What are dental implants?

What are dental implants?

Are you missing a tooth and want to fill the void in your smile permanently? Well, dental implants may be the perfect solution for you!

Dental implants are the permanent solution to replacing a missing tooth. They are also the closest you will get to a natural tooth replacement.

To have a dental implant, you will have a titanium screw screwed down into your jawbone. This screw will act as a root, and after surgery, over the course of a few months, the bone will grow to fuse with the screw.

Once your jawbone and the screw are fused together, the implant can be topped with an abutment. This is the connecting element between the implant and the false tooth. This piece, however, may be already fitted when the screw was put into place.

The final step is to have an artificial tooth or crown placed on top of the implant. You have options, as you can choose a removable, fixed or even a combination of both.

The entire dental implant process will take between six to eight months on average.

The benefits of dental implants

By choosing to have a dental implant to replace missing teeth, you will be getting the replacement that is closest to a natural tooth.

The benefits of a dental implant include:

  • Permanent tooth replacement
  • Offers a natural appearance
  • Improves bite and chewing abilities
  • Improved oral healthConvenient to clean (just like a natural tooth)
  • Very durable and strong
  • Improved speech functions
  • Comfortable (feels just like a natural tooth)

Can anyone get dental implants?

Treatment suitability differs per patient. Many patients will be able to receive a dental implant, however many won’t if they fall into a number of categories.

Suitable patients for a dental implant have:

  • A healthy jawbone
  • One or more missing teeth
  • Time, as it will take several months

Suitable patients do not:

  • Smoke
  • Suffer from gum disease
  • Have any other underlying dental issues that would impact the implant
  • Have any conditions that affect bone growth abilities

Please also note that for patients who have insufficient bone density, you may be able to have a bone graft to increase your jawbone, allowing for a dental implant.

How long do dental implants last?

In short, dental implants could last a lifetime if they are cared for and maintained properly.

However, the artificial tooth or crown will usually last between 10 to 15 years, before it needs replacing.

How can you make your implants last longer?

There are multiple things you can do to ensure that your implant lasts a long time, for example:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each
  • Floss your teeth daily
  • Rinse your mouth out with an antibacterial mouthwash
  • Maintain regular dental appointments (every 6 months)
  • Avoid abrasive toothpaste
  • Don’t smoke (impacts the gums, jaw bone and fuse process)

Are dental implants painful?

Getting dental implants isn’t that painful. You will not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure as you will be under sedation or anaesthetic.

However, you will experience a few side-effects post-surgery, including:

  • Discomfort and pain
  • Gums and skin may be bruised
  • Swollen gum tissue
  • Minor bleeding from the implant site

How do you clean dental implants?

Treat your dental implant just like a real tooth.

Make sure you brush your implant twice a day, floss around it and rinse it throughout the day to remove excess debris and bad bacteria.

Removable implants are very easy to clean, as they can be removed for cleaning.

What if the implant fails to fuse to the bone?

If the implant fails to fuse to the bone, you will know as the implant will be able to move around.

In this situation, you will have the implant removed and have the option to wait three months until your bone has healed. At this stage, you can have a second attempt at the implant.

Interested in dental implants? Contact Access Dental Care

If you are located in Perth and have been thinking about getting the permanent replacement for a missing tooth, or multiple teeth, then contact Access Dental Care.

Our friendly and experienced team can walk you through the entire process and have you on your way to filling the void in your smile.

For more information, please contact us here.

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