dentists at Pinjarra Dental Surgery will discuss the options available to you.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Like natural teeth, dental implants are secure, permanent and don't require any extra care other than maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine. Dental implants are a permanent solution that includes a number of benefits:
- Natural appearance: The crown that is attached to the dental implant is created to match your existing teeth, providing a natural, uniform appearance.
- Durability: Dental implants are built to last. If fitted and cared for properly, implants can last a lifetime. (Please note: The crown on top of the implant, may require replacing after time).
- Improved speech: Removable dentures can often cause problems with speech due to them slipping or falling out. As implants are secure, there is no risk of this happening and patients will find that their speech is unaffected.
- Improved comfort: Unlike dentures, dental implants fit, feel and function like normal teeth. This improved fit eliminates any discomfort and allows patients to eat any food without difficulty or discomfort.
- Protection of the healthy bone: When a tooth is not replaced and the jawbone is not being used to support a tooth it can start to deteriorate and become weak. Dental implants help reduce the risk of bone loss while stimulating natural bone growth.
- Do not affect existing teeth: As dental implants are placed directly into the space of the missing tooth and are supported by the jawbone they do not require support from surrounding teeth. This means that the adjoining teeth do not need to be ground down as they would for removable dentures.
- Maintaining your natural smile: Missing teeth and deteriorating jawbone can cause a patient's natural smile and face shape to alter. As dental implants act as normal teeth, facial structure is maintained.
Dental implant procedure
Your dentist at Pinjarra Dental Surgery will first provide you with a thorough assessment, to ensure that you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. This is a vital step to ensure the procedure can be successful, with little or no complications. A treatment plan involving two appointments will then be developed for you.
During your first appointment, the dental implant will be surgically embedded in the jawbone. It will then take two to six months for the implant to osseointegrate (form a bond with the bone). The end result will be a strong, permanent foundation for the replacement tooth.
Your implant will have healed by the time you are due to attend your second appointment. Your dentist will fit a small connector (known as an abutment) to the top of the implant. This allows the implant to connect with the new tooth. A crown, bridge or denture will then be attached to the abutment and you will be left with a healthier smile.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants vary from person to person and largely depend on the number of teeth being replaced, the extent of any bone damage, any pre-existing medical conditions and the type of replacement tooth. Your Pinjarra dentist will discuss the cost with you during your initial consultation before any work is performed.
If you are currently suffering the effects of tooth loss or would like to have your dentures replaced with a more permanent and comfortable solution, call Pinjarra Dental Surgery to discuss your options or book your appointment online.
Disclaimer: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.