The loss or damage of even a single tooth can have a considerable impact on a person’s everyday life and self-esteem. It can change one’s entire personality. Many people with dental problems avoid smiling and going out, causing them to appear less social, or unhappy.
Regardless of the aesthetic and psychological reasons, missing teeth should be replaced. Each and every gap in your tooth placement potentially poses problems to your long term dental health. One missing tooth can ultimately lead to the loss of additional teeth and ultimately a change in your facial appearance over time.
The missing tooth can lead to a chain reaction. Adjacent teeth can collapse into the gap, while teeth in the opposing jaw can grow into the gap. Missing teeth can affect nutrition and well-being, as the types of food that can be consumed are often limited, hence resulting in deficiencies in vitamins and nutrients. For example, denture wearers often find it difficult to eat nuts, seeds and crunchy raw vegetables. Missing teeth also causes the bone to gradually break down as the bone resorbs and gives patients a sunken face or “the witches look”.
Unlike conventional dentures, implants are permanent anchors and eliminate problems of poor fit, gum irritation, pressure points and food trapping under dentures and do not have an odour associated with them.
Dental implants are titanium ‘roots' which, when placed in the upper or lower jaw, bond with the bone, thus acting as anchors for the replacement teeth (implant crowns and bridges).
Dental implants look, feel and function like your natural teeth and have the highest success rate for tooth replacement (over 95%). They prevent bone loss and shrinkage of the jawbone which can make the face look older and therefore implants gives you a younger looking appearance.
If you are missing only one tooth, a dental implant is often the best choice. The dental implant replaces the lost tooth root and acts as post for the implant crown. Grinding the neighbouring teeth is not tooth root and transmits the chewing force from the tooth crown to the jaw bone. This natural stress keeps the keeps the jaw bone vital so that it does not resort.
For two or more missing teeth, a bridge supported by implants counteracts bone loss and protects the remaining healthy teeth. A bridge firmly anchored to provide an aesthetically pleasing and functional result that helps prevent further loss of natural bone.
The first step of the procedure is a comprehensive initial consultation where your teeth, gums and jaw are examined. A 3D CBCT scan is required
at this stage to determine the implant positions and to assess the amount of bone to secure the implant. A detailed treatment plan is then
provided to you detailing the costs and appointments needed for your procedure.
On the day of your implant surgery, we will uncover the gum to insert the implant under the jaw bone, usually under local anaesthetic or intravenous sedation if preferred. This procedure will take approximately 1 to 2 hours depending on the number of implants to be placed. Once in place, the implant is left to heal and integrate into the bone for 3-6 months. If necessary, a temporary crown can be fitted for this interim period.
3-6 months later an abutment will be placed and a mould of your mouth is taken for a crown or bridge to be custom made to fit.
Once the laboratory completes the final restoration, this is secured into the implant abutment, giving you a natural looking and comfortable smile.