Dental implants, or tooth implants as they are sometimes referred to, are an excellent option for replacing one or more missing teeth.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth, comprised of a titanium root (post) and crown, which is used as a replacement for a missing tooth/teeth. These implants are designed to look and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible, and help to restore the mechanical function of your mouth.
Types of dental implants
There are two types of dental implants that are often used, conventional (full) implants and mini implants. Both offer the same function, however as the names suggest, they differ in size. Typically mini implants are used in the case where there is insufficient jaw bone for a full implant to be placed. Each patient is different, and as such your dentist will assess your individual circumstances to determine which implant is the best option.
Dental implant procedure
The process of getting a dental implant involves two main steps, the implant placement and the implant restoration.
Step 1: Implant placement
The titanium/alloy implant is surgically placed into the jawbone, and left to fuse with the natural bone – creating a strong foundation for the replacement tooth. Depending on the type of dental implant being placed, the healing process will vary and in some cases may take up to 6 months.
Step 2: Implant restoration
A replica tooth or crown is created that best suits your natural teeth (shape, colour and size) and is fitted on top of the fused implant.
While both steps can be performed by dentists, the implant placement phase requires a dentist who has the right training and experience to carry out the complicated procedure. In the event that your Maven Dental Group dentist is unable to perform the implant placement, they will refer you to another highly qualified dentist before completing step two, the implant restoration.
How long will a dental implant last?
The titanium root component of a dental implant can last well over 20 years when properly maintained and cared for. The crown, however, typically lasts between 10 to 15 years before needing to be replaced (as a result of general wear and tear). Maintaining excellent oral hygiene can assist in prolonging the life of the crown beyond the usual 10 to 15 years.
What are the advantages of implants?
Dental implants are a great solution for restoring your smile while still providing you the same look, feel and function of your natural teeth. Unlike other alternatives such as dentures and bridges, implants are a longer lasting solution that allow you to eat, speak and floss like normal. Additionally, being fixed to the jaw bone means you don’t have to worry about the dental implants slipping or falling out of your mouth like dentures.
How long does it take to heal?
Healing time varies from person to person, but in most cases full implants have a three to six month healing period.
Please note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should see advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.