Losing your natural teeth is something that will affect your entire life. The structure of your mouth can change due to your remaining teeth moving into the space that has been left and the bone shrinks. There are a number of options available so you can get your natural-looking smile back. Dental implants are a permanent and aesthetically pleasing solution.
Are there other impacts of losing a tooth?
The loss of a tooth can have a number of different effects on your life. Aesthetically, it may cause you to be more conscious about your smile and functionally and you may be unable to eat certain foods. It is not uncommon to experience a decline in self-confidence. Dining out with family, friends or business colleagues can become difficult.
What is a Dental Implant?
An implant is a small metal screw that is placed in the jawbone to replace a missing tooth root. A suitable new tooth solution is then secured to the implant, usually a porcelain crown (or bridge if several teeth are missing). You then have a natural-looking replacement tooth. Implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss and can truly change your life.
Are you a Candidate for a Dental Implant?
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, you are part way there for being able to have implants. In order for an implant to be placed, we need to make sure your gums and jawbone are healthy and able to support your new tooth. Your mouth will be checked for any sign of gum disease. If gum disease is present this must be treated before an implant can be placed successfully. A dental implant becomes an intimate part of your mouth, therefore we need to ensure the conditions are suitable for this new material to fuse with your jawbone correctly, not only immediately, but for life.
Do I have options?
There are other options you may wish to consider before choosing dental implants.
What if I do Nothing?
What happens if I keep my mouth the way it is? – This is not the ideal solution as your dental health may continue to change in an unpredictable way, and your bone will continue to shrink. Plus, missing teeth can reduce your self-confidence in both working and social environments.
What about Removable Dentures?
Removable dentures are an age-old solution to missing teeth yet, in many cases, not the most practical or aesthetically pleasing option. Many people never get used to wearing dentures, finding them to be foreign and annoying. Dentures collect additional plaque and food debris and require additional home care. You can also experience embarrassing moments with your dentures if they move or come loose in public. Although a snug fit when new, dentures also require regular alterations as your gum contour constantly changes over time.
Can I have a dental bridge?
Tooth supported fixed bridges also go back to ancient times. A new tooth (pontic) is connected to the adjacent teeth (abutment). This generally requires significant reshaping of the adjacent teeth. There are occasions where this is helpful to the long term survival of these teeth and therefore desirable and may be recommended ahead of implant supported tooth replacement. Only a thorough assessment and discussion will find the best solution for you.
When are implants beneficial?
A dental implant can help you if,
• You cannot chew comfortably and efficiently with your conventional dentures.
• You have lost teeth and don’t want removable partial dentures.
• You have lost a single tooth and want a single tooth implants rather than a bridge appliance.
• You are now wearing a partial or full denture, and would prefer a fixed bridge of fixed-removable appliance.
What can you expect during your Implant Treatment?
As with any dental treatment, it is individual to you. Your Collins Dental Centre dentist, in discussion with you, will create a specific treatment plan for you. The plan will include the number of implants needed, the treatment time, and the recovery period. This will start with assessing the following requirements.
Replacing a Single Tooth – If you are missing a single tooth, one implant replaces the root to which a crown is secured.
Replacing Several Teeth – If you are missing several teeth, an implant-supported bridge can replace them. Dental implants will replace some of the roots and hold a porcelain bridge in place.
Replacing All of Your Teeth – If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full arch denture can replace them. Dental implants replace some of the missing roots and secure your denture.
What do I do next?
The Next Step is to assess the quantity and quality of the bone in the locations where implants are likely to be placed. This involves a thorough medical history to identify factors that may have an effect on bone health. Then a Dental CT x-ray is obtained to create a 3D reconstruction of the jaw bones and teeth. If there is plenty of healthy bone and gum tissue to present the right cosmetic outcome then implant placement is usually straightforward. If there s a deficiency of bone and/or gum tissue additional procedures are performed, either prior or at the time of implant placement.
Once it has been decided which solution best suits you, treatment can commence and your new permanent smile is just around the corner.
At Collins Dental Centre, we work closely with an implant surgeon to make sure the outcome works within our treatment plan guidelines for your optimum oral health. Book an appointment on (03) 6224 3575
Call: (03) 6224 3575
158 Collins Street, Hobart
Monday – Friday 8.45am-5.15pm
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