“Do I need dental implants?” is a question we’re often asked at Dental 266 by people looking to replace a missing tooth or teeth. Before answering the question, let’s take a brief look at what dental implants are.
Dental implants are a modern solution to replace missing teeth. People lose their teeth for a variety of reasons including:
- Severe tooth decay,
- Periodontal disease,
- Lack of, or poor, oral hygiene,
- Trauma to the face
Dental implants act as artificial tooth roots and are surgically placed into the jawbone to firmly secure and support a replacement tooth or teeth. They differ from other forms of tooth replacement because they are the only treatment that replaces the entire tooth structure including the root.
Why replace a tooth?
When a tooth is lost and not replaced it can trigger a whole host of other dental problems. Adjacent teeth may start to shift towards the space left by the missing tooth which is followed by a further shift from the neighbouring tooth and so it goes on. This causes the teeth to be misaligned and can affect the way they come together when you bite.
Aside from this, oral health may also suffer because misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean. This can result in tooth decay, gum disease and yet more missing teeth.
But Do I Need Dental Implants?
You may not need implants per se but you may prefer dental implants if you have missing teeth and you don’t want to wear a bridge, crown, or a denture.
Aside from enhancing the aesthetics of your smile, implants play an important part in helping your mouth to function efficiently.
Dental implants keep each tooth firmly secured so that they can’t slip or fall out as often happens with dentures. They also preserve the shape of the jaw by putting an end to the bone loss that naturally occurs with tooth loss. Because implants are secured into the jaw during dental implant surgery, they provide the stimulus of chewing that helps keep the jawbone healthy.
A patient may also want dental implants because they look incredibly natural. You may feel embarrassed by how your smile looks and implants can help fix that while also restoring confidence. Being able to eat comfortably at social occasions and smile without holding back can have a huge impact on your life in general.
So now we’ve answered your question “do I need dental implants” let’s take a look at what’s involved in the dental implant procedure and discuss dental implant surgery.
The Dental Implant Procedure – All You Need to Know
Patients need to know that if they’re looking for a quick fix to replace their missing teeth, then they might want to look for an alternative treatment. The dental implant procedure can in some cases take up to 9 months to complete since it involves multiple procedures with healing time needed in between.
As with any treatment, the first part of the dental implant procedure is to attend a consultation with the friendly team here at Dental 266 to see if dental implants are a suitable treatment for you.
The main criteria are that a person has good oral health, sufficient bone to support an implant and reasonably good general health.
Understandably, many people worry about dental implant surgery and whether it hurts. Fortunately, with advanced technologies, detailed planning, and sedation options dental implant surgery is considered minor oral surgery and for most people, it’s over before they know it.
What happens during dental implant surgery?
Surgery is carried out in the dental clinic and starts with administering local anaesthesia to numb the area and providing dental sedation if requested.
A small incision is made into the gum to expose the jawbone and a precision drill is used to create a small hole or holes for the titanium implant post or posts. This done, the gums are stitched back together.
Over the next few months, a patient needs to wait for the implant posts to fuse with the surrounding bone to become a permanent fixture in the mouth.
Once this has occurred, you’ll be asked to return to the clinic to have a mould made of your jaw and teeth which will be used to create your prosthetic teeth. A few weeks after this, another appointment will be needed to fit your dental crowns or a dental bridge to your dental implants.
For patients missing all of their teeth in one or both of their arches, we offer All-on-4 implants which give them a new set of teeth in a day. Our dentist will be happy to explain this procedure in more detail.
If you’re still asking yourself “do I need dental implants” then just consider some of the following benefits of implants:
- They look, feel and act like natural teeth
- They don’t have to be removed at night
- There are no food restrictions
- They’re cost-effective in the long term with a potential to last for several decades
- They’re easy to maintain with regular brushing and flossing
If you feel that you do indeed need dental implants then why not get in touch with the team at Dental 266. Book an appointment online or call us on (02) 9051 0600.