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.
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Please note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should see advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
A dental emergency is an acute oral health disorder that requires dental attention, including broken, loose or removed teeth, toothaches and injuries to the lips, gums or cheeks through trauma, infections and post-surgery complications. If any of these issues should occur, it is essential that you contact your dentist immediately so you can make an appointment to prevent long term loss or complications. If you have experienced tooth and mouth pain at some point, you know it can be intrusive and sharp pain. Maven Dental Group practices are extremely well-equipped to handle dental emergencies and your local practice will treat yours with skill, care and efficiency.
I’ve knocked out a tooth, what do I do?
If you or a member of your family are unfortunate enough to have a tooth forcefully dislodged, there are a few simple steps you can follow for the best chance of recovery.
Immediately call your dentist for an emergency appointment.
Handle the tooth by the crown, not the root. Touching the root (the part of the tooth below the gum) can damage cells necessary for bone reattachment.
Gently rinse the tooth in water to remove dirt. Do not scrub.
If possible, gently place the clean tooth in the socket to keep it moist. It is important not to let the tooth dry out.
If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk or saliva.
Once you arrive at your dental practice, your dentist and support staff will be able to support and do everything they can to ensure your comfort and satisfaction.
Do I have to make an appointment for an emergency?
Many dentists are understanding towards the nature of emergency appointments and therefore know that emergencies are unpredictable. If you should find yourself needing emergency dental treatment it is advisable to call your local practice first so appropriate time can be made for you, however if you are at risk of losing a tooth or you are in extreme pain, they will generally fit you in as a priority.
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Maven Dental Group hygienists are highly trained clinicians who are enthusiastic about educating patients on the most effective ways to keep their teeth and gums healthy and long-lasting. They will advise you on all aspects of dental hygiene, including the use of toothbrushes, electronic aids, dental floss and inter-dental brushes.
There are two simple steps to good oral hygiene and healthy teeth and gums; regular visits to your Maven Dental Group dentist and dental hygienist, and good home care.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of health concerns, some of them extremely serious if left untreated.
Some signs to look for are:
What will happen if I have poor oral hygiene?
Research shows a clear link between periodontal disease and the following medical conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease. Increased risk of stroke and heart attack
- Premature birth with low birth weight in babies
- Increased risk of pneumonia, particularly in elderly patients
How often should I see my dentist or hygienist?
For most people, to maintain healthy teeth and gums, it is recommended you visit your clinician and dental hygienist twice a year.
What will my dentist or hygienist do?
Your dentist and dental hygienist will examine your mouth to assess the overall health of your teeth and gums and to look for any signs of disease (see below for more information).
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He/she will then do a professional clean and polish using a combination of modern techniques. This process removes any bacterial deposits and plaque from above and below the gum surface. Once the plaque has been removed, your teeth will be polished, leaving them feeling smooth and fresh.
Your dentist or dental hygienist will then show you how to care for your teeth at home, and will recommend the correct products for you to use.